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Over two million Americans in 29 states and the District of Columbia are legal medical marijuana patients. True to form, when it comes to innovations and controversial issues, California leads the pack with nearly a million of them. What most of these people have in common is chronic pain, and CBD does a grand job of alleviating it in impressive numbers of patients. Similarly, millions of pets also experience chronic pain, illnesses, and disorders the same as those that plague people, like cancer and neuropathy, for instance. Or they are debilitated by nervousness, anxiety, or stress. With a nation of pet-lovers craving relief for their old, sick, or stressed-out pets, it was only a matter of time before pet supplement manufacturers would get on board the cannabis train, and it's chugging on down the tracks at breakneck speed. The industry has experienced phenomenal growth over the last five years, and as of 2018, CBD is the hottest pet supply trend in the U.S.
What's all the buzz about CBD oil?
While pot for pets may conjure up images of euphoric dogs and cats chilling out together or flashbacks of hippies, psychedelic music, and Cheech and Chong in their heyday, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means that it won't make your pet high. That's because CBD doesn't contain delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It is, in fact, hemp, not marijuana. It is not a pharmaceutical, but a plant-based, organic product you can feed your dog with confidence, according to Canna-Pet, one of the most reputable CBD brands out there.
And CBD works, if you can believe thousands of pet owners across the U.S. who regularly administer it to their dogs, cats, horses, ferrets, pigs, chickens, goats, and other animals. Legions of glowing reviews appear on the CBD supplier's websites. A tsunami of miracles is taking place across the country with old, arthritic dogs stepping out like puppies and cancer patients enjoying a brand-new quality of life, all thanks to the amazing benefits of CBD. But if you're a little skeptical and concerned about giving your dog CBD, you're not alone. You may be wondering if you should believe all the hype or is it just an overblown moneymaker. What's the truth behind the buzz?
You may be wondering, "Can I give my dog CBD oil?"
The cannabis (Cannabis sativa) plant produces both marijuana and hemp and contains about 80 chemicals called cannabinoids including phytocannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. The two primary ones are CBD or cannabidiol and THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD is therapeutic while THC makes you high. For example, the THC content in marijuana is usually 10-to-15 percent compared to hemp, which is regulated and must contain only 0.3 percent or less of THC and has much higher levels of CBD than marijuana. It is considered impossible to overdose with CBD.
Bottom line, CBD oil is considered safe to administer to your dog by all accounts even as in-depth research is ongoing. Medical cannabis is non-intoxicating for dogs just as medical marijuana is for their people, and studies show CBD has a broad range of beneficial therapeutic effects for dogs. Drowsiness is the most commonly seen side effect, much like the effect of a Benadryl tablet. Other less common side effects could include mild vomiting or itchiness. If that's the case, you will discontinue use.
So if your dog has chronic or acute pain, seizures, muscle spasms, tumors, skin conditions, aggression, anxiety, neurological disorders, or poor appetite due to anorexia; do the research, consult with your veterinarian, and consider CBD oil. It's also beneficial for palliative care. Studies also show cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects which can be a godsend to an older dog with arthritis.
What does CBD do to a dog, and how does it work?
A powerful painkiller, known as an anti-convulsant, and anti-inflammatory, CBD even slows the growth of tumors. But be aware it's not a magic panacea — medical marijuana for humans doesn't work for every person and CBD may not have appreciable benefits for every dog. However, the results are in, and it's made a tremendous difference in the lives of many, many dogs. The short answer to what CBD does to a dog is it dulls her pain and soothes her discomfort. That's enough in itself. But CBD suppliers claim the medicinal herb can do much more, and test trials are underway for far-reaching applications such as diabetes type-1. Wonderful discoveries are surely on the way!
How does CBD work? Your dog, like you, has a complex endocannabinoid system which consists of cannabinoid receptor sites in his brain and central nervous system as well as peripheral organs, particularly immune cells. This newly discovered biological system is not wholly understood and still under research. But what we do know so far is that a dog's body naturally releases endocannabinoid chemicals which connect with the receptors and stimulate the body's natural ability to create serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine, a natural mood stabilizer known as the "happy" chemical because it contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. CBD oil enhances this natural ability, thus soothes pain and calms anxiety. CBD also promotes homeostasis, the optimum functioning of the body.
It's fair to say that as an herbal remedy, CBD takes a little time before you see results, but when it works, it's magic, possibly transforming the lives of your dog, and you.
Can I give my dog human CBD oil?
It's best to stick with CBD oil from a pet-exclusive supplement supplier.
CBD oil dosages for dogs.
Dosage for CBD oil depends on the following factors:
- Form of CBD — oil, tincture, topical cream, or treats.
- Brand — different brands have their specific recommendations for dosage. Follow closely.
- Size of your dog — a major consideration for dosage and it varies when your dog is over 20 pounds.
- Ailment — anxiety versus hip dysplasia, for example.
The best advice for CBD oil dosage is to start low and work up to the recommended dosage.
How much CBD oil should I give my dog for seizures?
Epilepsy and seizures, which involve the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system are devastating for your dog and you. CBD is a potent compound and following dosage guidelines is crucial for results. Also, because CBD oil needs to be administered under the tongue, dosing can be tricky. But the general rule for administering CBD oil for seizures, according to one of the premier manufacturers, Canna-Pet, is as follows:
For small dogs (under 20 lbs):
2-3 drops, 3-4 times daily.
For large dogs (over 20 lbs):
3-4 drops, 3-4 times daily.
How much CBD oil should I give my dog for cancer?
Helping your dog cope with cancer and live the finest quality of life she can is paramount. CBD can have a role in making your dog comfortable during her remaining days. Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in various parts of the body and is often terminal. CBD is proven to help prevent the growth and spread of tumors in the body. In general, a dosage of between 2-4 drops administered 2-4 times daily is recommended. But it's imperative to follow the guidelines set out by the brand.
How much CBD oil should I give my dog for anxiety?
Some dogs are just more susceptible to anxiety than others. From the terror of meeting strangers to storm phobia, it's heartbreaking to see your otherwise happy and well-adjusted best friend come apart at the seams. Behavioral anxiety such as separation anxiety is equally unnerving and difficult to deal with — especially, the aftermath. Can CBD oil calm your dog's anxiety?
CBD is shown to relieve the following symptoms of anxiety in dogs:
- Urinating or defecating on the floor although house-trained.
- Nervous licking of the lips.
- Loss of appetite.
Follow the dosage instructions on your product's label for best results.
Tips and considerations for the use of CBD.
If you choose to use CBD to treat your dog, whether temporarily or long-term, always follow the manufacturer's instructions for dosage. Millions of dollars have gone into research and development of these products, and each brand will have specific recommendations for dosage. Also, you should be aware that all CBD is not created equal. Research, research, and research some more to find the one that's best for your dog. CBD is available in various forms and potencies such as oils, tinctures, extracts, topical creams, and treats. Finding the highest quality CBD oil is essential.
How to find high-quality CBD oil.
If you're embarking on unknown territory in your search for CBD for your dog, you need to keep CBD quality topmost in your mind. To find the highest-quality CBD oil, ask these questions of your supplier and consider the following cautionary tips:
Is it organic? The highest-quality CBD oils come from organically grown hemp. Pharmaceutical-grade ethanol (grain alcohol) is used to process the plant which effectively removes toxins, rendering the plant safe.
Cheap alert! Regulations are not just lax; they are non-existent in the manufacturing of CBD oil. Unfortunately, some companies are capitalizing on the raging popularity of CBD and employing cheap methods of extracting it from the plant. Beware, as some companies use petroleum-based solvents like hexane and butane which renders their CBD toxic and not fit for consumption.
Transparency is paramount. You should be able to easily access independent lab results and get a Certificate of Analysis for the CBD product you purchase.
What is the THC content**?** You need to confirm the product you purchase for your dog has less than 0.3-percent THC.
Price is indicative of quality. Expect to pay at least $50 for high-quality CBD oil for your dog.
A couple of the most popular, highly recommended brands on the internet are:
- Cannabis Supplements for Pets: How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog
- Innovet Pet: CBD Dosing Calculator
- Hawthrone Vet Clinic: Medicinal Cannabis and Pets
- The Mindful Owner: CBD Dosing and Pets
- Dogs Naturally Magazine: Cannabis For Your Dog: How It Can Help
- Dogs Naturally Magazine: Cancer In Dogs: How To Fight Back With These 3 Herbs
- Dogs Naturally Magazine: CBD Oil For Anxiety: Can It Calm Your Anxious Dog?
- Cannabis Supplements for Pets: Can I Give My Dog Human CBD Oil?
- Statista: Number of legal medical marijuana patients in the U.S. as of May 2018, by state
- JAMA Network. JAMA Internal Medicine: The Achilles Heel of Medical Cannabis Research—Inadequate Blinding of Placebo-Controlled Trials
- Source: Test Results