Our love for our pets is a boundless ocean. So, when they get sick, we desperately try every treatment imaginable. From running to pet clinics to looking up homemade therapies online, there’s a lot out there that belongs to the growing body of “pet healthcare.” Among this, CBD has emerged as an inexpensive and promising alternative treatment.
CBD science is still in its early stages. Despite this, many studies provide evidence at some level or another CBD’s healing potential for pets.
Furthermore, if you’re worried that CBD will get your pets high, your fears are unfounded. Pets consume CBD in various forms (chewable treats, capsules, etc.); however, none of these are psychoactive, i.e., cause a bad case of the “doobies.”
You can easily mix CBD products in creams or different foods to promote consumption. Like in humans, each CBD product affects pets differently, depending upon breed size, weight, and other physiological differences.
To understand CBD’s benefits, and how you should go about safely using CBD to treat your pets, here’s some solid medical advice backed by scientific evidence to help you make smart choices.
CBD For Pain: Can CBD Relieve my Pet’s pain?
In 1997, a study that appeared in the European Journal of Pharmacology dug deep into CBD’s role in managing chronic pain. Today, CBD is the subject of many studies for its painkilling qualities.
Some recent studies have indicated that CBD can prevent pain absorption, stimulating chemicals in the brain. CBD has specifically been shown to slow down anandamide’s absorption, a key neural chemical responsible for promoting painful sensations.
Moreover, CBD might play a role in providing anti-inflammatory relief (more on this, later). As inflammation is a major aggravator of painful diseases like arthritis, CBD can prove very beneficial.
CBD As an Anticonvulsant: Can CBD Control My Pet’s Seizures
One of the most scientifically backed uses of CBD revolves around controlling seizures, spasms, and even certain severe epilepsy forms.
In 2017, The FDA greenlit Epidiolex — a CBD-based oral solution — to treat two severe epileptic disorders endemic to children. These syndromes previously had no effective treatment, so Epidiolex’s introduction was a huge breakthrough.
CBD’s natural anticonvulsant properties first came to light in 2014 when the story of “Charlotte’s Web” first made headlines in 2013. Charlotte was a 13-year girl, tackling with a staggering 300 seizures every week. The only thing that helped the poor girl: CBD rich cannabis, which she named Charlotte’s Web.
Since then, numerous studies have proven that CBD can help manage various tremors, spasms, and tics. Several studies have demonstrated how CBD can help control epilepsy-induced seizures. Some more have indicated that CBD can help relieve spasticity and tics caused by Tourette’s syndrome and other similar conditions.
However, the science on CBD’s anticonvulsant properties still isn’t that clear. Researchers consider the rapid flaring up of neurons as the major triggering event behind seizures. Preliminary research suggests CBD can cause these events to subside and provide relief.
CBD For Inflammation: Can CBD Treat My Pet’s Point Pain?
As mentioned above, CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, researchers have touted CBD as a promising treatment for a wide array of conditions.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities are mainly associated with its receptivity to special neural-immune receptors. Among these, CBD specifically links with CBD2 receptors known to evoke various immune responses, including the response to fight inflammation.
In conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, inflammation is a major stressor contributing to chronic pain. In some diseases, inflammation is also a result of a defective immune system, which causes immune cells to attack each other.
By combating inflammation, CBD helps to reduce inflammatory symptoms like pain prevalent in these conditions.
CBD For Anxiety: Can CBD Calm my Pet?
If you’ve ever seen dogs convulse in their skin after a nerve-shocking firework or chew bundles of books out in their owner’s protracted absence, you know how harmful anxiety can be for pets. And while the origins of this anxiety may vary in different pets, it can lead to phobias, fears, and even physical impairment.
Some common symptoms of anxiety you should look out for are:
- Persistent barking
- Chewing (furniture, shoes, rubbish, etc.)
- Urinating and defecating (usually inside the house or crate)
CBD doesn’t just play a role in relieving physical symptoms — it’s also a powerful mental health therapy. Many studies have corroborated CBD’s ability to manage mild to severe anxiety in pets.
Traditional drugs target a neural receptor known as 5-HTIA to combat anxiety in pets. Research suggests CBD might follow similar patterns to treat anxiety.
- A 2011 study found that CBD helped with social anxiety disorders in dogs.
- Another 2015 study revealed that CBD could prove pivotal in treating various anxiety disorders, such as PTSD and panic disorder.
Should You Try CBD for Your Pet?
So what’s the verdict? Should you choose CBD oil for your pet’s medical vows?
Well, it depends. CBD isn’t known to have any adverse side effects. So, giving it a go won’t pose any serious harm. Suppose nothing else has worked, and your pet is still in the clutching grips of separation anxiety or some other serious condition. In that case, you can lean on CBD as an alternative therapy.
Although scientific evidence on CBD’s potential medical benefits is scarce, anecdotal accounts are vast and sundry.
At the very least, CBD can help make you and your pet’s life easier. And if things go well, your pet might live a long and fulfilling life with CBD use, which he or she might not have otherwise.
Some rules to keep in mind before administering CBD to your pet that may help you include:
- Consult your vet first. CBD can interfere with other medications and produce adverse reactions.
- One your vet gives you the OKAY, tread slowly. Start with low to moderate doses. One gram of CBD per 5kg bodyweight, to begin with. Then, increase the dose to see how your pet reacts.