If you are at all plugged into the ‘pet community’, you have probably been hearing or reading about pet owners giving their pets CBD oil for a wide variety of ailments. Some of you may even be giving it to your own pets.Given Petnet’s concerns about pet health and wellbeing, we thought we would take a deeper look at both the benefits and disadvantages of CBD oil for your pet.
First some facts: CBD is not psychoactive like marijuana. While it is derived from the hemp or cannabis plant, it won’t get people or animals high because it does not contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is found in marijuana.
CBD can be derived from hemp or cannabis and there is ongoing discussion over which form affords the most benefits. Since its use is relatively recent, there are not many full human studies let alone canine or feline studies regarding its efficacy as a treatment. The hemp-based form has no THC while the CBD derived from cannabis may have traces of THC. It may be offered in liquid, pills, sprays and is even found in dog treats.
How does it work?The cannabinoids in marijuana interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body and modulate things like pain, anxiety, and nausea.
What is it used for?
It canbe used to treat a variety of issues in dogs, including: seizures, nausea, stress, anxiety, arthritis, back pain, symptoms of cancer, and gastrointestinal issues. Unlike other pain medications you may be giving your pet, like NSAIDs, CBD does not harm the liver, kidneys or gastrointestinal system.
What do veterinarians say?Veterinarians will offer little guidance since there is so little supportive evidence yet and the AVA has not endorsed the use of CBD. You must research it yourself as vets may not be comfortable discussing this with you (a potential liability issue). CBD is still classified as a schedule 1 drug in the US even if it contains no THC. Depending on what state you live in, it could still be illegal.
How do I administer it?
Proper dosage is critical as well as the purity of the CBD. Read the ingredients and ensure there is no THC in the CBD you plan to give your pet. THC toxicity is dangerous and while typically not life threatening, you must be aware of proper dosage.
Since there are many vehicles to administer CBD, follow the instructions on the label. Most people recommend the oil since it can be given directly or placed in their food.
If you decide to give your dog CBD, be sure and research the company you plan to buy it from and the process by which they create the CBD. Some processes use solvents such as butane or hexane which themselves can be toxic.
CBD is not cheap, and this is one area you don’t want to buy the cheapest you can find to save money. The quality you want for your pets is probably isn’t there. As mentioned, read the label carefully. There will likely be some other stuff mixed in with the CBD, but you should buy the one that has the highest percentage of CBD oil – the purest.
After you administer it, keep your eye on your pet to watch for any adverse symptoms, shaking or tremors, dry mouth, changes in sleep or eating patterns as these may be an indication of toxicity.Many people swear by CBD oil proclaiming it is provided great relief to their pets. It’s certainly worth checking it out and determining whether you think your pet may benefit.