CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – unlike THC, it doesn’t produce the “euphoric or intoxicating” effects consistent with stereotypical marijuana use.
Nevertheless, it still plays an incredibly active role in the body, as it influences a huge array of physiological and neurological processes by binding to endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the mammalian central nervous system.
Numerous studies have shown that by manipulating receptors in the CNS, cannabidiol can play a key role in reducing inflammation, alleviating chronic pain, reducing the viability of tumor cells, minimizing symptoms of anxiety/depression, and reducing the severity of seizures, among other things.
What Medical Conditions CBD for Dogs Help With
While its most common use is treating pain associated with arthritis, cancer, and other chronic ailments, CBD oils for dogs can be used for a host of other conditions as well, though it must be said that a large portion of the veterinary community remains skeptical over its effectiveness, due unfortunately to a lack in published research studies.
Fortunately, there is a large component of veterinarians and researchers out there who won’t hesitate to recommend CBD’s far-reaching therapeutic qualities.
Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of VETCBD, says that the interaction of cannabidiol with the endocannabinoid system in dogs can provide relief from a wide variety of physiological and neurological conditions, by ‘modulating the chemical components’ responsible for nausea, stress, anxiety, pain, and even gastrointestinal conditions brought on by infection.
Additionally, he goes on to say that unlike other traditional prescription medications that veterinary clinics might suggest, CBD has no significant or life-threatening side effects if administered in the proper dose.
It also, he claims, does not do any damage to internal organs, nor does it get the dog high — unlike sedative medications which alleviate symptoms by simply ‘masking’ the underlying condition, cannabidiol is a physiological component that actively works to reverse “non-normal” functioning.
In addition to alleviating pain and nausea, CBD oil for dogs is also increasingly being used to mollify overly-aggressive dogs, or easily frightened/skittish dogs that are sent into panic mode by things like loud noises, mailmen, or their owner’s roommates.
Ways to Give your Dog CBD
Alas, understanding the benefits and health advantages of CBD oil for dogs is one thing, but getting them to actually take it or ingest it can be another thing altogether.
If you’ve ever tried to give your pup their heartworm or tick/flea medication without administering some kind of sly meat-related trickery, you know exactly what we’re talking about.
And needless to say, CBD oil in its natural state won’t exactly get your canine slobbering at the mouth like a platter of bacon or a slab of cooked chicken breast will.
Fortunately, there are some simple enough methods and techniques you can use to get your old hound to down his medication like the good boy that he is.
Tinctures that come in a dropper bottle allow for virtually immediate relief from symptoms (check out this adorable little guy whose seizure went away about 30 seconds after his owner gave him two drops), and are great for measuring out exact doses. When placed under the tongue, they’re absorbed directly into the bloodstream, allowing them to work quicker than topicals or edibles.
For dogs suffering from rashes, skin allergies, arthritis, or other general forms of muscle aches/joint pains (due to old age or otherwise), CBD topicals (salves and creams) are a popular and convenient way to go — they’re reliable, convenient, efficient for acute pain, and for the most part, are super easy to administer (have you ever know a dog that doesn’t love a good rub-down?).
Key Things to Watch Out for When Purchasing CBD for your Pet
- Of course, the #1 thing you’ll want to look out for when selecting CBD products for your pets is that the product actually contains CBD. It’s easy enough to label something as “hemp-infused” or “hemp-based”, but it’s another thing altogether to actually have the appropriate levels of cannabidiol present in order to initiate any sort of chemical/physiological change. Short of going into a whole thing about which brands and products are ‘legit’ and which are not, take a quick look at this list of FDA warning letters, which exposes a handful of companies for advertising their products as “CBD-containing”, when in fact they are not.
- Another super key thing that you need to consider is dose. While CBD is less dangerous to dogs than THC is, improper dosing will commonly result in lethargy/drowsiness, and in more severe cases, intense nausea and/or vomiting can ensue. The general rule of thumb when using tincture is to start out with one drop per 10 lbs of your dog’s weight (i.e. 4 drops of oil if your dog weighs 40 lbs), and administer the oil directly under the tongue once a day. Monitor the dog’s health and behavior closely for about a week or so, and if there isn’t any clear improvement in condition, try upping the dosage to twice per day. The goal is to start low and work your way up until you reach a point when you notice an obvious improvement.
- And of course, if you have the means to work with a veterinarian – particularly one who has experience in CBD products for pets – by all means make sure to do so. (The only thing you might run into is a vet who’ll reprimand you for wanting to give your dog cannabis, and tell you you need to be using prescription meds instead).
Try our CBD Calculator which you can find in Latest News. It is set up for Humans and Pets.