The use of CBD for dogs has begun to build traction in the veterinary world, and there are a lot of reasons to incorporate the cannabis extract as a natural medicine for canines. With the influx of new research and trends, many people have been using the extract to self-manage their own anxiety, pain, and inflammation. The benefits of CBD are widely recognized and do not cause any psychoactive effects, meaning users don’t get high from taking a dose of CBD extract. Using CBD as a means to remedy anxiety and illness is not limited to use on humans, however. It’s no surprise pet owners are now turning to this important component of medical marijuana to manage their dog’s health conditions in a natural way.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in mammals, affecting the same functions in humans as dogs. It works indirectly without binding on receptors in the brain, which activate functions that control pain perception and bodily inflammation. From stimulation of the endocannabinoid system, CBD helps the body find homeostasis, which in turn can reduce inflammation and pain. There is a lot of research to be done on the effects of CBD for canines to find exactly how it can be used medically, but previous research appears promising.
One of the most common reasons dog owners turn to CBD is to treat chronic pain experienced by their pup. Since it helps combat inflammation, it can be a useful supplement to keep canine arthritis and sore joints under control. CBD is especially useful to alleviate the aches and pains that come with an aging dog and can help their transition into old age be less uncomfortable.
Another common use of CBD for dogs is to treat both situational and behavioral canine anxiety. Dogs who lose their minds with new people, thunderstorms, fireworks, or other situations that cause stress may find peace with a dose of CBD, which can help treat symptoms of anxiety. Because it can alleviate different symptoms of anxiety, CBD can also be used to treat separation anxiety in dogs. Dogs who suffer from uncontrollable pacing, panting, whimpering, barking, and other separation anxiety-related behavior, can benefit from the calming effects of CBD.
A 2018 Colorado State University study found promising results for the use of CBD on dogs with epilepsy, discovering that “89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures”. More research is to be done on the effects of CBD for dogs with seizures, but if the results remain positive, many lives can be saved from euthanization for uncontrollable epilepsy.
What Kind of CBD to Use For Dogs
In order to get the most benefits for your dog, you’ll need to get high-quality extract that will yield better results. Finding an organic CBD oil is a good start because it will be safe from toxins. If you can’t get organic, at least select an oil that is free of pesticides and solvents.
Be sure to check the THC count on your extract, and ensure there is very little to no THC in the product you will be giving your dog. Make sure you don’t price shop too much, because the best quality CBD is going to be reflected in a higher price. There are dog treats available that contain CBD, but the best way to go is to use a tincture. Tinctures allow you to adjust the dose drop by drop for your dog. This way you can gauge what the right dose is for the right situation, and get as accurate as possible.
The best way to administer a tincture is by giving your dog a small drop directly under their tongue. Depending on your dog’s temperament, this could be a challenge. If that is the case, you can easily add a drop to their food before a meal. This will take longer to take effect as the food will need to pass through the digestive system.
Side effects of CBD for Dogs
Most dog owners who are hesitant about the use of CBD for canines are worried about the potential side effects their dogs may experience. There is not a lot of research regarding the side effects of CBD use on dogs, but there are possible side effects based on human cases.
It is important to keep in mind that while CBD interacts with the same biological functions in humans and animals, the effects can still vary by species. Some of the side effects humans experience from CBD may not be present in dogs, and dogs potentially could experience side effects humans don’t. For example, research has found diarrhea and changes in appetite as two potential side effects of CBD in humans, but no evidence of these effects have been observed in its use with dogs.
The American Kennel Club advises that dogs may experience increased thirst, as a result of a decrease in saliva production, much like humans may experience from the use of CBD. Another potential side effect is drowsiness, which could be the desired result if the dog was feeling overstimulated and anxious. High doses of CBD would need to be administered in order to see a noticeable change in energy levels.
The future of CBD for dogs
Previously CBD was classified as a schedule 1 drug, which prevented the implementation of clinical trials for veterinarians and researchers. The FDA warned of penalties for those who recommended the unapproved drug CBD, but the rules have since shifted. Research for CBD for dogs is continuing, and the results remain promising.
With legalization of marijuana in various forms becoming widespread, it’s no surprise we are hearing so much about different uses for the plant. The future of CBD for dogs is bright, but more research is due before the benefits can be fully expressed. Luckily it looks like more research will be on the way, after the DEA removed its schedule 1 classification and replaced it with a schedule 5, making research more accessible.