Health

CBD Use for Dogs

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As with any pet wellness trend, when it comes to CBD oil for dogs, there’s a lot of information floating around the internet, and it’s difficult to know what’s accurate and what’s not.  CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.

Currently, there has been no formal study on how CBD affects dogs. What scientists do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state. While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.

While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.

  • Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest increased thirst.
  • Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
  • Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.

The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD and has not issued a dosing chart. Therefore, we do not know what size dosage would be toxic. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first. If you and your veterinarian decide that you should try CBD as a treatment for your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil. Not all oils are the same; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working.

  • Look for organic. If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
  • Don’t only shop based on price. Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost. A cheaper option could contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives.
  • Get the analysis. The manufacturer should provide a certificate that certifies the amount of CBD that is in the product. Many CBD products contain only small amounts of CBD. You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
  • Buy CBD as a liquid. You can buy dog treats containing CBD, but the best form to administer is an oil or tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop.

Many believe that if CBD can be used as an effective pain management tool for humans, it can certainly bemused for dogs and potentially any other pets or animals that are dealing with chronic pain.

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Ailbe Kash
the authorAilbe Kash