CBD, or cannabidiol, is a complex found in cannabis and hemp, and is popular for its therapeutic, relaxing, anti-inflammatory and many other properties.
It should be emphasized that CBD is not psychoactive because most CBD products do not contain in their composition delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in significant proportions, this is the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive characteristics, so the cannabidiol extract does not produce the typical experiences that we understand can cause marijuana in humans. In addition, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not marijuana. CBD for dogs is therefore a way to use this compound to alleviate some canine ailments.
What are the uses of CBD?
Animals, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system with CB-1 receptors (in charge of brain processes) and CB-2 receptors (in the immune system and peripheral organs). These receptors are involved in a wide variety of physiological processes such as swelling, anxiety, stress, mobility, study, nausea, vomiting, appetite, emotions, aging, allergies and dermatological problems. Since animals also generate endocannabinoids, it is believed that their receptors respond to CBD in a similar way to humans. However, there is still a lot of research to be done on the effects of cannabidiol in animals. It is estimated that CBD assists in alleviating ailments such as:
- Inflammation: Thanks to the fact that CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), there is more and more evidence of its assistance in inflammatory processes, such as arthritis or inflammatory intestinal health abnormalities (e.g. IBD). Even in some patients it was feasible the complete substitution of anti-inflammatory drugs by CBD, a very desirable fact in dogs that suffer from the consecutive results of NSAIDs due to their need for long-term use.
- Discomfort: The benefit of CBD oil as an anti-inflammatory seen in dogs suffering from arthritis or osteoarthritis is not only beneficial at the inflammatory level, but also works indirectly by reducing the disease (link study). In dogs with other types of inflammatory disease as well, such as the situation of back pain due to intervertebral disc disease, neuropathic pain or other pain of chronic origin.
- Convulsions: Seizures are the most studied application of CBD in people, and it is beginning to be so in dogs. Several studies have shown that CBD has the ability to reduce the intensity and continuity of seizures in dogs diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. In addition, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study, through the Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, that will evaluate the use of CBD in regimen-resistant epileptic dogs. Results are expected to be available in November of this year.
- Neurodegenerative diseases: Some veterinarians who have tried it with their patients could see remarkable improvement of signs in superior dogs with cognitive dysfunction disorder. Disorientation, sleep period modifications, reduced activity or increased anxiety or discomfort and appetite modifications being the most typical signs in this disease.
- Cancer: In people, CBD has been studied for its viable use in cancer patients, both to treat the tumor(s) directly and to treat secondary indications of cancer and chemotherapy. Very limited inquiries were made into the use of CBD for dogs with cancer. Nonetheless, the effects of CBD against nausea seen in people undergoing chemotherapy have additionally been documented in rats and ferrets, recommending that dogs undergoing chemotherapy have the potential to benefit from the CBD regimen in these situations.
- Anxiety: Some articles claim that CBD for dogs is additionally effective in lowering anxiety, others, on the other hand, see this as uncertain since since CBD is not psychoactive, it is unlikely to have the aptitude to directly treat canine anxiety the way that other anxiolytic medications do. The use of CBD for dogs as it relates to anxiety needs much more exploration.
How to administer cbd to your pet?
To begin with, we will point out some important things:
- You have to take into account that if your dog is medically treated for some other disease the safe concentration of cannabidiol and of the mentioned medicine can be observed modified as they interact undesirably with each other. That is why it is important to inform your veterinarian before making the choice to use CBD.
- As each dog may respond differently, it is considerable to start with the lowest dose, monitor your dog’s results and adjust accordingly. Most products will offer dosage recommendations.
- CBD oil for dogs is usually administered orally.
- The most common format in which we find CBD oil for dogs is in the form of a dropper.
- Avoid putting the dropper directly into your dog’s mouth to avoid contamination. If it is done by neglect, clean it well afterwards.
- For the application, you can use a ladle or a syringe to give it to your dog. If it is feasible, try to administer it without food, for a greater absorption.
- For a good conservation of the CBD product, it is recommended to keep it refrigerated in the refrigerator and avoid direct sunlight exposure. And once opened, use it within a few months.
- As it is necessary to start with a low dose, it is advisable to take a CBD product with a low percentage.
Generally, it is estimated that adolescent animals require less CBD than older animals.
How much CBD should I give my pet?
Studies on the use of CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures have generally used a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, twice daily.
This dose was found to be safe and effective only for the conditions studied (arthritis and seizures). But further exploration is still required to consider the primary doses for CBD in the regimen for other ailments.
On the other hand, American veterinarian Dr. Robert Silver a veterinary graduate of Colorado State College and a practitioner in CBD therapies for dogs and medical cannabis. did a tremendous amount of research on the effects of medical marijuana and CBD in animals, suggests a maximum dose of 1 mg of CBD per kg of body weight. The maximum dose for a dog weighing 10 kg would be 10 mg of CBD per day.
He suggests starting with a dose of 0.1 mg/kg every 12 hours (twice a day), with the dose being lowered over a week and seeing the effects.
Often, a low dose will work well. In the situation of not seeing effect suggest to increase to 0.25 mg/kg twice a day or go up as needed.
Ex. dose calculation:
Information that comes on the product: CBD 3% with a concentration of 30 mg/ml (1.2 mg/drop). If your dog weighs 10 kg, starting with the lowest dose of 0.1 mg/kg, he would receive 1 mg twice a day, which, knowing the concentration of each drop (1.2 mg/drop) we calculate: 1/1.2 = 0.8 drops. Therefore, he would receive one drop every 12 hours.
How to choose the right CBD oil?
There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil. Not all oils are the same; a high definition CBD oil is going to be more efficient and safer.
- Purity and quality: The developer should provide a certificate that tells you the proportion of CBD in the product. Several CBD products have only reduced proportions of CBD mixed with other elements, which decreases the purity of the product.
- Although each product is going to come with an indicative dosage from the developer, understanding what precise amount in mg of CBD the product has inside per ml will let us better change the dosage adapted to our dog.
It is also substantial to be sure that it carries less than 0.2% THC.
- Make sure that it does not contain pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, heavy metals or solvents.