Dogs & Marijuana – Is Cannabis Good For Dogs?

Medical review by K9 Healthcare Council of America (K9HCA). Intended for educational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your veterinarian.

Dogs And Marijuana

15 Must Know Facts About Cannabis for Dogs

As more states legalize marijuana for humans, more pet owners are giving their furry companions cannabis-based extracts, ointments and edibles marketed to treat everything from arthritis and anxiety to seizures and cancer.

While we cannot predict whether your dog will be excited about the legalization of pot, we can help you better understand the possible list of items to think through before administering it to your canine companion.

To help you, we’ve thoroughly reviewed cannabis research literature and compiled a list of the top 15 most common questions and concerns dog owners have surrounding the use of hemp CBD Oil for their family pet.

1. Understanding CBD: Comprehensive Insights into Cannabidiol Treatment

CBD is one of 104 cannabinoids naturally found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. CBD is extracted from the stems, the leaves and the flowers of this plant.

The full name of CBD is Cannabidiol. The medicinal effects of cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants are defined in the US Cannabis Patent #6630507. CBD can be sourced from hemp grown in Europe, the United States and other countries as well.

Dogs and marijuana. Cannabis for dogs. CBD for dogs with cancer.
Dogs and marijuana. CBD oil from hemp is recognized as a medicinal herb for various canine disorders. CBD can be sourced from hemp grown globally, including Europe and the United States.

2. Is CBD Good for Dogs?

In the medical literature there are over 1400 studies about cannabis and its effects on disease. The range of illness, injury and toxic organ exposure studied is huge with the benefits being universal and the adverse reactions non-existent.

So, with the science of discovery being our basis of interpretation, CBD can, in fact, be very helpful for dogs with severe health challenges like canine lymphoma.

Certainly, the beneficial outcomes from CBD do not always indicate a cure but science can consistently demonstrate a protection of organ functions, improved survival rates and better overall health.

The reason for the broad spectrum of benefits of CBD (cannabidiol) may lie in the fact that it parallels the body’s own Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Discovered in 1991 the ECS acts as a master hormone and metabolic regulatory system about which at present only a few healthcare providers and veterinarians are familiar.

Research on this topic has been expanding at an exponential pace. And the details are proving to be extremely complex and integrated into all body systems, both human and canine. So, there is a scientific basis for supposing that CBD can play a leading role in healing your pet’s medical conditions.

pros and cons of cbd oil
Prescription medications for dogs come with their own adverse reactions and safety hazards. CBD is an all-natural way to care for pets with pain, anxiety and uncontrolled seizures.

3. What are the Effects of Marijuana on Dogs?

In human and animal studies, CBD has been shown to be effective in schizophrenia and canine epilepsy. Many people have reported help with chronic pain, neuropathy, migraines, anxiety, arthritis, inflammatory bowel and insomnia.

For other conditions studies have shown improvements in animal models of diabetes, kidney, heart, vascular disease, and cancer. In humans and in dogs the broadest benefits seem to be related to controlling the body’s inflammatory response.

Rimadyl alternatives
All-natural CBD from hemp is also an alternative to consider for your pet. This all-natural, whole-plant solution is safe to use with any medication or current nutritional plan. Its benefits include helping pets with pain, inflammation, mobility issues, and many other similar symptoms commonly associated with arthritis.

Many modern civilization conditions, like pain, arthritis and neuropathy, appear to be closely associated with the general process of inflammation. CBD addresses all of the major constituents in this cellular reactionary process. CBD attenuates inflammatory cell migration & infiltration and the production of inflammatory mediators. CBD suppresses pro-inflammatory signaling. In essence, balancing the natural response to cell damage, trauma or disease from getting out-of-hand.

Therefore, based on the ability of CBD to reduce inflammatory markers in several experimental models and the fact that all mammals have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), there is a bio-equivalent crossover that CBD will help canines with conditions of an inflammatory nature.

4. CBD & Psychoactivity – Can Dogs ‘Get-High’ from CBD?

CBD does not induce psychoactive effects, as it lacks the psychoactive component found in THC. CBD is legal and widely available since it is derived from industrial hemp with minimal THC content. In most states THC is illegal, but CBD is widely available and unrestricted because it comes from industrial hemp, a subspecies of cannabis, that contains only trace amounts of THC.

Cannabis for dogs. Cannabis oil for dogs. Hemp CBD oil. CBD cannabis. Hemp CBD oil. CBD oil for dogs with seizures.
Cannabinoids from hemp are increasingly important to maintain optimum health in our canine companions. CBD from hemp does not induce psychoactive effects, as it lacks the psychoactive component found in THC.

5. Are CBD Products for Pets Regulated?

Although medical marijuana is legal in 30 states, it remains illegal under federal law, so there has been relatively little research into its potential medical benefits for animals. Most of the pet products that are marketed as CBD for dogs are NOT regulated as nutritional supplements even though they contain little or no tetrahydrocannabinol or THC (the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects).

CBD oil for dogs. Cannabis for dogs. Hemp CBD oil.
While hemp derived CBD oil is effective for dogs with allergies, arthritis and anxiety, CBD products for pets are not extensively regulated. Most marketed as CBD for dogs are not regulated as nutritional supplements, creating a need for cautious consumption.

6. Veterinary Involvement – Can Vets Prescribe CBD to My Dog?

While physicians in states where medical marijuana is sanctioned are legally allowed to recommend marijuana, that’s not true of veterinarians. Veterinarians in the United States are legally barred from prescribing or recommending cannabis to animal owners. They risk losing their veterinary licenses if they do.

But many vets still advise ‘use them at their own risk’. Conventional wisdom of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is that more studies directly relating the therapeutic benefits of using cannabis are needed before cannabinoid therapy is an accepted medical practice.

Still, some veterinarians have come out in favor of using CBD medicinally as an alternative to watching animals wasting away in pain, inflammation or the agony of end-of-life health issues.

Dogs and marijuana. Is CBD safe for dogs?
Veterinarians are legally prohibited from prescribing or recommending cannabis to animal owners, risking their licenses. However, some vets cautiously advise its use due to the lack of extensive studies on cannabinoid therapy.

7. Is There Scientific Evidence CBD is An Effective Treatment?

Despite the lack of veterinary guidance or canine specific scientific proof, many pet owners are convinced cannabis has improved their animals’ health and well-being based on their own personal observations. Empirical evidence abounds with stories of pet owners who see a real difference in their dog’s spirit.

A dog who is no longer in pain, is eating & sleeping better, is back to being physically active just seems like a happier dog–like they have a new lease on life. For some pet parents, having their dog back to optimum health is all the proof they need.

dog marijuana
Despite the absence of specific scientific proof for dogs, many pet owners report improved health and well-being in their animals based on personal observations. Empirical evidence suggests that natural CBD can benefit dogs of all ages for various conditions.

8. What’s the Best Way to Give My Dog CBD?

CBD products are available in many forms from sublingual, oral, topical and even for inhalation. Purified isolate products are also available but because current products are processed from full spectrum whole hemp plant extracts, pharmaceutical grade injectables are not considered a viable delivery system.

The preferred way to administer CBD oil is taking it sublingually, under-the-tongue. You can also drip it on your hand and then have your dog lick it but some dogs do not find the taste pleasing. In this case you can also drip the CBD oil on a piece of bread or favorite pet treat.

CBD Dosage for dogs
Sublingual application is the most bioavailable means to administer CBD to pets. CBD dosage for dogs is measured in mgs per kg body weight. Start low, go slow & monitor your dog’s progress.

However, more recent research has shown that only a small percentage (<10%) of CBD taken orally in food or edible treats ever gets through the GI tract into the blood stream. This is cause for concern when you are using small-scale amounts and every drop counts.

Notwithstanding, the ineffective gut absorption of orally ingested treats can be a huge waste of your money!

9. CBD Vs Traditional Vet Medications?

When it comes to your beloved pet there is no better source of medical care knowledge than a local veterinarian.

However, many pet owners are choosing to use alternative, adjunctive treatment therapies like CBD that are not available or currently acceptable to them through their personal vet.

What we find is a lot of dog owners are turning to CBD when there are no other options and pharmaceuticals haven’t worked for their pet.

They’ve tried traditional medicine with little to no appeasement of their furry friend’s condition. Sometimes, with end-of-life comfort, non-traditional care is a last resort and CBD is really good for those types of situations. CBD can help treat pain, anxiety and digestive problems in canines as well as aid in the treatment of allergic skin conditions, bone healing and cancer therapies.

hemp oil for dogs
While regular veterinary check-ups are crucial, pet owners often turn to CBD as an alternative when traditional medications prove ineffective, especially in cases of allergies. Hemp derived CBD oil is a natural treatment for canine allergies.

It is always recommended you have regular check-ups and vet visits but know that there is a loving, supportive community of pet parents who use and swear by the medicinal benefits of using CBD to heal their dog.

10. What Types of Conditions Can I Use CBD For?

The secrets of CBD’s method of action are still being discovered because cannabidiol is unlike any pharmaceuticals that have previously been explored.

Science knows some of the details behind the healing powers of CBD products but more remain to be elucidated. CBD’s broad therapeutic areas include:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • immune modulation
  • neuro-endocrine modulation
  • cellular preservation/anti-tumor effects.

CBD addresses common canine health challenges such as pain, arthritis, neuropathy, anxiety, and cancer.

Dogs & marijuana. Therapeutic benefits of CBD for dogs with pain, cancer or neurological disorders like epilepsy.
CBD’s broad therapeutic areas include anti-inflammatory, immune modulation, neuro-endocrine modulation, and cellular preservation/anti-tumor effects. It addresses common canine health challenges such as pain, arthritis, neuropathy, anxiety, and cancer.

The medical application of CBD Oil for dogs is an ever-expanding horizon that extends from anti-aging to degenerative diseases and everything in between. Common canine health challenges include pain, arthritis, neuropathy, anxiety and sleep disorders, bone healing and cancer and CBD has been shown to be supportive for many of these common canine conditions.

11. Side Effects of Giving My Dog CBD?

Despite the wide range of CBD delivery formats and potential treatment protocols–no significant adverse reactions have been reported in any test subjects.

There are no known side effects with normal use of CBD oil but there are serious repercussions if your dog consumes too much THC from accidentally consuming human products or pet parents giving cannabis to their dog. An over-dose of THC can result in dangerous Static Ataxia with symptoms like;

  • Lethargy
  • Breathing problems
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Loss of balance (Ataxia)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Coma or death

12. How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?

Due to a lack of specific canine research, it’s unclear the exact clinical dosage amounts of CBD for dogs–but pet owners are seeing exceptional responses at relatively low doses. Administering CBD yourself comes with a learning-curve of testing and experimenting. But the lack of exact dosing information should not deter you from starting small daily dose and adjusting your dog’s regimen to find the best possible dosage to support their specific health challenges.

CBD has provided dogs relief for arthritis and cancer, but it is still not approved by the AVMA, ASPCA or any other organization so determining the amount of CBD to give your dog means establishing a baseline treatment timeline and making adjustments to find the “sweet-spot” for effective relief.

how to give cbd oil to dog
Dogs and marijuana. Oral sublingual CBD oil delivery is preferred for its higher absorption & bioavailability. Due to a lack of specific canine research, determining the exact clinical dosage amounts of CBD for dogs can be challenging. Starting with a low daily dose and adjusting based on the dog’s response is recommended.

13. Is Cannabis Oil the Same as CBD Oil?

Cannabis oil is not a CBD oil and is therefore not the same thing. Buying cannabis oil is actually like buying THC oil. It is under strict supervision to ensure that sellers do not break the opium legislation. The opium law is broken, for example, when more then 0.3 % THC is present in the products.

CBD oil for sale is made from hemp and contains little or no THC. THC oil is made from cannabis and contains lots of THC and usually very little CBD. THC oil is illegal in the most parts of the world because of the high concentration of THC.

Dogs an marijuana
Cannabis (marijuana) plants grown for THC rich flower tops in medical marijuana cultivation center have longer growth cycles and tend to be shorter, more compact than hemp plants grown outdoors. Cannabis is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis sativa plant intended for medical or recreational use.

14. How Fast Does CBD Oil Work?

How quick CBD works depends on a lot of factors, the dose, the general health of your dog, the method of delivery and even your expectations. Some pet owners notice the calming and relaxing effect of the CBD on their dog within minutes when administered orally under the tongue.

If you use CBD for other reasons, the medical effect may take longer. Some chronic conditions take longer to notice the true healing effects (30-60 days).

CBD dosage for dogs with arthritis pain
The speed at which CBD works depends on factors such as dose, overall health, and method of delivery. Administering CBD directly onto the gums is the most efficient and fast-acting method. The medicine is absorbed through the mucous membrane in the mouth and enters the bloodstream directly. This ensures optimal delivery and effectiveness.

The nano-emulsified delivery system mentioned above has shown immediate results after administering–important when you want to alleviate intermittent pain from long hikes or intense exercise with your dog. Keep in mind that the effect of CBD is to balance and moderate the biochemistry of your pet–so a long-term evaluation of alleviating symptoms is a more realistic expectation.

15. How Should I Store CBD Oil?

CBD oil is an unstable product and should be best stored in a dark, cool place. CBD oil is sensitive to light and air, so the bottle of CBD oil should be fitted well and sealed completely after use. The oil is suitable for daily use, so it is easiest to reach if placed in an easily accessible place. Most people simply place the oil in their kitchen cabinets for easy access.

Dogs and marijuana. Storing CBD oil at home.
CBD oil is sensitive to light and air and should be stored in a dark, cool place. Proper sealing and storage in easily accessible locations, like kitchens, are recommended for maintaining its stability over time. Once opened, a bottle will have a freshness of 6 months or longer depending on exposure to open air.

The Truth About CBD Oil for Dogs

The use of CBD oil for dogs is supported by a wealth of scientific research, demonstrating its potential benefits in addressing various canine health challenges. Specifically, CBD, derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, particularly hemp, offers a non-psychoactive alternative for pet owners seeking natural remedies.

With its proven anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is poised to play a crucial role in supporting canine well-being, ranging from pain relief and anxiety management to immune modulation and cellular preservation.

While regulatory aspects and veterinarian involvement pose challenges, empirical evidence from pet owners underscores CBD’s positive impact on dogs of all ages. Caution is advised to avoid THC overdose, emphasizing the importance of responsible dosage management.

In this evolving landscape, where traditional veterinary medications may fall short, CBD emerges as a promising adjunct therapy, fostering a community of caring pet parents who swear by its medicinal benefits. As research continues to unravel CBD’s intricate mechanisms, its role in canine healthcare becomes increasingly integral, offering hope and relief for our beloved four-legged companions.

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