CBD has flooded the natural health market for humans because of its incredible ability to ease anxiety, manage chronic pain, control inflammation, limit seizures, and treat insomnia.
If CBD works on humans, it could work on your pets, right?
Is it even safe for your pets?
Don’t worry! Those are important questions that any dutiful pet owner would ask.
Find out about the safety of CBD products for pets and all of the benefits.
What Is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound in cannabis, usually in hemp. It is often confused with the cannabinoid found in marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). While CBD is a psychoactive compound, it does not induce a physical “high” like THC does.
Scientists understand that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in your central and peripheral nervous systems. These receptors aid the body’s balance and keep the body running normally.
CBD is also believed to be non-habit forming. As of 2018, with the passage of the Farm Bill, the sale of hemp is legal in the USA and in turn makes CBD legal.
Originally, the FDA approved a CBD-based medicine, Epidiolex, for medication-resistant seizures. Epidiolex dramatically lowered the rate of seizures among sufferers. This was a huge win for the CBD movement and opened up the door for science to conduct further studies.
Research has pointed to evidence supporting claims that CBD reduces anxiety, inflammation, and pain. It’s important to note that CBD research is still very much in its infancy: more research needs to be conducted to further bolster previous findings. However, current findings are promising.
Scientists have done human-verified CBD research, but animal-specific CBD studies are more limited. The studies completed thus far are small-scale and rudimentary. However, the findings so far are illuminating and could be a viable alternative to standard veterinary pharmacology.
Pet owners who use CBD products anecdotally report the benefits seen in their animals.
Is CBD Safe for My Pet?
The short answer is yes, but it also depends.
CBD, so far, demonstrates the same effects on cats and dogs as it has on humans. It also is available in the same forms as it would be to people: ointments, oils, tinctures, and chewables.
Decreased anxiety and reduced inflammation have been observed in animal studies as of 2021.
Similar to humans, CBD can cause dry mouth, lethargy, low blood pressure, and diarrhea. These symptoms can increase based on the dosage.
If it’s the first time you’re giving your pet a CBD product, it’s recommended to consult your vet and give your animal a small amount to start. Then observe their response and see if CBD is conducive to your pet.
The safety of administering CBD to your pets depends on a few factors:
- Product ingredients
- Your animal’s liver function
- Other medication your animal is on
Listed and unlisted ingredients in pet CBD products can affect their overall performance.
The CBD market is new, and there is not much product oversight except within the company products are coming from. Therefore, it is imperative to do your due diligence.
Pure CBD has not displayed harmful side effects for pets. However, THC is toxic to dogs and cats. Some CBD products, especially if they’re derived from marijuana, may contain higher concentrations of THC.
The presence of THC may be safe for human consumption but are dangerous to pets, so be wary of that when selecting CBD products.
Always make sure the THC concentration is .3%. To ensure your animal is safe from THC poisoning, check the label and give them CBD products solely intended for animals. Many CBD products for animals will contain .3% of THC or none at all. The label should also indicate the exact amount of CBD present and recommended dosage.
There is also a distinction between CBD for cats and CBD for dogs. The difference is that CBD products intended for cats are dosed based on the average size of a cat versus dogs, whose size can vary greatly depending on breed.
Your Animal’s Liver Function
Scientists have proven that CBD is metabolized in the liver, and in a canine study, there was a noted increase in the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) during CBD treatment.
The study was unable to definitively conclude whether this elevation in ALP was concerning or not, but most veterinarians at this time don’t recommend giving CBD to any animals with a history of liver issues just in case.
Other Medications Your Animal Is On
Currently, there are no documented negative drug interactions in animals between CBD and other medications. Just to be safe, consult a veterinarian before administering any CBD to your pets.
The Benefits of CBD Products for Pets
The benefits of CBD for your pet are reduced anxiety, inflammation, and pain.
You can select products that are targeted at treating each of these concerns.
Many CBD pet products, however, are also full-spectrum, meaning they can treat more than one ailment at once. Full-spectrum products are perfect for pets struggling with anxiety and also dealing with the pain associated with aging.
Oil tinctures are an excellent option because they’re administered via a dropper, so the doses are more controlled. When you’re dipping your toes in the CBD waters, this is an excellent way to gauge if CBD is helpful to your pet.
If more is needed, more can be given so long as it’s within the safe confines. As always, consult your veterinarian if your dog is not responding to the label’s recommended dosage.
Flavored chewables are another great full-spectrum product. If historically it’s been difficult to give your pet medicine, flavored chewables can serve as treatment and as a tasty treat.
The list of flavors ranges from savory (pizza and bacon) to sweet (sweet potato). Yum!
Learn More About CBD Products for Your Pet
At CBD Pantry, we are healthcare professionals dedicated to helping patients find the best and safest CBD products for pets available.
Scroll through our options and help your pet live their best life along your side.