As people discover the benefits of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), they wonder if it could benefit their animal companions as well. However, human and animal bodies process cannabinoids differently . So what do we really know about the paw print of CBD in the cannabinoid world?
- If you give your dog a larger single dose of CBD, the effects won’t get any stronger .
- Dogs get more CBD from an oral dose than humans .
- Dogs and cats require different dosages of CBD .
- Traces of THC in CBD products can have negative effects on pets .
- Always speak to your veterinarian before giving CBD to your pet.
Research on CBD for dogs was published back in 1988 . This study tested pure CBD given intravenously or orally to dogs. The researchers found that the effects of CBD in dogs were not dose-dependent. This means that if you give the dog more CBD, you won’t necessarily get more potency. They also found that oral bioavailability (the amount of active CBD in the body) was 13% to 19%, which is better absorption than humans.
People give CBD to dogs and cats for disorders related to anxiety, seizures, cancer, and pain . A 2019 research paper explains that cats have a higher rate of oral absorption than dogs. Overall, CBD appears to be well tolerated by adult dogs, but less is known about CBD for cats. For this reason, it is extremely important to speak to your veterinarian before giving CBD products to your dog or cat. Only they can advise you on the correct dosage for your pet. Since CBD can have side effects and drug interactions, they can also tell you whether it is safe for your pet to take CBD.
Now that we’ve talked about CBD dosage for dogs and cats and how they absorb CBD, let’s consider whether CBD is actually beneficial for pets. In a 2018 study, dogs with osteoarthritis were given CBD oil and their pain level was assessed after four weeks . Overall, the dog’s pain level appeared to be decreasing and its activity level improved. The dogs were also allowed to receive NSAIDs, fish oil, and / or glucosamine / chondroitin sulfate. This study is far from final, but it does give us the insight that when combined with standard veterinary treatment, CBD can improve dog health and reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Finally, choosing the right CBD product for your pet is important. Your veterinarian is the most qualified person to make a recommendation. Much care needs to be taken as even traces of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can cause side effects to your dog. While most of the CBD side effects are mild, people can also tolerate THC better. A 2020 study observed that dogs given CBD containing traces of THC experienced side effects such as lethargy, hypothermia, and ataxia (loss of complete control over body movements). . So watch out for such side effects, opt for CBD isolate for pets and always speak to your veterinarian!
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3- Samara E., M. Bialer, R. Mechoulam. Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs. Drug metabolism and disposition. 1988; 16 (3): 469-472. Retrieved August 12, 2021. https://dmd.aspetjournals.org/content/16/3/469.short
4- Vaughn D, Kulpa J, Paulionis L. Preliminary study of the safety of escalating cannabinoid doses in healthy dogs. Limits in Veterinary Science. 2020; 7. doi: 10.3389 / fvets.2020.00051, accessed August 12, 2021. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00051/full
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