CBD for pets: Does it work and if so, how?
The world is becoming more and more aware of how medical CBD works for humans, but who knew there was CBD out there for pets, too? Nowadays, there are cannabidiol containing health products on the market for your pets. But before you go rushing out to get some pot for Fido, you should weigh up the risks and advantages. Check this article to find out more.
The medical marijuana industry has been taking advantage of the amazing health benefits of CBD, and now this magical cannabinoid is available for pets too. There is no reason why your domestic pets cannot also enjoy the medical benefits of cannabis. You would probably be surprised to know that it also seems to work in very much the same way for animals as it does in the human body. And most pet owners know that somehow, their pets appear to go through the same physical and emotional problem as humans.
As states across the USA and other countries around the world begin legalizing marijuana, the market for pet edibles has grown. Unfortunately, and as is the case with a lot of questions brought forth in the marijuana world, there hasn’t been much research about the effect of cannabis on animals. There hasn’t been nearly enough research done on humans, for that matter. Does CBD for pets really work?
What is CBD for pets?
Administering CBD to your cat does not involve smoking a blunt and watching cartoons. CBD for pets usually comes in the form of edible pills, capsules or treats. And, although they can’t be prescribed to pets by vets in most places yet, they are usually suggested for their medical properties. As a result, many people are administering human grade CBD oil to dogs and cats, and although not specifically made for animals, it still provides all of the same health benefits. These pet products also claim not to contain THC, but to contain mainly CBD and other terpenes and cannabinoids present in marijuana. The same method is used for medical marijuana aimed at humans, with CBD rich products.
The absence of THC in this special pet cocktail is to ensure your pet doesn’t get stoned. THC is the main psychoactive component of marijuana, and it is often left out of medical cannabis to provide the medicinal benefits without the cerebral high. Consequently, your pet can potentially experience the pain-relieving benefits of cannabis (as well as a myriad of other health benefits) without dosing it.
There is a multitude of companies out there making products for pets containing CBD. For legal reasons, they can’t make any hard claims, but they generally recommend these treats for their pain-relieving properties as well as their ability to reduce anxiety or stress of separation. Everybody knows that pets have these ailments from time to time, just like humans do, and these treats present a natural remedy for those ailments.
CBD for dogs
It might come as a surprise to many that the way cannabis works in the body of a dog is very similar to the way it works in the human body. In fact, genetically, we are not very different to our domestic friends! Just like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system, and the CB1 and CB2 receptors in their brains respond to CBD in much the same way. Where the CB1 receptor governs processes in the brain and central nervous system, the CB2 receptor is mostly in the peripheral organs, especially in the immune system. So CBD affects the dog in areas of memory, motor skills and learning, emotions, pain sensations and even blood pressure.
Interestingly, the way it works in dogs is remarkably similar to the way it works in humans, so far as we can observe. Of course, we don’t know the role it plays in consciousness or awareness, which could have impacts we absolutely cannot predict. Pet CBD products are usually recommended for overall health, stronger and healthier bones and pain management. CBD oil for dogs plays the same role, and therefore some pet owners don’t necessarily seek out pet canna-products.
CBD for cats
The feline body, being a mammal as well, also has the endocannabinoid system. This means that CBD works much the same way for cats as it does for humans and dogs. High doses of THC can be toxic for cats, and that’s why CBD is much safer to use. It is also reported to be successful at treating a urinary tract disease specific to felines. However, some cats can be sensitive to CBD products because they are usually made out of all of the parts of the hemp plant, including the fibers. These fibrous parts can be a bit hard for sensitive cats to digest! CBD oil for cats is aexcellent way of administering cannabis, as it also doesn’t contain THC in high volumes.
Hemp is not marijuana!
Where does hemp come into the mix? Well, a lot of companies out there producing CBD products for pets are claiming to have done so with hemp, not marijuana (especially an American company called CannaPet). Hemp usually contains higher CBD and lower THC contents than marijuana. This is what makes it a good medical product for humans and animals alike.
It also happens that hemp seed is just as great a supplement for animals as it is for people, because it is basically the only plant in the world that is a complete protein. Hemp Food Australia, although they do not sell products for pets, report that canines receive health benefits from the hemp protein. Again, therefore CBD oil can also be administered to pets. It strengthens the immune system of the animal, increases energy, improves the condition of their skin and fur and supports a healthy weight and appetite.
There have been reported success stories of animals after having used CBD oil and hemp, although there is no real research out there. What we do know about the biochemistry of CBD in the canine and feline brains and bodies suggests that there’s no reason they can’t benefit from CBD as much as humans can. It’s just another natural way to treat illnesses dogs go through so that it doesn’t have to go through a series of chemical medications or vaccinations.
Is it legal and is it safe?
In the USA, vets are still not allowed to prescribe cannabis products for pets. And technically, the companies who sell these products are not allowed to make any solid claims about any of their products. Making these medical claims when they have not been tested means that they are not FDA approved. It is still uncertain territory, because as cannabis becomes legal, the variety of products keeps expanding and changing. There is also the issue that because these products are not FDA approved (or regulated by any governing body), that the customer can’t ever be certain of what they’re getting. As a result, there is a general cautionary attitude when talking about cannabis products for pets.
As a matter of safety, it’s important to note that there have been reports of marijuana overdoses in dogs, something that’s never been recorded in the human race. Because of the lack of research, nobody even really knows what the correct therapeutic dose is, and apparently overdosing your dog can be more dangerous than overdosing yourself. Although the evidence stacks up that your pet can absolutely benefit from the healthy cannabinoids in cannabis, the lack of research and the general fact that these products are new means there are potential risks involved. Feeding your dog your hash brownies is definitely not the right way to go about administering it, and the best thing to do before you choose to give CBD to your pets is to talk to your veterinarian!
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