What You Should Know Before You Try It
Have you been thinking about trying CBD or Hemp Oil for your Dog? This article will provide you with some details that will help you make an informed decision.
- CBD Defined
- CBD for Dogs
- What are its uses?
- CBD vs. Hemp Oil
- Where You Can Find Them
Canabidiol, commonly known as CBD, has gained a significant amount of popularity over the past several years. This is due, in part, to its legalization in 2018, removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. Some states, however, have not followed suit, so make sure to check with your state laws before deciding whether or not to use it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
CBD can be derived from hemp or from non-hemp plants. Hemp is defined as any part of the cannabis sativa plant with no more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the mind-altering substance in marijuana.cdc.gov
Although CBD is a compound found in marijuana, it does not produce a “high,” so there is no impairment of the mind or body.
CBD for Dogs
The utilization of CBD for humans is widely known, but what about its uses for dogs? Is it safe to give to your canine companion? Is it effective?
Many of the companies that make CBD products for human consumption also make a variety of tinctures and treats for pets. The recommended doses are based on body weight and formulated specifically for dogs, so you should only give your pet those products that were developed for them and not humans.
By law, veterinarians cannot prescribe these products for your dog, but many will talk to you about them if you ask. There is little conclusive scientific research that has been conducted regarding the efficacy of CBD in animals. Still, there are also hundreds of testimonials from pet owners touting the benefits they have witnessed when administering CBD to their dogs. This is why many vets will consent to speak about the products without actually prescribing them.
Dr. Dawn Boothe is a professor of veterinary physiology and pharmacology at Auburn University studying cannabis’s potential as a veterinary treatment.
A small yet growing body of research indicates that CBD is a safe and effective treatment for lameness and epilepsy in dogs, Dr. Boothe said, but more studies are needed to bear this out.
“I am excited about CBD,” she said. “I think it’s a very safe compound…”American Veterinary Medical Association avma.org
With more research currently being conducted, it likely won’t be long before more of these products are made available and possibly even prescribed by veterinarians as viable options.
What are its uses?
Three of the main benefits of CBD that have been claimed by companies and pet owners are decreased pain (usually associated with arthritic conditions or inflammation), reduction of seizures, and its calming effects.
- Hip/Joint – As some dogs age, they begin to develop pain and stiffness in their hips and joints. Some large breed dogs, like Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd are especially prone to issues like Hip Dysplasia. CBD products and other joint supplements have been known to assuage some of the painful symptoms associated with these debilitating diseases.
- Seizures – One of the effects of CBD is that it restores homeostasis or the body’s natural balance. Depending on the cause of the seizures, it may work for some dogs but not for others. More studies need to be conducted to know which types of seizure disorders are appropriate candidates for CBD.
- Calming – Animals, like humans, can become stressed or anxious under certain conditions: going to the vet, boarding facility or other unfamiliar places; long trips in the car or on a plane; exposed to prolonged periods of loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms. The offering of a treat containing CBD can help put them in a more relaxed state.
CBD vs. Hemp Oil
Many people mistakenly believe that CBD and Hemp Oil are synonyms for the same substance, and although they come from the same plant, they are quite different.
Hemp (also known as Hempseed) Oil is derived from the seeds of the plant and does not contain CBD. It is rich in nutrients, however, including omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E, among others.
CBD Oil is extracted from the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant and does, of course, contain CBD and a very minimal amount of THC. It has not been researched enough to know exactly how it interacts with the body, except to say that it works with the body’s central regulatory (endocannabinoid) system to bring balance.
Where You Can Find Them
You can find products containing Hemp Oil in almost any pet supply store or online. Only Natural Pet Advanced Hip & Joint Support Soft Dog Chews, for example, can be purchased at PetSmart.
CBD Oil is not so readily available. Because of the current laws and regulations regarding CBD in animals, big box stores don’t carry it. Even the online retail giant Amazon is restricted from selling it. They post warnings to their third-party sellers about restricted products, and regarding CBD, they state on Amazon Seller Central that they have no plans at this time to sell CBD products on Amazon.com.
For purchasing CBD Oil, your best bet is to check local pet stores or independently owned companies that specialize in Hemp and CBD products. Be conscientious about which brands to buy, though. The American Kennel Club suggests:
Look for a product with the National Animal Supplement Counsel (NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance, and one that has a third-party certificate of analysis that includes potency, lists all ingredients, and discloses the possible presence of heavy metals, mycotoxins, or pesticides.akc.org
If you are still leery about giving CBD or Hemp Oil to your canine, there are alternatives; though, arguably, they may not have the same strength or potency. There are a variety of treats and tablets containing Glucosamine for hip and joint issues. For calming, Tomlyn has Relax & Calm Chews containing natural ingredients like tryptophan, chamomile and ginger.
No matter what products you choose, please be sure to consult with your veterinarian before administering any new supplements to your pet’s diet–especially if they are already taking any medications. Though they may be beneficial in themselves, taken in combination with certain medications, they have the potential to cause adverse reactions. You love your dog, and taking care of them means taking extra care with the products you give them.
Copyright © 2022 Brandon Ellrich
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