CBD for Pets: Does it Work?

Chief Smoke 'n Brew

If you’re a regular around here, we’re guessing you’ve already made CBD tinctures and hemp flowers part of your daily routine. You’re up on the endocannabinoid system and could write a book on terpenes.

One thing you might not be so sure about is if CBD is worth it for your dog or cat. There are plenty of pet products out there making a lot of claims about the effects their CBD-infused treats and tinctures have on conditions ranging from anxiety to soreness and seizures. Pet CBD was an exceptionally hot topic in July, when apparently everyone was asking if it could help calm their dog down during fireworks.

Why Give Dogs CBD?

Dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system, just like people. Canine cannabinoid receptors have been studied in relation to numerous diseases and disorders, including intraspinal spirocercosis. Scientific understanding of the endocannabinoid system is still in the early stages and there’s much to learn, but early results show that studying this system could help us understand and possibly treat any number of conditions.

Dogs have a unique endocannabinoid system: they have a higher concentration of EC receptors in their brainstem and cerebellum than any other animals. The receptors in the brainstem help regulate pain sensations, muscle tone, and blood pressure, while those in the cerebellum handle muscle control and coordination.

Numerous studies suggest the cannabinoids found in hemp both directly and indirectly interact with the endocannabinoid system to assist with the EC system’s primary function: maintaining homeostasis for all systems in the body ranging from temperature to appetite to inflammation. The question, of course, is how CBD and the endocannabinoid system affect your dog’s health.

CBD for Pets: The Studies

CBD products haven’t been approved by the FDA for any dietary or medicinal use, and manufacturers aren’t able to make any health-related claims. This applies to dogs and cats as well—so you won’t see any hemp products specifically marketed at pet anxiety, epilepsy, or osteoarthritis any time soon.

However, veterinary researchers are looking closely at CBD’s impact on those conditions. One study showed 2mg/kg CBD twice daily could potentially increase comfort and activity in dogs with arthritis, with no reported side effects from the owners.

Another study found that hemp-derived CBD helped reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs with epilepsy 89% of the time.

It’s important to note that these are early studies and owner reporting played a significant factor in the results. We don’t know if there were any unreported side effects or if these results can be replicated with further study. Science works slowly and we can’t take two isolated studies as confirmation that CBD is a cure for either of these conditions. Right now, though, we can say that the initial findings show some promise.

Should I Give My Dog CBD?

That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. We recommend discussing your options with your veterinarian and see if they think hemp might be beneficial for your pet. As with everything we put in our pet’s system, introducing CBD requires careful monitoring for allergic reactions or unforeseen interactions with medications or foods.

The best course of action is to start with a very small dose, administered orally. Increase dosages slowly, and only if you feel it’s safe and isn’t causing any reactions.

As with humans or any animal with an endocannabinoid system, CBD presents a thrilling potential benefit for dogs and cats. It’s something we’re excited to see more research and we hope there’s a definitive answer coming in the near future so we can better understand how to give CBD to our pets.

In the meantime, you can stop by Smoke N Brew to check out our wide variety of CBD and hemp products including tinctures, salves, and raw hemp for sale.

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