girl with her dog giving him eden's herbals CBD dog treatsCBD is becoming popular for humans. But every animal has an endocannabinoid system, a network in their bodies that helps them maintain homeostasis. CBD interacts with this system and can help your pets in a number of ways.

Has CBD Been Studied in Animals?

There isn’t an enormous number of studies on CBD for pets, but existing research does show that the plant is generally well tolerated by animals. One study involved giving dogs 10 or 20 milligrams per kilogram every day for six weeks. That study found that the product was relatively safe.

Giving cannabis to animals is nothing new, either. Written records and artifacts indicate that people have been administering forms of cannabis to horses and animals for hundreds of years for conditions such as:

• Colic

• Nosebleeds

• Tapeworms

• Spasmodic colon

• Weight loss

• Pain

1. What Are Your Pet’s Symptoms?

dog and cat laying under a blanket sticking their faces outAlthough CBD is not clinically approved for treating medical issues in pets, it has been found to help relieve certain concerns, such as:

Anxiety

Seizures

Aggression

When talking to pet owners online or in person, you might hear positive stories from people who have given CBD to their pets. Pet owners have used CBD for separation anxiety, thunderstorm terrors, barking, arthritis, allergies and skin issues.

Remember that CBD is a product that helps the body find balance through the endocannabinoid system. It can support your pet’s health, but you may still want to consult with a professional to identify the source of the symptoms.

2. CBD May Boost Your Pet's General Health

woman sitting with dog in front of a sunsetHumans can use language to describe uncomfortable symptoms to a doctor. But dogs can’t always tell you when there is something wrong. Their limited ability to signal physical distress can leave you wondering what’s going on with them.

We already mentioned that CBD is not a cure-all. But it can bring the body into balance so that your pet has the best chance of healing. CBD addresses inflammation, a concern that is the source of many health problems.

Instead of seeing CBD as a medication to improve symptoms, try looking at it as a supplement to boost overall health. It shouldn’t replace professional veterinary care. However, CBD may resolve issues that aren’t remedied by traditional treatments. CBD can boost your pet’s general health.

3. Veterinarians May Be Hesitant to Suggest CBD

One major barrier to using CBD for pets is that many veterinarians are hesitant to recommend it. That doesn’t mean that the product is unsafe for animals. There are many reasons that veterinarians aren’t necessarily on board with CBD.

First, the legalities surrounding the product have been confusing. In most areas in the U.S., CBD products are completely legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. While it isn’t lethal for pets, it can induce lethargy, anxiety and other strange symptoms. THC is present in many medicinal and recreational marijuana products. Some veterinarians have reported having to hospitalize animals that have gotten into their owners’ pot stash until their symptoms dissipated.

But hemp and CBD products shouldn’t contain THC. As long as they’re within the legal levels, they won’t make your pet high.

Still, many professionals don’t want to take chances. They may not bring up CBD because they’re not very familiar with it.

adorable lab dog sitting on couch sticking his head out of a blanketIf a veterinarian does understand how CBD works for pets, they still can’t prescribe it. Because of its lack of regulation for animals, CBD is not a prescription option.

That may make the product seem like something that you should stay away from, but physicians prescribe off-label medications to humans all the time. It just means that the medication has been shown to improve the condition even though it hasn’t been fully approved to treat that illness or symptom.

Why are we telling you this? We want to emphasize that veterinarians may have their own reasons for neglecting to mention CBD. Those reasons likely have nothing to do with the product’s safety or efficacy.

Also, you may not find CBD products for animals at the veterinarian’s office. In many cases, pet owners use CBD products that were intended for humans on their cats and dogs. We recommend looking for a product that is designed for animals. It’s more likely to be free of substances that can harm your pet. But a pure CBD oil that’s suspended in an edible carrier oil and contains no other ingredients should be safe for your furry friend too.

Still, checking with your veterinarian is usually helpful before offering something new to your pet. They’ll alert you to any issues that would make the situation dangerous.

4. How Will You Administer the CBD?

The way that you administer the medicine could make a difference. Oral CBD is more bioavailable in dogs and humans than CBD topicals.

For psychological and behavioral issues, it’s probably best to administer oral CBD. Oral CBD is also ideal for non-specific ailments.

But if your pet is bothered by visible irritation or a lesion on their body, a topical product should work well. This also goes for a specific point of pain. If you know that your dog’s knee is stiff, for example, try rubbing topical CBD on the area.

Cannabis has not been extensively studied in cats. However, this uncontrolled trial found that CBD has few detrimental effects in cats. The study did find that cats absorb oral CBD differently than dogs. However, this study also gave the product to canines in a dog treat and to cats in a capsule. The digestive process has been known to affect the absorbency of cannabis edibles.

dog and cat snuggling on a dog bedOral and topical CBD are relatively easy to administer. Look for CBD oil instead of tincture. Tinctures are usually suspended in alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation and taste bad to your pet. You can administer oils directly into your pet’s mouth, dribble them into capsules or add them directly to the animal’s food.

You can rub topical products directly on your pet’s skin. You may have to trim or shave certain areas so that the product doesn’t get hung up on your animal’s fur. CBD can be very effective for joint pain, especially as your pet gets older.

If you purchase a product that’s designed for pets, follow the dosage instructions on the label. A general rule of thumb for dogs is to use 0.25 milligrams of CBD per pound. Start low, and increase the dosage gradually if you aren’t noticing results.

The Bottom Line 

CBD is a natural way to balance your health. It shows favorable results for easing distress in dogs, cats and horses too. Can you give it to your bearded dragon? There is lots of anecdotal evidence online that indicates that you can. As pet owners, veterinarians and the public learn more about CBD for pets, they’re sharing their experiences, and the information is valuable. 

If you want to learn more about CBD and your pet, contact Eden’s Herbals at [email protected] today!

*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Medical advice should be taken from a medical professional.

All of the articles on this site are written by 3rd party content providers, expert bloggers or doctors not directly affiliated with Eden’s Herbals.

Individuals should learn the risks and side effects prior to taking CBD. Make sure to always check with a medical professional before starting any new CBD treatment or medication that is not FDA approved.