There’s no doubt that CBD is becoming popular among many individuals who seek natural ways to ease conditions, such as nausea, stress, and anxiety, etc. Nowadays, many online vendors and headshops offer CBD derived products with very little or no THC content. Contrary to THC, CBD products don’t have any psychoactive properties. For this reason, the substance remains legal in many states.
Although the benefits and effects of CBD for humans are well known, many still don’t know that this product can also help animals. Specifically, CBD can be used in dogs and cats suffering from a variety of conditions. Keep reading to learn all about CBD for pets.
How Does CBD Work in Pets?
Like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for various body and mental functions. For example, the endocannabinoid system controls appetite, anxiety, aggression, to name a few. It is important to note that there are two types of endocannabinoid receptors in our system:
- CB1: These are located throughout the body, but especially in the brain and spinal cord (human and animal). These receptors play a role in appetite, pain, and emotional processing.
- CB2: these receptors are everywhere in our and our pets’ peripheral systems. They play an important role in conditions such as inflammation.
Both types of receptors can be activated with phytocannabinoids, which are substances that occur naturally in the cannabis sativa plant. Moreover, it is believed that whilst THC acts directly in the CB1 receptors, CBD activates the CB2 receptors. Although CBD doesn’t bind directly to the endocannabinoid receptors of the brain, it inhibits the FAAH enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of anandamide, one of the major cannabinoids which are produced naturally by the human and animal systems.
Finally, remember that you should never give THC to your pets, as this substance can provoke adverse effects on them.
Properties of CBD for Pets
Thanks to its effects on the endocannabinoid system of our pets, CBD can help relieve a variety of conditions, including:
- Inflammation and arthritis
- Anxiety and stress
- Appetite loss
- Skin conditions
- Seasonal and environmental allergies
Additionally, CBD can help relieve some symptoms associated with old age, such as memory and mobility.
Is CBD for Pets Safe?
First of all, you must take into consideration that you must never give THC to your cats and dogs. The reason for this is that THC holds psychoactive properties, which can be prejudicial to your pets. For this reason, you should only use THC free CBD products.
There are studies that prove that CBD is a safe substance. According to this study performed in vivo (both in humans and animals) and in vitro (cells), CBD holds no damaging effects on the system. Specifically, the study proved that CBD doesn’t affect heart rate, blood pressure, sugar, potassium and sodium levels, psychological symptoms, etc.
However, some side effects on the way the liver metabolized medicines were reported. For this reason, if your pet is taking any medicines you should ask your veterinary before using CBD.
Additionally, if you plan on giving CBD to your dogs and cats, it is recommended that you use a specific CBD product for pets.
How to Use CBD in Pets?
Although there are numerous types of CBD products for humans, typically you’ll find CBD for pets in oil format. This is a very convenient format to give to your pet.
In order to find the right dose, it is important that you check with your holistic veterinary, who will recommend the right dose depending on your pet’s weigh. However, as there is still not too much research on this product, it is recommended to start with low doses and increase from there if necessary. And, if your pet doesn’t tolerate it well, you should discontinue the treatment.
On the other hand, CBD oil must be administered orally. However, giving it to pets could be hard, as they don’t tolerate the taste well. For this reason, you should consider adding the CBD oil to foods or treats.
Finally, remember that if you are giving any other medication to your pet, you should ask your veterinary before giving them any CBD. The reason for this is that CBD may reduce the absorption of medicines.