It is widely believed that CBD holds a number of potential benefits for people, but can the same be said for other animals?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many active cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. CBD does not produce a high, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that causes the psychoactive effects experienced in recreational marijuana use.
How does CBD work?
CBD is popular in the wellness industry because it offers a number of purported health benefits. These potential benefits are delivered through CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is present in all animals. It consists of endocannabinoids (produced by the body, not acquired), receptors for those endocannabinoids, and enzymes that break the compounds down after they’ve served their purpose (1). The cannabinoids in cannabis plants are compatible with the receptors in this system; while its full function is not clear, research has shown that it is involved in several aspects of health, including sleep, appetite, memory, mood regulation, and reproduction.
How is CBD used?
CBD that’s extracted from plants can be consumed in many different ways. Some of the most popular products include oil drops, capsules, gummies, and teas. Products are generally labeled ‘full-spectrum,’ ‘broad-spectrum,’ or ‘CBD isolates’—distinctions which indicate the presence or absence of other cannabinoids. Generally, full-spectrum CBD products contain a full range of cannabinoids; broad-spectrum products contain all of the cannabinoids except for THC, and CBD isolates are the most pure form of CBD, containing no other cannabinoids (2).
It’s important to note that the FDA does not currently regulate CBD products, so it’s advisable for people purchasing them to verify purity and ingredients with the vendor.
CBD benefits for animals
If you’re reading this post, then you’re likely aware of the potential effects of CBD on human users. Although there’s no conclusive scientific evidence to substantiate the list of possible benefits, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, and that using it may help with sleep problems, anxiety, mood disorders, and chronic pain, among other conditions (3). Just as all of these possible benefits exist for people, they may exist for other animals too.
Pet owners want the best for their furry babies, and CBD may benefit those who suffer from anxiety and chronic pain (4). If your pet becomes anxious when separated from you or suffers from arthritis, CBD may help them to feel happier and healthier. Additionally, research is being done on CBD as a possible means to control seizures in dogs, and anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggests that it may help with epilepsy (5).
Although there isn’t much definitive scientific understanding regarding CBD for animals, it’s an exciting new area of research, and many who give CBD to their pets feel that it’s contributed to their overall quality of life.
Possible side effects and safety tips
As with almost any supplement, it’s possible for pets to experience unpleasant side effects from CBD products. Because the research concerning CBD’s effects on animals is still very limited, there isn’t an exhaustive list of possible adverse effects. However, some of those most commonly observed are dry mouth due to slower saliva production, drowsiness, and a temporary dip in blood pressure, which may cause dizziness (5).
To help mitigate the possible adverse effects, make sure to keep a close eye on your pet when giving them CBD—especially for the first stretch. It’s advisable to start with a small dose, and increase it according to your pet’s reaction and progress.
Finding quality CBD for animals
CBD products for animals, similarly to those for people, come in many formats. Two of the most commonly used pet products are CBD oil (administered by dropper) and CBD-infused treats. Both of these products could make great additions to your pet’s routine. CBD treats are tasty and fun for pets, and they come in a variety of doses. CBD oil, though perhaps not as tasty, has the extra benefit of being administered by a drop, which allows you to control and administer the dosage more accurately.
CBD is in high demand, due to its alleged positive effects on health. Although the benefits of CBD oil for animals are not fully understood or substantiated, many pet owners claim positive effects in pets suffering from chronic pain and anxiety. To ensure the best for your pet, make sure to choose high-quality CBD products, such as those from Highland Pharms, and keep a close eye on your furry friend as you incorporate the products into their routine.
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.
- ‘A Simple Guide to the Endocannabinoid System’, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system
- ‘Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD: Which One is Right for You?’, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum-cbd
- ‘What Are the Benefits of CBD?’, Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/style/self-care/cbd-oil-benefits.html
- ‘FAQs about CBD Use in Pets’, Source: https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/faqs-about-cbd-use-pets
- ‘CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know’, Source: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/