CBD & Pets: What You Should Know First
We love our pets just like family and we’d do anything to make sure they stay happy and healthy. However, it can be difficult to know how to help your pet when they have health problems.
You see pets can suffer from many of the same physical and mental illnesses that we do including joint pain, skin conditions, anxiety, depression, and more.
Can you give CBD to your pet? Are there any benefits of CBD for dogs or cats? In this article, you’ll get the answer to those questions and learn all about CBD’s benefits for pets.
You’ll also learn about recent CBD studies on dogs, animals, and humans that validate the powerful therapeutic benefits of CBD.
Read on to find out why veterinarians and pet owners everywhere are embracing the benefits of CBD for pets and animals.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s one of the primary compounds, known as cannabinoids, found naturally in the Hemp plant.
It’s non-toxic and non-intoxicating, which means there’s no risk of lethal overdose or of experiencing the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.
CBD comes from the cannabinoid-rich resin of mature Hemp plants. It’s extracted and purified to produce a viscous, oily concentrate that is typically diluted into a carrier oil such as hemp oil or coconut oil.
Research shows that CBD’s numerous therapeutic benefits are derived via many different biological mechanisms. Scientists are still working to clarify the exact molecular pathologies by which CBD works, however early findings indicate the substance has incredible therapeutic properties including:
- Anti-anxiety and Anti-depressant
- Analgesic or Pain-relief
- Anti-spasmodic (spasms, cramps, convulsions, etc.)
- Mood enhancement
Just like family, we want only the best health care and quality of life for our pets. As you’ll learn, pets can suffer many of the same conditions as humans.
In the next section, we’ll briefly introduce you to the endocannabinoid system and explain the science of CBD’s benefits in animals such as dogs, cats, horses, and basically any other animal with a spinal cord.
Pets Have An Endocannabinoid System (ECS)!
The reason that CBD has effects for pets is because of what’s known as the endocannabinoid system. Researchers are still exploring all of the pathways that CBD acts, but early studies reveal targeting this vital homeostatic system is what produces many of Cannabidiol's benefits.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of specialized receptors that are found on cell tissue walls throughout the body and the biological compounds called endocannabinoids that bind to them.
Endocannabinoids are synthesized within the body’s tissues on demand. In a sense, you can sort of think about them as “short-order” neurotransmitters.
The body produces these compounds in order to activate cannabinoid receptors and trigger other biological mechanisms that work to maintain different aspects of homeostasis and other bodily functions.
The entire ECS system, including the numerous functions of endocannabinoid compounds anandamide and 2-AG, has the ability to regulate or attenuate many other primary systems of the body including,
- Central nervous system
- Immunological system
- Musculoskeletal system
- Cardiovascular system
- Neuropsychiatric system
- Digestive system and appetite
- Sleep and wake regulation
- Mood and behavior
- Cell death and growth
- Reproductive system
- Endocrine system
- And others
Research shows that many of the illnesses experienced by both humans and animals are often caused by a deficiency or malfunction of the endocannabinoid system.
In fact, endocannabinoids like anandamide also called “the bliss molecule”, are an essential part of nearly every aspect of health and wellness from fertility and birth to death, and pretty much everything in between.
Studies show us that CBD can boost endocannabinoid system functioning and improve endocannabinoid tone. Because the body so broadly utilizes endocannabinoids and the eCS, researchers think enhancing or balancing its activity with CBD may provide therapeutic value for numerous illnesses.
CBD boosts anandamide levels in the body by blocking metabolic compounds such as FAAH that degrade endocannabinoids in the bloodstream. It has also been shown to activate various other receptors independent of the endocannabinoid system, which may also provide therapeutic value
- 5-HT1A serotonin receptors
- TRPV cannabinoid receptors
- Dopamine receptors
- And dozens of other molecular targets
While further research is greatly warranted to clearly define how CBD exerts its benefits, most of what we can definitively say about its effects actually come from clinical trials on animals like rats and mice.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of CBD for pets CBD studies on dogs, and what you should know before giving CBD to your pet.
CBD’s Benefits for Pets
As we mentioned earlier, pets can suffer many of the same health problems humans can. Perhaps you’ve known someone with an overly anxious and nervous dog or maybe a stressed-out cat?
Dogs and cats can suffer skin problems, painful injuries, inflammatory conditions like arthritis, and more.
While CBD isn’t an approved cure or treatment for any medical condition in animals, research indicates that its properties could improve symptoms related to a number of health problems.
The most common reasons people report for giving their dog or cat CBD include:
- Stress-related nervousness and anxiety
- Pain-related mobility issues
- Convulsions, seizures, spasms
- Inflammatory problems
- Appetite and digestion
- Skin-related issues
Of course, every pet and their circumstances are different, meaning that they will have a unique reaction to being given CBD.
CBD hasn’t been shown to have any adverse reactions in animals beyond mild sedation, but you should always consult your veterinarian first to diagnose and treat any medical conditions before giving CBD to your pet.
While we have plenty of scientific research available on CBD in mice and rats that show promising results, we don’t have many clinical studies on other animals.
However, researchers have recently conducted a couple of clinical experiments on CBD and dogs. One study published in the journal, Frontiers in Veterinary Science, experimented treating dogs diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. The results showed that, “2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily helps decrease pain, increase comfort and activity in dogs with Osteoarthritis.”
Another recent experiment on dogs diagnosed with epilepsy was conducted at Colorado State University and found that 89% of epileptic dogs had fewer seizures when taking CBD oil.
While our researchers still have a long way to go to analyze and verify what thousands of veterinarians and pet owners already understand, early studies are inspiring a new generation of animal caretakers to use safer medicines to help the pets we love.
Risks of Giving CBD to Pets
Generally, CBD is well tolerated with no adverse side effects, but that doesn’t mean there are zero risks. The most important thing to consider before giving CBD to your pets is most definitely the cannabinoid content.
High-quality CBD oil isn’t just made of the compound cannabidiol, unless of course it was made using the isolated version of CBD, called isolate.
There is a full-spectrum of secondary cannabinoid compounds and aromatic molecules called terpenes in CBD oil that combine to create a synergistic phenomenon called the entourage effect.
While this synergistic effect is vital to the effectiveness of CBD in pets, among those secondary cannabinoids is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or more commonly known as THC.
Although there are only trace amounts of THC, less than 0.3%, in full-spectrum CBD oil, pet owners should always take precautions to confirm and verify the cannabinoid content of their CBD product before giving any to their pets.
This is important because animals such as dogs and cats are much more sensitive to the effects of THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid compound, than humans. That’s because they have higher expressed concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in the brain, primarily CB1.
Always confirm the source, purity, and cannabinoid content of CBD oil by only purchasing from reputable vendors with traceable products, such as Millie CBD.
Don’t risk giving your pet fraudulent, mislabeled products that might not even contain CBD. Make sure to read more about Millie and learn why more pet owners choose us.
CBD also lowers blood pressure and alters the way certain types of prescription pharmaceuticals are metabolized in the body. Always consult a veterinarian to diagnose and treat severe medical conditions in pets before you give them CBD.
CBD Dosage Guide for Pets
There are no official CBD dosage guidelines set forth for animals, pets, or humans. It is always recommended to start with a very small dosage and slowly increase the amount of CBD incrementally until the desired results are achieved.
Typically, people giving CBD to their pets report starting at about 1 mg of CBD per 20 lb. is a good place to start administering CBD animals such as dogs or cats.
If symptoms don’t improve at this dosage after three days it’s suggested to increase by .5 mg for an additional three days up to a week. Each animal is unique and will require a custom dosage according to their circumstances. You may have to increment the dosage several times before finding an adequate effect.
However, it’s important to stick with it for at least a week to allow time for the CBD to fully begin working. Also, remember that administering too much CBD can actually be less effective than giving just the right amount.
Ultimately, thousands of pet owners and veterinarians around the world have discovered the therapeutic potential of CBD for pets. Don’t you think it’s time for you and your pet to find out too?
Millie CBD for Pets
Millie CBD has high-quality CBD products made only from 100% USA hemp grown using 100% organic practices. Browse our catalog here and discover how CBD could change both yours and your pets’ life today.
Thanks for reading! We’d love to hear your thoughts on CBD and pets. Leave us a comment in the discussion section below and tell us about your experience with CBD and animals.
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