Many people have heard about CBD (Cannabidiol) having positive effects on human health, such as reducing inflammation, seizures, anxiety, and improving sleep. It has been found that these effects are not limited to humans, as all mammalian species have been found to have an Endocannabinoid system. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that does not produce the euphoric effects of THC. More recently, a growing number of pet owners are using cannabis-derived products containing CBD to help their pets alleviate pain, seizures and other conditions. Here is what the science says with regard to CBD oil for dogs & cats.
The effects of medical cannabis for animals
CBD oil for dogs and cats
Despite the historical lack of peer-reviewed research on the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil treatments for pets (especially dogs and cats), there have been some significant studies conducted in more recent years. Notably, a clinical study conducted by Dr. Joseph Wakshlag at Cornell University examined the effects of CBD hemp oil for dogs with pain and arthritis. The results showed that over 80% of the dogs saw significant reductions in pain and substantial improvements in mobility. Additionally, no short-term side effects were noted. This result suggests that CBD could potentially be a safer alternative to Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) commonly prescribed to pets with osteoarthritis.
Similarly to humans, dogs, cats and other pets may suffer from various conditions such as anxiety, stress and pain. With the increased popularity of using CBD for anxiety as a treatment in humans, non-psychoactive cannabinoid therapies such as CBD oil may be an effective treatment for pets. The use of CBD oil for dogs, cats and other animals (even horses) may have beneficial impacts on their overall health, even in the absence of any physical or mental illnesses.
Potential health benefits of using CBD oil for dogs and cats:
- Arthritis management
- Calmness and relaxation
- Chronic pain relief
- Digestion improvement
- Improved mental conditions
- Increased mobility and activity levels
- Lowered stress and anxiety
- Neurological/neuroprotective benefits
- Reduction in epileptic seizures
- Strengthened immune system
See more Altmed CBD oil treatments here.
THC oil for dogs and cats
Cannabis oil for pets can be a complicated subject. Many individuals are concerned about whether their beloved pet will be able to safely absorb THC in cannabis medicines. The Veterinary Centers of America Inc suggests that fatalities for pets consuming THC is extremely rare, though it is quite possible for those pets to become intoxicated or experience side effects.
How do I know if my pet is intoxicated?
One of the first signs you might notice is that your pets may become clumsy, unsteady or have a hard time walking straight. This is usually a sign that the pet is disoriented. Conversely the pet may become hyperactive, more social and even prone to barking or making more noises than usual. It is also possible that your pets pupils may dilate or they might start drooling or vomiting. Your pet may also lose control of its bladder, causing incontinence or involuntary urination. Under extreme circumstances, THC may cause seizures, tremors or a coma.
As with other prescription medications, before giving medicinal cannabis (THC or CBD) oil treatments to your dog or cat, it is crucial to obtain professional veterinarian advice first.
Medicinal cannabis (CBD) oil for dogs
A paper published by Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that CBD Oil for dogs is safe in controlled amounts. Some of the dogs in the study experienced adverse side effects, however these were more closely associated with higher levels of THC consumption.
One study carried out by The Canadian Veterinary Journal discovered that dogs have more CB-1 receptors than any other animal. As such, the administration of phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the plant) to activate these receptors suggests that CBD oil tincture for dogs may be even more beneficial than for humans.
Potential health benefits of using CBD oil for dogs:
- Anxiety and stress
- Chronic pain
- Epileptic seizures or convulsions
- Lack of appetite
- Skin conditions or allergies
A recent research paper published by the International Association for the Study of Pain observed different dosing amounts, regimen and formulations in CBD oil for dogs suffering with osteoarthritis. The results drawn from the study suggested that CBD oil for dogs is likely to help their condition by reducing inflammation.
A paper released by the Veterinary Health Center at the University of Missouri found that CBD Oil helped dogs control seizures. Unfortunately idiopathic epilepsy is common in dogs and especially in purebreds. For years, cannabis-based drugs aimed at reducing seizures in children with rare forms of epilepsy have been proven as effective treatments. Similarly, CBD oil may be a natural alternative to treat epilepsy in canines.
Further, a pilot study, completed by Dr. Stephanie McGrath of the University of Colorado observed 16 dogs and their responses to medicinal CBD oil treatments. The study indicated that 89% of the treated canines experienced a reduction in seizure frequency.
There may also be the possibility to treat cancer by using CBD oil for dogs. A peer-reviewed study conducted by Veterinary and Comparative Oncology on behalf of the American Kennel Club showed that CBD was effective in slowing cancer cell proliferation.
Medicinal cannabis (CBD) Oil for cats
A study published by the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery found that CBD Oil for cats is safe in controlled amounts. The results pointed out that the likelihood of adverse events was more closely associated with THC. Furthermore, the study showed that gastric issues experienced by some cats was linked to the MCT oil used as a carrier oil for the CBD.
The company ElleVet has conducted several long-term clinical and pharmacological study on cats, using their own products. Their studies have found that some of their CBD oil blends were helpful to cats. Similarly to dogs, cats also saw decreases in pain from arthritis and other problems. However some of their responses were slightly different to dogs. For example, some of the findings indicated that cats may respond better to cannabinoid medicine than dogs when treating anxiety. The main difference discovered was in reference to how cats metabolise medicinal cannabis. Cats metabolise CBD oil in a much shorter period of time compared to dogs, which means they need much higher and frequent doses than a dog of the same size. These findings were consistent with the findings of another study published by journal Animal.
Potential health benefits of using CBD oil for cats:
- Anxiety or stress
- Arthritis and inflammation
- Behavioural problems
- Cardiovascular issues
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic kidney disease
There is a low risk of negative side effects when you give CBD oil to your cat in appropriate doses. It is possible that an overdoes may cause sedation in the cat, but the result is unlikely to be life-threatening. Similarly to canines, THC oil for cats should be more closely monitored by a veterinarian due to risks of adverse events or side effects.
Accessing CBD oil for dogs and cats
So how accessible are medical cannabis for animals and what are the political, ethical and scientific implications of such treatments? In Australia, Cannabis oil (CBD or THC) can be prescribed by a vet, however CBD oil is more likely due to its safety profile. As there are no final dose CBD products for pets, products must be compounded by a compounding pharmacist for to meet the specific needs of individual pets.
Dosing CBD oil for dogs and cats
Cats and dogs of different sizes require different doses of CBD. According to some veterinarians, 0.1-0.5 mg of CBD per kg for your cat is an ideal dose, while for dogs, the appropriate dosage is closer to 0.3mg of CBD per kilo of the dog’s weight. Though higher doses of CBD have been found to be safe.
Due to the dosing It is also crucial to differentiate between edible products for humans versus those designed to be digested by pets.
Medical cannabis is a safe and natural alternative medicine that may help reduce suffering experienced by our four-legged companions. It may be suitable where other drugs have either failed to provide relief or had adverse side effects.
If you are considering giving CBD oil to your pet, it is recommended to seek veterinary advice first to find a safe and legal source thereby ensuring your pets safety.