The physiology of dogs is remarkably similar to that of our own bodies, so it should be no surprise that treatments such as CBD can work as well for our canine friends as they can do for us. It isn’t often thought of, but CBD oil for dogs can be an effective method of relieving pain from arthritis, rheumatism and chronic pain, helps prevent cancer, can be effective against some forms of epilepsy and seizures, helps relieve irritable bowel disease, reduce inflammation associated with autoimmune conditions and more.
Dogs run the risk of disease just as much as humans and in some cases due to their nature they can get themselves into trouble with what they eat when they are out and about. They can suffer terribly from arthritis, soreness, fatigue and stomach upsets. Dogs can be precious members of a family and it can hurt people a great deal to see their dog suffer. Instead of putting them down or treating them with opiates, CBD oil can provide a safer more natural alternative treatment for relieving pain and other various symptoms with little to no side effects.
That is a lot of alleged benefit, but what are the 6 things you need to know about CBD oil for dogs?
The endocannabinoid system is acted upon by cannabinoids, of which cannabidiol, or CBD, is one. This system is largely the same across most complex animals as the system is very useful. This means that dogs and humans both have receptors for cannabinoids that are largely identical, hence dogs getting ‘high’ if they eat cannabis, just as we would.
As the systems are so similar in dogs and humans, it is possible to say that if it works for a human, it probably works for a dog with regards to CBD. This is not always possible with animals (humans don’t respond to catnip, disappointingly) but scores of pet owners have experimented with CBD for their pet dogs and found it to be useful.
Your dog will not get high when you give it CBD because it is not psychoactive. Both humans and dogs can take CBD without the risk of becoming high. The chemical that causes the psychoactive effect traditionally linked with cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. CBD oil for dogs does not have THC in (it is illegal in much of the world), so you don’t need to worry about your dog eating all the snacks in the house and lying around all day. CBD will not affect it much at all, other than to relieve the symptoms of several conditions.
The studies performed on CBD are generally small and not very representative, and the literature available for CBD and dogs is basically non-existent. However, there is enough evidence to say that CBD oil for dogs is a good path to go down. Cannabis extracts and hemp products have been used for thousands of years with remarkable success and relatively few negative effects noted. There is very little data that points to CBD having any negative qualities. The vast majority of the findings in CBD and medical marijuana research point to it having a wide range of positive effects. Research is continuing as legalization spreads around the world, and hopefully sometime soon the effects on dogs will be fully researched, but for now, we can rest assured that CBD is both efficacious and harmless.
Cannabis is not an addictive substance. While people can develop a psychological dependence on cannabis, THC and CBD do not produce an addiction in the brain. When they are withdrawn after prolonged use there are no withdrawal effects like those of heroin or cocaine, which can be very debilitating. In fact they probably will not notice they are taking or not taking CBD oil at all.
Most pain relief for dogs is opioid or opiate based, and therefore very addictive. Dogs suffer from withdrawal symptoms just like us and can become very dependent on regular opiate pain relief. CBD offers a form of pain and symptom relief that will not have them shivering and shaking when you try to wean them off it. Just stop giving them it and they will be fine.
Even taken long-term, there are few side effects of taking CBD oil for humans or dogs. This is evidence from human studies, but the shared physiology means that it is very likely that dogs will have a similar response. Diet, heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature are unaffected long-term, and there is substantial evidence that CBD protects from some forms of cancer by inhibiting tumour growth and increasing tumour cell death, as well as affecting cancerous metabolisms.
CBD helps regulate the immune system, both helping immune cells kill cancer and by inhibiting the growth of macrophages, which are involved in inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes a host of conditions, from heart disease to diabetes, so avoiding this is essential.
Cannabidiol has a powerful antioxidant effect, something related to a lower rate of cancer. As dogs are prone to developing cancer, this antioxidizing effect can reduce the risk of them developing this potentially fatal condition. The antioxidant effect of CBD has neuroprotective qualities, or can keep the brain and nervous system healthy for longer. Dogs get old and forgetful too, CBD could help keep them young in mind and body for longer.
Giving Your Dog CBD
Of course, do not obtain CBD if it is illegal where you live. If you live in the United States, all 50 states have legalized CBD so it should be fine to procure some, but please check legality wherever you are.
To administer CBD oil for dogs, put a measured few drops on their food, it is that simple. Take notes as to their visible pain or discomfort and adjust the dosage accordingly. Alternatively you could try upgrading their usual dog treats with a few drops of cbd product to make homemade cbd treats for your furry friend.
When you buy CBD for you dog, keep in mind that high quality CBD is expensive but worth the investment. Cheap CBD oil for dogs has low concentrations of CBD and is therefore less effective. Lab-analysed CBD oil is recommended, they provide certification as to the concentrations of CBD in your bottle. Tinctures are effective and cost effective as the amount used is precisely controlled and administered. Topical treatments can be effective as well, depending on the condition. Avoid additives and colours, they cannot add to the health benefits of CBD and are wasted on a dog who will not appreciate them.
Remember, there is basically no data for CBD efficacy and safety with dogs. What is known about CBD is known specifically in relation to lab animals and humans, so do not take anything in this article as certain. There is a chance that in the future CBD will be found to be harmful, and while this looks very unlikely, we cannot guarantee your dog will benefit from the treatment.