CBD for Pets

CBD for Pets

What if your dog or cat could experience the same benefits from CBD that you enjoy? That’s a question that many pet owners have asked and, after all, it’s only natural, when searching for solutions for your pet’s health issues, to consider all options. Published studies on CBD for dogs and cats have been fewer in number than those for humans but with a curious pet-owning public more studies will undoubtedly be forthcoming as interest in this topic increases.

From the results of the limited number of available studies, it appears that CBD may be helpful for pets in many of the same ways that it works in humans. With some considerations for differences in the way dogs and cats respond to cannabinoids there is definitely a place for CBD in the pet healthcare arena. And the important advantage of being non-psychoactive makes CBD particularly beneficial when it comes to your pet’s healthcare.

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Anti-Seizure

Seizures are a big problem among dogs, and approximately 5% of dogs live with a chronic seizure disorder. Unfortunately, the common drugs used for this condition, such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide, are particularly damaging to dogs’ livers. Happily, in early clinical trials, CBD has proven to be highly effective and safe. In one small study conducted at Colorado State University, 8 out of 9 dogs that received CBD showed a reduction in the frequency of their seizures. A small clinical trial also found CBD effective for treating seizures in cats. While these results are promising and exciting, many questions remain to be answered about CBD for seizure disorders in pets, such as how CBD might affect or interfere with normal metabolism, what is the best dose for a particular condition, and so on.

 

Arthritis and Pain Management

Osteoarthritis is a common condition of aging and may begin to show up in your pet, making their stride a little less bouncy and wiggles a bit less wiggly. CBD oil may offer some relief. A clinical trial that used CBD oil for osteoarthritis in dogs demonstrated significant pain relief with impressively rapid results in just 4 weeks at a dose of 2 mg/kg of body weight administered every 12 hours. However, researchers noted an increase in the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase, indicating possible stress on the liver in clearing CBD from the bloodstream. Further studies will help reveal more about the potential usefulness and possible precautions of CBD for osteoarthritis in pets. For now, it might be necessary to consider the use of CBD for this purpose as short-term courses of therapy spaced apart. As with any medical decision, its advisable to seek the advice and supervision of your veterinarian to determine if CBD is appropriate for your pet.

Safety

An interesting fact to keep in mind when it comes to cannabinoids is that your dog has more cannabinoid receptors in his or her brain than you do. This makes dogs more sensitive to the effects of marijuana and cannabinoids such as CBD. It might also make dogs more vulnerable to accidental overdoses from an array of products including oils, treats, edibles and other CBD-containing supplements and in households where recreational or medical cannabis is being used. Indeed, accidental exposures of pets to THC-containing products is on the rise in the U.S.

CBD has been found to inhibit enzymes in both humans and animals that are required for the breakdown of certain medications. This may lead to adverse drug interactions if you give CBD to your pet in addition to a prescribed medication.

CBD supplements for pets are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2015, when the FDA conducted tests on CBD products they found that many did not contain the amounts of CBD they claimed to have and some contained THC when the labeling did not indicate the presence of THC. Considering dogs’ heightened sensitivity to cannabinoids, this means it is particularly important for dog owners administering CBD to their pets to take extra precautionary steps to ensure their dogs’ safety.

So, while overdosing with CBD is unlikely due to its lack of psychoactive effects, unwittingly giving your pet a CBD product that contains THC can lead to complications. Symptoms to look for include lethargy – which may indicate depression of the central nervous system, impaired ability to walk, and agitation.

 

Awareness

A recent study that surveyed 2,000 U.S. veterinarians regarding their knowledge, experience and perceptions about CBD for medical conditions in dogs revealed some pertinent knowledge gaps and perception biases that may be limiting the inclusion of CBD in the veterinary healthcare sphere.

While most veterinarians expressed support for the use of CBD for pets, those practicing in states where recreational marijuana use is legal reported feeling more comfortable discussing the use of CBD with their clients. Participants also reported feeling a lack of support from their state veterinary associations and veterinary boards in terms of providing adequate guidelines for how they can safely practice within their states’ laws.

While these factors may currently contribute to an atmosphere of reluctance among veterinarians, with increasing public pressure and rapid expansion of CBD legislation, there is a good reason to expect that science will soon provide definitive answers that will help bridge these gaps.