Some states offer medical marijuana for those suffering from pain, seizures, anxiety, or cancer.
Naturally, veterinarians and pet parents are curious whether CBD can be used to provide the same benefits for dogs.
Here are the facts about CBD for dogs
THC vs. CBD for Dogs
CBD is one among over 80 chemical compounds that are called “cannabinoids” and have been extracted from cannabis (marijuana). CBD is non-psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol THC, perhaps the most popular cannabinoid.
Do not give your dog marijuana. There isn’t enough evidence to support its use.
However, CBD-based products can help to improve your dog’s quality of living when used in combination with other therapies.
CBD for dogs: Why?
A variety of conditions are often treated with CBD, such as pain management, arthritis, and anxiety. Seizures can also be treated with CBD, Even cancer. Although CBD’s use in these conditions is still under-researched there are different levels of scientific evidence.
CBD shares metabolic pathways and anti-inflammatory drugs with anti-inflammatory medications so it is natural that CBD would be able to treat certain inflammatory conditions. (Anything ending with -it, for example, is an inflammatory condition).
Osteoarthritis (often abbreviated to arthritis) is the most common inflammatory condition in dogs.
One in four dogs will experience arthritis at some point in their lives. Up to 60% of dogs may have some form of the disease.
Studies have shown that CBD can be used twice daily to relieve arthritis pain in dogs.
It is possible that the anti-inflammatory effect seen in arthritic dogs could also apply to dogs with other types of inflammatory pain, such as back pain due to intervertebral disease.
Preliminary research has shown that combination products containing CBD and THC provide more pain relief than when one drug is taken alone. However, dogs have not seen such research so THC should be avoided.
CBD has been used most often in the treatment of seizures. Unfortunately, research is limited to pets. There are many causes of seizures in dogs.
CBD is effective in reducing the frequency of seizures in dogs suffering from idiopathic Epilepsy. This is only true if the dog is also being given anti-seizure drugs.
Like seizures, the term cancer is an umbrella term. It refers to a variety of specific diseases with different treatment options.
CBD has been researched in people for potential use in cancer patients. This includes treating the primary symptoms and secondary effects of chemotherapy. The use of CBD in dogs with cancer has received very little research.
However, CBD oil for pets can be very beneficial to dogs that are undergoing chemotherapy.
One of the most common misconceptions about CBD is that it can be used to manage anxiety in dogs. The theory is that CBD can reduce pain and inflammation to indirectly reduce anxiety.
CBD isn’t psychoactive, so it’s unlikely that CBD will be able to treat anxiety in dogs like Prozac. Like most conditions, CBD for dogs with anxiety needs to be researched more.
How much CBD can you give your dog?
CBD oil is usually administered orally to dogs. Although there are topical options, CBD oil can only be used in small amounts.
CBD for dogs suffering from arthritis or seizures is generally used at a dose of between 2-8mg/kg. However, most papers use the lower end of this estimate (roughly 1 to 2 milligrams per pound), twice daily.
This dosage is both safe for the condition studied (arthritis/seizure) and somewhat effective. To determine the right dosages of CBD to treat other conditions, further research is necessary.