It seems like there has been an explosion of products containing CBD for both humans and pets lately.   Many suggest there are numerous benefits to the use of CBD in treating a variety of conditions from anxiety to arthritis, seizures, pain and even cancer.  The use of CBD in treating medical conditions is under researched but there are varying levels of research for the different conditions.  CBD does appear to be very safe for use in pets and there don’t appear to be any drug interactions.  However, you should consult with your veterinarian before use to eliminate the possibility of drug interactions.

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid, one of more than 80 naturally occurring chemicals produced by the family of cannabis plants.   Both the hemp plant and cannabis plant produce CBD.  However, the hemp plant products more CBD and very little THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical that produces the ‘high”.  The cannabis plant contains more THC and less CBD than hemp.  THC should NOT be given to your pet. 

The 2018 Farm Bill considers cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC hemp or industrial hemp.  It can be legally grown in most states.  

How does it work in the body?

CBD works in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system or ECS.  This system in the body of mammals regulates a wide range of biological processes such as pain management, inflammation, mood, sleep, digestion and more.  CBD shares the same metabolic pathways as NSAIDS, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 

What are the uses?

Arthritis - Many dogs, around 60%, will suffer from some level of arthritis.  Because CBD does share the pathways of NSAID drugs, it makes sense that CBD could relieve inflammatory conditions.  Research does show CBD can provide substantial pain relief if given in appropriate doses twice a day.

Pain – In theory, the anti-inflammatory effect seen with arthritis could also be seen in other inflammatory conditions, including intervertebral disc disease.

Anxiety – CBD may be able to assist with situational anxiety by connecting with receptors in the ECS system and helping to stimulate the body to release serotonin.  For severe separation anxiety, work with a professional trainer as well.

Cancer – Cancer is an “umbrella” term that refers to a multitude of diseases.  There has been limited research of the use of CBD against cancer in pets.  But studies have shown that the antinausea effect of CBD seen in people undergoing chemotherapy has also been seen in ferrets and rats.  This suggests that dogs undergoing chemo may benefit from CBD.

Seizures – Seizures can be caused by multiple conditions and limited research on the effectiveness of CBD has been done.  However, there is some research that suggests CBD can be helpful with idiopathic epilepsy used in conjunction with traditional anti-seizure medication.

I have personally used CBD on my own dog, Sadie, during storms and have found that it does help her relax.  The biggest drawback with CBD is there are so many products on the market now.  It can be confusing as to which one to purchase.  There is also variety in quality and manufacturing processes between the brands.   If you have questions, we can help you select an appropriate product and delivery method based on your pet’s individual situation.