CBD for Pets
Feb 27, 2020
Our pets are always there for us, waking us up in the morning to go for a long walk, or greeting us at the door at the end of a long, hard day. In return for their love and loyalty, pet owners want the best nutrition and wellness treatments for their pets, and that is where CBD comes in.
As the benefits of CBD become more apparent to pet owners, many have decided to add high-quality CBD oil to their dog’s or cat’s diet. Here is everything you need to know about CBD for your pet.
Just like humans, animals have an endocannabinoid system of receptors that bind with natural chemicals that the body produces to maintain balance (called homeostasis). These receptors are present in the brain and spinal cords of humans and animals. When the body can’t produce enough of these chemicals, there are imbalances that cause anxiety, mood disorders and inflammation.
Like animals, plants also produce their own chemicals called phytocannabinoids that protect the plant from insects and other invaders like diseases. Scientists only recently discovered the human and animal endocannabinoid systems; it is a relatively new discovery from the mid 1990s.
Amazingly, they found that the chemicals that plants produce fit human and animal receptors. So plants produce CBD, and CBD fits the human and animal receptor to restore balance. It is an incredible discovery. Learn more about the basics of CBD.
CBD and the ECS
Your pet’s pain levels, mobility, mood, and appetite are all controlled by the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The endocannabinoid receptors help maintain the body’s balance, called homeostasis. Natural hemp compounds like CBD have the amazing ability to have an effect on your dog’s endocannabinoid system.
Is CBD Derived From Hemp?
CBD oil is a term used to describe oil that contains a high concentration of cannabidiol (CBD). Both the hemp plant and the cannabis plant naturally contain CBD, and CBD oil can be derived from either plant. Many companies extract CBD oil from hemp because the hemp plants have been cultivated specifically to have a high CBD concentration and only trace amounts of THC, the hallucinogenic compound marijuana is known for; THC creates the “high.” CBD does not provide this effect and is much more therapeutic in nature.
CBD is extracted from hemp using a process called solvent extraction to separate the cannabinoids like CBD. Read more about how CBD is extracted here.
Can My Pet Take Human CBD Oil?
Pet CBD products are specially formulated for your pet’s size and unique needs. Never give your pet human CBD oil as the formulations are very different. A dog has many more endocannabinoid receptors than a human, and each receptor is doggie-sized rather than human-sized, so it is very important you use a product specially formulated for pets.
Many major brands now carry CBD-infused pet products, crafted exclusively for use with pets, including CBD pet oils, pet treats, and more.
These brands include:
Just as dosing is important when humans take medication, it is also important that your pet has the right CBD dose. Pet CBD oil and pet CBD products are designed specifically for animal and animal-sized endocannabinoid systems. Negative side effects with pet CBD oil are rare, but if your pet is given too much, the most common symptom is drowsiness.
Dosing is done by weight. It is not recommended to give animals CBD more than twice a day until owners understand how their pet reacts to CBD. Each pet is different and will react differently to CBD according to how his or her individual endocannabinoid system uptakes the CBD.
In general, veterinarians recommend about 5 mg of CBD per 50 pounds of pet weight, but it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet about dosing.
Is CBD Safe?
This is definitely a question that the majority of pet owners ask when considering CBD for a pet. CBD is derived from natural hemp. It is non-toxic and does not contain any THC. It is a common misconception that CBD will make a pet high.
Don’t expect an overnight cure either; CBD does take about a week or so to begin acting as the body gets used to it. You will start to see your pet go back to his or her normal self as the CBD benefits kick in. Pets with stiff joints become more mobile and anxious dogs begin to curb their destructive behaviors. Again, it’s all about CBD putting the body back in balance.
How Do I Give CBD To My Pet?
Pet CBD comes in several formulations—treats, sprays and drops—so you’re sure to find one that suits your pet. If your pet will let you, and not greet you with clenched teeth, you can spray or apply drops right into their mouth. Many customers add the oil to the pet’s food, and treats of course are pretty easy. Just know that treats do take longer to absorb than oils, but they generally provide longer relief.
Talking To Your Vet
Just like you would do with any human supplement, it is always a good idea to discuss ingredients for any pet supplement with your vet. When purchasing any pet CBD product, be sure to purchase one that has been tested by an independent third-party lab. This is an industry standard to ensure safety and quality. Talk to your vet about any questions and concerns you have so that you can make an informed decision.
Choosing A Good CBD Oil
Not all CBD oils are the same … you’ll want a high quality CBD oil that works, so here are a few things to look for:
Aim for organic: If it isn’t organic, your CBD oil probably contains pesticides, fungicides or solvents.
Cost: Generally speaking, the higher the quality, the higher the cost, but your pet is worth it.
Lab analysis: Make sure your product is tested by an independent third-party lab.
Start your pet off slowly and work with your vet to increase dosage if needed.