Cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil, is a cannabis compound used to treat a variety of medical conditions in humans. Dog owners are increasingly exploring the oil’s effectiveness for their pets. There are a lot of CBD oil products to choose from, so it’s important for you talk with your vet about any questions or concerns you have.
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil is simply liquid extracted from a marijuana plant. The plants actually contain 80 different cannabinoids, including THC, the psychoactive component, and CBD, the medical one. Dosed properly, CBD oil has no hallucinogenic effect on dogs.
To date, there've been no formal studies done on how CBD oil affects dogs, but scientists do know that CBD interacts with the receptors in a dog’s body that help maintain balance and keep it in a normal healthy state.
What are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?
Anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggests that CBD effectively treats neuropathic pain, several types of inflammation, and helps control seizures. Others have reported successes similar to those humans have with the oil treating stress, anxiety, nausea, back pain, arthritis, some symptoms of cancer, and gastrointestinal issues such as colitis and inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD.
CBD oil has not been shown to be life-threatening or have serious side effects, which is a great benefit over traditional pain medicine for dogs, and it causes no harm to your pup’s liver, GI track, or kidneys.
Fortunately, a study is now being conducted by the AKC Canine Health Foundation to evaluate the use of CBD oil as a treatment for epileptic dogs who have not responded to conventional approaches. Working with the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the foundation hopes this will be the first of many studies on the effectiveness of CBD oil in pets.
Are There Risks Involved with CBD Oil?
CBD oil has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and there is no recommended or sanctioned dosing chart. That makes it difficult to know what dosage would be toxic. Of course, any medication or supplement comes with its risks. Talk to your vet about the ideal dosage and schedule for your dog.
The life-threatening risks for dogs from CBD oil are exceedingly rare, though your pet could have problems due to other ingredients in the oil, including THC. Experts warn that CBD oil is not a cure-all and there have been reported cases of large amounts being fatal to dogs if it's not pure.
Legal and Safe
If you’re a paw-rent who wants to give your dog CBD oil, talk to your vet about which product you should try. As long as the CBD oil you choose comes from hemp oil, it is legally available. Make sure the product you choose is:
- Organic, otherwise it may contain solvents, pesticides, and/or fungicides.
- High-quality, meaning free of additives.
- Properly analyzed and shown to contain a sufficient amount of CBD.
CBD oil can be a healthy and sometimes life-saving remedy for your dog. And you can feel good about knowing you’re giving your four-legged family member a mild, non-addictive treatment that can bring an abundance of relief.