Hemp and its derived products have been on the medical horizon for thousands of years. However, as medical sciences advanced, other treatments were rewarded with the “mainstream” label, and hemp was almost forgotten.
When the first cannabinoid (CBD) was discovered in 1940, hemp made a meteoric comeback to the medical scene – both human and veterinary. In this article we’ll discuss if you can give CBD oil to dogs.
CBD oil is a natural, herbal medicine derived from the hemp plant (leaves and flowers). It contains over 113 different CBD compounds like, for example, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, and cannabidivarin.
Ideally, the CBD oil for dogs should be:
- Derived from organically grown hemp plants.
- Produced using a unique CO2 extraction method.
- Contains at max .03% of THC, which is a psychoactive compound and not suited for dogs.
- Contains full spectrum CBD.
Full-spectrum means that the extract retains other compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and essential oils in addition to the typical CBDs. When used together, these substances have an entourage effect – they boost each other’s potencies.
Yes, as long as you use a high-quality CBD oil formulated specifically for dogs and stick to the usage instructions, CBD oil is perfectly safe for dogs. In fact, CBD for dogs is a dog-friendly choice of providing the following health benefits:
- Immune function. Modulates the immune system and supports the body’s natural immune response. This is useful for dogs with compromised immune systems.
- Mobility support. Maintains strong and well-functioning bones, joints, and musculoskeletal supportive structures. Which can be helpful for dogs with arthritis.
- Antioxidant boost. Fights free radicals, thus preventing cellular damage which may be helpful for dogs with cancer.
- Discomfort management. Soothes aches and provides pain relief that may be useful for dogs with chronic pain.
- Anti-stress effects. Promotes relaxation in stress-triggering situations like long car rides, fireworks, vet visits for dogs with anxieties.
- Skin health. Enhances the skin’s barrier-like properties and increases its moisture and may help dogs with allergies.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.”
To understand the meaning of this sentence, you need a brief walkthrough of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Namely, the ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoids and is responsible for managing an array of bodily functions and processes such as metabolism, appetite, sleep, mood, pain-sensation, memory, stamina, immune response, and many more.
Simply put, the cannabinoids in the CBD oil act the same way as the cannabinoids synthesized within the human body – it binds the receptors, thus affecting the mentioned functions and promoting overall health.
Can you give dogs CBD oil? This is a common question in the pet parent community. Obviously, the answer is yes. However, there are specific instructional tips and guidelines to ensure safe usage and maximum beneficial effects.
The CBD dosage is determined based on your dog’s weight. Other factors like age and overall health are also worth consideration.
As a general rule of the thumb, dogs need between 1 and 5 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. For example, a 50-pound dog would need anywhere from 5 to 25 milligrams of CBD per day.
For dogs that have not used CBD before, it is advisable to start with lower amounts – usually half the recommended daily dose.
There are three main side effects associated with CBD oil in dogs:
- Dry mouth. CBD lowers the saliva secretion which usually manifests with increased water intake.
- Low blood pressure. CBD may cause a temporary blood pressure drop.
- drowsiness – CBD oil has a calming effect which can sometimes be too calming and cause light-headedness.
- Diarrhea. Dogs have sensitive tummies and any new product can cause temporary stomach irritation.
It is worth mentioning that these side effects are not particularly common, and even if they develop, they are self-limiting and usually diminish after a few days of use. Alternatively, you can eliminate them by modifying the dose.
CBD products come in various forms and each form has its pros and cons:
- CBD oil can be dropped directly into the dog’s mouth or mixed with its regular food; the bottle comes with a user-friendly dropper for easy dosage.
- CBD capsules should be given orally; they are less messy than the oil but the dog must be willing to collaborate.
- CBD treats are extra-easy to use and suitable when you and your dog are on the go; on the downside they come in fixed doses and have slower effect onset.
- CBD topical products like creams and balms are made for external use.
Today, although still considered an alternative option, CBD is frequently incorporated in many “mainstream” treatment strategies.
Over the past decade, the number of dogs using CBD reached skyrocketing numbers, and the results of that use are fantastic.
As the number of dogs using CBD is on the spike, so does the number of scientific studies and papers supporting the CBD wellness trend. With this information we can confidently say that yes, you can give your dog hemp-derived CBD oil.