CBD and Pets

August 09, 2020 0 Comments

CBD and Pets

Non-psychoactive Cannabidiol (CBD) derived from industrial hemp has been the subject of rigorous scientific examinations since 2018 when the Farm Bill made it legal for use in the United States.

In humans, CBD can reduce seizures in patients with rare forms of epilepsy. It reduces inflammationbalances anxiety and depressionfights addiction, and has potential as a cancer treatment.

CBD works by activating specific receptors in the human endocannabinoid system. Discovered about 25 years ago, the endocannabinoid system stretches from head to toe. It is involved in processes including memory, mood, appetite, sleep, metabolism, and immune function. It seems to balance the systems of the body and promote homeostasis.

Dogs and Cats Have Endocannabinoid Systems Too

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is not unique to humans. All animals besides protozoa and insects have this clinically useful system!

The anatomical location of CB1 and CB2 receptors can be different, especially when comparing dogs and humans. However, the ECS performs the same balancing function in mammals and other animals as it does in people.

CBD is one of many plant-based molecules that activate the endocannabinoid system. Other plants that engage the ECS include:

  •       Chocolate
  •       Black pepper
  •       Oregano
  •       Cinnamon
  •       Basil
  •       Clover
  •       Lavender
  •       Rosemary
  •       Echinacea

Most of these are ingredients you do NOT want to give to your pet! Luckily, veterinary research shows full-spectrum CBD is safe for pets. Like people, animals with poor liver health should not take CBD without careful monitoring by their veterinarian.

Industrial hemp plants contain as many as 100 natural compounds called cannabinoids that balance and activate the endocannabinoid system. Full-spectrum CBD oil for pets includes cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids to promote homeostasis.

CBD and Pet Pain Management

When used in conjunction with other therapies, high-quality CBD products can improve your pet's quality of life. Animal's endocannabinoid system interacts with CBD and other cannabinoids to produce the same anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects as it does in humans.

A clinical trial for dogs with osteoarthritis found that dogs treated with CBD showed a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity during the study period. Pet owners didn't notice any side effects.

CBD to Reduce Seizure Frequency

Almost six percent of the dog population has epilepsy. Anticonvulsant drugs help but come with unwanted side effects.

Promising studies show a distinct reduction in the frequency and intensity of seizures in dogs whose owners added CBD to their existing medication for the 12-week trial.

Anti-Nausea Treatment

CBD has applications as an anti-nausea treatment. Studies show benefits for patients undergoing chemotherapy to control symptoms of nausea and delayed vomiting.

Additional studies duplicated these results in rats, showing that CBD reduces nausea in animals as well.

CBD to Calm Pet Anxiety

While we commonly think of anxiety as a human problem, dogs and cats can experience anxiety. Because our ECS system regulates mood, sleep, and appetite, CBD reduces the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

CBD stimulates the serotonin and adenosine receptors in your pet's brain, which can benefit happiness levels. Most of the research demonstrating CBD's anxiety-reducing properties is with humans, although some preliminary animal studies indicate positive results.

With cats, CBD may be an excellent anxiety-reducing choice after addressing other common sources of anxiety in cats.

THC is Toxic to Pets

It is essential to avoid giving pets CBD oil with any significant amounts of THC. Do not share CBD oil that you purchased from a legal weed store, since it may have THC levels that could be dangerous to your pets. THC is toxic to dogs and cats.

Organic, full-spectrum CBD derived from the industrial hemp plant, like Jampha's Pet Calm, has less than .3 percent THC and is safe for your pets.

How Much CBD Can You Give Pets?

Pets usually consume CBD oil orally, and proper dosage is essential. Start with a low dose and slowly increase if needed. Some effects, like relaxation, are stronger at lower doses.

General dosing recommendations are based on your pet's weight. They range from .05 mg per pound to .25 mg per pound (for more extreme cases like seizures or arthritis). At Jampha, we've simplified that into a suggestion for use. Droppers are marked.

If your pet weighs:

  •       Five to 25 pounds, use 2.5 to five milligrams (one quarter to one half of a dropper)
  •       Twenty-five to 50 pounds, use five to ten milligrams (one half to one full dropper)
  •       Fifty to 100 pounds, use ten to 15 milligrams (one full to one and a half droppers)
  •       More than 100 pounds, use 15 to 20 milligrams per 100 pounds (one and a half to two full droppers)

You can give this dose once or twice a day.

You can add CBD oil to your pet's food or put it on a treat, but absorption improves if you put it under their tongue, and they keep it there a moment or two. Not an option with every pet!

Dogs have more endocannabinoid receptors than cats or people. Starting slow is recommended.

Include Your Vet

It's worth talking to your vet before adding CBD to your pet's wellness regime. If your pet is on certain prescription medications, CBD may change how they affect your pet. The liver metabolizes CBD, and just as with people, a pet with liver disease should not be given CBD.

If your pet seems excessively thirsty or drowsy while taking CBD, these may be side effects. Try reducing the dose.

Wellness Benefits

We love our pets. It's hard not to! They add a lot to our lives. In exchange, we do our best to look after them. For many pets, CBD may be a welcome benefit to ease old joints, reduce nausea, aid with pain management, or soothe anxiety.

Research into the endocannabinoid system in humans and animals is just beginning. Its receptors are embedded in your cell membranes. According to UCLA Health, endocannabinoids are arguably one of the most widespread and versatile signaling molecules known to man.

In the coming decades, we'll learn more about the benefits of CBD for both people and pets.

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