Cannabidiol, commonly called CBD, has become quite popular for treating multiple health conditions in humans and animals. It is interesting to see that the CBD pet products are being produced in a fast-paced manner. From gel capsules to topical skin treatments and oils – there is a wide range of the CBD products available today. These CBD products can be mixed into food or liquid or placed in your dog’s mouth in the form of droplets.
There is no doubt about its efficacy, but is the CBD safe to consume? How to determine the right dosage for your dog? And how do you choose the right CBD product for your pet? This article is a guide about the CBD for your dog. We will explore what it’s used for, where to be cautious, and what to look to choose the right CBD product. So, let’s start!
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant comprises 113 cannabinoids, and CBD is one of them. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most famous and active cannabinoids. THC has psychoactive properties and gets you high. On the other hand, CBD does not cause any euphoric sensation since it does not contain any psychoactive properties.
The 2018 Farm Bill (also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) lifted the ban on hemp. Therefore, CBD derived from the hemp plant and has only 0.3% of THC can be consumed in the United States (with exceptions in some states).
How Does CBD Work for Dogs?
Several pet animals have a similar Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to human beings. As signaling molecules, endocannabinoid cells play a role in telling the body’s systems what the brain wants to get done. Instructions are then forwarded to the immune system and other major body organs when the brain experiences an imbalance, including digestion issues, stress, anxiety, immune response, and inflammation.
The ECS contains two kinds of cannabinoids – phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids are present in plants, like cannabis, while endocannabinoids can be found in animals and humans. Scientists believe that phytocannabinoids located in CBD can mimic the body’s endocannabinoids by interacting with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. This interaction is why many are so excited about CBD products for dogs.
One study suggests that the CBD stimulates the body to develop more of its endocannabinoids, which helps the body address the imbalance immediately.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
The chief veterinary officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, at the American Kennel Club’s (AKC), has gathered anecdotal evidence from pet owners who claim that CBD has helped control seizures or treat pain in their pets. The CBD may help in some areas, such as nausea, cardiac problems, low appetite, anxiety, and inflammation.
When taking a higher dosage or poor quality of the CBD, your dog may experience the following adverse effects:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Dry mouth (low amount of saliva which would result in thirstiness)
- Dizziness, especially at a higher dose, caused by CBD’s calming effects when consumed to treat anxiety or stress.
Dog owners are advised to consult their veterinarians before giving the CBD to their pups. Since the FDA has not approved the CBD for dogs’ treatments, it puts vets in a difficult situation. They have been frequently asked about the CBD products, but the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has told them not to give any recommendation. The AVMA states that there is a lack of evidence-based research, so it is confusing to prescribe a cannabis product for pet use. This recommendation may change with more evidence-based research.
On the other hand, the AKC is involved in research regarding the CBD. The organization’s Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring a major clinical trial through the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, where researchers are finding out how CBD may help to treat epileptic dogs.
“Since the popularity of cannabis, now is the time to put science behind the claims and stories. We need to know if this drug is safe and if it works. If the CBD is useful for treating epilepsy, there is a possibility that it can save the life of each dog in the globe,” said Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a board-certified veterinary neurologist who is leading the study.
Dog Health Conditions Treated with the CBD
Epilepsy, arthritis, and anxiety are the most common health problems in dogs that are treated with the CBD. There are, however, other possibilities as well. The following are the conditions and how the CBD is consumed.
Dogs with Seizure Condition
Colorado State University carried out a clinical study and has had promising results. A research-based study on 26 dogs also took place, dogs were either given a placebo or 2.5mg of CBD twice a day for 12 weeks along with other prescribed drugs. Although only 16 dogs completed the study, 89% experienced fewer seizures than before the study.
Dogs with Anxiety Problem
Anxiety-related research on CBD for dogs is yet to be undertaken. Dog owners, however, claim anecdotal success with CBD oil. In 2018, the Journal of Affective Disorders concluded a human study on CBD and mood swings. It was found that CBD consumers reported a decrease in anxiety, depression, and stress. It is important to note that more research is required to figure out whether CBD is effective for treating anxiety in dogs or not.
Dogs with Arthritis Pain
A placebo-controlled, double-blind study took place at the Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 to find out whether CBD is helpful in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA). Previously, the dogs were diagnosed with lameness because of OA.
Twenty-two dogs were given 2 mg of placebo or 2 mg of CBD oil every twelve hours. It was a small study, and only 16 dogs completed the research. Both the veterinarians and dogs’ owners noticed a significant reduction in pain and increase in mobility in the dogs who received the CBD oil.
How to Give Dogs CBD?
Since CBD for dogs is a new area, there is insufficient research about CBD dosage in dogs. But these few guidelines will help you use the CBD. Treat it like any other mediation, such as keeping it out of reach of kids/pets and placing it in a safe place.
When using CBD tinctures or oils, simply open your dog’s mouth and squirt a drop on his/her tongue. You can also add drops to your dog’s water or food.
CBD powders are also available that can be mixed with food. You can also conceal it in tablets/capsules or natural ingredients like coconut oil.
For balms or roll-ons, you may need to apply to the dog’s skin in areas where it can’t easily be licked off.
CBD Dosage for Dogs
Your dog’s CBD dosage is based on three factors:
- Weight of your dog
- Health condition of your dog
- The potency of the product you are providing (they come in formulas ranging from 75mg to 600mg, depends on your dog’s size)
Manufacturers usually add dosage instructions on the label. In case, the dosage is not mentioned, the following are the steps to follow:
- Calculate how many milligrams of CBD oil to consume based on the dog’s weight
- Find out how much CBD is in each milliliter of the oil
For example, you want to give 0.2 mg of CBD per pound in the beginning, and your dog weighs 50 pounds, 0.2 x 50 = 10 milligrams of CBD. Now you want to figure out how to measure out 6 milligrams of CBD. Let’s suppose you bought the 150 mg bottle, which has 5milligram of CBD per 5 milliliters of oil. You feed 10 milligrams to your dog, which means 10milliliter.
Since there is no FDA approved dosing chart available, it is recommended that dog owners begin using the CBD with small doses and practice caution. Moreover, discuss it with your vet to get precise instructions about dosage.
Where to Buy CBD?
If you are looking for the original and best quality CBD product, there are several platforms you can entirely rely on. They offer CO2 extracted, 100% natural, and non-GMO CBD products to every client – all you have to do is look for the right manufacturer. So, what are you thinking? Place your order now to improve your health.