We know every vertebrate on the planet, including your sweet pup, has an Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that’s responsible for maintaining metabolic balance within the body. We also know that the active chemical compounds in cannabis interact with that system, which is how we experience the high of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or the anti-swelling and anti-stress effects of Cannabidiol (CBD).
Since we know every vertebrate animal has the same system, it makes sense that more and more people are turning to CBD oil to help their dogs find relief. Anecdotal evidence is mounting in support of CBD oil’s ability to reduce pain and stress in dogs, but the science hasn’t totally caught up yet. Here’s what we know about CBD oil for dogs so far.
What Is CBD?
CBD is an active chemical compound called a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the other well-known cannabinoid, THC, it won’t get you high. Generally derived from hemp—which is the CBD-heavy, THC-light sibling of marijuana—it’s known for its anti-swelling and anti-stress effects that we experience through its interaction with our ECS.
While the extraction process of CBD oil for dogs and humans is the same, it’s important to look for CBD oil specifically made for animals. Some human CBD oil can contain terpenes (nature’s aromatic and flavor compounds) that are harmful to dogs, and some of the more acidic cannabinoids can be intoxicating for animals of that size.
How Does CBD Oil Affect Dogs?
According to the American Kennel Club, there are no formal studies on CBD oil for dogs at this time. Of course, we know that like us dogs have an ECS that’s responsible for maintaining balance within the body, and CBD interacts with that system, so some parallels and assumptions have been drawn between humans’ and dogs’ experiences with CBD.
One review from 2019 anonymously surveyed Canadian pet owners, asking their reasons for purchasing cannabis products for their dogs and their perceptions about the efficacy of those products. Respondents claimed to buy cannabis products to help treat either pain, inflammation, or stress, or some combination of the three. They perceived their cannabis products to be equally or more effective than conventional medications. While this is anecdotal evidence, it shows promise in CBD oil’s ability to help our canine friends.
Issues CBD Oil Can Help in Dogs
Although research still needs to be done, anecdotal evidence is showing us that what CBD oil can help treat in dogs is pretty similar to what it can help treat in humans.
- Aches & Pains: CBD is a natural anti-swelling and can help to reduce the pain and inflammation your dog may experience from aches and pains, as well as other autoimmune diseases like insulin resistant issues or lupus.
- Malignant Tumor: Apart from helping with the pain and nausea associated with malignant tumor treatment, CBD has been shown to help slow the spread of malignant tumor cells and prevent the growth of new tumors.
- Seizure Disorder: CBD has natural anticonvulsant properties, so if your dog experiences seizures, CBD may be able to help prevent them.
- Chronic Inflammation and Pain: Pain comes from inflammation in the body. As a natural anti-swelling, CBD can help to reduce inflammation, thereby reducing pain.
Possible Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
Dogs have a higher concentration of ECS receptors in their brain than most other animals, so they are more susceptible to a THC overdose. This is why it’s important to choose a CBD oil specifically designed for pets. However, using a whole-spectrum CBD oil (meaning one that contains all of hemp’s compounds, including trace amounts of THC) can prove more effective due to the entourage effect it creates. You just want to make sure that CBD oil was specifically formulated for pets so you know it won’t have too much THC.
Other possible side effects include dry mouth and drowsiness, so be sure to consult your vet before trying CBD on your dog. Although, be aware that with the opposing state and federal laws on cannabis products, many veterinarians are unable or unwilling to talk about CBD oil for dogs and other pets.
Dosing CBD Oil for Your Dog
When considering how much CBD oil to give your dog, it’s important to take its weight into account. Like humans, animals can develop tolerances, so you may be able to adjust the dosage the more you use it, but it’s always best to start on the low end. A good place to start is by putting the oil in an empty bowl or on your dog’s favorite treat twice daily or as needed.
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Where to Buy CBD Oil for Dogs
When searching out CBD oil for your dog, you want to keep the same precautions in mind that you would if you were buying CBD oil for yourself. Most importantly, you want to check for third-party lab results that confirm the ingredients and potency of the oil are the same as what the label says.
Choosing a trustworthy brand like Carolina Hemp Company is a great place to start because you know exactly what you’re getting. Like all our products, our whole-spectrum pet sublingual oil is all-natural and third-party tested. Plus, our pet formula has less acidic cannabinoids than our other extracts, so you don’t have to worry about accidental intoxication. If you’d rather give your dog a CBD treat instead of CBD oil, keep flavor in mind. Treat flavors like cheddar cheese or peanut butter could be more enticing to your dog than an oil.
We’re still waiting for science to confirm how CBD oil works in dogs and what benefits it can officially provide. Until then, the best you can do is review the anecdotal evidence, talk to your veterinarian, and pay attention to how your dog reacts when taking CBD.