CBD and Pets
The use of CBD in pets has been rising in the last few years. Since the endocannabinoid system is present in both humans and animals, it is likely that pets may experience some of the similar benefits as humans.
First, what is CBD? CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that is found in cannabis and hemp plants. A properly regulated CBD product will only contain 0.3% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the compound associated with psychoactive effects, and so should have no psychoactive effects.
Both animals and humans have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is part of the body’s nervous system. It manages a range of bodily processes, regulating basic functions such as sleep and appetite. The three main components are; Endocannabinoids, Cannabinoids and Enzymes. Endocannabinoids are molecules which activate the cannabinoid receptors to trigger a response to CBD. The cannabinoid receptors are the cells that receive the endocannabinoids. Lastly, the Enzymes help to synthesize and break down the endocannabinoids. Listed below are some of the ways in which CBD may help your pets.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Animals experience anxiety and stress just like humans. Some triggers for these feelings include; separation, sudden loud noises, phobias, new locations and traveling. CBD has been shown to induce calmness and relaxation in animals, so CBD can aid during these moments.
SEIZURES AND EPILEPSY
Prescription medication is frequently used for managing seizures and epilepsy in pets, but it can sometimes be harmful to other organs. CBD is another possible alternative which may aid in managing your pet’s seizures without experiencing some of the side effects like confusion, lethargy, liver damage, and dizziness. Keep in mind that CBD is not a cure for diseases, but its anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant properties may help minimize the frequency and length of seizures.
PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
Pain and inflammation occurs more frequently in older pets. A study by the Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, England, suggests that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which may soothe chronic pain and inflammation. It is possible that CBD may be helpful in managing arthritis, nerve pains, and other types of inflammation. I
When pets display excessive scratching and licking, it may indicate a skin disorder, along with other symptoms such as hair loss, red skin, and rashes. To minimize the discomfort your furry friend is experiencing, CBD can be used to help soothe some skin conditions. Keep in mind that CBD is not a cure or treatment for skin conditions, and it is best to consult with your vet for more information.
APPETITE AND NAUSEA
Loss of appetite occurs in both humans and animals. This can be due to several different factors including gastrointestinal issues and cancer. Since CBD reacts with the body’s ECS, which is responsible for regulating appetite, it may help your pet regain their desire to eat and help prevent nausea
Older pets are more prone to suffering neurodegenerative diseases because of their age. Older dogs in particular may experience degenerative myelopathy, along with other spine or nerve diseases. To protect your pet’s brain from toxins, CBD is worth considering, as it is shown to help reduce neuro-inflammation, DNA damage, and autoimmune prevention.
CHOOSING A CBD PRODUCT
There are a large number of CBD products on the marketplace, and sometimes it is difficult to determine which one you should purchase for your pet. Here are a couple of key things to look for when selecting a CBD product for your cherished companion:
- Read the labels to know which type of CBD you’re buying. For pets, tinctures are usually the best way to administer CBD although dog treats are another tasty option.
- Check for the Certificate of Analysis (COA) and also that the product has been third-party tested by a reputable lab. The COA is a document from an accredited lab showing quantities of cannabinoids in the product. To check for the COA you can often go to the companies website, or scan the QR code that is often found on the product label to get more information about the product COA.
To find the right dose for your pet, start with the recommended number of mg for your pet’s specific ailment. Depending on how sensitive your pet’s endocannabanoid system is, you may need to adjust the dose to be higher or lower depending on your pet’s reaction.
Usually starting with a dose of 9mg/ml is good for dogs or larger cats, or you may wish to start with 5mg/ml if your pet is small. The fastest and most effective way to administer CBD to your pet is directly on the gums, although on top of food is also another option.
According to a report by the World Health Organization, pure CBD is generally considered safe for animals. However, there may be some possible side effects your pet may experience, which include:
- Dry mouth from decreased saliva production
- Drowsiness if used in higher doses
- Lowered blood pressure
Research into CBD is not complete, but so far there have been promising results. Consider using CBD products to aid your beloved pet whenever they experience health problems such as anxiety and stress, seizures, nausea, loss of appetite, skin conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases. If ever in doubt, seek the help of a professional vet as they can give you more insights into handling the situation.