Medicinal and therapeutic use of CBD oil – How pets can benefit from it?

Medicinal and therapeutic use of CBD oil - How pets can benefit from it?


These days there is quite a buzz about the therapeutic use of CBD or cannabidiol for dogs and cats. Already there is growing clamor about the positive effects of CBD on humans when used for medicinal purposes, and pet lovers and vets are now keen to extend the same benefits to the four-legged domestic animals that are our close companions. CBD is a derivative of marijuana but far from addictive as it does not have any psychoactive properties which make it acceptable for exploring its medicinal qualities. However, the law is yet not much clear about CBD because of its links to cannabis even though it comes from the hemp plant. Hemp belongs to the cannabis species but does not contain THC which makes it different from marijuana that can stone people.

CBD and THC – the differences

Marijuana or cannabis plant contains both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and these belong to the same chemical family known as cannabinoids which are unique compounds.   Perhaps marijuana would never be so popular had it not been for THC because it is the psychoactive agent that imparts all attraction to marijuana due to its capability of providing ‘high’ and turning people ‘stone.’ On the contrary, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties, but its medicinal qualities have attracted the medical fraternity to put it to good use for humans as well as animals.

Cannabis oil is good for dogs

Dogs suffering from a host of ailments like nausea, seizures, anxiety, stress, back pain, arthritis, symptoms of cancer as well as gastrointestinal issues are now treated with CBD oil or similar products that come in the form of treats and chews to make it easy for the animal to ingest. Until now, the efficacy of CBD for pets like cats and dogs remained a matter of debate because of lack of any research in the field. Despite growing interest in CBD for the treatment animals, there was no encouragement given to research because of legal issues that classify CBD as a Controlled Substance and schedule I drug. Now that more and more states in the US are legalizing cannabis or marijuana, research is gaining momentum.

Boost for research

Several research projects are underway that aim at exploring the various medicinal uses of CBD for pets. Since 2016, Dr, Stephanie McGrath a neurologist by qualification and serving the College of Veterinary medicines and Biomedical Sciences as an assistant professor at Colorado State University has completed two clinical studies on the effects of CBD on dogs suffering from epilepsy or seizures. She has received a grant from the American Kennel Club in January 2018 to begin a three-year study on dogs based on the same topic. The legislation is likely to come up in New York and California that would legalize the discussion of cannabis between veterinarians and pet lovers.

Promote the overall well-being of pets

Although all discussions about using CBD for pets revolve around its medicinal use, vets and pet lovers are ready to go a step ahead and use it for therapeutic purposes too for ensuring the overall well-being of pets. Just like humans, dogs also go through bouts of anxiety and depression, and it is extremely important to support the animal in maintaining calmness and stop dog anxiety with hemp or CBD oil. CBD can treat several illnesses, and its continuous use can ensure a happy and healthier life of pets by taking care of its physical and mental health. Therefore, using CBD oil treats or chews as regular supplements pet owners who want their pets to lead a happy life free from anxiety and depression.

CBD is effective in pain management

CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system of the body that helps to manage pain by providing relief. The relief comes in different ways like CBD can inhibit the absorption of anandamide, a chemical that weakens the pain signals that reach the brain. When absorption stops, the production of anandamide increases and that helps to reduce pain. Besides reducing pain CBD possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties which are put to good use in the treatment of arthritis as its pain reducing properties extends good support in controlling the condition.

CBD is anti-convulsant

Cannabidiol is highly effective in controlling seizures, tremors, spasms, and tics in dogs and cats. Those familiar with alternative medicines would be aware of the anticonvulsant properties of CBD that occurs in the compound naturally. Although it is yet not clear exactly how CBD works as an anti-convulsant, there are numerous instances that pet lovers can cite when CBD came to the rescue when their dog or cat had experienced bouts of seizures.

Dogs can be susceptible to marijuana toxicity

Although CBD used in controlled dosage is good for dogs, marijuana can be harmful to the animal if ingested orally. While CBD oil, tinctures, chews and treats are specially produced for dogs and cats, having free access to marijuana can cause poisoning in dogs. Dogs are fond of the taste of marijuana and will consume it in any form including plants, buds, joints, and baggies. They may even consume cookies and baked marijuana products. With more and more states in the US legalizing marijuana, the threat of marijuana poisoning in dogs is on the rise.

Dogs that consume marijuana can become inebriated just like humans, and even though it may look funny, the matter is serious enough to seek help from a veterinarian for proper medical treatment. The vet should be able to identify the condition and confirm that it is a case of marijuana poisoning because the symptoms are very similar to some other neurological conditions.

When administering CBD to dogs be very careful to select the right dosage in consultation with a vet. The most common fear is that dogs may experience ‘high’ due to excess THC that can last from a few hours to a few days depending on the extent of overdose. If you ever observe symptoms that tend to arise from CBD overdose, consult a vet immediately. Instead, it is always beneficial to administer CBD under the guidance of a vet.

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