Over the past few years, CBD has developed a reputation as a safe and natural supplement that aids just about any issue, from anxiety to chronic pain to weight loss. Derived from hemp, its benefits are widely praised but not always clinically approved. So its benefits for humans are often spread by word of mouth testimonials. And it wasn’t long before some pet owners and therapists began prescribing CBD for dogs.
What is CBD
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a natural remedy that many humans use to treat their ailments. It’s one of more than 100 cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. But unlike THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, CBD is not linked with the sensation of getting high. For this reason, many users found that they can benefit from the positive effects of cannabis without the psychoactive side effects.
As far as studies show, there is no clear and approved scientific evidence that the claims made about CBD’s positive effects on both humans and dogs are true. However, many users believe it is one of the most effective natural remedies.
How Do Dogs Benefit from CBD
Though CBD is considered to be safe for dogs, there is no current scientific evidence to back up claims that it is beneficial for them. This is similar to many of the claims made about the effect of CBD on humans. However, since humans must administer CBD for dogs, the lines around whether it is an effective supplement for anxious or unhealthy pets is a blurred one.
While many believe that CBD acts as a placebo, some studies have shown that dogs suffering with arthritis exhibit increased mobility and signs that they’re in less pain after taking it. The one thing we do know about CBD is how it works in the body: it interacts with endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and works to keep the body balanced and in a normal, healthy state.
Anecdotally, some dog owners have reported that CBD has treated their pet’s neuropathic pain, seizures, and anxiety. It’s also said to have helped some dogs with appetite stimulation, cardiac issues, and as an anti-inflammatory supplement.However, with no scientific evidence to prove or disprove the believed benefits, it is unlikely that a veterinarian will prescribe your dog CBD to treat or prevent any particular ailment or symptoms.
Should dogs take CBD?
CBD is not toxic for dogs and may have some benefits, but does that mean it’s the right supplement to feed them? Whether or not you choose to supplement your dog’s healthy diet with CBD should be decided following extensive research. And though many reports do claim positive health benefits, especially for dogs in pain or with anxiety issues, as with most remedies there are some possible negative side effects, too.
Dry mouth leading to increased thirst, temporary drops in blood pressure, and drowsiness have all been reported as side effects of CBD usage for dogs. The ongoing risks for dogs taking CBD have not yet been properly researched, as the phenomena is fairly new and trend-led. However, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or issued a dosing chart, so those new to CBD administration may not know how much CBD their dog needs. Because of this, there is no evidence to suggest what dosage may cause negative side effects or even toxicity.
Things To Consider When Buying CBD for Dogs
If you do choose to feed your dog a CBD supplement, make sure you find an organic product that is approved by the necessary regulating bodies and has trusted certificates and reviews and begins with smaller dosages. You should also never opt for the cheapest CBD on the market: if you’re worried you can’t afford CBD for your dog, avoid it altogether. As with drugs for humans, low cost should never be a priority. And as always, check with your primary care vet before starting anything new if you have any concerns.
1. Check for full or broad spectrum hemp
A full or broad spectrum CBD product will contain other important cannabinoids that naturally occur in hemp, like CBC and CBG. CBC is thought to fight cancer, prevent pain and inflammation, and have a positive effect on the brain. CBG is said to decrease inflammation in the digestive system and support a healthy bladder.
You might think that a ‘pure’ CBD is the best option but in reality, the more of the hemp spectrum that is included in your CBD, the more benefits it will reap and the less likely it is to have been extracted using solvents. Which leads us to our next point…
2. Avoid solvent extraction
Solvent extraction is the cheapest way to extract oil from hemp. It uses toxic chemicals like butane, propane, and petroleum so you’ll see right away why it’s not something you’d want to include in what should be a healthy diet for your dog.
Other extraction methods include natural solvents like olive oil and ethanol which aren’t poisonous to your dog, but they can degrade the hemp’s waxes making them less beneficial. However, CO2 extraction uses a high-pressure chamber to break down the hemp and release its oil. This leads to a higher concentration and no toxic ingredients. It’s more expensive, but it’s worth the price when compared to the other options.
3. Check the certificate
All cannabinoid products – whether they’re for human or animal consumption – should come with a certificate of analysis. This document proves the amount and type of cannabinoids in the product and should always come from a third-party, not the product manufacturer.
Though CBD might not be scientifically approved, checking for this certificate will protect your dog from ingesting poor-quality products.
Alternatives to CBD for Dogs
Hemp isn’t the only plant known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Herbs like basil and rosemary also contain nutrients known to help provide pain relief for dogs suffering with arthritis. They also contain antioxidants that protect against free radicals so if you don’t want to supplement your dog’s diet with CBD, these are another natural option.
For dogs with anxiety, pheromone sprays, Solliquin behaviour supplements, and even obedience training have all been found to relieve stress and nervousness. These can complement the use of CBD or replace it if you prefer science-approved methods.
Most CBD treatments for dogs come in the form of oil tinctures. But Front of the Pack’s most popular supplement, The One, has similar health benefits to CBD and it comes as a powder that’s easily mixed into your dog’s dinner. Made with safe and natural ingredients, it's designed to holistically improve your dog’s overall health, including their mental wellbeing. With eight benefits in one, it’s an easy way to offer your furry friend all the preventative support they need to live a longer, happier life.
The One health supplement can even freshen your dog’s breath and help reduce plaque on their teeth. It’s clinically-approved ingredients deliver a wealth of benefits. Glucosamine and L-Carnitine relieve hip and joint stiffness and help the muscles. Ashwaganda alleviates stress and anxiety and promotes good blood circulation. Sunfiber prebiotic supports a healthy digestive system and postbiotic BPL1 soothes skin issues and allergies and promotes weight management. L-Theanine triggers serotonin and dopamine to promote mental sharpness, MSM fights pain and supports the immune system. And krill helps maintain healthy heart function and a sleek coat.