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Benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) for pets

By Ryan Goo | Feb 12, 2019 in CBD Blog | 7 min read

Close up picture of labrador with tongue out

CBD, or cannabidiol, is making headlines for reports that it can help relieve pain, anxiety, and inflammation. CBD has gained widespread market approbation due to its non-psychoactive effects unlike its THC counterpart.

Cannabidiol is just one of the many cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant and interacts with the human body's endocannabinoid system. This same system exists in all mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. Because of this, CBD has become a viable product to treat certain human and pet disorders.

In this article, we'll dive into everything you need to know about CBD for pets. We will help you figure out if your pet needs CBD. We will then highlight the benefits, proper dosage, and possible side effects. 

When pets get sick, we do everything in our power to find them the best treatment available. Learn about all the benefits of CBD so you can make the best decision for your pet.

What is cannabidiol (CBD) and is it safe for my pet?

Cannabidiol is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has proven to have many health benefits. This chemical, which has no psychoactive or addictive traits, has become widely popular over the past decade. If you would like to read more about CBD, please reference our "What is CBD" article. CBD for pets also helps with skin problems and dog acne.

The growing interest in cannabidiol as a health supplement for humans has also carried over to the pet space. Many pet owners have made claims that CBD has helped with a wide spectrum of benefits from separation anxiety to neuropathic pain.

"According to Dr. Klein, CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use." [1]

Benefits of CBD

dog smiling

Cannabidiol is one of the cannabinoids found in hemp. Your endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of receptors that regulate the way your body functions.

CBD has natural anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiolytic, and anti-nausea properties. When CBD binds to receptors in the ECS, it helps support these regulatory functions in your pet's body.

Joint pain and mobility

Inflammation relief is one of cannabidiol's most powerful properties. Inflammation based conditions such as IBD and arthritis are very common. If your furry one deals with joint pain or has trouble moving, it's probably due to inflammation.

We suggest giving CBD a try if current medication is not helping or if you want to provide a more natural solution for your pet. By lowering inflammation, cannabidiol helps improve quality of life for your pet and helps relieve pain from inflammatory based conditions like canine arthritis.

Arthritis

The most common type of arthritis in pets is osteoarthritis which is caused by the degeneration of cartilage in joints. This type of arthritis is also referred to as DJD, or Degenerative Joint Disease.

Osteoarthritis leads to chronic pain and a reduction in activity. This is why it's important for your pet to maintain a healthy diet and activity level. Supplementing CBD into your pet’s diet can help relieve pain caused from DJD.

How does it work?

People with such conditions often praise CBD for its anti-inflammatory benefits. This is because CBD interacts heavily with specific receptors in our immune cells.CBD, or cannabidiol, directly interacts with the endocannabinoid system that is found in both human and pets. They do so by interacting with receptors in our cells to maintain homeostasis.

In regard to inflammation, CBD binds with CB2 receptors which are located inside immune cells. Binding with these receptors invokes a handful of immune responses, one of which is to combat inflammation.

Separation, noise, and travel anxiety

CBD helps relieve stress based anxiety in humans and pets. While there are multiple types of anxiety, the main culprit of each type is stress. It’s not easy to diagnose anxiety because we cannot communicate effectively with our pets.

However, there are certain behavioral changes that represent common symptoms of anxiety. For example, anxiety in dogs can lead to persistent barking, irregular chewing (furniture, shoes), and aggression.

If your pet deals with specific phobias or anxiety that lowers their quality of life, consider supplementing CBD into their diet to make anxiety more manageable.

How does it work?

CBD binds to receptors in the brain which explain why cannabidiol is linked to anxiety. It's important to note that most cannabidiol-anxiety research is based on animal studies but their findings help us move in the right direction.

Humans and pets have serotonin receptors throughout their central nervous system. These receptors are activated by serotonin which influences neurological processes such as aggression, anxiety, cognition, sleep, and more.

5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor that directly interacts with CBD. CBD has been shown to enhance 5-HT1A transmission by helping brain cells transmit more serotonin signals [2]. This leads to reduced anxiety.

Nausea

Nausea in pets is often caused by treatments, medications, or motion sickness. Nausea and vomiting leads to decreased appetite, dehydration, fatigue, and rapid weight loss.

There are already a handful of antiemetic medications but most of them come with undesirable side effects such as sedation, excessive drooling, lower blood pressure, and general lethargy.

Studies have highlighted CBD as a successful antiemetic while controlling nausea and vomiting. [3]

Many pet owners give their pets CBD to aid with nausea because it carries no negative side effects as opposed to traditional antiemetic medication.

How does it work?

CBD reacts with nausea similar to how it works with anxiety. It binds to serotonin receptors (5-HT1A) which suppresses the vomiting reflex and feelings of nausea.

Finding the right CBD product

brown labrador licking mouth

CBD has the potential to improve the overall health and wellness of your pet. Daily supplementation of hemp derived CBD can increase the long-term functionality of the endocannabinoid system. Below are three important factors to consider when shopping for pet CBD products.

    1. Don't price shop – We suggest you don't cut corners when trying to find a quality CBD product. Cannabidiol in itself is not cheap and you should be wary of products priced too low. You would buy the best quality product for yourself and should do the same for your four-legged friend.
    2. Look for organic products – This will ensure that the product does not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
    3. 3rd party analysis/lab reports – Reputable manufactures will provide access to a certificate of analysis (CoA) that will provide the potency of cannabidiol within the product. A lab report will allows you to make sure there is little to no traces of THC in the product.

The legal amount of THC is 0.3%.If you feel cannabidiol is the right fit for your pet, please keep in mind that all medications and supplements carry a health risk. We recommend checking with your veterinarian prior to giving your pet CBD.

Possible side effects of cannabidiol in dogs

A human's endocannabinoid system is similar to that of our furry friends. For this reason, CBD oil affects pets the same as humans. Cannabidiol is very popular amongst pet owners because side effects appear to be minimal.

"Most pharmaceuticals only stimulate upregulation or downregulation, making it possible to move body systems out of their normal or homeostatic state. Because CBD works toward homeostasis, it doesn't do this, making unwanted side effects rare and giving CBD a good safety profile."[4]

On the other hand, prescription drugs often come with severe side effects that are bad for your pets long term health.

Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst. High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of lightheadedness.

Millions of dog owners use CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.

Conclusion

Cannabidiol based pet products are taking the market by storm. A recent survey reports that nearly two thirds of veterinarians are asked about CBD products at least once a month.People are looking for pet relief for different reasons.

Consider picking up some CBD pet products for your furry friend if your pet is dealing with anxiety, pain, inflammation, or nausea.To see a full list of pet products that Urbul offers, visit our online store.

We carry different CBD infused treats that your dog will love. Each product is third party lab tested for purity and we include lab reports in every order.

Take our CBD Quiz for your pet to see if CBD is a good supplement choice by clicking here. We encourage you to learn more and ask questions so you can ultimately make the best choice for your pet.

References

[1] https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/

[2] https://www.cannabisreports.com/cannabis-studies/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3883513/

[4] http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/cannabidiol-new-option-pets-pain

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