Your Guide to CBD for Pets
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent compound in the cannabis plant, after THC. Recently, CBD is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, which often have harsh side effects. Research shows CBD has many therapeutic attributes, including relieving your pet’s chronic pain, anxiety, seizures, inflammation, as well as aiding against cancer, autoimmune disease and neurological conditions. Making CBD for pets a great option to aid your pet.
Unfortunately, not all CBD is created equal, and the CBD for pets industry remains largely unregulated. That’s why we emphasize the importance of researching your product prior to purchase. So we’ve put together this CBD guide for pet parents interested in CBD for pets.
Table of Contents
What is Full Spectrum and Why is it Important?
A full-spectrum hemp extract is one where all the naturally occurring, bioactive compounds have been left in their natural state. While there are thousands of cannabinoids and terpenes present in each plant, and it is not possible to preserve every single one during the manufacturing process, full-spectrum means that none of the cannabinoids were purposefully removed. When these synergistic compounds go through additional processing, the benefits of the plant are diminished and the incidence of side effects is increased.
One of the biggest reasons full spectrum is so important is because the cannabinoids and terpenes all work together to enhance each other. This effect is called the Entourage Effect, and makes it possible for different cannabinoids to interact to achieve maximum effects ensuring maximum results.
What is a COA?
A CBD product’s Certificate of Analysis, or COA, is a document with lab results showing you exactly what is in the product you are purchasing for your pet. This report will give you the specific quantity for each cannabinoid, including CBD and THC, that is in the product. This is how you can be sure that you are indeed buying a full-spectrum CBD product. The report will also show you what is NOT in your product, specifically toxins or heavy metals, so you know your CBD for pets product is safe.
A COA should always be issued by a third-party lab. That means a company that is not affiliated with the company producing the CBD product. You can determine if this is a third party by checking the logo and contact information on the document. You can also contact the lab to confirm the results of your product’s COA.
Can CBD Help My Pet?
CBD is gaining recognition for its many reported health benefits, and recent research is revealing how it can help animals too. Studies are showing how CBD and the other cannabinoids in a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract may be able to help your pet, from relieving pain to reducing seizure frequency. If your pet suffers from arthritis, chronic pain, anxiety, allergies, skin conditions, cancer, tumors, autoimmune disorders or seizures, CBD for pets may be the right choice.
CBD for Your Pet’s Arthritis & Joint Pain
CBD is super effective at reducing the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and joint pain. This is one of the most researched subjects in the application of cannabis medicine for pets. CBD, and other compounds found in a full spectrum hemp extract such as THC, CBC, CBG, and THCV, are known to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
In most cases of arthritis, the pain that our dogs feel is a direct result of inflammation in their joints. By soothing that inflammation, we can address the cause of the problem and also alleviate the hurt. A Baylor College of Medicine study found significant improvements in dogs with Osteoarthritis, who received consistent doses of full-spectrum hemp extract.
Conventional veterinarians often prescribe NSAIDs, which can lead to joint and soft tissue deterioration. They can also damage your dog’s liver and kidneys. CBD is a safe anti-inflammatory alternative, without any of the negative side effects associated with pharmaceuticals.
CBD for Your Pet’s Seizures
CBD has been used by humans to manage seizures for years and has shown great success in both animals and people. In fact, in 2003, the U.S. government patented CBD as a neuroprotectant.
A recent study assessed the short-term effect of CBD on seizure frequency in 16 dogs. Researchers found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. Additionally, there was a significant association between the degree of seizure reduction and the amount of CBD concentration in the bloodstream.
Antiepileptic medications, such as phenobarbital, are prescribed by most veterinarians to treat epilepsy and seizures. In addition to causing sedation, nausea, vomiting, and neurotoxicity in younger animals, one of the most significant side effects of phenobarbital is stress and damage to the liver.
Related: Can CBD Help Dogs with Seizures?
CBD for Your Pet’s Cancer
There are many ways that CBD may help with cancer. It’s not only an effective way to fight the cancer itself, but it can help by improving quality of life. In addition to direct anti-cancerous properties, CBD and the other cannabinoids in a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract also have anti-nausea, pain managing and immunomodulatory effects.
In 2020, the first canine-specific CBD and cancer study was published. Researchers found CBD stopped cancer cells from spreading, as well as helping trigger apoptosis (natural cell death) and autophagy (the clearing out of damaged cell parts).
According to research, CBD has been shown to:
- Inhibit tumor growth (via apoptosis)
- Trigger death of cancer cells (via apoptosis)
- Inhibit the formation of blood vessels that feed tumors (angiogenesis)
- Discourage the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another (metastasis)
Related: CBD Oil for Dogs with Cancer
CBD for Your Pet’s Anxiety
CBD is a great option for anxiety, and has been used to manage anxiety and depression in humans. Clinical research shows CBD can contribute to the expulsion of aversive memories. Additionally, CBD can mimic serotonin by binding and activating the body’s serotonin receptors. Often called the ‘happy’ chemical, these serotonin receptors are responsible for emotional balance.
A 2013 article published in Neuropharmacology found that CBD can help manage negative emotion surrounding triggers, like thunderstorms or fireworks, and helps manage PTSD and anxiety or panic disorders in people and animals. A 2019 study published in the Permanente Journal also found that CBD also has a calming effect on the central nervous system and is better tolerated than other psychiatric medications.
Although some vets recommend giving your dog some children’s Benadryl, it is important to remember that this drug is not intended for animals and can have side effects. For instance, Benadryl can put a strain on a dog’s liver and kidneys, especially if they are already experiencing issues in those areas.
CBD for Your Pet’s Cushing’s Disease
Full spectrum Hemp Extract CBD can help dogs with Cushing’s Disease by working with the body’s endocannabinoid system to bring the body back to balance. This includes hormonal imbalances like the cortisol imbalance from the adrenal or pituitary glands. CBD can also reduce the growth of tumors, such as those that cause Cushing’s, by inhibiting the formation of blood vessels that feed the tumor.
Veterinarians may prescribe hormone-regulating pharmaceuticals, and in some cases recommend surgery. However, surgery can be invasive and dangerous, especially in older dogs, and prescribed medications can cause additional side-effects.
Related: CBD for Cushing’s Disease in Dogs
CBD for Your Pet’s Allergies
CBD is a great option for dogs with allergies, as it reduces inflammation, modulates the body’s immune system, and also supports the gut, where 80% of the immune system resides. According to a recent study, CBD inhibits the release of the pro-inflammatory chemicals which end up causing the symptoms we know as allergies.
Conventional vets often prescribe Apoquel or Benadryl for dogs with allergies. These medications function by suppressing your pet’s immune system in order to mute the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, the longer your pet is on an immunosuppressive drug, the higher the likelihood is that they will develop serious side effects and health conditions as a result. Instead of shutting off immune responses, as drugs like Benadryl and Apoquel do, CBD instead increases communication between cells in the immune system. This encourages a more moderate and targeted response to allergy symptoms.
CBD for Your Pet’s Skin Conditions
For dogs suffering from skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, allergies, infections or even tumors, lumps and other unwanted growths, topical CBD is a great option. Scientists at the University of Pisa in Italy published an important study which documented an abundance of the two main cannabinoid receptors throughout the layers of dogs’ skin. This allows for compounds like CBD to stimulate the skin’s local endocannabinoid system pathways.
CBD promotes healthy cell growth, inhibits vascular development to tumors, and inhibits growth of malignant cells. Topical CBD salves are great for topical relief of skin irritation from allergies, soothing inflammation and redness. CBD also helps moderate the immune response to allergens.
Related: CBD Salves for Dog Skin Conditions
Although the benefits CBD can have for your pet are incredible, CBD for pets is still a largely unregulated industry. In a study done by Cornell University, researchers analyzed 29 ‘CBD for pets’ products that were labeled “Full Spectrum,” to determine if the claims on their labels were in fact accurate. Only 10 of the 29 products were within 10% of the total cannabinoid concentrations of their label claim. Additionally, four of the CBD for pets products were contaminated with heavy metals. Only 18 of the 29 CBD for pets products were appropriately labeled.
We caution you to make sure any company you choose to buy CBD for pets from is as dedicated as we are at CBD Dog Health, to making the safest and highest quality product for your pet. At CBD Dog Health, our products are all made with a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, from organically grown hemp, 100% human grade and food grade ingredients, and third party lab testing on every batch of every CBD for pets product.