19 Mar How can my pet benefit from CBD?
It seems it’s not just humans who can benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabidiol (CBD), one of the primary components of medicinal cannabis. If you or someone close to you has a sick dog or cat at home, CBD could be a solution.
Understandably, it can be very worrying when a pets get sick. Cats and dogs can also suffer from anxiety, arthritis, seizures and other diseases that can be treated by CBD.
Be sure to check whether it is legal in your region to prescribe or administer medication containing CBD extract from the Cannabis Sativa plant to animals.
How does CBD work in pets?
You and your pet both have an endocannabinoid system that regulates essential systems in the body and helps maintain internal balance. Did you know that upon entering the body, CBD connects to receptors located in the brain, the nervous system and the cells responsible for producing a relaxing effect on the body, enabling the necessary therapeutic effect.
Our pets, particularly dogs, have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This would explain why our canine friends might be more sensitive to phytocannabinoids, states veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter, director of the Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland (USA), known for his holistic pet therapies.
Due to dogs’ sensitivity to phytocannabinoids, especially THC, only very low doses of this compound are recommended, or you could use CBD extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis that is grown primarily for industrial purposes.
When medicinal cannabis is administered at the suitable dosage following a professional evaluation, the endocannabinoid system will act in the same way as it would for a human.
Benefits for your pet
Phytocannabinoids, especially CBD and THC can help your pet to:
- Reduce tissue inflammation
- Relieve pain
- Control seizures or muscle spasms
- Treat skin conditions
- Stimulate appetite
- Calm anxiety and aggression
- Treat various neurological conditions
We know that if there is a medicine out there that can help your pet, you will do your best to get it, but hold on. There is still research to be done regarding cannabis derived products, like CBD, for pets.
Although the side effects of CBD (dry mouth, diarrhea and drowsiness) are still being evaluated, studies such as “Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent”, published in 2011, have found that the use of this cannabinoid on domestic animals is in fact safe.
Another side effect of CBD is that it seems to alter the activity of certain enzymes in the liver, which could affect the way this organ metabolizes medication. It is always recommended to consult a veterinarian before administering CBD to your pet.
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We are still lacking conclusive clinical trials on the effect of CBD on animals, especially those considered to be domestic. Dosage is another issue that requires further research to avoid intoxicating your poor pooch.
If CBD oil or derivatives are already legal in your region, consult a certified veterinarian about the most suitable way of administering CBD to your pet. Just as we advise you against self-medicating, the same goes for your pet; remember, your pet is your responsibility.
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