The CBD trend is becoming more popular by the day due to several potential benefits that you can experience from it. Initial studies on CBD focused on their benefits to humans, but as we share some similarities with our four-legged companions, our pets may also enjoy CBD's health benefits.
Simply put, cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant. A properly sourced CBD product will only contain 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound which causes the feeling of being ‘high.’ This low amount of THC ensures that no psychoactive effects will be induced.
While there’s still an ongoing debate about the benefits of CBD to both humans and animals, numerous studies often cite the endocannabinoid system as the part of the body that's present in both humans and animals with which CBD reacts. To further understand how CBD works, let’s first take a brief look at the endocannabinoid system.
Just like humans, animals also have the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is part of the body’s nervous system. It manages a range of bodily processes, regulating basic functions such as sleep and appetite. It has three main components, namely:
That said, the presence of ECS in animals could be taken as a sign that CBD could work well for them, just like in humans. To know more about how CBD works in the body, as well as the different types of CBD products available, you check out this CBD guide for more information.
Benefits Of CBD To Animals
1. CBD May Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Just like humans, animals are not immune to experiencing stress and anxiety. Factors such as separation from the owner, loud noises, phobias, and even traveling in any vehicle may trigger these feelings in your pet. CBD has been shown to induce calmness and relaxation without getting your pet ‘high,’ so this can be a helpful solution during times of unease.
2. CBD May Minimize The Risk Or Severity Of Seizures And Epilepsy
Prescribed medication is often used for managing seizures and epilepsy in animals, but it can be harmful to other organs if they don't work. An alternative to consider is CBD, which may help control your pet’s seizures without putting them at risk of experiencing adverse side effects such as confusion, lethargy, liver damage, and dizziness, among others. While CBD is not a cure or treatment for diseases, its anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant properties may help reduce the occurrence and duration of seizures.
3. CBD May Relieve Pain And Inflammation
Pets who are advanced in age are those that tend to suffer from pain and inflammation. According to a study by the Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of London, England, it’s suggested that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can help manage chronic pain and inflammations. Thus, arthritis, nerve-related pains, and other inflammations may be managed with CBD. If your pet is in pain, consider administering CBD for pain relief.
4. CBD May Help Treat Skin Conditions
You can tell that your pets have skin conditions from the way they behave. Excessive scratching and licking are the most common signs, along with hair loss, red skin, and rashes, which can indicate a possible allergy or infection. To ease your pet’s discomfort, you can use CBD to help treat or reduce the severity of some skin conditions. But keep in mind that acute skin conditions can’t be cured by CBD alone. If this is the case, consult your vet for more help.
5. CBD May Make Wounds Heal Faster
Animals are also vulnerable to wounds, and it's critical to treat them early. CBD's anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties may aid in accelerating the healing process of cuts and bruises by decreasing inflammation.
6. CBD May Improve Appetite And Reduce Nausea
Like humans, animals may experience a loss of appetite due to several factors. Since CBD reacts with the body’s ECS, which is responsible for regulating appetite, it may help your pet regain their desire to eat. Additionally, CBD may also help with nausea and vomiting disorders.
Other CBD products may also aid with ulcerative colitis, a bowel illness that causes inflammation to the colon. Since CBD reacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, this may result in improved gut health for your pets.
7. CBD Has Been shown to Help With Neurodegenerative Diseases
Elderly pets are more prone to suffering neurodegenerative diseases because of their age. Older dogs in particular may experience degenerative myelopathy, along with other spine or nerve diseases. To protect your pet’s brain from toxins, you may consider using CBD as it is shown to help reduce neuroinflammation, DNA damage, and autoimmune prevention.
8. CBD Might Help With Cancer Symptoms
Further research is still necessary to accurately determine CBD's impact in fighting cancer, but from some promising findings, CBD can help aid with symptoms experienced by those undergoing cancer treatments. Symptoms like nausea and vomiting may be reduced with the help of CBD, thus managing the side effects of cancer treatments and therapies.
There have also been claims that CBD may also help in stopping cancer cells from growing, resulting in faster cell tumor death with the aid of the body’s immune system. However, further research is needed to prove this.
But in light of these positive developments, it’s safe to say that CBD may hold the potential for curing this disease, not only in humans but also in pets.
How To Choose The Best CBD Product
As the CBD industry is still on the rise, and with the various products available in the market, it can be a challenge to find the right ones for your pet. Check out these quick and simple guidelines to help you find the appropriate product for your pet:
Administering The Right Dosage
There's no correct standardized dosage of CBD for animals as this can vary during different situations and can depend on the size of your pet. Generally, smaller animals need lower amounts than bigger animals.
If it’s your first time to administer CBD to your pet, it's good to begin with moderate doses and gradually increase it while keeping track of the effects and responses. For instance, a dose of 10mg/ml is good for larger dogs, while 5mg/ml will do well for smaller dogs and cats.
Horses can also use CBD, but they need larger doses. Large horses may take up to 200mg/ml, medium horses up to 170mg/ml, and smaller horses may need 50mg/ml.
Don’t be afraid to consult your vet to get the recommended dosage for your pet.
What Are The Side Effects Of CBD?
According to a report by the World Health Organization, pure CBD is generally considered safe for animals. However, it’s important to note that CBD is not a sure-shot solution to all your animals’ health problems. Just like anything, it has side effects that your pet might experience. Some possible side effects of CBD products include:
Giving animals CBD doesn't necessarily mean they will experience these signs, though it’s prudent not to discount these possibilities. But with proper dosage and usage, animals won't likely experience these signs.
Research into CBD may not be fully complete, but so far, the results are promising. Some CBD products have shown to be helpful to pets, especially domesticated ones such as cats and dogs. Consider using CBD products to aid your furry friend whenever they experience health problems such as anxiety and stress, seizures, nausea, loss of appetite, skin conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases, among others.
When researching brands to purchase quality CBD or hemp products from, companies like InnovetPet would be a good place to start since they offer products for a whole slew of animals, not just dogs.
However, if in doubt, don't hesitate to seek the help of a professional vet as they can give you more insights into handling the situation.