Dogs and CBD Oil for Pain and Inflammation
Can CBD help our furry friends?
Experts have confirmed that every animal, except for insects, has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that performs various regulatory functions in their bodies. ECS is critical to keeping the health of the body by keeping it in a stable internal environment. Such system is as crucial in humans as it is for animals.
With the rise of cannabis-derived products for humans, there’s a growing buzz about the medicinal use of cannabidiol or CBD oil for pets. Now, as more and more research continue to emerge, veterinarians and pet parents are looking at the positive benefits of CBD for dogs. But the question is, are they effective and safe?
Whether a dog has cancer, seizures or in pain, CBD oil can be an alternative medication to help alleviate your pet’s symptoms.
What Is CBD Oil?
The cannabis plant contains a wide variety of chemicals including phytocannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenoids.Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two of at least 113 different phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
THC is known as the psychoactive agent and may pose harmful side effects in pets. On one hand, CBD is the medicinal agent of the cannabis plant and offers many health benefits, without interfering psychological function.
One of the most well-known forms of marijuana extract for dogs is CBD oil, which is a liquid extract from marijuana plant.
Like other mammals, dogs have cannabinoid receptor sites. They can be found in the brain and central nervous system, including the peripheral organs and immune cells. Cannabinoid receptors, along with the cannabinoids within the body make up a complex network known as endocannabinoid system (ECS).
How can CBD Oil Help My Pet?
Medical applications of cannabis is a hot topic in veterinary and human use and numerous researches are approving their applications. Cannabis and its derivatives are still classified as Schedule I drugs, and thus, there’s still some fear and doubt around doing research studies.
With that said, there are many evidence that supports medical marijuana as treatment for human and dogs. Since humans and other mammals share 70 percent of their biological homology (2) and that marijuana is well-researched herb in humans, there’s a strong basis that this herb can be equally effective in dogs.
In addition, the American Veterinary Medical Association (3) expressed support through their published testimonials of pet parents who tried CBD and cannabis to improve condition of their pets who were suffering from pain and other health issues.
Specific to dogs, CBD can provide relief from inflammation, pain and problems associated with cancer, and it can be used too to help make end-of-life condition more comfortable.
Pets with late-stage cancer, arthritis and inoperable tumors may benefit from CBD as a natural alternative for relatively high-priced veterinary pain medications such as Rimadyl that has been shown to cause serious side effects such as kidney and liver damage.
Dogs that show anxiety problems, particularly those who become nervous when traveling in cars, during thunderstorms, when separated from the owners and even vet visit can benefit from CBD’s calming effect.
Studies has shown that CBD have anti-inflammatory and pain-modulating effects, which help with pain, muscle spasms and other symptoms. The cannabinoids in cannabis interact with the ECS and modulate body processes such as pain perception, mood and appetite.
Unlike traditional prescription medications for pain and inflammation, CBD has no life-threatening side effects. It does not damage the kidney, GI tract or liver, and the dogs are not sedated or high.
Are There Any Side Effects of CBD Oil for Dogs?
Because of the very low THC percentage, CBD won’t make your dog high. But the most common side effect of CBD in dogs is drowsiness. Your dog may get a bit drowsy, similar to the effect of anti-histamine.
On rare occasions, mild vomiting or excessive itchiness may manifest but these sensitivities are very few and rarely occur. However, if your dog responds with these symptoms, stop giving CBD.
Like any herbal remedies, you may not notice an immediate effect so you need to be patient. Your dog may feel relief from pain after a few minutes to an hour but other symptoms such as inflammation may take a day or two to show improvement.
How Is CBD Oil Administered to Dogs?
Though CBD topical treatment is available, CBD oil for dogs is usually administered orally. But proper dosage is important. Dosing properly provides positive effect that you look for while not getting any psychoactive effects. The problem is there’s no study yet to find out the right dosage for CBD oil in dogs.
Having said, it is better to start low (4) when it comes to dosing. Start with 1 drop of CBD oil per 10 pounds of your pet’s body weight per day. Give the dose for one week then move up to 1 drop per 10 pounds twice a day.
Some companies sell CBD in capsules. In that case, begin with a quarter of the suggested dose and gradually increase until you see the positive effects, but again with no side effects.
As long as there are no side effects, you may increase the dosage every 4 to 5 days until you see positive difference. Take note of side effects such as vomiting, hyperactivity, disorientation or excessive sedation. Once you suspect, stop the treatment and wait until the side effect go away and restart at a much lower dose.
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