It’s a well-known fact that people love their dogs. Apart from being cuddly and cute, our furry friends are true companions, providing us with comfort and support through the ups and downs of life. Like most pet parents, you’re probably reading this article because you want the best for your dog—you want to help them to live a long, healthy, happy life. One of the latest trends in the wellness world, for both people and pets, is CBD oil. The following guide will unpack what CBD is, what it does, and how it could benefit your dog.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, a compound extracted from cannabis plants. It is one of over 100 active compounds in the plant (1). It’s important to note that CBD alone, and most CBD-containing products, do not produce the ‘high’ traditionally associated with marijuana use. The compound responsible for that feeling of euphoria is called tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, and it is usually excluded from CBD products, or present in such small amounts as to be ineffective.
CBD products on the market are labeled ‘broad-spectrum,’ ‘full-spectrum,’ or ‘pure’ CBD. These labels denote how isolated the CBD is from other cannabinoids. Broad-spectrum CBD usually contains other cannabinoids with the exception of THC; full-spectrum can contain trace amounts of THC as well as all other cannabinoids, and pure or isolated CBD is nothing but cannabidiol (2).
CBD and the endocannabinoid system
CBD, like other cannabinoids, may interact with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is present in all animals, and was first discovered in the early 1990s; however, there is still much to learn about the specificities of its functions. As far as current research has brought us, we know that the endocannabinoid system consists of: endocannabinoids, which are substances produced by the body; receptors, which are molecular structures to which endocannabinoids attach themselves; and enzymes, the compounds which break down endocannabinoids. Research on the endocannabinoid system is ongoing, but current knowledge suggests that it is involved with many bodily functions, including digestion, pain response, mood, sleep, and more (3).
Cannabinoids that are not produced in the body, such as CBD, may bind to the receptors that are already part of this system.
CBD is purported to have a number of potential positive effects. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll focus on the potential benefits for dogs specifically. Please be aware that there are no conclusive studies to substantiate claims about the possible health benefits of CBD oil for dogs. As such, the FDA does not currently regulate any of the available products on the market, nor does it recognize CBD as a form of medication. However, anecdotal evidence does support the possibility of health benefits, and many pet owners have incorporated CBD into their pets’ daily routines to help with anxiety, chronic pain or inflammation, digestive issues, nausea, epilepsy, and cancer (4).
Some dog owners use CBD products on a regular basis, while others may only administer a dose before something stressful, such as a long car ride.
Potential side effects and safety
As with any supplement, there is a possibility for unpleasant side effects from the use of CBD oil. Some of the most common of these include dry mouth due to slower saliva production, drowsiness, and a temporary dip in blood pressure, which may cause your dog to feel dizzy (5). To mitigate these possible negative effects, it’s important to keep a close eye on your dog when they’ve had CBD, especially for the first few times you use it.
Additionally, be sure to use the correct dose for your pet, and adjust it up or down depending on their needs and any side effects that they experience.
Finally, be sure to only use high-quality CBD products.
Finding quality CBD oil for dogs
So, how should a choosy pet parent go about finding high-quality CBD oil for their dog? There are a number of ways to ensure that you’re purchasing the best. CBD for dogs typically comes either as an oil to be administered with a dropper, or in the form of treats. There are, of course, pros and cons to both methods of delivery.
The dog treats are tasty, fun for your pet, and they come in specific doses, so you know exactly how much CBD you’re giving to your dog. The oil may not be as enticing aesthetically, but the dropper administration means that you can control the dosage more accurately; it allows you to adjust it by smaller increments, which is difficult to do with pre-measured treats.
Dr. Jerry Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club, gives a few tips for choosing the best CBD products. Dr. Klein recommends that pet owners look for CBD products that are free from pesticides, solvents, and fungicides. He also suggests looking for products based on quality over price, and asking for a certificate of analysis from the vendor (5). Armed with this information, pet owners who think their dogs may benefit from CBD can purchase products confidently.
CBD is one of the most prominent current trends in the wellness industry, and for good reason; it offers a number of potential benefits, and comparatively few potential side effects. What’s more, it appears that most of these alleged benefits may also be available to our furry friends, and many pet owners feel that CBD helps their dogs with a range of issues.
As mentioned before, serious side effects appear to be rare, but it is possible for dogs to experience some unpleasant symptoms. As a pet parent, it is important to purchase high-quality CBD products only. At Highland Pharms we supply high-quality CBD treats and oil for dogs in multiple concentrations, so that you can find the product and dose to suit your pet perfectly.
Disclaimer: This article is based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state, such as the FDA.
- ‘What Are the Benefits of CBD’, Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/style/self-care/cbd-oil-benefits.html
- ‘Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD: Which One is Right For You?’, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum-cbd
- ‘A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System’, https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system
- ‘What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil and Treats for Dogs?’, Source: https://www.caninejournal.com/benefits-of-cbd-oil-for-dogs/
- ‘CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know’, Source: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/#:~:text=According%20to%20Dr.,conclusive%20data%20on%20this%20use.