CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
If you have access to social media, chances are you have seen someone online touting that CBD oil helped their friend, neighbor, dog walker, or mailman of cancer. It is easy to write it off as anecdotal evidence, but is there something to the claim that CBD can help with tumors and cancer? And if so, should you give your pet who has cancer or tumors CBD to help their body fight the cancer?
To understand how CBD affects cancer, it’s important to first understand a process known as apoptosis, or cell suicide. Apoptosis is a completely natural process where cells that are no longer useful or cells that are damaged die. Cancer cells begin to grow when apoptosis is not occurring. In a sense, you can say the on switch for apoptosis is turned off.
Cancer cells do not die on their own; they do not undergo apoptosis, which is why they are able to continuously spread unless we do something to stop them. That’s why the endocannabinoid system is so critical in the body. Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system; us, your dog, your cat, or even the lion in the jungle. The endocannabinoid system’s purpose is to bring the body back to balance.
As cancer progresses, cancer cells reproduce faster than the endocannabinoid system can handle. It’s no longer able to bring the body back to balance without some type of assistance. The cancer cells begin to spread throughout the body at that point; a process known as metastasis.
What Does Research Say?
“We know THC has significant anti-cancer properties. CBD also has anti-cancer properties and helps with preventing metastasis (movement of cancer cells). CBD also helps with immune support. Those things should be well-known. If there is a potential option for helping control the return and spread of a cancerous mass, it should be known that CBD can help.”- Dr. Zac Pilossoph
In a recent study, researchers conducted a study to determine how effective cannabis is in canine cancer cell lines. The study compared CBD alone to a combination of common chemotherapy pharmaceuticals. The study found CBD significantly reduced canine cancer cell growth.
According to research, CBD can:
- Prevent tumor growth (via apoptosis)
- Trigger death of cancer cells (via apoptosis)
- Prevent the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors (angiogenesis)
- Discourage the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another (metastasis)
Most importantly, it helps with your pet’s quality of life!
The first thing to do is spend some time determining the dosage that will be most effective for your pet. Despite common misconceptions, dosing CBD has very little to do with your dog’s size and weight. Dosage is most effectively determined with consideration for each animal’s unique physiological condition. This includes characteristics such as their endocannabinoid system, age, metabolism, disease process, current ailments and other individual health factors.
During the first few weeks, we recommend a trial and error method as you monitor your animal’s response and determine optimal dose. The old saying “start low and go slow” is extremely applicable when considering full-spectrum hemp extract for your animal.
Hemp extract is extremely safe, even at high levels. The most common, however unlikely, effects you may see are sleepiness or loose stools/diarrhea. Bodily injury as a result of CBD consumption is highly unlikely.
For the fastest and most thorough absorption, lift the lip and apply dose directly onto the gums, as the most direct way into the bloodstream. If added to food, the medicine may not be as effective and can take significantly longer (30-45 min.) to reach the bloodstream as it works its way through the gastrointestinal system.
Split the amount of mg into small portions throughout the day (micro-dosing) for best absorption and to keep it in the bloodstream. The medicine peaks at 2 hours and is gone from 4-6 hours. Make sure to shake the bottle before each use and always keep away from heat.
Vets Using Cannabis
Of course, all of the studies in the world wouldn’t mean much if reputable veterinarians didn’t trust them and have evidence to prove that it works – which is why I asked Dr. Trina Hazzah, DVM, DACVIM, CVCH, a veterinary oncologist at VCA Animal Hospital in Las Vegas (one of the largest and most respected veterinary hospitals in the world) if she uses CBD on her patients.
The short answer: Dr. Hazzah has used cannabis with her patients and has seen great success.
“Years and years ago, there was a little dog named Hammer,” says Dr. Hazzah. “He was a Jack Russel, and the owners came in and the dog had three cancers at the same time. He had low-grade lymphoma, bladder cancer, and an oral squamous cell carcinoma.”
Dr. Hazzah discussed all of the options with Hammer’s parents, and they decided the quality of life was most important. They focused on targeted therapy, which was effective for about six months until it seemed to stop working as effectively.
“Around the five- or six-month mark, the oral cancer started to get so large that it took up his entire face,” says Dr. Hazzah. “The bladder cancer was getting worse, lymphoma was static. The owners went over the options again, and one of the things we discussed was cannabis. As an integrative oncologist, I felt that I should guide them through the process to make sure it was safe. The dog was less than 20 pounds, so he had 1 mg of THC and 1 mg of CBD, twice a day, along with targeted therapy.”
Within two to three weeks, Hammer’s owner said his eye was starting to open a little bit more. A month after starting the cannabis regimen, Hammer came in and Dr. Hazzah could not find the oral tumor at all.
“Not only could he open his eye, but when he opened his mouth, I just saw a little redness,” says Dr. Hazzah. “The tumor was not there. Hammer was happy, and this was just 1 mg. This goes back to my theory that it wasn’t the amount, it was what the cancer needed.”
Outside of oncology, veterinarians can use CBD to address stress, anxiety, seizures, and arthritis. A lot of times, vets learn about CBD from their patients who self-wean their pets from the prescriptions and start using CBD.
It’s been eight months and my 8-year-old, Nina is thriving on a strict Full Spectrum Hemp Extract (FSHE), Full Cannabis extract with high THC, mushrooms, and diet. She’s already breaking records, so I want to share what I did with you. Happy to share a few other happy pet parents!
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day, and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association and has trained hundreds medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.