CBD as an Alternative Treatment for Pets
An alternative medicinal therapy
We always want the best for our pets. To most of us, they are family. Like family, we want to do our best to make sure that they are healthy and happy. In an age where alternative medicine is ever popular, there is a question being asked more and more of veterinarians by pet owners seeking to improve the life of their beloved animal companions.
That question is: “Can I give CBD to my pet?”
CBD, for those who do not know, is cannabidiol, a chemical that is part of the more commonly known hemp (or marijuana). Riding the recent wave of studies and mounting evidence that CBD can have fantastic health benefits for many of our everyday ailments, it seems only natural that we look to see if those same benefits may translate over to our favorite animals. Though we may know a lot about how a human will respond to CBD, the studies of its effects upon an animal are less well researched, with many discoveries only being relatively recent. There’s a lot of exciting potential in the usage of CBD for our pets, hopefully going over some of the more commonly asked questions will help to paint us a better picture of the ins and outs. Here’s what to know before giving your pets CBD.
What are the risks?
The biggest question that comes to mind first is, of course, “is it safe?”. Thankfully, this one is also very easy to answer. You see, we have a highly complex system in our bodies, called the endocannabinoid system. Whenever CBD is consumed, it interacts with this system to provide a plethora of health benefits. Fortunately for the pets of the world, animals also have a near-identical system in their bodies, meaning that they inherit many of the same benefits that come from consuming CBD. The side effects are mostly benign, with CBD being considered almost entirely safe by regulatory organizations.
The side affects you may see in your pet are things like a dry mouth, drowsiness or an upset stomach/diarrhea. It’s definitely a good idea to keep an eye on these side effects, in most cases they will subside after your furry friend becomes fully acquainted with the product you are giving them. You should always use any new product sparingly to begin however and if side effects do not subside, stop administering it and seek the advice of a professional.
A complicated history of legality
Though this next particular set of fears are drastically less prevalent in the current landscape of information that we have, it should definitely be addressed. The unfamiliar will find themselves in some concern about the legality of CBD. The mere mention of any word bearing a similarity to “cannabis” will conjure the wrong idea depending on what part of the world you live in. Contrary to what the uninitiated may believe however, CBD is actually legal in the majority of the western world. Legal for both you and your pets. Without getting too bogged down in the nitty-gritty of science, laws and politics, the easiest way to understand the legality is to understand the difference between THC and CBD. CBD products that are legally sold have an incredibly low trace amount of THC, meaning that the psychoactive properties most commonly associated with hemp/marijuana are entirely nullified. Good news for the legality and good news for your pet, who hopefully won’t be getting high and sleeping on the sofa all day or eating excess amounts of food.
How CBD can help your pets
Now we move on to the good stuff. Since we’ve established it’s safe and legal, we get to comb over the many benefits of this miraculous plant-based product. One of the most commonly known benefits is that CBD is an incredibly effective painkiller. Pain your pet may be experiencing from chronic conditions can cause it to become lethargic and energy-less, symptoms that everyone will be all too familiar with. The sibling of pain, anxiety and stress, will also be greatly alleviated by the usage of CBD, improving not only the quality of life for your pet but their mood and general demeanour. More severe issues in a pet such as epilepsy, seizures and tremors have also shown to be drastically reduced through administration of CBD, surpassing more commonly prescribed drugs whilst simultaneously avoiding the long list of complications and side effects. In addition, whilst it is by no means a cure, CBD has been shown to impede the growth of cancerous tumors. This list of powerful benefits goes on and on, and whilst your pet may only have a single isolated issue that CBD can aid in mitigating, a lot of the problems here can have a domino effect. The fact that CBD will do so much simultaneously makes it a game changer as a treatment for your pet.
So, it’s the right fit for you, what now?
If you’ve decided this is the ideal treatment for your pet, you should take some consideration about how to administer it. First and foremost, on our minds should be dosages. This should be done incredibly carefully, to correctly tailor the ideal amount of CBD for the pet in question. A CBD oil will make this process significantly easier, since it will allow you to have finer control over the amount you are administering.
A commonly recommended method for tailoring the amount for dogs is to give 1mg of CBD per 2lbs of your pet’s weight, though you’ll want to ensure you are using the correct dosage for your specific pet. You can get creative here with the oil, mix it in with food, drop it on some treats, find the way your pet is happiest with. If you are exploring this without the aid of an expert, you should always err on the side of caution with your dosage, to see how your pet will react to it. Once you are more comfortable with the process and have a better idea of what is good for your pet’s individual needs, there is a world of other potential CBD products – like some tasty CBD edibles. Lastly, research and choose a trustworthy brand, your pet would do the same for you.