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Cbd Oil and Dogs - Will Hemp Help Your Hound?

Updated on November 28, 2018
GollyGearHope profile image

Hope co-owns dog supply shop Golly Gear, is a positive dog trainer, and is always looking for better ways to live with our best friends.

CBD - magic potion or witches brew?

CBD oil can be added to your dog's regular meal. Minimal amounts are needed for a therapeutic dose.
CBD oil can be added to your dog's regular meal. Minimal amounts are needed for a therapeutic dose. | Source

What is CBD Oil?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 113 compounds found in the marijuana plant. CBD is not the stuff that can cause anyone to get "high."

With the tide shifting worldwide toward medical, recreational, and industrial use of the Cannabis, or Hemp plant, consumer education is vital as this versatile, but misunderstood plant makes its way into everyday society.

Hemp, containing a minimal amount of THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana), has been used for centuries to make paper, rope, food, building materials, food, and more.

CBD oil is derived from hemp plants and contains less than 0.3% THC - under the legal limit. It is a compound that activates the endocannabinoid (ECS) system in all mammals, including both dogs and people. The ECS functions with the cardiovascular, digestive, and neurological body systems, as well as playing a part in the body's anti-inflammatory response.

CBD activates receptors in the body, letting the various systems communicate better and activate therapeutic benefits.

What can CBD oil do for my dog?

The use of CBD oil in dogs is relatively new and studies are now ongoing at Colorado State University and Cornell University.

Initial finding show that CBD can be used to help dogs with: allergies; anxiety and fear; appetite loss and digestive issues; arthritis, joint, and mobility issues; cancer and tumors; chronic pain; skin issues; seizures and epilepsy; inflammation; glaucoma; and spasms. The the research is just beginning.

Unlike many prescription drugs, CBD oil does not have side effects impacting the dog's liver or kidneys. It is not known to cause any long-term toxicity.

The research is just beginning. The American Kennel Club's Canine Health Foundation is funding a three-year study on the effect of CBD oil and seizures in dogs.

To date, much of the information on CBD oil use in dogs seems to be anecdotal as the research catches up with public interest in the topic.

Teddy, my 8-year-old French Bulldog, is on CBD oil.
Teddy, my 8-year-old French Bulldog, is on CBD oil.

Trying it for Teddy

My own dog Teddy, a French Bulldog, has been diagnosed with Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), a fatal, genetic neurological disease akin to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in humans. While there's no pain associated with DM, dogs often experience anxiety as their limbs no longer function and they're unable to move freely. I've begun using CBD oil for Teddy and have noticed an improvement in his attitude and a decrease in his stress level.

There is no hard-and-fast rule for dosage of CBD Oil in dogs. Most people experienced with its use recommend starting slowly and increasing the amount of oil given until relief from symptoms is achieved. Again, anecdotally, there do seem to be some instances where no benefit is noticed.

Until research is published, the best advice may be to try CBD Oil for your dog and see if the benefit is worth it.

How do I choose the right CBD oil?

CBD oil is a relatively new industry and one that's exploding in the United States. The Brightfield Group estimates that the U.S. market for the product hit $291 million in 2017 and will swell to $1.65 billion by 2021.

With the potential for vast growth and profits, many players are entering the field of CBD oil. Some are reputable and looking to benefit the community as well as do well for themselves. Others have only profits in mind.

Be sure that the company you choose derives its CBD oil from USDA Certified Organic crops. Remember that any plant extract, like CBD oil, also contains everything used on the plant. If it's not organic, that may include pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and fertilizers. You don't want any of these toxins in your CBD Oil, or in your dog.

How the oil is extracted from the plant is another cause of concern. Look for super critical CO2 extraction. Most companies will use toxins like butane, acetone, or others to leach the oils out of the plant. These methods can leave traces of solvent in the oil.

Never use a "CBD isolate." These are further processed compounds that use even more toxins. A full-spectrum CBD oil is preferred.

Make sure the CBD oil is reviewed by a laboratory independent of the grower/processor to insure the THC levels are under the legal limit and each batch is pure CBD.

FAQs of CBD oil for dogs

Q: Will my dog get "high" from CBD?

A: No. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana or hemp that causes a feeling of euphoria, or a "high." There is less than .3 percent THC in CBD Oil. It is not psychoactive. Your dog may be more relaxed, but will not experience a "high."

Q: Is it legal?

A: Experts have assured us that, because there is no THC in the product, it is legal in all 50 states.

Q: How do I give it to my dog?

A: CBD is available as an oil that can be dropped into your dog's regular meals. It is also available in treat form in various flavors.

Q: How long does it take to work?

A: Effects should be apparent within hours of administering the dosage. Keep in mind that dosages are dependent on the individual dog. Because there are no known side effects to CBD, it's recommended to start with a minimal dose and increase as needed until the therapeutic effect is noticed.

Q: Why doesn't my veterinarian talk about CBD?

A: Because veterinarians' licenses are issued by the federal government, and CBD is derived from the same plant as marijuana and under scheduling, vets may not feel comfortable talking about CBD until the regulations are revised.

Q: Is it safe?

A: All indications are that CBD is safe for both dogs and cats.

© 2018 Hope


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