CBD wellness is a big deal these days. Everyone is starting to take CBD oil to remedy a wide variety of health issues. You may already have some sitting in your medicine cabinet, for anxiety, stress, or sleep. But have you heard that CBD may also be beneficial for your furry friends?
As is the case for many areas of cannabis-related medicine, there is still a lot of controversy around CBD oil for pets. This controversy isn’t because of adverse events or side effects, but because of a lack of research.
The lack of scientific study hasn’t stopped pet owners from leaning into CBD oil for dogs and cats. As a market analysis of Colorado, California, Nevada, and Washington pointed out, pet products have already racked up $9.4 million in sales through cannabis dispensaries. People have found relief through cannabis for their conditions, and are now hoping to buy CBD hemp oil in Canada for similar effects.
So while the research is still playing catch up to pet-owner use, CBD oil for dogs is revolutionizing veterinary medicine.
Is CBD for Dogs Safe?
Short answer: hemp-derived CBD oil is safe for dogs.
Long answer: as a pet owner, you’ll want to read the label. Technically, cannabis and hemp are the same plant, but one will get you high, and the other will not. That means one isn’t safe for dogs, and one is.
Legally, cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot) describes plants that contain a variety of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Traditionally, the cannabis you’d use for recreational or medicinal purposes contains a measurable level of THC. Out of the hundreds of different cannabinoids sourced from marijuana, only THC causes intoxication. These days, many patients are also turning towards CBD-rich varieties of cannabis for medicinal purposes. But still, depending on the strain and the growing conditions, there is a risk even CBD-rich varieties contain THC.
Hemp is genetically and physically almost precisely like THC-rich cannabis, but it contains under 0.3 percent THC by law. With such low levels of THC, it is non-intoxicating and has virtually no benefits for recreational purposes. But, hemp contains significant levels of CBD.
Why is this botany lesson important when you want to use CBD oil for dogs? Because THC is toxic to many animals, including dogs. Biologically, dogs’ brains contain way more cannabinoid receptors than humans. When you give a dog THC, it floods the system, and a tiny amount can overpower neurological firing. In some severe cases, vets have reported canine-deaths from accidental THC consumption.
As a pet owner, stick with hemp-derived CBD oil for sale Canada to avoid any contamination from THC. Please read the label carefully, and look for information on hemp. It shouldn’t come from a CBD-rich strain of medical cannabis that contains any significant level of THC.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Dogs?
Many of the same effects pet owners experience from CBD oil, dogs experience too. But of course, the research is still in very preliminary stages. Based on early study, the work of pro-CBD vets, and reports by dog owners themselves, CBD for dogs is earning traction.
Several of the common reasons why pet owners give CBD oil to their dogs include:
- Seizure conditions
- Chronic pain
- Palliative care
In 2018, scientists explored CBD for canine seizure disorders at the Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In her study, she gave CBD to a group of dogs with seizure disorders, and a placebo to a second group. The results are incredibly positive, as nearly 90 percent of the dogs who received CBD experienced a reduction in the severity and frequency fo their seizures.
A second study, also published in 2018, looked at CBD for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis. This study was also placebo-controlled. Furthermore, neither the owners nor the vets knew if their dogs received treatment with CBD or with the placebo until after they gave their assessment. After the six week study, both owners and their vets reported a significant reduction in pain among most of the dugs in the study. And, quality of life also seemed to improve for these furry patients.
The early research points to extremely positive results, even if there is not a large body of study into CBD for dogs. It also looks like there is an overlap between what humans use CBD for and applications in our canine best friends.
How to Use CBD for Dogs
With little research, there is also little information about how to use CBD oil for pets. When you buy CBD oil online in Canada and have a sick pooch to look after, what are the next steps?
- Read the label.
Confirm that the product is from hemp plants, and contains no THC. You’ll also want to check for total milligrams of CBD per bottle and per dose dropper (if listed). Knowing how many milligrams of CBD per drop will help you calculate the initial dose for your dog.
- Calculate Dose
Based on your dog’s weight, calculate a starting dose. Most resources online, and even the research mentioned above, start with 2mg of CBD per kilogram. If your dog weighs 5 kilograms, that means a 10 mg dose of CBD. Split the dose in half, to reduce the risk of side effects. Give your dog 5 mg in the morning and 5 mg in the evening.
- Maintain the Dose
Over the next three days, continue with the initial dose. Because dogs can’t talk to you about how they feel, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them. How is their activity level? How much are they sleeping? How much are they eating? Do they have diarrhea? Look for both improvements and adverse reactions.
- Increase Dose
If there are no noticeable effects (positive or negative), increase the dose by 50 percent on the third day. Again, watch out for signs that they are feeling better. Repeat this process until it’s clear your dog feels the benefits. Remember, to always start low and increase slowly.
- Speak with your veterinarian.
While not all vets are comfortable prescribing CBD for dogs (because of the lack of research), they should be comfortable talking about it. Don’t be afraid to ask your vet questions about CBD oil.
CBD Oil Has Medicinal Potential for You and Your Furry Friend
Although it’s early days yet, it does seem likely that there are genuine medicinal benefits from CBD for dogs. Canadians are already buying CBD oil online to treat various canine conditions, from anxiety to aggression to arthritis to cancer-related pain. The lack of research hasn’t dissuaded anyone from pursuing this valuable alternative treatment option.
While not all veterinarians are familiar with CBD, pet owners continue to choose CBD as an alternative medicine for serious canine illnesses and diseases. Hopefully, over the coming years, veterinary researchers will continue to pursue CBD oil for dogs in their course of study. Based on what Canadian pet owners have reported so far, CBD oil for dogs has a positive future.