Decades of research have shown that cannabis has medical properties. A lot of human beings use it to help relieve pain, stress, and anxiety. Vets all around the world have become interested in using CBD oil for pets (dogs and cats), since their bodies can process the substance!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It has high levels of cannabinoids and low in THC, which means it doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. Actually, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana!
Are CBD oils safe for pets?
As we mentioned before, CBD has no psychoactive properties, which means it only has medical benefits. A research from the World Health Organization shows that there’s no dependence potential for pets using CBD, which may be a useful alternative to medical conditions like anxiety and nausea.
However, scientists haven’t found definitive answers on using CBD to treat dogs. What we do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which are in charge of helping to maintain balance and keep the body in a normal healthy state. Some vets also say that CBD is used for its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, appetite stimulation, and possibly for anti-cancer advantages.
Subsequent studies ran in 2018 mentioned an increase in liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) during CBD treatment. Stephanie McGrath, assistant professor of neurology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, ran a simultaneous liver function test to confirm that the dogs’ liver wasn’t presenting liver failure. Everything came back normal. So, in the long run, it’s better to avoid CBD products for dogs that have existing liver conditions or dogs that already take medications that are metabolized by the liver.
Dogs are especially susceptible to depression and anxiety. The use of CBD oils helps to stabilize the chemical imbalances that cause these issues. The CBD components might interact with serotonin and adenosine receptors in dogs’ brains. A lot of people like to use these products to help dogs remain calm in moments of stress, like big holidays with fireworks, electric storms and to reduce separation anxiety, too.
Seizures originate in the brain and most of the times are hard to treat. Recently, some scientific studies have shown that CBD can help to significantly reduce the number of seizures, as well as the intensity of them.
As we mentioned before, CBD products help to reduce inflammation and pain. These symptoms are regulated by the vanilloid receptor in the brain, which oversees the transmission and modulation of pain. When CBD interacts with these neurons, it blocks and prevents efficiently that the receptor receives the stimulus, hence stopping the body from feeling pain.
If a dog is feeling under the weather, suffers from seizures or cancer, their bodies need to be well fed in order to recover. CBD products help increase appetite by stimulating the different neurons in the brain.
Possible side effects to keep in mind.
- Drowsiness: since CBD has a calming effect to treat anxiety, it can also cause minor lethargy, especially when used in the higher scale of doses.
- Dry mouth: as some research has proven, CBD products can cause a decrease in saliva production, which manifests in increased thirst.
- Lower blood pressure: higher doses of CBD can cause temporary drops in blood pressure, that can cause slight feelings of dizziness.
If you want to purchase and try these kinds of products with your pet, talk it out with your vet first. They know your pup’s health condition the best and will give you a clear look on whether you should use CBD for your pet! These products are still kind of new, there aren’t that many research papers about the subject, so naturally, some vets still feel apprehensive about them.
If you’ve been cleared by your vet, you still have to be careful! CBD oils are usually administered orally, whether it’s with a dropper or in their treats and food. And remember to administer between 1 or 2 mg for every 10 pounds of weight. There are certain factors to consider when deciding to give your dog CBD, concentration and flavor are some of them! It all depends on your dog’s weight, size, and overall health. Consult the right options with your vet.
You will have to wait a few minutes for it to start working and be aware of any possible side effects or an overdose, which results in pets feeling “drunk”. These effects can last a few hours or even a couple of days. How to know if your pet is not okay with CDB? They will probably lose their appetite, have less energy, or present changes in their behavior.
If this is the case, stop the treatment and take your pet to the veterinarian right away.