Cannabidiol (CBD) seems to have made its way into any and every product that you can think of. You have probably already run into some CBD products that are designed for pets, especially dogs. Believe it or not, this is not as odd of a product as you may think. While the studies on CBD and its potential benefits have been mainly focused on people, there has been some research to indicate that CBD could be beneficial to everyone’s favorite family member, the dog.
This, of course, raises many questions. That is understandable, as everyone wants to be sure that what they are giving their beloved furry friend is safe. So, we are going to go over what CBD is, how it may provide your dog with some relief, and if it is safe. Let’s get into it.
What is CBD?
We should start by covering the basics. Understanding CBD can help you understand how it may affect your dog.
Cannabis plants contain a large group of chemical compounds that are known as cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are significant because they interact with a system of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). There are over 113 different cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis. And that number is likely to grow as researchers look into and understand cannabis better. CBD is a cannabinoid, and a famous one too. However, it is not as well-known as another fellow cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC probably may sound pretty familiar to you. This is because THC is rather infamous for its psychoactive effect. This effect creates an intoxication that is normally called a “high.” It is often used as a recreational drug by humans, but it is toxic for pets and you should avoid giving to your dog, as it is unclear what kind of damage it may cause. There is a misconception about CBD and THC. Many believe that because they are related, that means that CBD has similar, if not the exact same, sort of effects as THC. However, CBD is pretty different in the way that it interacts with the ECS, and as a result does not cause any sort of high or inebriation.
There are two main variations of cannabis. They are marijuana and hemp. The differences between these variations is based on their concentrations of CBD and THC. Marijuana contains high levels of THC and its levels of CBD are somewhat lacking. This has led to marijuana being federally illegal (with exceptions in some states). Hemp, meanwhile, is chock-full of CBD and only contains 0.3% THC. As a result, hemp is federally legal (except in a few states) and CBD manufacturers usually use hemp to create their products. They can even filter out the small amount of THC that is in hemp to ensure it is completely THC-free.
How might CBD help my dog?
As mentioned above, most CBD research has been focused on how the cannabinoid may benefit humans, not dogs. However, that does not mean that it cannot help dogs. Afterall, they have an ECS too. There are a few studies that have looked at CBD and dogs. So, let’s talk about those now.
We here at Panacea Life Sciences helped conduct a study on older dogs, joint health, and CBD. We asked the owners of older dogs that had issues moving due to poor joint health to give their dogs 5mg of CBD twice a day. Then they were asked to fill out surveys about their dog’s movement, whether or not it improved, though out the timeline of the study. On top of all of this, the researchers also recorded videos of the dogs moving before and after the treatment. Most of the owners reported an improvement in their dog’s ability to move. This suggests that CBD could be very helpful in keeping dogs moving, even in old age.
It is, unfortunately, not unusual for dogs to have nervous dispositions. This could be caused by poor treatment in the past, or they may just have separation anxiety. This may lead to dogs to bark a lot, to have unusual appetites, or even have issues with their bladders. So, many dog owners look for solutions where they can. CBD may be able to help offer some relief. This study looked at chronic anxiety in mice. Some of the mice were given CBD and their behaviors were observed. The researchers noted that the mice that were given CBD appeared to have a decrease in the anxious behavior.
Those are just a few examples of what CBD may be able to help your precious pup with. As stated, there currently are not many CBD and dog focused studies. But seeing as the cannabinoid has become more popular in holistic veterinary circles, it is likely that we will is an uptick in studies in the coming years. This will be fantastic as we will be able to the better understand what CBD may have to offer our dogs.
We should cover the safety of CBD for dogs. As there are not many studies on this subject, we cannot say for sure if CBD is completely safe for dogs. But the evidence of the above studies and other studies would suggest that it is safe when carefully dosed and monitored. However, when looking for a CBD product for your dog be sure to look for ones that are either CBD isolates or explicitly state that there is no THC in the product. As mentioned before CBD is toxic for animals, and you should avoid giving it to your dog. Be sure to talk to your vet before you start giving your dog CBD, especially if your pup is already on medication.
So, to answer the main question of this article: why is there CBD for dogs? Because it may be able to provide our beloved pets with some much needed relief. You love your dog like they are family (let’s be real, they are family), so why not provide your dog with the care that they deserve?