In the last few years, we have seen an exponential increase of CBD products not only for humans, but for pets as well. In this popular market, many people now prefer and are using CBD oil or cannabidiol as a panacea for the well-being of their dogs and other pets.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or known simply as CBD, is a potent component found in the marijuana and hemp plants. This component is void of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the sole compound in these cannabis plants that causes the psychoactive feeling of the “high.” A wide array of CBD products originate from the hemp rather than its cousin, the marijuana plants. Hemp, as regulated by the US government, needs to have less than 0.3% THC to maintain its legality, while marijuana can have variable amounts of THC but is not legal everywhere yet. CBD is federally legal in all 50 states, but each law has its own rules as well.
How CBD Benefit Humans
Based on the latest report from the world health organization, they consider the CBD very safe for all humans and all mammals that have thus far been tested. However, they advise that you consult your physician before planning to consume any CBD products or any other medication, especially for pregnant women or people will already low blood pressure. Most CBD based research opines that the oil has the ability to improve the patient’s sufferings from rheumatoid arthritis as well as social anxiety and insomnia and much more.
CBD Health Benefits
The following are some of the general health benefits associated with consuming CBD:
The CBD is known to aid in the production of induced T-regulatory cells as well as suppressing cytokine to protect the body from possibly attacking itself, which is beneficial in autoimmune related issues.
Relieves Long-lasting Pain
The CBD is known to prevent the transmission of neuronal signals through the pain pathways hence relieving pain in patients. This is mostly done with direct effect to the humans and all mammal’s endocannabinoid system.
Patient’s Panacea for Seizures
According to research, the CBD is proven to handle, treat or relieve patients especially those suffering from epilepsy. The only current FDA approved CBD solution is Epidiolex for epilepsy, and most experts expect many more to come.
How CBD Benefits Dogs
Over the years, CBD researchers concluded that the oil has the ability to treat anxiety, nausea, stress, seizures, back pain, symptoms of cancer as well as some other conditions affecting the wellbeing of our most cherished pet, dogs. During treatment, the cannabinoids are bound to get in contact with the endocannabinoid system, which happens to be a sequence of receptors running all over the body. While in the body, the cannabinoids work together with the body’s receptors to ease nausea, anxiety, pain, etc..
The anecdotal evidence from millions of users across the world pour into emails and social media on an hourly basis. Jay D. Lee, CEO and Founder of CBDTweet, states, “I’ve had one client tell me her dog was in severe pain, but after giving it our oil tincture, now it is finally back to curling up next to her and sleeping together.” That is only one of many, including, “Another one of our clients was distressed by all the barking of their dogs, with complaining neighbors and more. Now after the CBD, they have gotten calmer and no more complaints, even when she goes to work. Stories like this really motivate us to get the word out that this is a truly viable option for so many different issues dogs and their owners may suffer on a daily basis.”
CBD, unlike traditional or over the counter prescription drugs for pain in dogs, has no significant or life-threatening effects if the dosage is wrong. In addition, the CBD has no devastating effect on the liver, kidney or the GI tract or even potent enough to produce a high in dogs according to tests and results so far. Amongst other things, the CBD can help treat the following conditions in dogs.
- Chronic pain
- Skin conditions
- Acute pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of appetite or anorexia
- Neurological disorders
However just like humans and other mammals, every dog will respond differently so it is wise to start with a small dosage and titrate up gradually to test the effects.
Case Studies of CBD on Dogs
Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte, who is a credited Australian holistic veterinarian, was astonished at the potency of cannabis used as a treatment in some dogs. Enclosed below are some of the finding, which attests to the potency of the CBD on the health of dogs.
Staffy with a Tumor
A senior staffy possessed with a fast-growing tumor of an estimated 6cm in diameter in her mammary gland and x-rays showed visibly that there might be metastasis. The dog was treated by Dr. Bassingthwaighte with the use of CBD oil in collaboration with some other herbal medicines. Over the course of the treatment, the tumor in the dog shrank away to nothing over the time period of three months. The dog kept getting stronger and healthier each months, with little or no signs of recurring ailments. With the dog having suffered multiple operations to get the tumors removed over the years, the CBD oil treated her better than any other option attempted.
Jack with Arthritis and Heart Murmur
Another case occurred with a little old Jack Russel suffering from painful arthritis as well as a severe heart murmur. As a treatment routine, he was administered a whole plant extract containing CBD, and in this case combined with some THC, diluted in 10 ml of cold pressed hemp seed oil. Months after the treatment, the dog was a much happier, active, as well as filled with the desire to go on long walks, with his heart condition much less severe.
Dr. Bassingthwaighte said he was amazed by the medical miracle of the CBD oil he witnessed and was short on words regarding the improved heart murmur considering that situation normally never gets better on its own. Dr. Bassingthwaighte however, proposes that despite the potent nature of the CBD oil and its positive effects on dogs, dog parents should never forfeit an opportunity to consult a specialist before administering the CBD to their dogs.
CBD for Dogs with Severe Injury or Cancer
The CBD oil possesses some health benefits, which must be considered especially if you decide on using the medication as a means treatment for your dog suffering from cancer. The following presents some information for you to make better decisions on whether you should try CBD for this purpose.
We know some may disagree, but most dogs cannot express exactly how they feel, unlike humans, when their systems do not function properly. They are bound to stay clear of food no matter how delicious it tastes or smells. Situations of this magnitude are sometimes normal if they last for just 1-2 days. However, when cancer is involved, many dogs completely lose their appetite, which tends makes them weak and has a significant effect on their immune system. If they come into this situation, try administering the CBD oil to the dog. It may increase their appetite while helping to maintain a normal eating and drinking habit routine in the process while attempting to regulate their bodily functions.
Pain Relieving Abilities
Cancer, especially in dogs, is often associated with pain especially with tumors located in either the stomach or legs. Since dogs cannot reach for a painkiller as we do, they may display pain with whining, whimpering or low energy behavior. Researchers say one of the greatest benefits of administering the CBD oil to your dog is that it offers quick relief of pain suffered by dogs. Keep in mind again results will vary per dog per species, and it is the owner’s responsibility to administer and test properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Reducing Swelling and Inflammation
The CBD oil is known to have swelling relief properties combined with the ability to handle symptoms of stiffness, joint aches, and more. Also, cancer is known to display similar symptoms when suffered by dogs, and therefore the oil can be a possible mitigating solution for the health and well-being of your pet in this regard.
Restraining the Growth of Tumors
Thanks to extensive research, CBD has been scientifically proven to shrink tumors as mentioned above. In addition, administering the oil can also prevent cancers from spreading to other parts of the body and eliminating cancer as well. Again keep in test result do vary and has never been shown to help 100% of all dogs or mammals, but in many. Considering the almost insignificant amount of negative side effects suffered by the users, CBD remains a great option to try for these possible benefits.
Treating Insomnia in Dogs
Like humans, most dogs suffer from sleep-related disorders too. However, the CBD oil and its therapeutic benefits can make the dog relaxed while given it the strength to go about its normal dog-like activities. Like humans, CBD does not cure sleep issues directly. It regulates the whole body more effectively, towards better homeostasis, and therefore induces more quality sleep than otherwise experienced in the past. In other words, it works more on the root cause rather than patching the immediate issue with a Band-Aid.
With the absence of little or no scientific data patterning to the side effects of the usage of the CBD oil for dogs, some of the minor side effects can include:
- Dry mouth: Some researchers opine that the CBD has the ability to decrease saliva production in dogs, which is known to manifest as an increase in thirst. Please monitor carefully and make sure they stay well hydrated.
- The Decrease in Blood Pressure: Increased doses of the CBD oil has been known to temporarily cause a fall in the blood pressure of dogs and mammals. It should also be noted that even small doses of the CBD can cause feelings of light-headedness, so start with the lowest dosages and titrate up from there as needed, especially for the much smaller toy dogs and similar breeds.
- Drowsiness: Although the CBD is used to help treat many issues in dogs, it is known to cause slight drowsiness especially if a higher dose is administered to the dog. If this is the case, reduce the dosage back down. If the dosage is needed to reduce pain, then you may accept the fact that the drowsiness is a blessing over their feeling the chronic pain. There is no inherent danger to any mammal for drowsiness as long as they are not in a high risk environment. However, make sure you mention this to your vet in your next visit with you pet.
Best Ways to Administer CBD to Dogs
Considering most drugs come with their required dosage, dog parents should make sure they administer the required doses for their dogs. Enclosed below are some of the best ways to administer the CBD to dogs.
Add the CBD on a Treat
The best way to administer CBD oil is on your pet’s favorite treat. Considering the CBD tincture is oily in nature, it should be applied directly on a treat immediately before it is given, to be enjoyed by the dogs and to be absorbed properly upon consumption. This is also an effective way of administering the CBD oil to dogs with health-related issues. This allows some of the oil to leak into the dogs mouth and sublingual areas, and the rest to be processed in the stomach. It may be helped to place on a chewy treat that makes the dog work it for minutes before it can swallow, instead of a tiny treat it will just swallow in second. If you purchase pre-made CBD treats, look out for this, as small quick treats will basically all go right to the stomach.
Sublingual delivery is the best for quick and efficient absorption, but as safety comes first, unless your dog is 100% trained not to bite down or react to the glass dropper in its mouth, placing the oil on the treat is best. You just may need to raise the dosage slightly more than oil directly into the mouth and it may take a little longer for it to take effect. We feel these mitigating circumstances are acceptable in support of safety first.
Administering the CBD in the Mouth of the Dog
Considering the CBD oil comes with a dropper, which can be used as a measuring tool, you may place the right quantity of the oil underneath the tongue of the dog. Although you may be at risk of being bitten by some dogs, some others are calm, making the administration of the oil easy and hassle-free. Remember their biting may not only hurt you, but it can also crack or shatter the dropper and cause damage and injury to you and your dog. As a dog parent you should be aware of the required dosage as prescribed by your veterinarian. In addition, ensure the dog swallows the oil while giving it a little cuddle and massage as a gesture of appreciation and positive reinforcement. Not all dogs may like the taste of the oils, so again, placing it on a treat is the better option.
Combine the Oil with Dog Food
This method has proven over time to very effective, especially when the oil is mixed with wet food. All you need do is begin with small doses depending on the size and weight of the dog while upping the dosage as the days go by. This is easily done by directly adding the oil to the food. Endeavor to mix it well before beginning to feed the dog. The only caveat here is you have to make sure your dog finishes the whole meal at once time for proper dosing and that it eats it all immediately.
Best CBD Carrier Oils for Dogs
There is a wide array of carrier oil beneficial to the well-being of dogs such as CBD, hemp oil, and others. It should however, be noted that irrespective of the potent nature of the oils, they can’t always be utilized to full capacity due to the sensitivity of each dog’s system. Enclosed below are some of the best carrier oils for dogs including the CBD, Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Apricot Kernel, Evening Primrose Oil and Sweet Almond.
The CBD is the known and active cannabinoid component present in the leaves, flowers and even traced in the stems of mature cannabis plants. This component is known to provide therapeutic and medical benefits gotten from the CBD oil. This is the main oil that needs to be combined with a carrier oil below.
Unlike the CBD oil, the hemp oil is derived from the cannabis seeds and possesses very little or sometimes no THC. Although the hemp oil doesn’t share the same therapeutic benefits as the CBD, the hemp oil, however, has its own nutritionally unique benefits. Numerous pet owners use hemp oil as a nutritional supplement because it’s very rich in vitamins and minerals. Hemp oil is the best carrier for CBD for dogs because it is an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Many pet owners already feed their dogs and cats fatty acids. The Omega-3 benefits dogs by making a dull, dry coat softer and glossier. It can also control allergies, inflammation, and joint disease. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to overall coat, skin and organ health. Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids and GLA (precursors to DHA, EPA) in hemp are in better ratios than fish oil for your pets.
Other nutritional Carrier Oils for dogs include:
- Coconut Oil is a very potent oil which serves as a positive factor for dogs suffering from dandruff and body odor. It also helps in the absorption of the CBD oil into the body. A combination of hemp and coconut oil may be even better than using hemp oil alone as the carrier.
- Apricot Kernel can also a very helpful as it has the ability to rehydrate and also soothes minor skin irritations for dogs.
- Evening Primrose Oil is helpful with skin issues and may strengthen the skin cells of dogs.
- Sweet Almond is used to great effect for the nourishment and hydration of the dog’s skin.
Proper CBD Dosage and Titrating
Taking to account the required dosage structure when it comes to determining the right CBD dosage for dogs, Dr. Robert J. Silver is strongly in support of the tiered dosage. According to him, a tiered dosage structure entails starting with a dosage of the drug while eventually upping the dosage over a given period. With this dosage method, there are some guarantees that you are not overdosing the dog with too much medication at a time. Therefore, as a dog parent, it is always advisable to get in touch with your veterinarian to sale through every step of the treatment process.
As recommended by your CBD manufacturer, start at the lowest dosage and titrate up from there gradually over days and weeks. This process may take a day to over a month. Do not rush the process and make sure you leave at least 1-2 days in between titrations, as is the same process for humans.
CBD is a natural and non-toxic product, so it is safe for dog consumption and isn’t harmful should the dog parent administer the wrong dosage. Although CBD isn’t potent enough to cause any harm to dogs, it can however, make some dogs more tired and sluggish if given too much.
Luckily, these situations are not life-threatening or harmful enough to cause any damage to the dog’s health. However, some research and anecdotal evidence state that excess CBD intake by dogs is known to cause diarrhea, although these cases have been few and far in between.
Many resources tell you to strictly administer CBD via the dog’s body mass. This is not 100% true. There has been no proven formula where for example, every 77 pound German Shepherd should get 17.5mg of CBD oil. As stated earlier, no matter the weight of your pet, it is wise to start at the lowest possible dosage as stated by the manufacturer, and titrate from there and discover the proper dosage for yourself. There is no reason to give even a microgram more than necessary to any dog, or human for that matter. There has been no cases of overdosing on CBD with great negative effects, but CBD oil can be pricey and as with anything else, it will excel in moderation.
Can Humans and Dogs Share the Same CBD Oil?
Research says the answer is yes. This means you can share your CBD oil with dogs because like humans, we both have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is affected by CBD. The ECS is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, which are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters. They are known to bind cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed throughout the vertebrate central nervous system, the brain and peripheral nervous system.
In addition, the CBD oil works in practically the same biological way in dogs as it does in humans. It should also be noted that most mammals possess the same endocannabinoid system, which is the main reason why dog owners can give their dogs the CBD oil originally made for human consumption.
The only minute difference is that hemp oil benefits dogs more than humans, so for dogs, the inclusion of hemp oil in the CBD is much more beneficial than for humans. Humans may also benefit from hemp oil, many take it as a supplement, but coconut oil provides more positives effects for people. All three oils, CBD, hemp and coconut, are food grade safe for dogs and humans, as well as other pets like cats. None of them have been proven to provide any seriously ill effects in minor dosages.
There have been limited samples of other ingredients used by various companies claiming to be superior but there are not enough case studies or long term data to prove that all these additional ingredients are necessary for your pet’s health.
Dog parents administering CBD oil to dogs is very safe according to research so far. This is simply due to the fact that their systems and ours are much alike and are beneficial in similar ways via CBD. The one thing we should be aware of is that too much CBD is likely to make them lethargic and, although rare, they can have diarrhea. Their endocannabinoid systems are more sensitive than the human’s, so a lower initial dose even for larger dogs is highly recommended. As long as you do your research, purchase legitimate lab tested products with no pesticides or harmful ingredients, and dose properly, this wonderful organic supplement may be the solution you have been looking for your beloved pets.