CBD is to the wellness world, what Mat Fraser is CrossFit during the competitive CrossFit season. Which is to say: not only is CBD getting shoutouts absolutely everywhere right now, but it’s basically supplement royalty.
And just as Mat Fraser is well-rounded and basically best at everything, CBD—which is short for cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant—is equally as versatile.
CBD has been shown to help us clear brain fog, beat stress and anxiety, fight inflammation, and improved exercise recovery, to name a few of its diverse health perks. So what if we told you that CBD can also be for your pets?
What Are The Benefits Of CBD Oil For Pets?
Recently, holistic vets have begun to incorporate CBD into their treatment plans for pets. Just as with humans, there’s a breadth of issues CBD is being used for—anxiety, anxiety before travel or pet visits, generalized aging aches, joint pain, and more.
There are numerous posts on the Reddit r/CBD waxing poetica about CBD for pets pains such as: canine OCD, PTSD in rescue dogs, arthritis in aging pups, hip dysplasia in purebreds such as German Shepherds, Rottweiler, French Bulldogs, joint issues related to pet weight. One user writes, “Her lump shrunk and she’s able to relax without anxiety and without pain from her tiny, weak joints/paws! She’s only a chihuahua so you know it’s even safe for the smallest of dogs.” While another says, “Works amazing on my dog. He has terrible anxiety. Not even prescription medication could help. I tried CBD and he was instantly more calm.”
In fact, co-founder of Altrufuel, Ian Berger has been giving his Frenchie Penelope CBD oil for 6 months now. “Penny is no longer anxious when we leave her alone and is able to relax and recover after long exercise”
While the internet (and dog park) is full of uplifting stories about pet owners using CBD to help their furry companions, studies looking at the effect on CBD on cats and dogs specifically is limited. That’s why The Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital has put a few clinical trials in motion to study the effects of CBD on canine health conditions like epilepsy and arthritis.
Are There Any Risks To Giving Your Pet CBD Oil?
As pet-owners wait for scientific evidence that shows the benefits of CBD for pets, some may decide to continue giving their pups CBD. That’s because unlike some traditional pain medicine for dogs, medical cannabis has no life-threatening side effects with proper dosage, Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of a pet cannabis company in California called VETCBD pointed out to Pet MD. “It doesn’t damage the kidney, liver, or GI tract. The dogs aren’t high or sedated.” That’s right, just as CBD won’t get humans high, it won’t get dogs high either—that’s because the compound in marijuana that causes the characteristic psychoactive ‘high’ is found in THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), not CBD.
Worth mentioning: as with any alternative remedies or medication, pup-parents should consult with their veterinarian before treating their dogs for CBD, because it’s not a cure-all nor can it remedy life-threatening ailments.
What Else Should Pet Owners Know About CBD Oil?
Additionally, while some vets may recommend that your pet try CBD, according to the California Veterinary Medical Board “a veterinarian may not prescribe, administer, or recommend or approve the use of cannabis for treatment of any condition” and the majority of states have rules with verbiage like this. (For more information about the legality of CBD, check out our CBD Beginner’s Guide).
Pet parents who are interested in experimenting with CBD for their pets should first speak to their veterinarian. From there, pet parents who have a medical marijuana card can visit a reputable dispensary and purchase the product that best meets their pet’s needs, and pet parents who live in regions where medical marijuana is not available can consider over-the-counter CBD supplements that are widely available.
The bottomline: Pet-owners just want their furry companions to feel good, so whatever CBD supplement your pup is trying start with a very low dose, don’t be shy about asking Q’s about added ingredients, and keep an eye out for adverse reactions like drowsiness.