With the vast variety of cannabis products that exist today, it seems that everyone is a potential consumer, and that includes our furry companions, pets! Pet owners are now, more than ever, using CBD to address various forms of malaise in their dogs, cats, and other pets. Now before you worry what pot might do to pets, let’s review quickly what we know about CBD.
A few months ago we discussed CBD at length; you can check out that article here if you are interested in reviewing the details. To summarize, though, the two big things to remember about CBD are:
CBD will not get you, or your pets, high. It is non-psychoactive.
CBD’s benefits are primarily medicinal, with evidence to suggest its legitimacy in the treatment of a variety of ailments.
When it comes to pets, this means that the idea you’re getting your pet high isn’t accurate, but there are a few things you should know about whether or not CBD is right for your pet.
Is your pet a good candidate?
A study conducted last year at Cornell University brought forth evidence that daily CBD increased comfort and activity for dogs with osteoarthritis, but that’s not the only condition that might be treatable with CBD however. Perhaps the biggest class of ailments CBD has the potential to treat is chronic pain, because it eases inflammation. Additionally, if your pet has nervous energy, or won’t stop barking, this can be from pet anxiety. Luckily, that is another area where CBD has shown promise in being effective. Other conditions where CBD may be effective is seizures and gastrointestinal issues. There is even anecdotal evidence that suggests the compound can slow the growth of tumors or reduce cancer symptoms.
Where can I get it?
If you believe your pet could benefit from CBD, there are many places that you can find products made specifically for them. There are many hemp-derived products that are available for pets online and in large pet stores. However, marijuana-derived CBD is slightly different and can only be found in dispensaries. The two varieties differ some, but both are worth experimenting with. They are both, at the end of the day, cannabidiol, a cannabinoid with medicinal properties. Marijuana-derived CBD has the potential to have trace amounts of THC, which in small quantities is not likely to get your animal friend high, but may affect how CBD interacts with their body. There is research that suggests the best CBD treatments are those that do have some THC, so it’s something worth keeping in mind when selecting a product. Our greatest advice is to try a variety of things and make notes of how they affect your pet. You may find that some work and others don’t, but do exhaust your list before giving up, otherwise your pet may miss out on a treatment. The most popular CBD products for pets come in the form of oils, but treats are also common.
There are few things to keep in mind if you are thinking about using CBD to help your pet. For one, there is much less oversight and regulation when it comes to CBD products for pet than there is for humans. This means quality control is compromised and the products you get might not be reputable. This can cause a variety of problems, like getting a product with incorrect CBD amounts, products with some levels of THC that weren’t fleshed out, or product that does not contain active CBD at all. You should always do your research before submitting to a product. Utilize online reviews or talk to other pet owners who have already tried CBD. The biggest threat to your pet when using CBD is accidental consumption of a large dose of THC. While it will not kill you beloved friend, it may leave them uncomfortable and loopy for several hours or up to a few days.
Also keep in mind that CBD could affect your pet’s other medicines if they are taking any. Going off of this, always consult with your veterinarian about whether they believe CBD is a good choice. Chances are they have heard about it and they probably have additional information or advice that they can share with you. Due to certain laws, some vets in some states may not be able to suggest CBD for your pet without you bringing it up first, so do not be afraid to initiate conversation. Listen to what they, and other experts have to say about the latest research exploring CBD and pets. That being said, veterinarian Stephanie McGrath at Colorado State University’s was one of the first to do any research on CBD and pets. While she is still conducting research about its effectiveness, she does believe that CBD is a safe product for pets, and her initial research showed to be promising in treating dogs with seizures.
The choice to give your pet CBD can be tricky, given the status of cannabis, however, every day more pet owners are using CBD to help their pets. Before deciding to give your pet cannabis treats, discuss the idea with your vet and consider how your pet may react given their medical history. Select your products carefully, but also try out a variety of products. Given that a lot of evidence on CBD is anecdotal, it’s important that you remain realistic with your expectations. Research is limited, and it’s not entirely clear how all pets will react, if at all, to CBD. If you go into it thinking your pet will be healed of all it’s problems, you may end up underwhelmed. So keep an open mind, but also stay grounded.