The demand for CBD has been growing exponentially as more people appreciate the health benefits of this natural extract. CBD has been found to be beneficial to people suffering from a wide range of ailments such as anxiety, epilepsy, depression, cancer and many others. The interesting part is that the same extract can be used effectively to manage some of these conditions in dogs.
Physiologically speaking, dogs have very similar systems to humans and other mammals. This means that when dosed properly, CBD is a safe and effective medicine for dogs suffering from various ailments such as seizures, inflammation and anxiety.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is an extract of the cannabis plant. It is one of the hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids that constitute the cannabis plant. CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most prominent among these cannabinoids.
While hemp and marijuana plants belong to the same cannabis genus, THC is the active ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for the famous “high effect.” On the other hand CBD is mostly found in the hemp plant and does not have the same psychoactive characteristics as THC.
Research findings indicate that CBD has medicinal properties that can be beneficial for a wide range of ailments including:
- Alzheimer’s – Relief from effects of Alzheimer’s
- Epilepsy – Relief from epileptic seizures
- Anxiety – Relief through changes in serotonin levels in the brain
- Acne – Treatment of acne and other skin conditions
- Pain – Reduction in pain caused by multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other conditions
- Cancer – Relief from cancer symptoms and effects of chemotherapy
- Insomnia – improves sleep patterns
CBD has also been found to provide therapeutic effects which improve wakefulness, neuro-protection and cardiac health.
How does CBD Work?
People use cannabidiol in various forms depending on convenience. It can be ingested as the pure oil, vaped, infused in food or drinks, taken as capsules or as an ointment for topical application. Some of these forms can be effectively used on dogs to give them the relief they need from various ailments.
Before we look at the different ways to administer CBD to dogs, let’s find out how CBD works to deliver the numerous health benefits outlined above.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is critical in helping the body to moderate bodily processes by using endocannabinoids (cannabinoids that are found naturally in the human body). The ECS contains CB1 and CB2 receptors which interact with the natural endocannabinoids in the body or external cannabinoids such as CBD to regulate multiple functions related to pain, mood, appetite and memory.
Different effects are observed when the CB1 and CB2 receptors are stimulated by endocannabinoids such as anandamide and cannabinoids such as CBD.
THC causes psychoactive effects by directly stimulating the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD on the other hand produces the health benefits outlined above by activating the serotonin, vanilloid and adenosine receptors.
Let us now look at the mechanism of action employed by CBD to induce various responses.
Pain and inflammation
By activating TRPV-1 (vanilloid receptor), CBD produces changes in hormones that control body temperature leading to a reduction in the effects of pain and inflammation.
Countering effects of marijuana
When CBD and THC are taken together, the user will benefit from the therapeutic effects of CBD without getting “high” from the THC. The reason for this is that when THC (which is mainly found in marijuana) is consumed, it activates CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The activation of CB1 receptors leads to the production of an enzyme know as FAAH. CBD on the other hand inhibits the production of FAAH effectively blocking the psychoactive effects of THC.
Anxiety and depression
CBD stimulates the Adenosine receptor within the ECS. This leads to the production of dopamine which functions as a neurotransmitter that sends signals encouraging reward-motivated behavior. This in turn minimizes anxiety and depression.
A G protein-coupled receptor known as GPR55 regulates bone cell function in the body. It is considered to be linked to cancer cell growth and bone re-absorption. Cannabidiol is an antagonist to GPR55 which means it blocks GPR55 signaling effectively contributing to slowing down the spread of cancer.
CBD Oil For Dogs
As mentioned, dogs are capable of processing cannabinoids the same way humans do. The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) that helps humans to moderate body processes is the same system used by dogs.
If you can find the best CBD oil for sale, use it to gauge its effect on your dog and then slowly move to pet supplements.
The same way CBD is helping humans, you can give your dog the same health benefits and possibly save the canine from life-threatening conditions.
CBD is increasingly becoming the extract of choice for pet owners seeking solutions to many of the common health issues below.
The multiple constituents of the cannabis plant including CBD have been shown to possess characteristics that inhibit the growth of tumors. The extract enhances the immune system providing the potential needed to fight cancer cells.
When used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatment, CBD enhances the efficacy of the regimen to give better outcomes.
Anxiety and Depression
As mentioned above, CBD can be used to alleviate anxiety and stress in dogs. Anxiety in dogs can be as a result of a change in environment, when traveling or in public places. The activation of dopamine through the adenosine receptors is critical in regulating mood to relieve anxiety and depression in dogs.
Seizures and Epilepsy
Epileptic seizures can be extremely devastating to dogs. Using the proper dosage, CBD can reduce the frequency of such seizures and restore your dog’s health back to normal. A cannabidiol-based drug branded Epidiolex, has actually been approved as a prescription drug for treating rare forms of childhood epilepsy in the United States. Although there is continuing research, this shows that CBD is effective in the management of epilepsy.
Cannabidiol is effective in reducing inflammation and treating chronic pain that may be caused by various conditions.
CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs
CBD oil can be ingested in various forms depending on what is convenient for the dog and the owner. These include orally through the mouth or as an aerosol spray. When taken through the mouth, it could be in the form of CBD oil, capsules or infused into dog treats.
Although CBD has been shown to be non-toxic it may cause sedation in large doses. This is the reason you must give your dog the appropriate dose of this natural extract. To avoid such discomfort to your dog it is advisable to start with small doses and then gradually increase them over a period of time.
Gradual increments will allow you to observe your pet’s reaction since every pet will probably have a different reaction compared to others. This will also help the dog get accustomed to the new supplement.
The most convenient way to administer CBD oil is to place the oil directly under the dog’s tongue. Such sublingual application of CBD oil will deliver the fastest relief for a pet. The membranes located under the tongue quickly absorb the oil directly into the bloodstream for instant effect.
The other way is to add the oil to your dog’s food or any other appropriate treat. Since the food has to go through the digestive system, the CBD has to be metabolized and this may delay the onset of CBD effects for 30 minutes or longer.
The dosage will depend on your dog’s body weight. For optimal results it is advisable to give your dog 2 doses per day, one in the morning and the second at night. To calculate the dose, use the following formula:
Dose A = 0.05mg CBD x 0.5kg of body weight (for light anxiety for example traveling)
Dose B = 0.125mg CBD x 0.5kg of body weight (for pain, arthritis, inflammation and anxiety)
Dose C = 0.25mg CBD x 0.5kg of body weight (for epilepsy or cancer effects)
For example if your dog weighs 30 kg, the dose under A will be 0.05mg x 0.5 x30 = 0.75mg
If you are using a dropper, the average drop contains 0.05ml of oil.
If the strength of the oil is 125mg and comes in a 30ml bottle then a drop of oil contains
A 30kg dog will therefore require
If you buy CBD oil that has been formulated for pets, it will be much easier to use since it comes with detailed dosing information.
Depending on the strength, you can give your dog one capsule once or twice per day. Normally, a single capsule contains between 150 and 200 mg of CBD.
Dog food / Treats
The amount of CBD infused in dog treats will vary depending on the brand. It is advisable to follow the instructions on the label regarding frequency and amount of feed you should give to your dog. Although dosage may be directed according to the weight of your dog, other factors may come into play such as the severity of the condition and whether the canine is using other medication.
You can always consult your veterinarian for further guidance.
Top CBD Oil for Dogs
CBD manufacturers are producing innovative products that are tailored for various uses. To make it easier for your dog to get the benefits of CBD, these companies have infused the extract into various dog treats. Let us look at some of the top brands.
HolistaPet produces dog treats that come in 3 flavors and are customized for particular ailments. By targeting your dog’s specific health areas, this brand makes it easy for you to choose a flavor with ingredients that will relieve joint pain and any effects of arthritis or a treat with ingredients that can fight your dog’s anxiety.
King Kanine prides itself as a brand that sources CBD from organic hemp. The company offers specialty CBD products under the King Kalm line. They include CBD oil for dogs and CBD-infused dog treats.
King Kalm CBD oil comes in three strengths of 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg. it is produced from organic hemp and is loaded with krill oil which is rich in omega-3 fats. Krill oil is said to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
For dog treats, the King Kalm Crunch is a cookie rich in vitamins, macronutrients and omega-3 fats. It contains phytocannabinoids and offers anti-oxidant benefits to dogs. It comes in three flavors namely honey oats, apples cinnamon and blueberry.
Canna Pet has distinguished itself as a hemp advocate with a wide range of products based on CBD. There is CBD oil, CBD capsules and biscuits.
The capsules contain organic hemp, terpenes, limonene, CBC, ß-Caryophyllene, α-pinene, and dozens of other unique compounds that provide the “entourage effect.” The capsules come in two forms – small for pets under 20 pounds and large for pets over 20 pounds. The capsules can be simply placed in dog food discreetly.
With the proliferation of CBD products it is important to ensure that the CBD oil you buy for your dog is of high quality and does not contain contaminants that may end up doing more harm to your dog.
Look out for oil derived from organic hemp to ensure that it doesn’t contain pesticide residues. Find manufacturers who provide third party lab results to guarantee that the quality of their CBD oil has been verified by independent tests.
Although CBD dog treats are easy to use as the dog will simply eat them as normal food, if you can get CBD tincture it can serve you much better since it will make it possible for you to adjust the dose drop by drop. This will ensure you give your dog the optimal benefits of CBD oil.