Everything You Need To Know About Giving CBD to Your Pet
Watching your pet suffer is a painful experience, and if there is a potential, safe treatment available to alleviate those medical issues, many find it worth it to try.
People often give their pets CBD for anxiety related to fireworks and thunderstorms as needed. Others give their pets a daily dose of CBD to treat more generalized anxiety or ease suffering related to arthritis or chronic pain.
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of the two principal chemical compounds naturally produced by cannabis plants. The other one is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
Cannabis is famously associated with THC because that’s the part of the plant that gets you “high.” CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive, so taking it is completely non-intoxicating. Now that many US states have legalized cannabis, studies on CBD have been massively underway, showing its promising ability to provide medical benefits. In the meantime, humans have already begun using CBD for many of these therapeutic purposes, including to help treat anxiety, chronic pain, depression, inflammation, seizures, and a slew of other ailments.
This poses the question: if CBD can help humans with all of these health issues, can it also help our pets?
Why give CBD to your pets?
Many pets suffer from things like anxiety, arthritis, and other forms of chronic pain, just like humans do. To manage these conditions, some pet owners have turned to CBD. Both preliminary clinical studies and anecdotal evidence have come out claiming CBD helps pets with these conditions. That news appears to be enough for many to give it a try. The fact that so many studies have come up negative for any serious side effects in giving pets CBD makes it an even more attractive option. If pet owners notice that CBD is alleviating their furry family member from an ailment, they win. If they don’t see a change, then the CBD still won’t negatively affect them so there is no harm done.
Another notable point is that there aren’t any effective medications free of concerning side effects currently out there to treat an animal’s anxiety, arthritis, or other chronic pain.
Is CBD safe for pets?
Some peer-reviewed, clinical studies have found CBD to be effective in helping dogs with osteoarthritis and seizures, though the small size of those studies isn’t enough to prove beyond a doubt how CBD works on animals. This is also true for humans at this point; we lack the studies to provide absolute evidence that CBD has vast therapeutic value. Still, humans are taking it, and an abundance of anecdotal evidence seems to say, yes, CBD works.
The World Health Organization also did a study in 2017 that showed pure CBD to be safe for animals to take. The only caveat was one liver enzyme increased in animals treated with CBD. This means that people should exercise caution when giving CBD to animals with known liver issues or if they are already taking medication that is metabolized by the liver.
Another safety issue to be aware of is that CBD remains unregulated. As such, not all CBD products are pure. Some brands that have been randomly tested showed unlabeled and dangerous substances present that could be toxic to animals. Other tests showed that the concentration of CBD was not accurately labeled. The takeaway here is if you are going to give you pet CBD, find a brand you can trust. Many are transparent and provide detailed information about their products, including the farm it comes from, if it is organic, and if it has been third-party tested.
How to give your pet CBD
Many companies make CBD products specifically for pets. In states where cannabis has been fully legalized, pet stores often offer these products. There, you can easily find CBD oil or CBD treats with clear guidelines bout dosing based on your pet’s weight. Some CBD oil for pets even comes in flavors like salmon to make ministering it as easy as possible. Pet owners can administer the CBD straight from the dropper (which usually comes with dosage measurements) to their pet ’s mouth if their pet is willing, or they can put the drops on their food or treats.
Even if you’re in a state where cannabis hasn’t been legalized, as of 2018, hemp is legal to grow nationwide, making hemp-derived CBD legal as well. Some pet stores in these states may offer CBD products, or you can always find them online from a trusted vendor and have them shipped right to your house.