Is CBD Safe for Dogs and Cats?

Is CBD Safe for Dogs and Cats

The recreational and medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD) for humans have been gaining more and more interest in recent years. Even the Food and Drug Administration approved a particular produced, Epidiolex, comprised of CBD for treating two severe forms of epilepsy — Lennox-Gastraut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

With the legalization and proven benefits backed by studies, CBD products are now widely available on the market. As much as they can help humans, many are wondering if these products can be of benefit for pets as well.

If you have the question, “Is CBD safe for dogs and cats?” in mind, we’ve gathered the essential pieces of information you need to know.

What Is CBD?

Before answering the question, “Is CBD safe for dogs and cats?” let’s first define CBD and a few of its characteristics.

Cannabidiol is a chemical found in cannabis or more commonly known as marijuana. According to an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, it is the second most prevalent of all the active ingredients in the said plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — another active ingredient in marijuana — CBD does not cause people to experience a “high” feeling. It even reduces the psychotic symptoms brought about by THC consumption, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of American Psychiatry.

CBD Products for Pets

There are different CBD products for pets available on the market, including creams, salves, tinctures, treats, capsules, and oils. Among them, the most commonly used for dogs and cats is CBD oil.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs and Cats?

The straightforward answer to the question, “Is CBD safe for dogs and cats?” is yes.

The findings of a 2019 study published in Animal, an open journal, showed that the use of hemp-based CBD products for pets is safe. The researchers administered chews for dogs and fish oils for cats; both the products are infused with CBD oil extracts.

Although the use of such products is safe, there are a few adverse effects both in dogs and cats. There were some mild clinical symptoms, fluctuations in benign CBC, and elevations in liver enzymes.

The Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets

While the use of CBD oil for pets is safe, scientific research about it is still in its infancy, especially in cats. Currently, most studies focus on the benefits of CBD for dogs. Here are some of them:

1. CBD provides relief from arthritis.

One of the most common health conditions observed in dogs is osteoarthritis, also called arthritis. Approximately 20% of dogs with ages one and above and 80% for those aged eight and above will exhibit signs of arthritis.

According to the results of a 2018 study, CBD can help relieve dogs from symptoms of arthritis. The study involved administering certain doses twice daily.

2. CBD helps relieve pain.

Dogs suffering from inflammatory conditions other than arthritis can also benefit from CBD. According to a 2020 study titled “Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol,” CBD has anti-inflammatory properties.

With anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can help relieve pain experienced by dogs, such as back pain brought about by intervertebral disc disease.

3. CBD reduces seizures.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, CBD can help treat a wide variety of health issues. However, the strongest scientific evidence of its medical benefits can be found in its effectiveness in treating two epilepsy syndromes — Lennox-Gastraut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research showed that there was a significant decrease in the frequency of seizures in the previously mentioned forms of epilepsy. In some cases, seizures even stopped.

While most studies are for humans, there is research suggesting that dogs suffering from seizures can also benefit from oral CBD administration.

4. CBD provides relief from cancer-related symptoms.

Similar to seizures, most studies about CBD providing relief from cancer-related symptoms are done on humans. According to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Pain Symptom Management, products containing both THC and CBD extracts provided patients with relief from cancer-related pain.

Additionally, the findings of a 2006 study published in the Journal of Oncology showed that CBD can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Specifically, cancer patients experienced less nausea and vomiting.

Dogs and cats, like humans, can develop cancer too, and they can get the same benefits, according to a 2002 study that used ferrets and rats as test subjects.

5. CBD reduces anxiety.

Some people observe a calmer or better-regulated mood in their dogs or cats after administering specific doses of CBD. While this benefit is mostly due to the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, it can also be a result of CBD being a non-psychoactive compound. As mentioned, it doesn’t cause a “high” feeling or sensation, unlike THC.

A 2015 study done on humans showed that CBD has antipsychotic effects, meaning it can fight the “high” feeling caused by THC. This can be one of the logical explanations why dogs and cats also exhibit calmer moods when given CBD-infused products.

Potential Risks of CBD Products for Pets

As mentioned, CBD itself is generally safe for dogs and cats. However, some research has found that it increases liver enzyme levels, which can be a problem for dogs and cats. Some researchers suggest that the elevation may be due to liver damage or irritation, but more studies about it are still needed.

Additionally, some pet owners observed that their dogs or cats somewhat became excessively sleepy after CBD administration. Although this problem goes away after some time, it’s still something that needs to be looked into. It might have long-term effects on dogs and cats.

A Word of Warning When Buying CBD for Your Pets

With CBD gaining interest in recent years, many dispensaries and experts manufacture products infused with it. While some focus on providing high-quality and safe products, some don’t. When looking for CBD products for your pets, make sure that you look at the labels first. Ask the manufacturer if their products undergo tests for heavy metals and residual solvents to ensure safety and quality.

Can You Buy CBD Products from Veterinarians?

Currently, veterinarians are not allowed to recommend, prescribe, dispense, or administer CBD products for pets. There are some states, however, that prevent regulators from penalizing veterinarians for discussing CBD products with their clients. Some bills are still in the works, so don’t expect your vet to recommend or even talk about CBD products when it comes to treating your pet’s condition.

Get Top-notch CBD Products from Altitude Organic Cannabis

To get your hands on high-quality CBD products, look no further than Altitude Organic Cannabis.

We offer a wide variety of CBD products for you to choose from. For any inquiries, don’t hesitate to give us a call. If you are looking for a dispensary in Frisco, CO, or the nearby areas, you can visit Altitude Organics Cannabis.

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