There is now a significant debate about using CBD for pets. One side believes it is irresponsible to use the non-intoxicating compound in marijuana and hemp on animals. The pro-CBD for pets group points out that all animals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), just like humans. Therefore, if cannabidiol works on us by impacting the ECS, CBD for dogs (for example) will work similarly.
It is necessary to look deeper into this topic because major brands such as PureKana offer CBD for dogs. Of course, the cannabidiol giant isn’t the only company offering the compound for your animals. CBD for dogs is one of the biggest market trends of the last few years. Before you take the plunge, however, it pays to learn a little bit more about how CBD impacts pets.
CBD & Dogs – The Research
Up until recently, there were practically no useful studies relating to CBD for pets. Finally, in May 2019, a study by McGrath et al. bucked this trend. The research is available in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The small study looked at the effects of CBD on seizure frequency in 16 dogs. Overall, nine of the dogs received CBD, while the other seven had a placebo.
The clinical trial, which took place in 2016 and 2017, discovered that eight of the nine dogs treated with CBD had a reduction in seizures. It is an important finding because idiopathic epilepsy affects almost 6% of dogs, and is the most common canine neurological condition. The dogs received the CBD oil for 12 weeks, and all of the group continued using anticonvulsant drugs.
McGrath described the findings as “promising and exciting.” Apart from the apparent reduction in seizures, the study also found an association between the level of seizure reduction and the compound’s concentration in the blood. According to McGrath, there was a correlation between high levels of CBD and a greater reduction in seizure frequency.
This is perhaps not a massive surprise when you look at an old study on CBD for dogs. It was published in the journal, Drug Metabolism and Disposition in 1988. The research, conducted by Samara, Bialer, and Mechoulam, looked at the pharmacokinetics (what the body does to a drug) of CBD in dogs.
In the six-dog study, the scientists did not detect CBD in the plasma after oral administration in three of the dogs. In the other three, the maximum oral bioavailability was 19%; probably due to a first-pass effect. Dogs potentially need more CBD than we think, although we have to allow for their relatively small size in comparison to humans.
What Pet Problems Can You Use CBD Oil to Treat?
Due to a lack of research, we can only speculate as to when you should use CBD for dogs. According to PureKana, an increasing number of pet owners use cannabidiol to treat stress. Yes, pets feel anxious too, you know! Occasions where your beloved cat or dog becomes separated from you potentially cause problems, for example.
Also, CBD for pets is possibly useful for the following conditions:
- Cancer symptoms
- Back pain
Remember, dogs, cats, and other animals all have an ECS, which is a series of receptors that runs through the body. The cannabinoids in marijuana and hemp interact with these receptors and modulate things like anxiety, pain, and nausea. CBD and THC are typically the two most abundant cannabinoids, which is why they appear to cause the biggest effect.
Pet owners are often dismayed at the adverse side effects, some of which are life-threatening when they use traditional pain medicine for their pets. Research to date suggests that CBD does not cause damage to the GI tract, liver, or kidneys. Best of all, because the cannabinoid isn’t intoxicating, there is no concern over CBD for dogs causing your pooch to become ‘stoned.’
CBD For Pets – What is the Right Dosage?
While there are topical treatments available, owners usually administer the CBD for dogs orally. In most cases, CBD sellers provide an oil or tincture that is practically the same as what a human consumes, except it comes in a smaller size.
PureKana sells hemp dog treats in several delicious flavors, including Peanut Butter & Pumpkin and Blueberry & Chicken. It is easier to give your dog a CBD treat than putting drops of oil in its water and hoping it drinks everything.
It is also essential to pay close attention to the dosage. Remember, the vast majority of dogs weigh significantly less than a human being. As such, if you need 20mg of CBD a day, it is likely your dog or cat requires a small fraction of that amount.
PureKana has wisely created CBD for dogs based on their size, with two sets of treats; one for a small dog, and another for a large dog. As a rule of thumb, use a small CBD treat for dogs that weigh less than 10 pounds, and add a treat for every extra 20 pounds. PureKana classifies ‘big’ dogs as canines that weigh 40+ pounds, for the record.
Image: Anoir Chafik