How does CBD affect cats and dogs?
Currently, there has been no formal study on how CBD affects cats and dogs. What scientists do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state. As long as it is a full spectrum oil and contains less than 0.3% THC, it should be safe for your pet.
What pet health problems can CBD oil treat?
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat pets, there’s anecdotal evidence from pet owners suggesting that it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.
CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study, through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, that will evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.
Possible side effects of CBD in pets
While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for pets, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.
- Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
- Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
- Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
Risks of using CBD oil for pets
The safety and risks of using CBD for pets have not yet been researched. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD and has not issued a dosing chart. Therefore, we do not know what size dosage would be toxic. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. It is always advisable, when giving your cat or dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first.
CBD products on the market
If you and your veterinarian decide that you should try CBD as a treatment for your pet, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil. Not all oils are the same; moreover, you’ll want high-quality CBD oil that’s full spectrum and has less than 0.3% THC.
- Look for organic. If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
- Look for full spectrum. Full spectrum means that an oil or product contains all the cannabinoids that are naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Don’t buy “broad spectrum” if you can help it.
- Don’t only shop based on price. Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost. A cheaper option could contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives.
- Get the analysis. The manufacturer should provide a certificate that certifies the amount of CBD that is in the product. Many CBD products contain only small amounts of CBD. You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
- Buy CBD as a liquid. You can buy treats containing CBD, but the best form to administer is an oil or tincture. This way, you can adjust your pet’s dose drop by drop.