Written By Liz Gold
As the cannabis industry evolves and we realize the healing power of cannabidiol (CBD) on humans, information is also coming to light on its positive impact on animals. CBD is quickly becoming synonymous with wellness as it provides natural relief for many significant ailments – both for humans and their pets – and lays the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
While it’s been mostly anecdotal evidence supporting CBD use for pets, more research is emerging.
Colorado State University recently released a study focused on CBD oil for dogs who have epilepsy, which is a common condition among canines. Many pharmaceutical drugs don’t work well or have terrible side effects, so there is a strong desire to find viable healing alternatives. In the pilot study, observing 16 dog patients, nearly 90 percent of the epileptic dogs had fewer seizures when taking the CBD oil, as compared to about 20 percent on placebo. CSU has since received a substantial grant to continue that research with more dogs and publish the results.
In another study conducted again by Colorado State University and illustrated in the appendix of canine expert Caroline Coile’s book, “Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs: Natural Supplements to Support Healthy Living and Graceful Aging” 95 percent of the 457 dog owners surveyed felt that the consumption of hemp products provided pain relief either moderately or a great deal. Eighty-three percent of dog owners in that same study reported that hemp products also helped relieve anxiety at that same level – moderately or a great deal.
So, if you’ve been on the fence about giving CBD to your pet, here are five reasons to give it a try:
CBD is safe. Hemp is the cannabis source used for CBD-rich products for dogs, according to Coile. Hemp is low in THC (below 0.3 percent), which eliminates the intoxicating effect on dogs. In other words, it won’t get your dog high, but it will provide the vast wellness benefits. Be sure to check out Coile’s book to learn about 30 years of documented research on therapeutic applications for cannabis with animals.
CBD works toward homeostasis in the body. Essentially, this means the body is in a normal and healthy state, according to veterinarian Michael Petty. CBD affects the endocannabinoid receptors, which are located in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. These receptors are critical as they function to maintain body homeostasis. CBD is deeply involved in those endocannabinoid neurotransmissions in that they upregulate and downregulate neural transmissions as needed to maintain that homeostasis, according to Petty. Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, only stimulate upregulation or downregulation, making it possible to move body systems out of their homeostatic state. Because CBD works toward homeostasis, it doesn’t do this, making unwanted side effects rare and giving CBD a good safety profile.
CBD addresses a variety of pet ailments. Does Fido get anxious going to the vet? Getting a bath? Going on an airplane? Does Garfield have a regular upset stomach or have stiff joints? Just like humans, pets suffer from a variety of issues. As a result, pet owners are increasingly using CBD for medical and behavioral issues such as chronic pain, arthritis, inflammation, seizures, digestive disorders, anxiety, mood and memory. CBD can also increase appetite and support the healing process after a surgery.
CBD is easy to administer. Simply place a drop from an extract into your pet’s mouth, add it to their food or favorite treat. You can also put it on their paw or in their ear. If giving treats is your preference, make sure to try our Phyto Animal Health HempBone CBD Bacon Apple Donuts. At 4 mg of CBD per chew, these all-natural donuts promote cardiovascular function, neurological health and support healthy joints. In addition, these treats are made with non-GMO hemp grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. If you or your pet would prefer oil, try our Phyto Animal Health Vitality 100. This is full spectrum hemp oil that can be administered daily by placing a drop on your dog or cat’s tongue or by adding it to their food. Designed to promote cardiovascular function, support healthy joints and promote neurological health, each bottle contains 100 mg of CBD.
Hemp-derived CBD products are readily available. While it may be illegal for vets to prescribe cannabis products, it is legal for anyone to buy and use hemp products. At the Wellness Connection of Maine, you are not required to have a medical marijuana certification card to purchase pet CBD products.