Is CBD Beneficial for Pets? How CBD Can Help Relieve Pain and Anxiety for Dogs
As the trend for natural wellness blooms, more individuals are looking into natural remedies to help their beloved pets with pain, separation anxiety, and more. Many consumers have used CBD for pain and anxiety relief, so more pet owners are looking into CBD for their lovable furry friends. Although is CBD safe for animals? The answer is yes! Dogs and cats also share the same endocannabinoid system as we do to help promote homeostasis or well-being.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a beneficial cannabinoid from hemp that can possibly help relieve pain, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and more. A small trace of .3 % of Tetrahydrocannabinal, also known as THC, can be found in full-spectrum CBD products along with 100 other beneficial cannabinoids like CBG and CBN. This trace amount of THC won’t get you “high,” but it might help relieve pain severity, seizures, anxiety, and much more for both humans and pets.
How does CBD work with our Pets?
Just like humans, dogs, cats and other animals also have cannabinoid receptors in their bodies that help regulate inflammation, cognition, mood, and immune health. This regulatory system known as the endocannabinoid system connects organically to their body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors in their brain and immune system to produce endocannabinoid molecules that help stabilize our pet’s bodies. This stability, also known as homeostasis, helps our pet’s nervous system and immune system function at its healthiest level of efficiency.
Mark Verdino, Senior Vice President and Chief Veterinary at North Shore Animal League comments that he has seen positive results with CBD in relieving pain and anxiety in dogs. Verdino states that dogs seem to be “less reactive to pain stimuli due to arthritis and other conditions”. The chief veterinarian also noticed an “improvement in anxiety, seemingly less reactive” to certain disturbances and noises.
In July 2018, a clinical study by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University used hemp-based CBD oil to understand how the natural cannabinoid eased arthritis in dogs. A selection of dogs was given 2 to 8mg of CBD oil a day along with a placebo to test periodically their rates of pain stimuli and movement. After a few weeks of use, the study determined around 80% of their dogs showed significant improvement in mobility and pain reduction.
Will CBD oil for dogs with anxiety help?
In a 2016 lab study, the Geha Mental Health Center in Petah Tiqva, Israel discovered that CBD had an anti-anxiety and calming effect on lab mice that experienced stress while searching for food in a difficult maze. The Israeli research team also saw an improvement of serotonin levels, noticing the mice were willing to continue forward with their goal after multiple failed attempts to obtain food. More importantly, their research showed no long term side effects with CBD compared to other anti-depressant medications.
Some of the most common prescriptions administered by vets for anxious dogs are Prozac, Buspirone, and Fluoxetine. Although these medications might help with different forms of behavioral and situational anxiety, the side effects of these synthetic drugs can include seizures, reduced appetite, lack of energy, increased anxiety, restlessness, etc.
As New Year’s Eve comes along, fireworks and loud disturbances could be triggering and stressful for anxious dogs. Dr. Adam Christman, a board member of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, discusses how sudden loud noises like fireworks can release high levels of adrenaline and stress hormones for dogs that tell their natural instincts to flee or run away.
Dr. Christman states that he can see the benefits of CBD , especially for disturbances like fireworks and other loud noises. The veterinarian recommends small doses of 2 to 7 milligrams of CBD as a starter dose for small to medium-sized dogs and gradually increasing the dose to help ease your pet’s stress levels.
How is CBD and THC different for Pets?
Unfortunately, high doses of THC are toxic to dogs. Since dogs have more CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in their nervous system and immune system compared to humans, large consumptions of THC could make them ill. This means they could also be more sensitive to the effects of CBD tinctures or products that are formulated for humans, so it’s best to look for a CBD product that is formulated specifically for pets to find their perfect dosage.
For dogs who are suffering from moderate to high pain severity, epilepsy, separation anxiety, etc. they could benefit from trying a full spectrum CBD product with .3% of THC. This trace amount of THC can possibly boost the medicinal cannabinoids within the CBD oil to help with all body wellness for pets.
Is CBD Prescribed by Vets?
CBD oil for dogs with anxiety is not commonly prescribed by vets since there is still a limited amount of research on CBD’s effects on animals. Most CBD studies in the past were conducted to make sure CBD products weren’t harmful for pets to consume. Most of these “Harm Research” studies found inconclusive results since they were testing CBD products made for humans on dogs.
Silicon Valley Veterinary Specialist Stephen Cital has stated that “despite restrictive policy, legal ramifications for veterinarians” selling hemp-based CBD products “have not led to any loss of license and are dependent on individual state veterinary medical boards.” Although, since veterinarians cannot prescribe or recommend the use of CBD,” Cital comments that because CBD is sold over the counter, vets can discuss with clients about the endocannabinoid system and how to find the right dosage for your pet.
We love our pets like family, wanting to see them live their life to the fullest without the symptoms of pain or anxiety. For pet parents that want to try a natural remedy for easing situational anxiety and pain severity, CBD oil and treats could be a beneficial option for cats and dogs. Our certified consultants at Go Green Botanicals always recommend discussing with your vet before administering CBD for your pet. With the help of CBD, more and more pet parents have seen a large improvement in their pet’s life.