CBD products are growing in popularity, and this article will focus on one of the many questions that the subject has risen: do they hold benefits for our dogs?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is one of the many active compounds, or cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant. Its use in the wellness industry has grown in popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits, which may be delivered without the ‘high’ that’s often associated with cannabis.
The CBD oil for most products comes from hemp plants, not marijuana, and the plants themselves do not typically contain large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), which is the compound responsible for the euphoria people may feel when using marijuana (1). For consumption, CBD is extracted from cannabis plants as an oil, and then added to products in specific concentrations.
What does CBD do?
It is important to note that there are no conclusive scientific studies supporting most of the potential health benefits of CBD oil, and that CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, but the anecdotal information is intriguing. According to the latter, CBD oil may benefit people suffering from chronic pain, anxiety and insomnia (2). Additionally, some studies have shown potential for CBD to aid in the treatment of epilepsy, among other long-term medical concerns (2).
Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs
Since CBD may be beneficial for humans, some pet owners have asked whether it could be useful for our furry best friends, too. CBD oil for dogs is on the market in a number of different products, but what do veterinarians say about the potential benefits and drawbacks?
Well, similarly to CBD’s use in people, there has been very little in the way of conclusive research on the effects of CBD oil for dogs. However, there are some compelling possible reasons for pet owners to give their dogs some high-quality CBD. According to Dr. Jerry Klein, who serves as the Chief Veterinary Officer for the American Kennel Club, cannabidiol may have anti-inflammatory effects, which could relieve chronic pain for dogs as well as humans; it may also help to control seizures in dogs with such disorders (1). Some other potential benefits include anti-anxiety and anti-nausea effects, as well as better appetite; studies are currently being conducted on the efficacy of CBD for epilepsy (one kind of seizure disorder) in dogs (1).
Potential Side Effects
As with most other supplements, CBD oil for dogs may produce some unwanted side effects. Since there are no conclusive studies on how CBD affects dogs, there is no exhaustive list of possible drawbacks. However, some known potential side effects are decreased saliva production which leads to dry mouth, drowsiness, and temporary periods of low blood pressure which may cause dogs to feel dizzy (1). If you give your dog any CBD product, be sure to pay close attention to dosage, and to monitor them for any unpleasant side effects.
CBD Products for Dogs
As with anything new that your pet consumes, it’s important to monitor their reaction and to introduce the product slowly. Be sure not to give your dog anything that contains THC, and pay close attention to the CBD dosage, which should be determined based on age and weight (3). A couple of the most common CBD products for dogs are CBD oil drops and CBD treats, both of which are reportedly great ways to introduce CBD into your furry friend’s life.
Dr. Klein of the American Kennel Club suggests that CBD oil may be the best place to start; the oil is administered by drop, so dog owners can carefully adjust the dosage for their dogs (1). Conversely, dog treats with CBD contain a specific dose per treat, so it’s difficult to adjust it up or down in smaller increments. Dr. Klein also suggests that pet parents make purchases based on quality rather than price, ask for a certificate of analysis from the maker of the CBD product, and read labels carefully to ensure that their pets’ CBD products are free from potentially harmful substances; examples of these may include solvents, pesticides and fungicides (1).
CBD products have become increasingly popular as supplements. CBD holds a variety of potential health benefits, and its popularity suggests that more benefits may be identified as time goes on, hopefully with scientific evidence to substantiate what some users are already reporting.
As in humans, CBD may have significant positive effects on dogs. CBD oil for dogs comes in a variety of products and doses. If you think that CBD may be helpful for your dog, make sure to purchase only high-quality products and be very careful to give them the correct dose. As with any supplement, there are potential risks in giving your dog CBD, so keep a close eye on your pet and make sure that they‘re healthy and happy with their new product.
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.
- ‘CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know’, Source: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/
- ‘Cannabidiol (CBD) – What we Know and What we Don’t’, Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
- ‘CBD for Pets Has Gotten More Popular, Though Vets Urge Caution’, Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/08/19/cbd-products-pets/?arc404=true