Hemp Oil for Pets
As a caring pet owner, you more than likely have spent time researching the benefits of hemp oil for your dog’s ailing body. Specifically, whether or not hemp oil containing CBD (cannabidiol) is safe and effective to provide relief to your elderly dog with arthritis pain or a nervous dog with anxiety related disorder.
The simple answer is, there is no simple answer. All dogs are different, and each will have their own unique experience from cannabinoid therapy; but empirical evidence continues to accumulate on the efficacy and effectiveness of hemp derived CBD for dogs with joint pain, separation anxiety and a myriad of other debilitating canine conditions.
Is Hemp Oil Good for Dogs?
In 2018, Frontiers in Veterinary Science published an osteoarthritis study conducted at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The results of the study showed a clinically significant reduction in pain for the dogs treated with CBD oil.
Preliminary results of this pharmacokinetic and clinical study suggests that CBD (cannabidiol from hemp) given twice daily can decrease pain and help increase mobility & activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.
Evidence is mounting. In a second study, researchers at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are working on a Phase II osteoarthritis trial with results from that trial pending and should be published soon.
Is Hemp Safe for Dogs?
Animals, just like humans, have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), including cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes from within the body that interact with each other and external components, like Phyto cannabinoids.
The ECS is a ‘master messenger’ communication system in your dog’s body that helps regulate sleep, appetite, pain, the immune system response and much, much more. CBD impacts the activity of the messengers in this system and stimulates the nervous, digestive and immune systems, as well as the brain. And it can do this because the endocannabinoids in CBD are very similar to the ones found naturally in your dog’s body.
A large majority of research on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been focused on humans, but there are some things that are known about animals, too, which can be helpful in veterinary practice.
Only recently have professional veterinary medical courses become available to teach veterinarians about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in dogs. But at the present time, very few veterinarians are trained on hemp as a therapeutic aid to support the ECS to address canine diseases.
How Does CBD From Hemp Work?
Like in humans, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) interacts with multiple systems of a dog’s body, playing important homeostatic roles in various physiological mechanisms. So, including cannabinoids like CBD (and CBDA, etc.) in your dog’s diet is an important part of supporting the functioning of the ECS and has been shown to be especially important for a “healthy” inflammatory response.
Therefore, supporting a well-balanced ECS with the right full spectrum hemp oil is important for regulating metabolic stress responses, immune function, pain, bone growth, and many other physiological processes in the canine body.
Are you starting to get a sense of the critical importance of supporting your dog’s internal master-communication-system with hemp derived CBD oil?
8 Ways Hemp Oil Can Help Your Dog:
1. Hemp Oil for Dogs with Pain –
Probably the most promising research on hemp derived CBD is that done on pain. From arthritis to nerve pain to acute inflammation due to injury, CBD works well–without the harmful side effects of prescription pain medications like Rimadyl.
Cannabinoids have been suggested as a possible alternative treatment for conditions like chronic neuropathy, canine arthritis, joint inflammation and, more optimistically, eliminating the excruciating pain cycle associated with certain canine cancers.
CBD interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system and this helps change the way your dog’s brain perceives pain.
Plus, CBD can help manage the other symptoms that accompany pain, such as sleeplessness and nausea. Studies show CBD to be very effective for managing acute pain from injures and decreasing nerve-related pain.
Using CBD oil for dogs’ pain has become a popular form of treatment to manage aches and pains in canines with lymphoma, arthritis, hip dysplasia or any number of ailments that can cause physical discomfort.
CBD (plus CBDA) is currently thought to be so effective, that more and more pet owners are choosing it instead of traditional pain killers. CBD based interventions have already proven successful in treating degenerative disorders like hip dysplasia, certain types of cancer, epilepsy and seizures in dogs, but one of its primary applications is for dogs with chronic arthritis pain and joint inflammation.
2. Hemp Oil for Dogs with Joint Problems –
If your dog has joint pain, your vet might prescribe NSAIDs or other pain meds like Gabapentin. But NSAIDs can cause deterioration in joints and soft tissues … and they can damage your dog’s liver. Gabapentin can also cause irreversible kidney damage. Plus, it’s not all that effective.
Hemp CBD, on the other hand, is a natural anti-inflammatory that doesn’t carry the same risk of side effects as drugs.
The majority of age-related illness in dogs can be attributed to inflammation and Cannabidiol has been found to target and reduce oxidative stress on organs and offers promise as an anti-inflammatory agent.
CBD has also been shown to decrease the production and release of inflammatory cytokines that can cause allergies, hypersensitivities and autoimmunity disorders. CBD has been shown to decrease the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress involved with premature aging and cognitive degeneration.
Studies show CBD inhibits the production of inflammatory macrophages and decreases chronic inflammation in canine hip dysplasia, arthritis & auto-immune disorders.
Some of the common uses for CBD as an anti-inflammatory for joint problems in dogs include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments (CCL)
3. Hemp Oil for Dogs with Anxiety –
Anxiety is one of the most common reasons dog owners turn to CBD. Of course, there are anti-anxiety drugs available, but CBD is being studied for anxiety because it doesn’t carry dangerous addictive side effects like anti-depressants.
Anxiety in dogs can appear in different forms, including:
- Noise phobia
- Separation anxiety
An accumulating body of evidence from clinical experiments show that CBD has strong anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties and is well-tolerated by dogs with symptoms of severe anxiety disorders. CBD works by exerting several actions on a dog’s brain.
Researchers aren’t certain how CBD relieves stress and anxiety, but it’s thought that it can help regulate serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, social behavior, digestion, sleep and appetite.
CBD acts similar to a class of prescription anti-depressants, known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), by boosting nerve impulse signaling. In fact, some studies have shown that CBD can enhance the transmission effect on serotonin receptors faster than those of SSRI’s.
Several studies have been conducted that establish the efficacy of CBD in improving the destructive behaviors of canine separation anxiety disorder.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety or behavioral issues like social interaction disorders, depression or noise phobias, CBD may bring them immediate and long-term relief.
And since CBD can work quickly if given directly by mouth when your dog gets stressed, it usually only takes 5 to 20 minutes to work. But CBD appears to be most beneficial for anxiety when given over a period of time.
So if your dog is prone to stress–a daily dose of prevention might be best!
4. Hemp Oil for Dogs with Epilepsy/Seizures –
It’s estimated that about 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. They can be terrifying for both dogs and their humans–and they can cause ongoing anxiety.
Most vets treat epilepsy and seizures with antiepileptic drugs like Keppra. Other common options are phenobarbital or potassium bromide. But these drugs are extremely harmful to your dog’s liver and other organs. And even if the drugs don’t cause unmanageable side effects, they don’t always work in a large portion of dogs with seizures.
Studies have shown that CBD provides unique advantages when it comes to relieving canine epilepsy and seizures compared to the currently available prescription anti-convulsant medications.
According to research, CBD shows not only anticonvulsant activity, but it also limits seizure duration. CBD has been shown to work well in treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE) Results from an uncontrolled study support anecdotal reports showing that CBD may be a promising treatment for TRE, and it is generally well-tolerated.
Researchers at Colorado State University got excited when they studied CBD as a treatment for epilepsy in dogs. A whopping 89% of dogs that received the CBD had a reduction in seizures.
CBD reduces the frequency and severity of seizures because of how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It’s believed that abnormal electric charges of the neurons in the nervous system cause seizures. But CBD can bind to receptors in the brain and researchers speculate this can improve the functioning of the nervous system.
Numerous studies have provided evidence to prove that CBD has therapeutic effects when it comes to relieving epilepsy and seizures in dogs.
Again, all medications have inherent side-effects, but CBD has minimal side effects when used to relieve seizures over currently approved medications for K9 epilepsy.
5. Hemp Oil for Dogs with Cancer –
Cancer is a massive health challenge for dogs, especially if they undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Sadly, 50% of adult dogs will get cancer.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10–but the good news is half of all canine cancers are curable if caught early. Dogs are susceptible to some of the same types of cancers as humans, but they can metastasize at a much faster rate.
Cancer researchers are always looking for new ways to treat cancer and release the pain and nausea that can go with it.
There is mounting evidence that cannabinoids (THC and CBD) may represent a new class of anticancer drugs that retard cancer growth and inhibit angiogenesis. While conventional chemotherapy drugs are highly toxic and indiscriminately damage cells in the body and brain; by contrast, THC slows tumor growth in certain cancers by significantly reducing the ability of cancer to spread. THC selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed.
Cannabidiol has also been extensively researched as a cancer-fighting substance and found to have anti-tumor effects. CBD has even been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and increased tumor cell death.
Empirical evidence shows that dogs treated with cannabis demonstrate a faster healing rate with tumor size reduction within a very short time–sometimes just weeks–with very small quantities of these natural plant phytonutrients.
A study in mice showed that CBD slowed the growth of mammary cancer cells. And in 2018, researchers found that CBD increased survival time in mice with pancreatic cancer. Other animal studies show CBD oil has cancer-fighting abilities and can slow the growth of tumors.
In another study, cancer cells became more sensitive to treatment with CBD–meaning CBD can increase the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments. As an adjunct medication for canine cancer patients, CBD’s anti-tumor properties can help increase the efficacy of conventional cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.
Cancer cells can become extremely sensitive to THC and CBD after being exposed to radiation or chemotherapy. So beyond simply helping with the nausea of chemotherapy, there is strong scientific evidence of a deeper benefit of using cannabis along with conventional therapies.
CBD also kills cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy. And it can stimulate the immune system to produce killer cells that cause death in cancer cells. While CBD oil can help with nausea associated with many cancer treatments studies have shown CBD can significantly reduce cancer-related pain.
Researchers also found that CBD blocks a cannabinoid receptor called GPR55. This is important because GPR55 increased the growth rate of cancer cells in mice.
There are real-life examples where a dog’s life has been extended by months and years and in some instances, there’s been a complete reversal of tumors with zero clinical evidence of cancer using only cannabis extracts as the sole therapy.
6. Hemp Oil for Dogs Allergies –
Allergies and skin conditions are on the rise in dogs–and they’re difficult to treat. Hemp derived CBD can help relieve dry & itchy skin and promote growth of new healthy skin cells.
According to medical literature, CBD oil affects many canine biological pathways through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and functions to optimize cellular interactions involved in the repair and restoration of whole-body systems that maintain normal canine homeostasis.
These effects can be at the cellular level or in the gene-expression for developing certain allergies or ‘sensitivities‘.
CBD oil as a treatment for Allergic Dermatitis seems to work by modulating the cellular inflammatory response via the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). In particular, CBD acts as a neuro-immune modulator, or signaling molecule, for communication between cellular structures, tissues and organ systems specifically involved with inflammation & allergic responses.
Cannabidiol curbs inflammation by suppressing the infiltration and functional activity of T cells and macrophages at the site of inflammation; thereby preventing the cascade of cellular immune/allergic response that result in your dog’s sorrowful itching & scratching behavior.
Previous studies concluded that endocannabinoid receptors are “up-regulated” in dogs with atopic dermatitis (skin allergies), which suggests they can respond to this inﬂammatory condition by producing chemical substances that can reduce inﬂammation–the major cause of the symptoms of allergies.
But just like other herbal medicines, supplementing with hemp CBD oil may not have an immediate, instantaneous effect on this condition. Consistent application and delivery of CBD is the best way to treat ongoing or seasonal canine allergy symptoms.
Not only can you give CBD internally for allergies, but it can be applied externally on “hot spots” or interdigital cysts.
By using a daily CBD phytonutrient supplement, it’s possible to suppress or at least moderate the agonizing effects of chronic inflammation for animals who suffer from skin inflammation and allergic dermatitis.
7. Hemp Oil Aids Sleep & Recovery –
Sleep is a dynamic process with critical consequences if that restorative process is interrupted. Sleep is essential for your dog to build immunity, repair tissue, regulate metabolism and blood pressure, control appetite and blood sugar, and process learning, along with a myriad of other physiological processes – all of which are regulated by the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
CBD receptors in the canine ECS system are known to participate in the management of sleep/ wakefulness, pain-sensation, mood and memory, and immune-system functions. CB1 receptors in the brain modulate neurotransmitter release in a manner that dials back ‘excessive neuronal activity’, thereby reducing anxiety, pain, and inflammation and promoting restful sleep.
8. Hemp Oil Promotes Healthy Heart Function –
CBD promotes healthy cardiovascular function. Studies show it can reduce the damage from injured blood vessels and irregular heart rates, protect blood vessels from damage and dilate the arteries, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure associated with stress and anxiety.
Pre-clinical data appear to support a positive role for CBD treatment in the heart, and in peripheral and cerebral vasculature. CBD protects against the vascular damage caused by a high glucose environment, such as that found in type 2 diabetes.
A common theme throughout these studies is the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of Cannabidiol to have therapeutic potential to promote healthy cardiovascular function.
Yes, Hemp Oil Is Safe & Effective for All Dogs
With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD oil for dogs, the most encouraging result is that CBD is safe for all breeds and all sizes of dogs.
Even when taken in high doses and over extended periods of time there is no risk of toxicity at any dosage level of CBD oil for dogs.
The bottom line is, CBD oil is a safe, healthy, even lifesaving, phytonutrient to enhance the life of your dog.
Curtis has been passionate about the health and welfare of animals since his first dog rescue.
After studying Sports Medicine & Biology at the University of Oregon, Curtis went on to excel in a career of Clinical Nutrition, later owning a health care supplement company serving private-practice physicians.
Known for his expansive knowledge of natural health and alternative medicine, Curtis believes that natural plant-based therapies can be applied to veterinary animal care which led him to study the science of Cannabinoid Medicine. His expertise in Functional Medicine led him to formulate a unique hemp-based canine care product, Canine Support Formula, fulfilling a dream to combine natural pet-care strategies with the new therapeutic potential of medical cannabis.
In reverence for his own dog, Parker, Curtis has dedicated his company–K9 Medibles–to improving the health and longevity of all dogs.
To learn more about Curtis and how K9 Medibles can help your dog, click HERE.