As you may know, the hemp plant contains two main active ingredients: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD in particular has garnered attention for its ability to address an array of ailments such as inflammation, pain, anxiety, seizures, and more. This plant-powered product isn’t just for humans – our furry friends may also benefit from CBD as well. Throughout the end of the 1900s, researchers deduced that all mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). That means your dog, cat, and even your rat can potentially benefit from CBD. Let’s take a closer look.
What Do We Know About Pets and CBD?
We still have a lot to discover and confirm about the effects of CBD on pets. A lot of the current recommendations around CBD and pets comes are based on veterinarians’ professional experiences or small studies.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is currently funding a study on the potential effects of CBD on our furry friends. In collaboration with the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, they hope to deduce the effectiveness of CBD on treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. If successful, the CHF will be the first to gain scientific insight on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
Generally speaking, CBD is safe for pets. Unlike THC, CBD is a non-intoxicating compound. That means your pet won’t experience the hallmark “high” associated with marijuana. There are multiple studies confirming that quality CBD is safe for pets even at high levels.
Note that the FDA has not approved any prescription or over-the-counter CBD products for pets. Owners should also keep in mind that not all CBD is created equally. Some products might not contain the amount of CBD as advertised or they might be contaminated with THC or pesticides. Always consult with your veterinarian before putting your pet on CBD and be sure to check for an authentic certificate of analysis.
What Are the Side Effects?
Side effects observed in pets after CBD use are very similar to those experienced by humans. Typically, the higher the dose you give your pet, the more side effects they tend experience. Some of these symptoms include:
- Changes to appetite
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Dry mouth (could manifest as increased thirst)
- Lowered blood pressure
Benefits of CBD for Pets
As noted above, there is no definitive scientific conclusion on how CBD can benefit your pet. But the few studies conducted and anecdotal evidence suggest there are three main categories of ailments that pet owners reach towards CBD to address: pain, anxiety, and seizures.
CBD is observed to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. This is especially true for neuropathic pain. Experts infer that CBD affects pain levels by binding to the ECS and other nerves associated with pain sensation. One study in particulate found that CBD can reduce joint inflammation in mammals caused by osteoarthritis. This can be a great option for aging cats and dogs.
It’s not uncommon for a pet to have anxiety associated with separation, car rides, loud noises, and new situations. This stress can cause your pet to act out and develop troublesome behaviors like chewing or inappropriate urinating. CBD is observed to calm nervous pets. The research we have so far suggests that this might be due to the fact that CBD activates some of the same areas in the brain as serotonin (aka the happy hormone).
CBD was thrust into the spotlight after it was discovered that it could relieve symptoms in treatment-resistant childhood epilepsy. Since then, we have research to back up its effectiveness in treating dogs with epilepsy as well. One study found that when taken in combination with antiseizure medications, CBD can lower the frequency of seizures. It’s hypothesized that it does this by preventing nerves in the brain from firing too much as well as lower the number of electrolytes associated with seizure conditions.
How Long Does it Take for CBD to Kick in for Pets?
CBD takes roughly 30-45 minutes to take effect in your pet. Tincture oil tends to kick in a bit faster than biscuits or other treats. This is because it has a higher bioavailability rate. While CBD treats need to go through the entire digestive process before the CBD is extracted, tincture oil has a more direct path into the bloodstream.
Best Practices While Giving my Pet CBD
Remember to always consult your veterinarian before starting your pet on a CBD regiment – especially if they take medications. While your vet likely won’t recommend CBD outright due to regulations that restrict them from doing so, they will be able to guide you through whether it's a good choice for your pet or not.
Be sure to double-check the legality of CBD in your state. There may be some limitations on CBD purchases. Go through the proper channels to secure your pet CBD.
Last and most importantly, be sure you can trust the ingredients in your pet CBD. Always check for a third-party lab test or certificate of analysis to make sure there isn’t anything contaminating the CBD. Avoid artificial sweeteners, THC, and pesticides.
If you’re looking for reliable, high-quality CBD for your pet, browse our selection! Plenty Wellness is dedicated to providing our customers –furry and otherwise– with only the best products.