Just as in humans, pets have an endocannabinoid system. In addition, just like products for humans containing CBD are showing up everywhere, so too are products aimed at giving your pet their best lives possible.
Products ranging from hemp-infused chew toys to tinctures and drops, there is probably a CBD product out there for your pet. As exciting as it might sound, slow your roll just a bit and make sure you understand all of the positives and negatives of giving CBD to the furriest members of your family.
Research is lacking
Right now, there are tons of unanswered questions about the safety of giving pets CBD. Research is currently ongoing, so more definitive answers will come soon. Some emerging studies show that there are benefits to be had, ranging from pain management conditions to calming anxious pets and possible epilepsy treatment in dogs.
One thing is for sure and that’s THC and pets don’t mix. Depending on the strength of the CBD you’re considering, your product might contain dangerous levels of THC. This is even more important if your pet is small for their bodies are ill equipped to handle metabolizing any of the THC, which might be in the product.
As with all over the counter products, make sure you have a good chat with your vet before you start your pet on a dosing routine. There is a ton of misleading information online, so it is paramount you start with super-small doses to see how your pet handles CBD. This is even more important if your pet is taking any pharmaceutical medications. Mixing medications and CBD can have drastic effects, so you should not chance it.
Though there is not any scientific data that can definitively say that CBD is beneficial for pets, many owners swear by it. There’s a wealth of anecdotal research from pet owners who advocate its use for everything from pain to helping control seizures.
CBD is known to be an anti-inflammatory agent in humans, so it makes sense that it would do the same for pets as well. Other possible benefits might include:
• Anticancer benefits
• Anti-nausea effects
• Anxiety-related issues
• Appetite stimulation
• Cardiac benefits
The American Kennel Club recently funded a study through the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine that is researching the use of CBD in dogs who have seizures, which will undoubtedly offer clear data on some of the possible uses of CBD for pets.
Know your retailer
Even with the lack of reputable research, there are still plenty of companies which are lauding the benefits of CBD for pets. Retailers claim that dosing your four-legged pal will reduce their anxiety, keep them calm, and boost their immune systems. It is easy to believe these claims since research has already shown these to be effects of CBD use in humans. But without long-term formal research, there’s no conclusive way to be sure that there aren’t side effects lingering in the wings. For example, a small study showed that dogs are barely able to absorb CBD when ingesting it. Therefore, if you give your pup a daily dose to help manage a phobia, you might just be wasting your cash.
One way to offset this is to talk with your retailer and ask questions of other customers. This can provide you with more info and will ultimately help you decide whether CBD is right for your animal friend.
If you and your vet decide that trying CBD is a good treatment option for your pet, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, not all oils are the same. A high-quality oil that starts with organic hemp is the best foundation for any product to work well.
In addition to being organic, make sure the hemp was grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or any other chemicals. This also includes fungicides and solvents.
Be prepared to shell out some dough. More often, higher quality CBD is going to cost more. Cheaper options are more likely to contain toxic substances or even heavy metals. Make sure the CBD you’re giving your pet is free of as many additives as possible.
Ask for an analysis from your retailer. A certificate that shows how much CBD is in the product is essential when you’re dosing for pets because they’re not going to be able to process the product in the same way as humans.
With big names like the AKC funding research, the future of CBD for pets may include product lines designed for specific breeds. More study is needed to clearly define its safety and use, but chances are CBD holds just as many benefits for pets as it does for humans.