If your dog suffers from anxiety or pain, CBD may provide relief without the powerful side effects of many medicines. Keep reading – and find out if CBD is right for your best friend.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid (specifically a phytocannabinoid which means its found in vegetation) most commonly found Cannabis and Hemp plants. The other popular phytocannabinoid we know of is THC.
The CBD we see being retailed everywhere is derived from Hemp in order to be legal and must contain less than 0.3% THC. CBD derived from marijuana (cannabis) or CBD that contains more than 0.3% THC can only be obtained from licensed marijuana dispensaries.
Is it OK to give to dogs? Why or why not?
All mammals have something called an endocannabinoid system. This is a network of receptors and neurotransmitters found throughout the body that contribute to a number of important physiologic processes. CBD has the effect of augmenting the efficacy of our endocannabinoids as well as specifically interacting with other receptors in the body. If you are using products that are produced with the highest standards and have some basic dosing guidelines, it is relatively safe- although nothing is completely without risk.
Are there any risks? Any side effects?
Dogs who shouldn’t have it? Pretty much every product/ supplement has some risk. As it pertains to CBD, Usually animals have an allergy to additives or preservatives in the products. There is a very small risk of potential allergy to cannabis itself but I haven’t read anything to support any claims of that being significant. The major side effect is somnolence (sleepiness). This happens in higher doses. For some pet owners, this side effects specifically what they’re looking for if they have hyperactive pets. Other side effects can include gastric disturbances including nausea and diarrhea. Besides pets who have allergies, pets who have bleeding disorders may have increased bleeding time. Be careful when supplementing with those animals as they may bruise more easily.
If so how much can the dog have safely?
There is no standardized dosing since there hasn’t been any in depth research to investigate this. It’s more of an “art’ at the moment. I try to start with .25 -.5 mg/ kg of bodyweight and work my way up.
What is too much is mg?
Too much would be:
- Giving your dog a dose that is so high that he or she falls asleep (without that being desired) or develop diarrhea.
- Study showed that at approximately 4000mg/day dogs began to exhibit some hepatotoxicity (elevated liver enzymes) but this quickly returned to normal after cessations.
How often can you give the dog?
It can be given as often as needed. Daily doses are good for chronic conditions or even multiple small daily doses. You can also administer as needed fro acute anxiety (traveling, separation anxiety, public spaces)
Are there benefits for the dog?
The benefits mimic many of the reasons you will use it for in humans: anxiety relief: many pets suffer from anxiety (separation, travel, social situations). small doses can help decrease the behavior associated with that anxiety.
- PTSD some pets have had traumatic experiences (abuse, abandonment).
- Chronic pain: arthritis, injuries, aging: CBD is a very good anti inflammatory and analgesic (pain reliever).
- Autoimmune disease: Lupus, pemphigus etc. CBD is an immune Modulator, meaning it optimizes or in the cases of over activity, decreases immune system activity which can help decrease flare ups and slow disease progression.
Is CBD linked to cancer in dogs?
There is no data linking it to either causing or curing cancer in humans or animals. It can be useful in helping animals who have been diagnosed with cancer and are suffering either directly from the diagnoses or from treatments. This includes helping with pain, mood, appetite and sleep among others.