CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
Looking to learn more about CBD oil for dogs with cancer? If you have access to social media, chances are you have seen someone online discussing how CBD oil helped their friend, neighbor, dog walker, or mailman with 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?
Benefits of CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
To understand how CBD affects cancer, it’s important to first understand a process known as apoptosis, or natural cell death. Apoptosis is a completely natural process wherein cells that are damaged, or no longer useful, die. 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, even lions and tigers and bears, oh my. 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.
Research on CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
In a recent study, researchers conducted a study to determine how effective cannabis is against canine cancer cells. The study compared CBD alone to a combination of common chemotherapy pharmaceuticals. The study found CBD significantly reduced canine cancer cell growth.
In a promising study conducted in Canada, research was conducted to investigate CBD’s ability to treat canine urothelial carcinoma (bladder cancer). The study analyzed the difference in efficacy between the traditional standalone treatment, chemotherapy, versus chemotherapy and CBD together. The results showed that CBD for bladder cancer not only reduced cell viability and induced cell death in the canine urothelial cells on its own, but worked even better when combined with chemotherapy.
This study was done in vitro, which means it was done outside of a living organism. Further studies in vivo (within a living organism) are warranted, so that we can investigate how exactly this combination will be most successfully implemented in a clinical setting, and also to be able to transfer this into the human clinical setting. However, due to the nature of cannabis, in terms of its continued vilification by governments domestically and across the globe, researchers are limited in their scope. Until cannabis is de/rescheduled on the federal level, research cannot be done on living organisms (such as clinical trials on people). For now, as much preclinical work is being done as possible to create the foundation for clinical research when cannabis is descheduled federally.
The extent of the research being done on cannabis’ effect on cancer cells is only growing, and new research showing the benefits continues to emerge. As time goes on, and the demonization of cannabis lessens, more research is done proving cannabis (CBD, CBN, THC, and its other compounds) has a huge effect on cancer cells, and improving existing cancer treatments. We already know that CBD triggers apoptosis, stops metastasis, and has a positive effect when used with chemotherapy, but new research is constantly emerging regarding specific cancers and cannabis therapy.
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!
Dosing CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
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, side effects you may see are sleepiness or loose stools/diarrhea.
For the fastest and most thorough absorption, lift the lip and apply dose directly onto the gums. 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 recommended daily dosage into smaller doses 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.
Related: CBD Dosage for Dogs
Vets Using CBD Oil For Dogs With Cancer
Of course, all of the studies in the world wouldn’t mean much if reputable veterinarians didn’t trust them and have their own evidence to prove that it works. Because of this, 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.
Success Story: Hammer
“Years and years ago, there was a little dog named Hammer,” says Dr. Hazzah. “He was a Jack Russell, 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.”
Success Story: Nina
It’s been eight months and my 8-year-old, Nina is thriving on a strict regimen including a Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, Full Cannabis extract with high THC, mushrooms, and diet. She’s already breaking records, and because of this, I want to share what I did with you.
Related: Lymphoma in Pets: How CBD Can Help