The non-psychoactive, highly therapeutic compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) has opened up a new channel of alternative therapy for pets. As more people start to familiarize themselves with the healing properties of cannabinoids, it might be time to consider the use of CBD as a viable treatment option for man’s best friend.
CBD oil is characterized by its low dosage of THC, making it an attractive option for humans and animals, especially those who prefer to avoid any psychoactive effects. CBD has been shown to alleviate a variety of ailments, such as arthritis, inflammation, stress disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, and seizures. Overall, early research indicates that CBD is a versatile compound with an assortment of benefits that can help ease your pet’s discomfort.
To help pet owners looking to try CBD oil for their pets, we’ve broken down the best ways to administer hemp oil. The most popular types of CBD products are CBD hemp extracts, tinctures, topical creams, and edibles.
CBD Oil Extracts
CBD oil allows for more precise dosage and quicker reaction time than that of edibles. It offers pet owners control over how much CBD their canine is ingesting, and acts more like an oil-based health supplement rather than a recreational cannabis product.
CBD potency measures at a variety of levels, ranging from pure CBD to a mix of CBD and THC. Many CBD pet treat manufacturers are adamant about only using hemp CBD oils for their products, due to the dangers that THC poses to pets. However, some manufacturers still prefer to use the full-spectrum oil, which includes a combination of CBD and THC. One of these companies, Bark Avenue, says the full therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant cannot be felt without using BOTH of the cannabinoids. Sometimes these THC-CBD ratios, if dosed correctly, have been seen to be useful for more severe symptoms and conditions.
Dog owners should always consider where CBD oil brands source their oil from. It’s important to ensure the oil is sourced from reputable suppliers that conduct third party lab tests. Another important factor is to consult with a qualified veterinarian to discuss the most appropriate course of treatment for their trusty sidekick. Oil extracts are much more potent compared to other CBD products, and that is why they are used as the foundation for some of the other cannabis concentrates that we will discuss below.
Tinctures come in a form of a bottle and dropper to administer the oil to your pets. While not as potent as extracts, it does well for those who are looking to relieve more mild symptoms like muscle pains, nausea, stress or anxiety. It’s a great entry point for pet owners who are still wary of hemp-based treatments.
Tinctures are liquid hemp extracts made by infusing CBD compounds with mixtures of vegetable glycerine, oil, or alcohol. It is essentially a cannabis-infused solution. Tinctures are administered orally, and a dose consists of a few drops placed under the tongue. This delivery method helps the compound be absorbed more efficiently into the bloodstream, allowing for better dosage control and immediate relief. It provides moderate or low CBD potency with a variety of flavors. CBD tinctures are a great option for pet parents who want to integrate CBD as a daily dietary supplement for their pup. CBD tinctures have been shown to alleviate symptoms such as nausea, body aches, seizures, anxiety, and loss of appetite for dogs facing the pains of old age.
Hemp-infused topicals are a traditional remedy for individuals and animals suffering from body aches and joint pains. Topicals are applied directly on the skin, delivering immediate localized relief. Only for external use, the salves and creams are absorbed into the skin to treat allergic reactions, weak joints, muscle pain and inflammation. Most cannabis topicals are mixed with other therapeutic compounds like essential oils and herbal extracts to provide an additional layer of healing effects for you and your pet. These balms and creams made from CBD are a great option for those who need consistent relief throughout the day.
The CBD potency level for topical products is moderate compared to pure CBD oil. This transdermal treatment option does not reach the bloodstream–meaning even if the topical had a trace amount of THC you still will not feel the “high” you’d get from smoking or ingesting it.
From skin allergies to arthritis pains, CBD-rich topicals can provide localized pain relief and immediate soothing sensations. Some brands infused their CBD topicals with other compounds like cooling menthol or a warming agent to help speed up the healing process. Geriatric dogs facing joint pain or weak bones can experience the strong painkilling properties of CBD. While other dogs with itchiness and skin issues will be able to rest more comfortable with the calming effects of these topicals.
For pet owners who see their dogs suffering from arthritis and skin irritations, topical CBD treatments may be worth considering. People would be surprised to see the difference one remedy makes for the overall health and happiness of their canine.
If you have a dog, you know how difficult it is to feed them medications. They somehow manage to eat the entire treat except for the medicine pill. Administering the oil through a tincture could also be equally challenging, as your dog avoids to open her mouth and runs away. CBD dog treats give you the option to treat your pet with a pain relieving compound while providing them with an easy to swallow and enjoyable snack. With all the delicious flavor combinations available, your pet will not be able to tell the difference between their favorite treat and medicine. Over time, they may even become one in the same!
Pet edibles are made by mixing CBD oils with dog treat ingredients. CBD is commonly found infused within the butter or added directly to the recipe as the oil extract. Unlike tinctures and other delivery methods, edibles take longer to absorb. This delay poses a danger for pets because after they eat a CBD treat they may seem okay and exhibit no side effects, and you may even want to give them more to make sure it’s working. That is a bad idea!
Due to the digestive process, edibles take much longer to kick in and can have varying levels of potency. Pet owners must follow the proper pet dosage guidelines (especially with edibles) and always start off with the smallest amount to see how your pet reacts. The biggest risk of edibles is overconsumption.
Ultimately, CBD dog treats are an excellent choice when consumed responsibly!
Correct Dosage: How much is too much?
If you don’t purchase from reputable sources there is a real and present danger that you could end up giving your pet a CBD product that has high psychoactivity or toxicity level.
The most common side effect of CBD overconsumption is drowsiness. More serious side effects can include excessive itching or mild vomiting. With proper dosing and careful observation, these side effects are seldom encountered. However, if your dog does react with these symptoms or exhibits greater sensitivity to CBD, you should stop providing the hemp oil immediately and consult your vet before proceeding any further.
Patience is key when treating your pet with hemp-based products. It’s important to pay attention to dosing guidelines and always start with the lowest dose to monitor and observe the effect it has on your pup. Once you have a better idea of how your pet can process CBD, you can then increase the dosage if you find they have more severe pain.
Future of cannabis-based Pet Treatments
Since cannabis remains as a Schedule I drug in the U.S., veterinarians are hesitant to prescribe cannabis treatments to their patients. Pure cannabis (high THC) is very toxic for pets. The consumption of psychoactive cannabis can cause seizures, stomach problems, and severe respiratory issues for dogs. The growing popularity of marijuana edibles has resulted in a wave of pet hospitalizations due to cannabis ingestion. Veterinarians are seeing more cases of pets accidentally eating their owner’s “pot” or edibles stash. With the unregulated nature of the cannabis market, if you don’t purchase from reputable sources there is a real and present danger that you could end up giving your pet a CBD product that has high THC or toxicity level.
Hemp derived CBD oil for pets have become a popular treatment for pet parents seeking more holistic pain relief without the legal implications of marijuana. Hemp is a legally sold substance in the United States. You can find hemp CBD products in various shops across the US, especially in the dispensaries where these CBD products have become big sellers among the pet communities.
Putting a stop to the stigma behind medical marijuana will require a significant amount of scientific research. However, CBD’s medicinal future looks promising due to its unique compound structure that allows people and animals to experience the therapeutic effects of cannabis, without the psychoactive effects. These new modes of CBD consumption are helping people see the great potential CBD has. With further research and changing perceptions, we hope to see more pets experience the pain-relieving sensations of medical cannabis.