The use of CBD oil for pets is making headlines as the biggest health and wellness trend. It’s used to help with anxiety, chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, seizures, and many other health issues.
As it happens, dogs and other pets suffer from many of the same problems as their human owners.
CBD brands have begun to offer CBD oils designed for animals for this precise reason. This is great news since 62% of Australian households own pets, one of the highest rates in the world.
In fact, it’s estimated there are over 24 million pets in Australia — as much as the human population. This includes dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and guinea pigs.
So, how can CBD oil help your furry companions? Is it safe? Here’s what you need to know.
How Can CBD Oil Help?
CBD oil works primarily by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system: a network of receptors and cannabinoids that helps maintain homeostasis — a healthy state of balance.
Many animals, including dogs, cats, and even sea urchins, have the same system. As such, CBD oil can be used to support the health of pets much in the same way we already use it for ourselves.
There are many issues CBD oil can help pets with, including separation anxiety, pain, arthritis, nausea, seizures, gastrointestinal issues, neurodegenerative conditions, and even cancer.
On the whole, CBD oil is a great way to boost the quality of life of your pet by improving mobility, reducing inflammation, supporting mental health, and providing other benefits.
CBD Oil for Animals: The Research
There’s a good deal of research evidence that CBD oil can be beneficial for pets. Much of this evidence centers on cell culture, mouse, and human studies, but research in dogs and other pets is beginning as well. Let’s take a look at some of this research in more detail.
One 2018 study by American researchers examined whether CBD oil can help dogs with osteoarthritis. Unlike the placebo treatment, dogs given CBD oil saw a decrease in pain and improvement of comfort and activity levels. These findings are similar to a study where CBD gel reduced pain and inflammation in rats with arthritis.
Meanwhile, the anti-anxiety effects of CBD have been demonstrated by multiple animal and human studies. The evidence is so strong that a 2015 review paper concluded that “CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.”
There’s also evidence that CBD oil can help animals with cancer. For example, a 2012 study demonstrated that CBD can protect mice against developing colon cancer. Similarly, a 2006 cell culture study demonstrated that CBD can prevent breast cancer growth.
In addition, CBD oil can help with side effects of cancer and chemotherapy, such as nausea and pain.
Safety for Your Pets
Decades of research in both animals and people have shown that CBD is an exceptionally safe substance. This scientific evidence prompted the World Health Organization to report in 2018 that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
Although CBD oil is quite safe, it can still cause minor side effects in pets. The most common of these are sleepiness, dry mouth, and tiredness. However, these effects are relatively small and unlikely to occur unless you’re using large doses.
How to Use
Most companies sell separate CBD oils for pets. However, the truth is that these tinctures usually contain regular CBD oil with a different label and a higher price. Unless a pet CBD oil offers useful features such as a pump bottle that makes it easier to administer to your pet, there’s no reason to pay more money.
Instead, you can simply give your pet smaller doses of regular CBD oil based on their size: the smaller the pet, the smaller the dosage. To give CBD oil to your pet, simply put the desired number of drops under their tongue.
As always, we recommend using full-spectrum CBD oil tinctures because whole-plant hemp preparations have greater therapeutic effects than isolated CBD.
Another thing to keep in mind is that dogs are more sensitive to the effects of cannabinoids due to having significantly more cannabinoid receptors than other animals. This is yet another reason why they need much smaller doses than people.
To figure out the ideal dosage for your pet, we recommend starting with one drop of a low-potency CBD oil. You can then see how your pet reacts and slowly increase the dosage until you notice the desired effects, such as reduced anxiety.