Cannabidiol For Pets - Important Facts and Potential Benefits
As we begin to better understand the effects of CBD on the human body through mounting evidence and larger research studies, more and more pet owners are also questioning the safety of treating their furry friends with the same medication. Can CBD offer the same relief to cats and dogs as it does for humans? Is it safe? Is it legal? What kinds of effects can it have on animals?
Although there is still limited scientific research available on CBD and pets, the evidence that does exist suggests that treating animals with CBD can be a safe and successful option for a wide range of ailments. Not to mention the countless number of testimonials popping up online from pet owners who are already seeing extremely positive results after beginning treatment on their furry children.
In the United States, it is still illegal for a veterinarian to prescribe their furry patients medical marijuana, and in most cases, veterinarians still remain in the dark about this form of treatment and especially about a CBD alternative. Many vets may still be hostile to the concept due to a lack of information and a negative media image. However, cannabinoid receptors exist within mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Research has shown in canines that they can metabolize cannabinoids, but do so differently than their human companions. Cannabinoids have been shown to react with the CB1 and CB2 receptions in dogs, binding loosely but for an extended timeframe. This means that the positive therapeutic effects are long lasting. Once CBD are completely processed, they are safety passed through the dogs’ liver and digestive system.
Holistic pet supplement companies and their investors are already betting big money on the viability of CBD treatments for pets. Slowly veterinary associations are beginning to address the information gap. For example the California Veterinary Medical Association recently held a major conference, and one of the main focuses was the use of marijuana as animal medicine; the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has also begun pushing for further research into the subject by the federal government and has even posted testimonials from pet owners using CBD on their website. Times are changing for the use of CBD both for pet owners and their pets.
As with any medicine, there is always the risk of side effects with use. Some research has been conducted on treating animals with marijuana, but as marijuana can contain strong psychoactive affects, most research has deemed it unsafe, or at the very least that more research is required. According to the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, marijuana toxicosis in animals increased alongside medical marijuana use in Colorado. Marijuana toxicosis is when psychoactive prosperities in marijuana cause anxiety, abnormal behavior, diarrhea, vomiting and other negative effects. In some rare cases, ingesting strong doses of marijuana has resulted in animal deaths. Alternatively, based on the available evidence (both anecdotal and otherwise), the side effects related to CBD treatments are both rare and mild.
Treating animals with CBD is obviously much different than treating an animal with medical marijuana. The psychoactive affect is eliminated in CBD, leaving primarily cannabidiols. A quick search online exposes a growing community of individual pet owners who have begun treating their aging and ailing pets with CBD and many, if not most, are reporting extremely positive results.
According to the AVMA, CBD has been used to treat a variety of ailments in animals. This list includes many symptoms that humans also treat with CBD themselves such as pain, inflammation, seizures, cancer and its associated issues, phobias, digestive issues, and anxiety. Other owners have reported treating their animals with CBD products to offer better palliative care. These owners report that their animals’ quality of life has vastly improved; they gained weight, energy and appetite, and most importantly started wagging their tails and purring again. In one study, 61.8% to 95% of owners approved CBD laced treats for their health benefits in pets.
The available anecdotal evidence does strongly suggest that CBD can improve the quality of life for sick and infirm animals when dosed appropriately. It can also offer an alternative to stronger, harsher pharmaceuticals. Pet-owners are increasingly looking to switch from treating their furry children with pharmaceutical products that may have many negative side effects, to a more natural medicine that can have the same positive effects without the problems like liver damage or damage to the animals digestive system.
Before making the switch, or starting a CBD treatment regime, always approach a veterinarian. Based on online testimonials, many have reported their veterinarian being wary of a CBD treatment plan. A vet’s refusal is often times simply due to lack of information or their prior experience with treating marijuana toxicosis. If you are looking to make the switch from one medication to a CBD product, it is vital to discuss this plan with the veterinarian, as there can be complications from eliminating one medicine in a larger medication plan.
Always start a CBD treatment plan slowly and in small doses. The typical recommendation is 1-2 drops of CBD oil per 10 pet pounds mixed into food once a day. The results should appear over the following week, and any increases or reductions can be determined from then on based on the pet’s reaction. In the end, caring pet owners know their pets the best and know when other treatments are not providing the necessary quality of life to an animal. More research may begin to scientifically prove that CBD offers a viable method of improving the daily experiences of sick and ailing animals.