CBD Use in Pets
Many people consider their pets to be an invaluable part of the family and are committed to providing them with the upmost care. Increased interest in CBD as a novel treatment for a variety of conditions in people has led many to consider its use in treating similar health issues in companion animals.
As in humans, CBD provides beneficial effects in our pets by acting on the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). As described previously, the ECS is a specialized biological system that influences numerous physiologic and cognitive processes to maintain homeostasis, or inner balance. Conditions where CBD may be particularly useful in pets include supporting joint health, instituting a calm disposition and promoting a healthy cognition.
Studies on the effects of CBD in companion animals have been limited, with most of the research being performed in laboratory animals. However, studies recently performed by two prestigious Veterinary Colleges have revealed CBD’s potential in treating both osteoarthritis and seizures in dogs.
One study, performed at Cornell University, looked specifically at the safety and clinical efficacy of CBD treatment in osteoarthritic dogs. The results were promising and revealed that CBD was not only well tolerated but contributed to increased comfort and activity in the dogs that received CBD.
In another study, Dr. Stephanie McGrath at Colorado State University assessed the effect of CBD in dogs with epileptic seizures. She found a significant reduction in seizure frequency in dogs that were given CBD, suggesting CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of epilepsy.
Research has shown that there is a wide margin of safety with CBD use in dogs, however, potential side effects can occur. Typical side effects seen are drowsiness and sedation, which are usually dose dependent. These effects may be viewed as benefits when treating certain conditions like thunderstorm phobia and night waking associated with cognitive dysfunction. As in people, it is always a good idea to start at lower doses and increase to effect. There is no published dose for pets, but based on recent studies evaluating CBD use for arthritis in dogs, it is suggested to be 2mg/kg or just under 1 mg per pound.
There is a wide variety of CBD pet products currently on the market ranging from treats to tinctures. As with human CBD products, it is important to be familiar with the product’s ingredients and formulations. For example, due to differences in physiology, dogs are very sensitive to THC. For this reason, our products contain non-detectable amounts of THC while continuing to offer maximum support from all other beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant.
We also recommend consulting with your veterinary professional prior to starting a CBD product with your pet.
There is still much to be learned about CBD and its use in companion animals, but based on the studies described above, it holds great promise in providing a more natural way to treat many illnesses that affect our pets.