Have you strolled through the pet store only to find whole shelves dedicated to CBD pet products? It may have taken you by surprise to see cannabis products filter their way into the pet world so suddenly and rapidly.
You may be even more surprised to know pet owners continue to demand CBD more and more. The CBD pet care market is huge! Some analysts believe it’ll become a $125 million industry by 2022.¹ And to those who’re well-informed about cannabidiol (CBD), this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
Pet owners have turned to CBD when traditional pet medications are simply insufficient. And they’ve found CBD to have a powerfully uplifting effect on their animals.
Throughout this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about CBD for pets.
What Effects Does CBD Have on Pets?
Before we begin, it’s important to mention most of there’s currently no professional research surrounding the effects of CBD on animals (besides rats observed for the sake of human studies). What we know about CBD’s effects on pets is linked entirely to what we know about CBD’s effects on humans.
Within us and our pets is something known as an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is situated within the central and peripheral nervous systems and is responsible for maintaining a healthy balance within our body.²
For example, when we experience inflammation, our ECS is unbalanced. It’s understood by scientists that CBD has a way of balancing out any unbalance in our ECS. With that, CBD brings an abundance of medical benefits.
Again, these medical benefits haven’t been observed in animals. But many pet owners have proclaimed that CBD has made a huge difference in their animal’s lives.
These personal observations have found CBD may help your pet if s/he suffers from:
- Appetite issues
- Cardiac complications
- Seizures and convulsions
With the height of popularity in CBD products for pets, there is also a demand for research surrounding pets and CBD. The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is currently sponsoring a study through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The purpose of this research is to analyze how CBD will affect epileptic dogs.³
How Should CBD Be Administered to Animals?
As we’ve seen with humans, the variety of CBD products currently on the market offers endless administrative possibilities. Though pets don’t have such a variety, they do have their options.
Currently, there are three popular ways to offer your pet CBD:
- Oils (Tinctures)
CBD oils (or tinctures) are one of the most popular options as they have the best pharmacokinetic profile out of all administrative methods. This means CBD has a higher concentration in the blood, stays in the bloodstream longer, and has the most consistency within animals.
CBD oils are also ideal as they’re easy to administer on an animal. Some pet owners will place a few drops of the tincture on their pet’s tongue or mix it in with a meal.
In comparison to CBD oils, edibles don’t have as strong a pharmacokinetic profile on animals. However, they’re probably the easiest administrative method currently available.
This is especially true as specialized CBD dog and cat treats have made a name for themselves in the market.
- Topicals (Creams or Lotions)
Topicals are an ideal choice if your pet is suffering from a specific pain. For example, let’s say your veterinarian informs you your pet is suffering from joint pain. You’re naturally going to want medicine that targets this pain specifically.
Since topicals are applied to specific areas of the body, CBD has the ability to target these areas specifically.
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
From what scientists have gathered, CBD in its purest form is safe and well-handled by animals.⁴ However, it is important to mention that some scientists have found there’s an increase in liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) when someone undergoes CBD treatment (or regular CBD use).
According to veterinarian Stephanie McGrath, “I would definitely be a little concerned about giving CBD to a dog that has known liver issues.” She goes further to claim that certain liver medications may have a negative interaction with CBD.⁵
CBD Pet Dosage Recommendation
Dosing a pet with CBD is a bit more difficult than dosing a human. A suggestion most people in the CBD community make is to start small and work your way up. This way, you can get an idea of how the CBD has an effect on you and see how much you need to ease pain.
However, since a dog or cat can’t tell us how CBD is effecting them, pet owners must go off their best judgment.
We know that the right dosage of CBD is very much dependent on body weight. The more your pet weighs, the more CBD they’ll need in order to feel the effects.⁶ In order to get a sense of the right dosage, you can refer to our chart below:
|<25 lbs||26-45 lbs||46-85 lbs||86-150 lbs||151-240 lbs||>241lbs|
|Small||4.5 mg||6 mg||9 mg||12 mg||18 mg||22.5 mg|
|Medium||6 mg||9 mg||12 mg||15 mg||22.5 mg||30 mg|
|Large||9 mg||12 mg||15 mg||18 mg||27 mg||45 mg|
Will CBD Interact with Other Pet Medications?
CBD has been observed to have a negative interaction with specific human medications. Namely, those that are filtered through the liver.
If your pet is currently on medication and you’re thinking of giving CBD a try, it’s important you consult your veterinarian before administering.
As a pet owner, it’s only natural you want to offer your pet the best medication possible. And you aren’t wrong for turning to CBD in hopes of some answers.
With the information laid out above, it’s up to you to decide whether or not CBD is right for your pet. However, unless your pet is currently suffering from liver problems, the science agrees that CBD is a safe option with a lot of potentials.
If you’re interested in purchasing CBD, we invite you to check out Culture for Good’s products page for more information.
¹ New Frontier data: Hemp-derived Pet Supplies in the Growing CBD Market
² Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal: The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain
³ Canine Health Foundation: CHF Announces Funding for Clinical Trial to Study Cannabidiol to Treat Drug Resistant Epilepsy in Dogs
⁴ Expert Committee on Drug Dependence: Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report
⁶ MedlinePlus: Cannabidiol