As marijuana continues to be destigmatized and legalized throughout the country, more and more people have come out with stories about how medical marijuana has changed their lives for the better. Cannabidiol (CBD), in particular, has been having its own time in the sun. But have you heard of pet CBD for anxiety?
As any pet parent will readily tell you, animals can be just as sensitive as humans are. Unfortunately, this means they may also be suspect to negative feelings of fear and anxiety. CBD oil is becoming a more common treatment as time goes by—and the outlook is promising. Read on to find out more.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants (including both hemp and marijuana). It is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you high. Another cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for that.
CBD oil is one of the most popular ways to get the many benefits of CBD. It is diluted with a fatty carrier oil to assist in the absorption process, usually coconut oil or hemp seed oil.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
While CBD derived from the hemp plant can have a maximum of only 0.3 percent THC, CBD derived from the marijuana plant can have a maximum of 30 percent THC. Thus, marijuana-derived CBD oil is only available in states where marijuana has been legalized. In contrast, hemp-derived CBD oil is available nationwide. You can check out trusted hemp reviews at weedcenter.org.
What Can CBD Oil Do for My Pet?
Though research on CBD is still emerging, there are already many proven benefits. People have been using marijuana to treat back pain, for instance, since as far back as 2900 B.C. These pain-relieving effects are likely due to the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). By impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, CBD may help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, which may be especially useful for dogs with aging joints or chronic conditions.
This same sort of interaction with the endocannabinoid system means CBD oil can also help reduce anxiety and depression, two potentially debilitating conditions that have been documented even in dogs. Treating such conditions with traditional pharmaceutical drugs may work for a while. However, they run the risk of physical dependency and various negative side effects. CBD can act as a sort of natural antidepressant by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating mood and social behavior, making it easier for your pet to return to a state of equilibrium from their emotional distress.
How Much CBD Oil Does My Pet Need?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cut-and-dry answer to this question (at least, not yet). Because research is still emerging, there aren’t any regulated dosage levels for pets. The general rule of thumb, however, is to start low and go slow. A once-daily dosage of 0.25 mg is generally a good place to start. Keep things consistent and monitor your pet’s responses before altering the dosage level. Don’t vary wildly from one day to the next.
Remember that each animal is different, just as each human is. Your pet’s weight, size, and activity level are all factors to take into consideration when trying to determine how they will metabolize CBD oil. Be extra cautious if your pet has any health conditions that may be affected by (or affect) introducing CBD into their daily routines, such as liver or kidney problems. Take care to buy quality products at the right potency. You may also want to consult with your vet if you are in a state where marijuana is legal (more on that in a minute).
Should I Talk to My Vet About CBD Oil?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “To date, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana for people, yet veterinarians are prohibited from administering, prescribing, dispensing or recommending cannabis for their patients.” In other words, your vet may not be able to give you any advice about CBD oil. Still, there’s no harm in bringing it up. Keeping your vet in the loop is crucial to your pet’s safety, and they may be able to answer any questions you have about how it may affect your pet.
How Long Will It Take for CBD Oil to Work for My Pet?
Administering CBD oil sublingually (under your pet’s tongue) is one of the quickest ways to see results. Still, it depends on what you’re treating. If you’re using CBD to address your pet’s anxiety or depression, you may see results right away (as soon as 5 to 30 minutes!). However, chronic pain or inflammation may take longer to be alleviated. In such cases, it may take up to a few weeks to bring forth consistent results. As always, take close note of your pet’s reactions before upping their dosage.
Is CBD Oil Dangerous for My Pet?
As of yet, there are no major risks of CBD oil without any THC. However, negative side effects may occur. These include but are not limited to:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
If you see your pet exhibiting any of these symptoms, lower their dosage accordingly. You may also want to try administering CBD oil during feeding times to assist in the absorption process.
CBD oil with trace amounts of THC may be riskier to administer to your pet. In such cases, overdoses are rare but possible. Watch out for these signs of a THC gummies overdose:
- Impaired balance or coordination
- Increased sensitivity to the senses
- Urinary incontinence
Put Your Pet First
Though the outlook on pet CBD is undoubtedly bright, it’s important to do your research before administering any new medications to your furry friends. Make sure to keep a close watch on any signs of distress or improvement and to act accordingly. Who knows? CBD oil might be just what your pet needs!