It’s true: you can give CBD to your pets! The potential benefits of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products for humans have garnered lots of media and scientific attention recently. Non-intoxicating oils and edibles can be helpful for both mental and physical wellbeing.
It turns out that dogs and cats have the same endocannabinoid system (ECS) that humans do, which is where the CBD gets to work. As CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive properties that regular cannabis extracts do, these products can be safely administered without adversely affecting your pet.
Here are five things you should know about CBD for pets.
Use a product intended for pets
Just because a CBD product is all-natural doesn’t mean it will be safe for your pet if it has been manufactured for humans. Companies that make high-quality CBD pet products use a special veterinarian formula, with ingredients we know are safe for their comparatively sensitive systems. These are also made with delicious flavorings so that your furry friend will enjoy them – all owners know how difficult treating a pet with a foul-tasting medicine can be!
Furthermore, standard CBD products sometimes have traces of psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is particularly the case with full-spectrum extracts. The full dangers of a low amount of THC is unclear, but there is a genuine risk that this potent chemical could cause short and long-term damage. The effects simply haven’t been studied extensively. As any responsible pet owner will know, it’s not worth taking a chance when there are so many premium products on the market developed especially for cats and dogs.
CBD may help with pet anxiety
It’s not uncommon for pets to experience anxiety. A sudden change in living circumstances can trigger an anxious response, such as loss of an owner or moving home. Short-term factors like fireworks and loud children are also prone to triggering anxiety. Aggressiveness, isolation and excessive grooming can all be signs that anxiety is affecting a pet – any behavior out of the ordinary is cause for concern.
CBD calms anxiety in pets just as it does in humans. Relaxing the brain by regulating the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the key anxiolytic mechanism the cannabinoid functions in. For brief anxiety-inducing events, a single dose should suffice. For more prolonged issues, try putting your pet on an extended treatment plan.
CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory
Inflammation can be a big problem for pets. It may lead to arthritis and other chronic conditions, which impact movement and quality of life. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another inflammatory illness that makes a pet’s stomach extra sensitive, and more likely to suffer from diarrhea. This can be taxing on the owner, too.
CBD boasts novel anti-inflammatory properties, through its actions on the ECS. Modulating the immune system via the CB2 receptor, CBD’s calming effect relieves inflammation sans severe side effects, and may also help tackle autoimmune diseases. Many owners find CBD a preferable anti-inflammatory for their pets, as it doesn’t cause vomiting, lethargy, anorexia or any other side effects that NSAIDs are notorious for.
CBD reduces seizures
Clinical research has shown that wholesale CBD products are very therapeutic for epileptic seizures in humans, and notably in children with rare epilepsies. CBD oil treatment has proven necessary since existing anti-seizure meds often have limited or no effect on disorders.
A trial on dogs released in 2019 found that CBD reduced seizures in 89 percent of canines. While this was only a small study, researchers deemed the findings ‘encouraging’. The dogs were treated over a 12-week period, and were kept on their existing treatment plan. Whether CBD is most useful as an individual medication, or incorporated with other drugs is, as yet, unknown.
CBD alleviates nausea and loss of appetite
Nausea can be caused by anxiety, gastrointestinal problems, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and more. The feeling of sickness and actual vomiting tends to go hand-in-hand with a loss of appetite, which in turn has a knock-on effect on a pet’s overall well-being. Drooling, incessant drooling and heaving are all indications of nausea in dogs and cats.
Studies show that CBD is an indirect activator of 5-HT1A receptors in the serotonin system. Activation of this receptor produces an anti-nauseous effect. Moreover, CBD’s regulating influence on cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract may also help to alleviate nausea.
As with humans, much still has to be proven about the value of CBD for pets. But the initial evidence is promising, and four-legged companions and their owners are already reaping the rewards with legal hemp-derived CBD products.