It is now well known that humans are using cannabis products to treat an ever-widening variety of symptoms and ailments. But the use of cannabis products doesn’t stop at humans anymore; treats containing CBD for pets are surging in popularity to help Fido and Mittens live calmer and happier lives. In fact, the CBD pet care market is expected to reach $125 million this year in 2022.
Below, we’re taking a look at the science behind why CBD for pets is safe and effective, and how it could help your furry friend.
What Is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid, or, a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which all animals have, to help the body maintain homeostasis, or balance.
Importantly, though, CBD is an entirely separate compound from THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis responsible for feeling ‘high.’ CBD does not create psychoactive effects in humans or pets. This is because CBD and THC affect the ECS in very different ways.
CBD & The ECS
There are two different types of receptors in the ECS — CB1 receptors are mainly found in the brain and central nervous system, and CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, especially in cells associated with the immune system. While THC works on CB1 receptors to psychoactively affect brain function, CBD primarily works on CB2 receptors throughout the body. Additionally, CBD is an active antagonist to CB1 receptors — meaning CBD can mitigate the psychoactive side effects of THC use, as well.
Benefits of CBD for Pets
The science is still too limited to objectively and solidly define the benefits of CBD for pets. However, the anecdotal evidence of serious relief for pets is crystal clear. According to Dr. Klein, the American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer, CBD is used for “anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits.” The current science available points to CBD for pets being very beneficial to treat pain caused by inflammation, anxiety, and seizures due to epileptic conditions.
Thankfully, as interest in CBD for pets is on the rise, more and more scientific study is being conducted all the time to truly pin down and understand CBD’s possible benefits.
Types of CBD for Pets
CBD for pets is available in many different forms; it is most commonly available as infused treats or oils. Though there is also CBD for pets available as topical creams, these have been found to be the least reliable and effective.
Dosing CBD for Pets
The dose of CBD for your pet will depend on their weight, age, and other factors. It is recommended to start with a very small dose and record the dose, its effects, and any subsequent reactions your pet may have. With this information, you may decide to slowly increase the dose of CBD to achieve desired results. Consult your veterinarian if any issues arise.
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
According to a World Health Organization Report, CBD appears to be safe and well-tolerated by animals. Though the research is limited, the research that is out there shows that most animals can tolerate CBD products with few to no adverse symptoms.
Things to Look Out For
There are, of course, still possible side effects of CBD for pets — and you should pay close attention to your pet when you begin use. The most common adverse side effect of CBD use in pets is diarrhea.
If your pet has pre-existing liver issues CBD might not be the best option for them. Some studies have pointed out the need for further research in this area; studies have shown CBD use in pets to be associated with an increase in the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) — though this was not found to be coupled with any decrease in liver functionality, more research is needed. In the same vein, CBD appears to be metabolized by the liver, so talk with your veterinarian if your pet is already on medications metabolized by the liver.
Another important thing to look out for — be sure you are using CBD for pets. There are tons of CBD products on the market for human consumption, and these should not be shared with your furry friend, as they could have additives that are not pet safe. In addition to any sugar or flavorings that may not be pet safe, products made for human consumption may also contain THC, which is not recommended for animal consumption.
CBD for Pets — A Final Word
Many people around the world are successfully using CBD for pets to treat anxiety, pain and inflammation, nausea, and more. We recommend starting with small doses, paying close attention to your pet, and consulting a veterinarian should your pet have any adverse reactions.
If you’ve got questions we didn’t answer about anything CBD for pets, or when you’re ready to explore our wide array of products — come on into any one of our 7 Mr. Nice Guys locations throughout Corpus Christi and talk to our knowledgeable staff. And as always, have a nice daze!