What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
With the legality of marijuana becoming a popular topic, increased curiosity regarding cannabidiol and the therapeutic, healing effects it can have on pets has risen.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a compound found in cannabis plants and hemp plants, also referred to as industrial hemp. Cannabis plants are characteristic for having greater than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and their resulting psychoactive effects.
Hemp plants, on the other hand, have less than 0.3% of THC which means CBD derived from hemp does not come with the effects of being high. If you are considering giving your pet, specifically your dog, CBD, know that cannabidiol from marijuana may technically be illegal since marijuana is still illegal in many areas. CBD from hemp is legal as long as the production of the product follows regulations established by law.
This article will focus on the use of CBD oil for dogs.
But first off, it is important for you to understand that the world of CBD is full of uncertainty because the CBD supplement market is not standardized. This means that it can be difficult to know what exactly is in these products, how they are made and if they really do what they claim to do. Many products do offer more information about their extraction process, but always be mindful of their intentions.
Fortunately, there have been increasingly more studies performed on specific cannabidiol formulations to support or disprove claims. Also, some companies have their cannabidiol oil products independently tested in labs to ensure they produce the safest, most reliable oils for you and your furry friend. This is especially helpful since, currently, CBD products can only be encouraged or discouraged based on supposed claims by companies, trusted research by experts and your best judgment. The increased effort to provide proof of CBD efficacy will eventually make decisions easier for pet owners.
However, for now, utilize all of your resources to make educated choices.
What Does CBD For Dogs Do?
It has been reported that CBD oil is effective in treating pain in dogs due to injury or old age, including age-related health concerns like arthritis. In addition, the oil can help reduce anxiety and stress, such as from separation anxiety or anxiety due to loud noises like fireworks. CBD is also said to treat gastrointestinal issues like nausea and loss of appetite. Impressively, CBD has also been reported to help prevent more severe conditions like certain cancers and to help control seizures. However, there has not been significant evidence of this particular claim.
So far, cannabidiol oil seems like a miracle product, but do be careful and do your research to find trusted companies if you want to try it on your dog. The reason why companies make these claims about their products is based on a general understanding of what cannabinoids do in the human body. Cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system which helps establish and maintain balance for a healthy body. It has been estimated that this effect is similar amongst pets, including dogs.
Currently, there has not been significant, formal research or solid data to back up claims regarding what CBD products can do for dogs. The ailments that cannabidiol oil can help relieve are based on company claims and reports from fellow pet owners.
Is CBD Safe for Your Dog?
A big question regarding CBD oil is whether it is safe for your dog. As with any other medicinal product, there are possible side effects. Because there is a lack of research on the exact effects of cannabidiol oil on dogs, projected side effects and risks are based on the human experience.
One possible side effect is dry mouth. This can be observed in your dog producing less saliva, having an increase in thirst and, resultingly, increasing water intake. Another is lower blood pressure. CBD products are known to lower blood pressure which can result in light-headedness, dizziness, and instability on the feet. You may also see a more lethargic demeanor in your dog. If you witness such behavior, keep your eye out on your dog’s blood pressure reading at your next vet appointments. Also, notify your veterinarian of the products you are administering to your dog. Another possible side effect of CBD oil is drowsiness since CBD reportedly aids with anxiety. The side effects mentioned are more likely or will be more severe the higher the dosage you give to your pet. Always start off with smaller dosages to ensure your pet does not have negative responses to the product. More information on dosages will be discussed later on in this article.
Are There Risks Associated with CBD for Dogs?
In addition to side effects, there are risks associated with CBD oil and dogs. The main risk is overdose which can lead to conditions like THC toxicity, which is ingestion of too much THC. This condition can last for several days for dogs, depending on the measured overdose and the pet itself. Some symptoms of THC overdose include dilated pupils, glazed over eyes, whining, incoordination, vomiting, fluctuating body temperature, and tremors.
If you ever suspect that your dog ingested too much THC from CBD oil or through any other means, contact your vet or a pet poison hotline (1-800-213-6680) as soon as possible.
To prevent THC overdose, begin by giving your dog small amounts to gauge their response and by monitoring them. If possible, run the product by your vet in case your vet has knowledge of the ingredients and any possible risks associated with it. Always consider how humans would respond to such ingredients and take precautions knowing them.
Be aware that a dog does not have to overdose to face risks of CBD. Other ingredients in the oils may not sit well with your dog. If the actual THC, if any, does not cause harm, it does not mean that other ingredients won’t.
What Are Veterinarian Opinions Regarding CBD?
When deciding on whether you want to give your dog CBD oil, it may seem logical to speak to your veterinarian about it first. However, many vets may not give you solid advice. As previously mentioned, there is little research and data to back or oppose the use of CBD on dogs. Therefore, vets have little to base their advice on. In addition, in many areas, vets are actually not allowed to discuss, advise for or against, recommend or prescribe products containing cannabis due to the illegality of marijuana. This makes it difficult to get solid input from the doctor.
In such a situation, you have to perform your own research to make decisions for your dog. However, in some places like California, it is legal for vets to discuss cannabis, but they still cannot recommend or prescribe any products. In conclusion, take what you can get from your vet and take the time to thoroughly look into this field.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs- What options do you have?
When looking for the best CBD oil for dog look for high-quality oils to ensure it has safe ingredients, it is compliant with regulations and will do what it claims to do. Quality, safe products can come at a price so do not automatically opt for the cheapest options out there. Here are some tips to remember:
- Opt for organic oils to avoid pesticides, potentially-harmful solvents, and impurities. As mentioned previously, dogs can suffer from negative effects from other ingredients included in CBD oils. If CBD is not extracted well or safely, the product can ultimately do more harm than good for your pet.
- Know what is in the CBD oil product. Specifically, know how much THC is in the cannabidiol oil. You want there to be little to no THC to avoid psychoactive effects. Also, it is important to know the ingredients in the oil to ensure they are all safe in regards to potential allergies.
- Know how much CBD is in the overall product in order to understand dosage levels. Sometimes, cannabidiol products may not provide a dosage chart for you to follow. There may be information to follow on their site, but otherwise, you will have to calculate the dosage yourself. Read on to the next section to learn how to formulate safe dosages for your dog.
The following CBD oil products are deemed some of the best based on company claims, tests and customer reviews. Research these specific oils to determine if they may potentially be an option for your dog
King Kanine also extracts their CBD from organic, non-GMO industrial hemp through the CO2 extraction process. Their cannabidiol oil is also suspended in omega-3-rich krill oil to help improve the delivery of CBD to dogs’ bodies. This makes the oil quicker and more effective, and you can administer less product for the same effect which makes it safer than needing to give larger doses. When you purchase CBD oil from King Kanine, at $0.18 to $0.53 per mg, you are provided with a Certificate of Authenticity to ensure you’re handling a trusted product. In addition to their COA, King Kanine’s products are tested by a GMP Certified, ISO-90001 Certified FDA Facility to promise you quality products for your dog.
cbdMD Pet CBD Oil
cbdMD Pet CBD Oil is vegan, gluten-free and is derived from non-GMO hemp. Their oils only include two ingredients, CBD from hemp and MCT oil from coconuts, and no preservatives. To provide flexibility for all different dogs, they have four different concentrations at 300mg, 750mg, 1500mg and 3000mg.
In addition to their oil, cbdMD also offers cannabidiol in dog treats and gummies to bring variety. To also help dogs take the oil, this company has a peanut butter flavor option available. cbdMD’s Pet CBD Oil is one of the more affordable options out there at $0.05 to $0.10 per mg.
Honest Paws produces CBD oil from GMO-free industrial hemp plants. The cannabidiol is pulled out from the plant through a CO2 extraction process to ensure clean and pure extractions. Honest Paws CBD oil comes in three different strengths, 125mg, 250mg and 500mg, each tailored for different weight groups. This helps prevent overdoses as it guides dosage formulation. This brand of CBD oil is priced at around $0.18 to $0.40 per mg. Also, Honest Paws CBD oil is made in the USA.
NuLeaf Naturals Pet CBD Oil
Pet CBD oil from NuLeaf Naturals come from organic, non-GMO hemp plants grown in Colorado, USA. They utilize the CO2 extraction process to acquire the purest and simplest form of cannabidiol. There are also no additives or preservatives in the oil to ensure the highest purity of CBD for your dog. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is also lab-tested for quality so you do not have to worry about giving your dog questionable products. NuLeaf Naturals can be purchased for $0.12 to $0.14 per mg.
MediPets CBD oil is extracted through the CO2 process to maintain the purity of the industrial hemp plant and to preserve all beneficial components without involving dangerous solvents, such as butane and propane, common in other extraction methods. This CBD product includes no synthetics or THC which eliminates any worries regarding possible psychoactive effects on your dog. MediPets’ cannabidiol oil is produced and tested by independent labs in the USA, and then sold at $0.40 to $1.20 per mg.
CBD Dosage for Dogs- The Right Amount Works!
Cannabidiol dosage should be based on your dog’s weight. A good place to start is 0.2mg of CBD per pound, just to be safe.
After calculating this measurement based on your dog’s weight, you need to find out how many milligrams of CBD are in your purchased CBD oil. This factor depends on the strength of your product. Commonly available concentrations sold and the amount of CBD in each include:
75mg CBD bottle = 2.5mg of CBD per ml of oil
150mg CBD bottle = 5mg of CBD per ml of oil300mg CBD bottle = 10 mg of CBD per ml of oil
600mg CBD bottle = 20mg of CBD per ml of oil1 drop of oil = 1/2mg of CBD
Using this breakdown, you can calculate your own product’s strength and corresponding CBD dosage for your pet. For any cannabidiol oil, check the product’s site to see if they provide a breakdown for that specific product as this breakdown is more generalized.
Final Advice- How to make sure your Dog stays healthy?
- Research. Look at the product’s description online to know what you should expect from it and any noted details that may concern you as a pet owner. Also, look around the product’s site to understand the values of the company that will reflect in the CBD oil itself. Try to look for information regarding any FDA penalties, charges against the company and certifications amongst the team to get an idea of how reliable they are. In addition, it is recommended to read into reviews on the product, especially the critical ones, to know what the best- and worst-case scenarios are. Doing your research helps to prevent you from falling for misleading marketing tactics and unsubstantiated claims.
- Recognize what is too good to be true. Many companies online exaggerate how good their processes and products are. There can be lies that hide the fact that some companies extract and process their CBD through non-ideal methods. The CBD oil products recommended in the previous section utilize CO2 extraction processes for clean and safe extraction. However, there are quicker and cheaper methods to extract cannabidiol from hemp plants which use solvents like butane. This can be toxic if not handled properly. The cost-efficient draw of such methods can be hard for companies to resist so look for confirmation of their processes on their website and through reviews. In addition to deceitful claims about their processing methods, be aware of CBD oils that seem to “cure” a vast number of health conditions. Although many pet owners have found cannabidiol oil to help with basic ailments such as pain and anxiety, be wary about claims regarding the ability to cure more serious health conditions that even prescribed medications cannot fix.
- Keep track of CBD products you are giving your dog. Doing so allows you to know if the product is working for your pet and to gauge if the dosage level needs to be adjusted if you do see an effect. It is also a good idea to record your dog’s behavior after taking CBD for future reference or if you need to consult with your vet about any possible side effects. Because it can be difficult to know if there really is a significant improvement or worsening of your dog’s condition, asking other people if they notice a difference in your dog’s behaviour, without informing them of the CBD, will provide non-biased accounts to base your judgement of.