Did you know treatments aimed at pain management, appetite improvement, reducing fear and anxiety, can now get a better boost with the help of CBD? Many dogs can benefit from CBD including dogs that suffer from anxiety, that are recovering from an illness, or have chronic illnesses. CBD in the form of oil or cookies can be a great way to increase your dog’s quality of life.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an extract from hemp, which is a plant related to cannabis. CBD’s way of action is still under research, but the information gathered so far shows that it has all the health benefits of medical cannabis and, more important, it does not induce toxicity or dependency. In dogs, CBD proved beneficial in different clinical trials, in dogs with epilepsy and other medical conditions. CBD is a compound different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the euphoric (high) effect. Thus, CBD does not have an intoxication or abuse potential. Note: regular strains of recreational and medical cannabis commercialized for humans have a high content of THC, are extremely toxic for dogs and should not be confounded.
How does CBD work?
In many species, including dogs, CBD was demonstrated to work through the Endocannabinoid System, an innate structure of the body, which entails a series of natural receptors, which mediate the body’s capacity to regulate stress response and promote restoration of healthy natural functions even in advanced stages of diseases.
CBD benefits for dogs:
- Pain management is one of the top beneficial effects of CBD.A multitude of incurable illnesses can cause chronic pain in dogs, imposing serious challenges for both owners and veterinarians. CBD formulations are now being used with excellent results as adjuvant therapies for pain relief in dogs suffering from arthritis, various forms of cancer, dogs recovering from surgery, or suffering from other painful pathologies. The advantage of using CBD for pain management is that it is well tolerated by the body, it can be used long term, it does not lose its effect in time and it does not require dose increase.
- Depression and anxiety management are often encountered in dogs suffering from incurable illnesses or chronic pain, but also in pups that, by nature, are more sensitive to environmental changes. Sometimes, repeated visits to the veterinary clinic, prolonged invasive treatments, alterations of the regular diet, can cause pups to become depressed. CBD preparation can also help dogs cope better with switching homes, being separated from their loved ones, losing a family member, or with any other situation that might cause anxiety. Studies regarding the capacity of CBD to reduce stress are still being developed
- The anti-inflammatory effect of CBD was also scientifically proven in dogs. Studies showed that CBD significantly attenuates pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in less than four weeks. Clinical trials results indicated that dogs receiving CBD for osteoarthritis had a significant improvement in their ability to move, increase of daily activity and decrease in pain and lameness. On the plus side, CBD can be safely associated with a series of anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Seizure control is also improved when anticonvulsants treatment is associated with CBD. Case studies and owner-based reports indicate that seizure activity and tremors of different causes can be reduced with up to 50% in dogs receiving CBD preparations. The required dosage for pups suffering from epilepsy might be higher as compared to other types of sufferings. Please ask your veterinarian about this.
- Appetite restoration in dogs suffering from chronic illnesses or recovering from different diseases can be a significant issue. By reducing pain and inflammation, but also by alleviating depression or anxiety, CBD can help your pup feel more relaxed and regain normal appetite.
- Vomiting prevention in dogs suffering from mild stomach illnesses or car sickness can be obtained with CBD as it can relieve nausea and gastric disturbances.
- Preventing multiple types of cancer is still to be demonstrated in both humans and dogs. Nonetheless, experimental studies showed that CBD has the capacity to decrease tumoral cell multiplication and prevent metastasis.
Are there any side effects?
CBD side effects are extremely rare and in most cases, only mild. CBD is a natural plant extract and it is considered safe. In fact, studies show that blood parameters are not altered by CBD and remain within normal limits even in long term treatments. In some cases, CBD can cause a liver enzyme to increase and thus, it is indicated to monitor treated dogs appropriately. Most side effects are caused by high dosages or by interaction of CBD with other medications. Occasionally, high doses of CBD can be associated with gastrointestinal disturbances.
What dosage should I give my pup?
The exact dosages for CBD are still being researched and established for each type of disorder, but it is recommended to start at the lowest dose as indicated by a veterinarian or the producer.
So, what products contain CBD?
You can find different concentrations of topical solutions designed for external use, oils that can be administered as drops under your pup’s tongue, or treats. Not all dogs like the taste of oil preparations, but will definitely appreciate a tasty treat containing CBD. Currently, many pet companies are marketing CBD containing treats, which also include other specific ingredients, targeted for various pathologies and symptoms.
There you have it! CBD is a healthy and natural compound that can help your dog get through many health conditions and, without a doubt, can improve the quality of life. There is no better way to keep your pup healthy and happy than with a natural, tasty treat. Make sure that you ask the opinion of a veterinarian with experience in CBD therapeutic protocols.
- Gamble, Lauri-Jo, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science, vol. 5, 2018, DOI:10.3389/fvets.2018.00165.
- Gorzalka, Boris B., et al. “Functional Role of the Endocannabinoid System and AMPA/Kainate Receptors in 5-HT2A Receptor-Mediated Wet Dog Shakes.” European Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 516, no. 1, 2005, pp. 28–33., DOI:10.1016/j.ejphar.2005.04.019.
- Zou, S., & Kumar, U. (2018). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid Syst: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(3), 833. https://DOI.org/10.3390/ijms19030833