CBD for dogs and cats. Is it ok to use it?

It is increasingly common for people familiar with the beneficial properties of CBD to wonder if it would be equally helpful for their four-legged friend. Lucky you who wonder – the answer is yes! The topic is worth exploring even if you had no idea about this type of therapy but you are looking for effective and natural medications to treat various kinds of ailments. In the article, we will try to present the principles of application as well as cases in which CBD for dogs and cats is the most beneficial.

Why does CBD work well in non-human animals?

The fact that cannabidiol has a number of health-promoting properties when used by people, surprises nobody today. What may be surprising on the other hand, is that we are not the only representatives of the animal kingdom who can benefit from cannabinoids. It turns out that all mammals, just like us, have an endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors. This system is responsible for the body’s key functions, such as well-being, eliminating stress or inflammation. Generally speaking, it is responsible for maintaining homeostasis (balance) in the body. Thus, cannabinoid deficiency causes a number of adverse consequences, known as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD). As suggested by research, by indirectly influencing the increase of anandamide level (endocannabinoid naturally occuring in animals) cannabidiol regulates the functioning of the endocannabinoid system – and reduces the effects of CECD.

Not only mammals!

Such a scheme concerns animals other than mammals as well. It turns out that in starlings occupying higher social positions and singing more willingly to lure a female, cannabinoid receptors show greater expression. Therefore, the endocannabinoid system is present in birds, but also reptiles (and possibly even invertebrates). However, we do not encourage breeders and carers of birds and exotic animals to experiment – the CBD activity is best documented in the case of dogs and cats, so we focus specifically on them.

CBD for catWhen is CBD for dogs and cats a good solution?

The scientifically proven effects of using CBD for dogs and cats are few. However, there have been several promising tests carried out. Cannabidiol, as it turns out, is extremely effective in the case of epilepsy (89% of dogs subjected to the study reported a significant decrease in the frequency of attacks). It is also confirmed to relief pain, especially those occurring along with osteoarthritis. In addition, reports from people who decided to treat pets with CBD oil on their own suggest that its effectiveness is not only limited to the diseases mentioned above. Considering that CBD affects analogous diseases in humans, we have no reason not to believe them.

Therefore, CBD can help your pet with:

  • inflammation, eg joint inflammation;
  • loosening muscle tension;
  • temporary stress (eg a visit to a vet) or repeated stressful situations (eg separation anxiety);
  • digestive system dysfunctions (eg irritable bowel syndrome);
  • dermatological problems;
  • tumors.

How to give CBD to a pet?

Unfortunately, as in the case of humans, there are no recommendations for the use of CBD for dogs and cats. It is known, however, that cannabidiol administered in tablets has a negligible bioavailability (it has been estimated at only a dozen or so percent). No wonder, given that significant amounts of CBD degrade in the digestive tract before they even reach the bloodstream. There are CBD enriched treats available on the market but, having the above in mind, you should not expect any therapeutic effects there. CBD oil administered sublingually absorbs faster and may be much more bioavailable – it could therefore show itself to be much better.

CBD for petsHow much CBD to give?

You must, of course, keep in mind to give your pet the right concentration of such oil. Although CBD is not toxic even at high doses, it is better to use lower concentration (a few percent oils), just for precaution. Although no precise doses have been estimated, vets dealing with cannabidiol therapy recommend administration of between 1 and 4 mg CBD per kilogram of animal body weight per day. It should be remembered that cats are very different from dogs in terms of metabolism. Cannabidiol is no exception – producers of CBD oils for animals suggest that cats need a slightly higher dose and more frequent use. As for details – it is still unknown.

The issue of Cannabidiol in treating animals is a fledgling topic for veterinary medicine. Few scientific research often doesn’t encourage veterinarians to recommend CBD to dogs and cats caretakers. However, these few studies, number of positive reports and analogies to the mechanisms present in people, tend to prove that cannabidiol can help our pets. So if you are looking for an alternative to conventional veterinary medicines, you should give CBD oils a try.

DeVries M. S., Cordes M. A., Rodriguez J. D., Stevenson S. A., Riters L. V., 2016: Neural endocannabinoid CB1 receptor expression, social status, and behavior in male European starlings. Brain Research, 1644, 240–248
Gamble L.J., Boesch J. M., Frye C. W., Schwark W. S., Mann S., Wolfe L., Wakshlag J. J., 2018: Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5
Russo E. B., 2016: Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 1(1), 154–165
Samara E., Bialer M., Mechoulam R., 1988: Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs. Drug metabolism and disposition: the biological fate of chemicals, 16(3), 469-72

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