What is CBD for Dogs?
CBD or Cannabidiol has become really popular in the last couple of years. A lot of people are now aware of the various medicinal benefit of this special compound, and we have scientific studies supporting these benefits. What most people may not know is that the compound can also help your canine through various medical conditions.
We also know that there are dozens of CBD oils for dogs all of which are claiming to be the best product you need for your pup but the sad truth is that some of them are hardly effective while others are harmful. The use of CBD oils for dogs is popular, but it is still a relatively new field. This means that there is a lot of crucial information that most pet owners are not aware of. We prepared this article to bridge this gap and ensure that the CBD you are getting is perfect for your dog.
Overview of CBD
Before we even start talking about the benefits of this compound to your dog, it is crucial that you understand what exactly it is you are giving to your pup. CBD or cannabidiol is one of the over 100 compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. Of all the cannabinoids known and studied, CBD is proven to be the most beneficial for both human and animal consumption. Trials have shown that CBD possesses essential properties that help in treating different medical conditions in humans without causing any adverse reactions.
Most pet owners usually become very concerned when they hear that CBD comes from cannabis. Questions such as, “will my dog get high?” start flying around. The beauty of CBD oils for dogs is that the primary compound present in them is cannabidiol. Research studies have shown that this cannabinoid has no psychoactive effects to both humans and dogs. Instead, another compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” feeling associated with cannabis. Therefore, if you purchase your CBD from a reputable company that extracts and filters their compounds correctly, levels of CBD will be more while THC will be almost zero. Consequently, your dog will enjoy the benefits of CBD without getting high or experiencing the side effects of THC.
A lot of users also confuse CBD oils with cannabis oils for dogs and hemp oils for dogs. Are these three things the same? No, they are not. CBD oils, as we have just mentioned, are extracted from the cannabis plants and the manufacturer uses just the CBD content to make these products. Meanwhile, cannabis oils will typically contain all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is also important to note that the cannabis plant contains both CBD and THC but the levels of THC usually are very high and hence using the oil on yourself or your dog will increase the chances of experiencing its psychoactive effects. Hemp oils, on the other hand, are extracted from hemp, and this is one of the varieties of the cannabis plant. The good thing with hemp is that even though it contains both CBD and THC, THC levels are usually very low thus reducing the chances of its users getting high. Using hemp oil for dogs instead of CBD oil is hence, much better compared to cannabis oils.
How does CBD work?
What happens once your dog ingests CBD? How does it work to deliver the much-needed benefits? CBD works within the endocannabinoids system found within your nervous system. This system is responsible for regulating crucial processes within the body including immune response, sleep, memory, etc. Within the system are two cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are designed to interact with endocannabinoids that are naturally produced by our bodies. They will also interact with other cannabinoids from plants including CBD and THC.
This very system is also found in dogs and other pets. Upon consuming CBD, the compounds will interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoids system influencing the different process in the body.
Benefits of CBD for Dogs
- Relieving Pain
Pain is a symptom of many different health conditions. Sometimes the body may respond to pain by causing inflammation. While this may help to fight infections or other underlying causes of the pain, it can also be very discomforting causing excruciating pain to your dog. CBD is a very popular pain and inflammation reliever in both humans and dogs. Trials have shown that CBD oils can be used to relieve pain caused by arthritis, cancer, torn ligaments, hip dysplasia, recover from a surgery and sprains/strains.
What makes CBD oil an even better option than the alternative non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is that it is safe and free from adverse reactions.
- Treatment of anxiety and Stress
Separation anxiety is a condition very common in most dogs. Dogs can also develop anxiety due to surrounding factors such as a loud faulty smoke alarm, fireworks, and huge crowds. These factors will freak out your dog affecting its behavior. Using CBD oil helps your dog to overcome its anxiety issues.
Dogs can also experience stress due to certain situations or as a result of certain behavior. This stress can take its toll and affect your dog’s behavior. You may notice that it won’t be eating as much as it used to and may experience digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea. The dog may also become aggressive towards other people and dogs and develop excessive shaking or panting. All these are symptoms that your dog is stressed out and the fastest way to help it out is by using CBD.
- Treatment of the symptoms of cancer
CBD has been hinted to be a potential treatment for cancer. There is still insufficient data to show how exactly the compound works or how it can be used for this purpose. Clinical studies are still ongoing, and hence you shouldn’t fully rely on CBD products to heal your dog of cancer.
What the cannabinoid can do is relieve some of the symptoms of cancer and ease the effects of cancer treatment. Cannabidiol is, for instance, known to be an antiemetic, i.e. an effective treatment for nausea. CBD oil will hence help to reduce nausea and vomiting induced by cancer treatment. It was also helpful in easing the pain of the treatment.
- Works as an anticonvulsant
Research has shown CBD to be an incredible anticonvulsant. It has even been used to control tremors, seizures, muscle spasms, and tics. Seizures are believed to be as a result of the uncontrollable firing of neurons within the brain. Trails have shown that CBD can help in controlling this signaling thus reducing the frequency of the seizures. CBD oil is, therefore, an ideal treatment if your dog has seizures or muscle spasm issues.
Tips When Using CBD for Dogs
The following tips should help make your dog’s experience with CBD more fruitful.
- Use 100% organic CBD
Using organic CBD ensures that your dog is not consuming any pesticides or other harmful compounds. Make sure that the CBD you are purchasing is 100% organic and safely produced to minimize the chances of side effects.
- Use Oils
CBD is available in different forms, but the best of them all is oils. These offer tremendous results which also last for much longer compared to the alternatives. CBD oils are also absorbed much faster making it an ideal option if your dog is in pain, stressed up or anxious.
- Start with small doses
Just like humans, a dog’s system also needs some time to get acclimated to the presence of new compounds. Starting with low doses reduces the chances of adverse reactions significantly. Once you have determined the dog’s response to the compound, you can increase the doses gradually until you find the perfect balance for its specific condition. Your vet should assist you in finding the right doses for your dog.
- Monitor your dog closely
It’s critical to monitor your dog especially if it’s the first time you are giving it cannabis-derived compounds. Take note of any behavioral changes and talk to your vet immediately in case you see something odd.
Can I use my CBD Oil on the dog?
This is a very common question. CBD oils formulated for humans are not harmful to dogs and will even be beneficial to them, but you are advised to use products designed for pets. These are much more effective and suited for their specific conditions.