Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a popular remedy for pets suffering from a variety of ailments. Pet owners are using CBD products to reduce pain and inflammation, control epileptic seizures, and even change the course of chronic diseases such as cancer and Multiple Sclerosis.
But as dog CBD products become more readily available across North America, you must understand what you’re giving your dog—and how safe those products are.
How Effective is CBD for Pets?
A 2019 study conducted by the American Pet Products Association reported that around 39 percent of dog owners and 34 percent of cat owners prefer CBD-based products.
Cannabis sativa and cannabis indica both produce cannabinoids, but they do so using different biochemical pathways.
CBD derives from a strain of the cannabis Sativa plant that is bred to contain low THC levels (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Both CBD and THC interact with a group of cell receptors in the body known as cannabinoid receptors. Still, they do so in different ways, resulting in distinct effects being associated with each plant.
CBD is well-known for its ability to reduce inflammation and is less well-known for its neuroprotective properties that decrease the effects of brain injury and promote healing of damaged nerves.
CBD’s ability to reduce pain and inflammation makes it an ideal treatment for arthritic pets, as well as a remedy for cancer-related pain or neuropathic pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis or other nerve disorders.
CBD is also being used to treat epilepsy in both dogs and children. One of its most unique benefits is its ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. This ability makes it a promising treatment for both pets and people suffering from cancer.
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Pet?
The proper dosage for dog CBD products varies significantly from one pet to the next, so you must start slowly and work your way up if necessary.
The general rule is, to begin with, an amount about the size of a grain of rice taken twice daily. As you increase your pet’s dosage, do so incrementally—increasing by the size of another rice grain for each dose.
Before beginning treatment, the total milligrams in each capsule should be noted somewhere on the bottle and discussed with your veterinarian.
What Should You Check When Choosing a CBD Product for Your Pet?
One of the giant red flags when shopping for CBD products is price. If you’re buying high-quality CBD, it’s not going to be cheap, but you shouldn’t have to empty your wallet either.
Does the Product Contain Cannabidiol?
Another consideration is whether or not the product contains CBD or if it contains some other form of cannabis.
Cannabis edibles and other products with psychoactive properties can potentially induce a high in your pet, making them feel dizzy and uncoordinated for hours on end.
Does the Product Contain Other Cannabinoids?
CBD products generally do not contain other cannabinoids such as THC, CBN (cannabinol), CBG (cannabigerol), or CBC (cannabichromene) that are also found in cannabis Sativa and cannabis Indica.
If you’re buying a product that has been extracted using non-CBD chemical solvents such as butane, hexane, pentane, propane, heptane, petroleum ether, benzene, or toluene, you should reconsider your purchase.
Is the Bottle Clearly Labelled?
Look for a product that clearly states how much CBD it contains and whether or not it contains any non-CBD chemical solvents.
You may also want to be aware of products that contain added ingredients such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil that can be potentially toxic to your pet.
Does the Product Contain Additives?
Some CBD products contain perfumes and other additives that might irritate your pet’s skin or respiratory system. You must look for a product that’s free of additives, as these may also have adverse effects on your pet.
Is There a Reputable Manufacturer or Supplier?
CBD products are being sold by an ever-increasing number of manufacturers and suppliers, so just because you’ve found one product that seems to work well doesn’t necessarily mean all similar products are of equal quality.
What to Avoid When Purchasing CBD for Your Pet?
Purchasing a product that isn’t clearly labeled contains unknown or questionable ingredients or additives.
It will be unreasonably expensive and may be tempting at first glance. You must check the manufacturer’s details before buying a dog CBD product.
In addition to these prerequisites, you should also be aware of some specific health concerns when treating your pet with CBD.
If your dog suffers from seizures, for example, cannabis may bring them on more frequently. In this case, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before you begin treatment.