There’s no doubt about it: The popularity of CBD has shot through the roof in the past few years. This is because millions of users have found relief from a variety of physical and emotional ailments, and while the science surrounding CBD is still developing, there does appear to be evidence which shows that CBD can alleviate numerous problems.
But, are CBD’s benefits limited to humans? It would seem not, and preliminary evidence suggests that our beloved pets can be helped by CBD as well. Here’s an overview on the subject.
How CBD Works In Pets & Their Humans
The science behind CBD works roughly the same in pets and humans. Humans and pets each have an endocannabinoid system. The body produces cannabinoids, which then bond with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 in humans). When cannabinoids bond with cannabinoid receptors, it impacts a variety of bodily functions, including pain, appetite, hunger, fatigue, mood and more.
CBD works by altering the strength and length of these interactions, causing the above body functions to alter.
Evidence For Giving CBD To Your Pets
The good news is that there is anecdotal evidence, and some studies, which suggest that CBD can be helpful for animals.
While the internet is replete with stories of CBD helping pets for a variety of ailments, studies about CBD’s impact on our pets have been relatively limited to specific disorders. For example, this 2012 study showed that CBD can be helpful for dogs who suffer from seizures.
The American Kennel Club has released its own guide on CBD for dogs. It notes that, generally speaking, no studies have yet been conducted on the effectiveness of CBD for dogs, but it also states that CBD is known to only cause minor side effects and should be safe for dogs, as long as it is given in appropriate amounts.
CBD seems to be helpful for a variety of different animals. Indeed, there is even evidence which shows that CBD for horses can be helpful to the animals. However, there is no question that more evidence is needed. That is largely why the American Kennel Club is sponsoring a study to determine whether or not CBD can be helpful in dogs with treatment resistant epilepsy – just like it is in humans.
What Can CBD Help Our Pets For?
According to PetMD, CBD can be used to potentially treat a variety of symptoms in our pets, including anxiety, separation anxiety, nausea, pain, mitigating the side effects of other drug treatments and more.
What Are The Side Effects of CBD In Our Pets?
As of yet, no specific studies have been conducted on side effects of CBD in our pets. However, it is likely that the same side effects which occur in humans (dry mouth, fatigue) are possible with our pets.
More dangerous side effects are possible if your pets consume too much THC, which is often an ingredient found in CBD. Fortunately, legally purchased CBD will contain less than .3% THC, an amount which is generally well tolerated in pets. However, if you are concerned about a potential THC overdose, it is advisable that you purchase broad spectrum CBD, which contains no THC.
How To Start: Talk To Your Vet And Go Slowly
No matter what pet you have or what you are giving your animal CBD for, three fundamental truths remain constant.
First, do not give your pet CBD without first consulting with your veterinarian. CBD does have negative drug interactions with humans, and if your pet is on a medication or susceptible to certain medical conditions, it may cause a problem. The relative newness of CBD to the market may mean that your veterinarian’s knowledge of CBD is limited, so you may need to do some searching in order to find a vet who knows more about the subject.
Second, make sure that you do not just use any CBD products. Only purchase a CBD product which offers a certificate of analysis. In 2017, the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study which examined accuracy in CBD product’s labels and found that nearly 70% of those products were mislabeled. CBD Products with a Certificate of Analysis have paid a third party vendor to confirm that what they claim is in their products is, in fact, in their products.
Last, keep in mind that finding the right dosage for your pet can be a challenge. The varying sizes, species and metabolisms of our animals make the idea of a “recommended” dose very difficult to determine. A dose which is too high risks negative side effects, but a dose that is too small won’t do anything. As such, start with a low dose, monitor for side effects or improvements, and increase the dose from there.
CBD And Pet Safety
CBD should never be given to a pet as an edible that a human would consume. This is because many edibles that are safe for humans to eat are unsafe for dogs – they may get your pet sick, or have ingredients which are unhealthy.
The American Kennel Foundation recommends that you give your pet CBD in a tincture or oil form, as it is easiest to measure the size of their dosage and avoids any potential negative interactions with other treats.
The Potential Is There
While research and scientific understanding into this field is still evolving, it does seem clear that CBD has the ability to potentially help our pets. Consult with your vet, get high quality CBD and move slowly. This will minimize the risks and potentially help cure your pet of what ails them.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to reflect the specific views of the publication.