Pets suffer from many of the same conditions as people, that’s why CBD oil for dogs works just as well as it does for humans. But how exactly does it help pets and how do you choose between dozens of popular hemp oil brands? Before you embark on a hemp wellness journey with your furry friend, here are seven things that every pet owners should know.
How CBD Oil for Dogs Works
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Not to be confused with THC, the compound primarily responsible for making people feel ‘high’, the CBD you see sold in stores comes from hemp. Not only do these products not contain THC because hemp, by law, can only contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, but they produce vastly different effects.
More specifically, some claim that CBD can tamper, rather than amplify, the high brought on by THC. This is because it functions entirely differently within the endocannabinoid system: an essential biological process that works with the immune system and affects pain sensation, mood, fertility, and other core functions.
Why does CBD oil for dogs work? Dogs—and all vertebrates and invertebrates—have endocannabinoid systems. This means that they can also experience CBD oil benefits, just like humans.
How to Use CBD Oil for Dogs
How specifically can hemp benefit dogs, cats, and other animals, too? Like humans, dogs suffer from epilepsy, anxiety, pain, autoimmune disorders, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, and other ailments that can benefit from a cannabidiol supplement.
Keep in mind that research on CBD oil for dogs is in its preliminary phases. In other words, whether or not you choose to treat any of your pet’s ailments with cannabidiol is a personal choice that should be made with a veterinarian.
It Can Treat Epilepsy
Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in dogs, according to recent data. As is the case in humans, canine epilepsy is typically an inherited disease for which there is no cure.
One of the most common applications of CBD for dogs and humans is as a treatment for epilepsy. In fact, the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved cannabis drug, Epidiolex, is a CBD-based treatment for seizures.
For dogs, research shows that cannabidiol can also serve as a medication for reducing seizures. One clinical trial published in Science Daily explains, “Scientists have found in a small study that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.”
Assuaging Depression and Anxiety Is Another Common Use
CBD oil for dogs increasingly serves as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. Though research on CBD for dogs with anxiety and depression is limited, pet owners are increasingly turning to pure CBD oil as a form of treatment. Specifically, it can aid with:
- Sleeping through the night
- Boosting appetite
- Calming a response to past trauma
The Science Behind Cannabidiol and Mitigating Symptoms of Depression
There is no research that cannabidiol can ‘cure’ depression in humans or animals. However, cannabidiol could mitigate negative symptoms by improving the activity of the receptors to which serotonin–a chemical integral in modifying mood–binds.
Research shows that CBD can function similarly to anti-depressants in terms of its impact on endocannabinoid receptors. But unlike traditional anti-depressants, cannabidiol does not produce adverse effects such as nausea, fatigue, and weight gain.
Another study refers to cannabidiol as a compound with “great psychiatric potential, including uses as an antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like compound.” This research specifically looked at cannabidiol’s effect on depression and anxiety in animal models.
Mitigating Pain with Cannabidiol
CBD oil for dogs and humans alike offers a non-addictive way to assuage chronic pain. Specifically, cannabidiol can reduce inflammation throughout the body and protecting nerves, as shown in one study published in the journal Pain. This study examined cannabidiols effects on osteoarthritis arthritis-related joint pain.
More generally, cannabidiol can mitigate chronic pain by reducing inflammation, per another scientific report. It can simultaneously promote sound sleeping, thus helping animals and humans who suffer from painful conditions rest through the night.
What to Consider When Choosing CBD Oil for Dogs
Seriously considering CBD for dogs but not sure how to choose a product? The first step in choosing a hemp product requires paying attention to product quality. For starters, look for these five components before making a selection:
- Made in the USA.
The best way to know that the product you choose meets agricultural standards is to choose American-grown hemp
- Full-spectrum hemp.
Full-spectrum includes other terpenes and cannabinoids, which amplify, rather than tamper, CBD’s effects.
- Third-party lab tested.
This is how you know how much CBD is in a product and which other ingredients they’re using.
- Trace amounts of THC (0.3% maximum).
In the U.S., it’s illegal to produce cannabidiol products with more than 0.3% THC. This small of an amount will never produce psychoactive effects in humans or animals.
- All-natural ingredients.
CBD isn’t the only ingredient in your hemp product. Other flavors and compounds determine whether or not the product is suitable for everyday use.
What Types of CBD for Dogs Products Are There?
Whether you’re looking to treat a dog, cat, or larger animal, there are easy-to-dose hemp products available on the market.
- CBD oil, otherwise known as a tincture, is the most common way to give cannabidiol to pets.
- Edibles, such as dog treats, are an easy way to mask the flavor of hemp and make integrating hemp into their daily routine simple.
- Capsules are a precise way to dose a dog or a cat and are available in a variety of concentrations.
Many companies make products of different concentrations for small to large dogs, specifically. Always keep in mind that veterinarians in most places cannot legally prescribe cannabidiol to your dog. This means that obtaining the right product and dosing it accordingly is a decision that pet owners have to make on their own.