Why should humans be the only ones to reap the benefits of CBD? Studies have shown that CBD has similar health effects for pets as it does for humans.
In this ultimate guide to CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets, I will look at everything under the sun in an attempt to educate you and make your feel comfortable giving your pet CBD oil. Let’s dive in shall we?
I may receive a commission if you purchase through links in this post.
— What is CBD Oil? —
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a powerful chemical compound that’s very prevalent in the cannabis sativa plant. It’s one of over 110 chemical compounds that are known as cannabinoids (compounds that are secreted by cannabis flowers). CBD is the major nonpsychoactive component of this plant. CBD oil is typically extracted from the resin glands on cannabis buds and flowers. It can also be extracted from hemp, which is an industrial, fibrous form of cannabis that has small buds and a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of 0.3% or less. It’s usually diluted with another type of oil, like MCT oil.
— THC vs CBD —
A vast majority of cannabis products either contain high-THC or high-CBD strains. The primary difference between the two compounds is that CBD isn’t psychoactive. Unlike THC, strains that contain high amounts of CBD won’t make your pet feel intoxicated or “high.” In fact, CBD actually counteracts and mitigates the psychoactive effects of THC. As a result, when your pet ingests a cannabis product that contains more CBD than THC, they receive many of the benefits of the plant without experiencing the negative side effects of THC, including that “high” or “stoned” feeling.
In addition, when cannabis is consumed, cannabinoids bind to receptor sites that are located throughout the brain. Cannabinoids have a different effect on the system depending on which specific receptors they connect with, and some of the compounds have a stronger affinity for certain receptors. The compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) prefers to tie with receptors in the brain, and CBD prefers to connect with receptors throughout the rest of the body. As a result, each type of cannabis product has a unique “cannabinoid profile” to provide different types of relief through stimulation of certain receptors.
It is imperative to avoid products high in THC. (THC in concentrations of 0.3% of less is safe and actually beneficial as it creates an entourage effect.) THC creates powerful feelings of euphoria. This effect can promote relaxation and relief of stress for humans, but the same is not true for animals. High THC supplements can cause a multitude of problems for animals, including:
- Low blood pressure
- Increased anxiety
- Inability to walk straight
- Extreme lethargy or excessive pacing
Important to note – there is a greater concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the brain of a dog than there are in other animals or humans. The higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brain can make dogs react badly to THC. Dogs can develop a condition called static ataxia from a THC overdose – an inability to preserve equilibrium while standing. Again, THC in concentrations under 0.3% is safe. I personally would never give my dog a CBD oil with more than 0.3% THC in it.
— How does CBD work? —
Named after the plant that led to its discovery, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors located throughout the body. Short-lived natural endocannabinoid substances are synthesized on demand by the body to maintain homeostasis, a stable internal environment. When these internal mechanisms lag behind the body’s needs, supplementing with extra CBD can help. Research also suggests that supplementing can coax the body to build more receptors so natural cannabinoids will work more effectively.
Two types of receptors have been identified: CB1 receptors, predominantly in the brain, nervous system, glands and organs; and CB2 receptors, found mainly in the regulatory cells of the immune system. Many tissues contain both receptors, each linked to a different action. A key role of the endocannabinoid system is controlling inflammation by up-regulating or down-regulating the immune response. An overactive response can lead to allergies and auto-immune problems; an underactive one can leave the body susceptible to infections and the unchecked proliferation of cancer cells.
All mammals, dogs, cats, horses, and humans alike, have endocannabinoid systems and cannabinoid receptors all over their bodies. Our bodies even produce natural cannabinoids, like anandamide, known as the “bliss molecule” for its role in mental health, pain relief, and hunger.
— What animals can safely benefit from taking CBD oil? —
Since all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, CBD oil can technically be used by any mammal. Interestingly enough, fish and mollusks have an endocannabinoid system. CBD oil is most commonly used for dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and rabbits.
— What health concerns can CBD oil address? —
Early research and anecdotal testimonials show that CBD oils has helped pets in many different ways. Here’s a preliminary list of various conditions that CBD oil has been known to help with:
- Chronic Pain
- Deteriorating Quality of Life
- Digestive Issues
- Fatty Tumors
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Joint & Mobility Issues
- Phobias (Fireworks, Thunderstorm)
- Skin Problems
Let’s look at a few of these conditions closer.
CBD oil reduces anxiety in pets
If you have ever suffered from anxiety, then you know that it is awful, and it would be the same for your pet too. Many dogs and cats suffer from anxiety and have been known to be depressed and extremely anxious in certain situations, such as when their owner leaves, around strangers, in new surroundings, or with loud or unexpected noises. This can result in destructive behaviors such as chewing objects, urinating, pacing, and more. CBD oil helps because it is a relaxing stimulant that calms your pet.
CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets with cancer
Unfortunately, dogs, cats, and other pets can get cancer too, and when they do they have symptoms of nausea, loss of appetite, and chronic pain. CBD oil allows your pet to feel comfortable during those difficult times and helps to reduce the side effects that cancer and cancer treatments can have on them.
- CBD helps the immune system’s killer cells to cause cancer cell death.
- CBD kills cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy.
- CBD’s anti-tumor properties slow and inhibit glioma cell growth.
- CBD can help increase the efficacy of conventional cancer treatment.
As of right now, CBD oil cannot cure cancer. But it certainly works as a complimentary treatment while bringing about relief to your ailing pet.
CBD helps with glaucoma in dogs
Glaucoma is a very common eye condition in some dog breeds. It’s manifested as the high ocular pressure which causes inadequate draining of fluids in the eye. If the condition is chronic, it can lead to partial sight loss, even the complete blindness.
About 40 percent of dogs diagnosed with glaucoma lose their sight completely, despite the early diagnosis or treatment. High ocular pressure has been shown to be treated to normal with CBD.
CBD oil is known for reducing seizures and the effects of epilepsy
It’s estimated that up to 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Most dogs with seizures are put on drugs such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide. While they may help control the seizures, they can be extremely harmful to your dog’s liver and other organs. And the drugs don’t work in all cases. High levels of CBD oil can manage your pet’s seizures. Over time, it has been known to reduce the frequency of them, and in some cases get rid of the seizures altogether.
CBD oil may relieve chronic pain, arthritis, etc…
Even pets can’t escape arthritis, but CBD oil can help with that. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints that cause aching, pain, and other degenerative illnesses. As CBD oil is a pain reliever, it targets these aching joints and gives your dog relief. Not only that, but it reduces the chronic inflammation that prevents your pet from healing properly.
CBD oil increases appetite and helps with nausea
If you have trouble getting your pet to eat, CBD oil may help. The National Cancer Institute reports that CBD increases appetite and carries this extra benefit, in addition to controlling cancer.
CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets promotes homeostasis
Homeostasis can best be described as the proper functioning of the body. It occurs when our bodies are in balance and ensures all our biological systems function to the best of their ability.
However, sometimes this balance gets thrown out, and that’s when disease and illness strike.
Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a key role in maintaining this balance, mainly because it is involved in such a wide variety of bodily processes. Hence, researchers suggest that, by stimulating the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids like CBD can help promote homeostasis in the body.
This is why many pet owners choose to use CBD oil not only as a medicine to treat a specific illness, but also as a regular supplement to promote the overall health and wellbeing of their pet.
Beyond these health issues, CBD oil for dogs may prove useful in aiding with or easing:
- separation anxiety
- excessive barking
- nausea from car rides
- lack of vitality and energy
- trips to the vet or groomer
- muscle spasms
- recovery from surgery or illness
- pacing or inability to settle or relax
- fear of thunderstorms, fireworks or loud noises
- grumpiness or aggression toward another animal (I can attest to this! It helped my dog transition to life with a cat)
CBD oil for cats may prove useful in aiding with or easing:
- multi-cat household drama
- constant hiding
- fear of the litter box
- eating inappropriate objects
- crying with no apparent cause
- trips to the vet or riding in the car
- distress from a change in the environment
- grumpiness or aggression with another animal
— How much CBD oil should my dog take? —
Typically, 1 -5 mgs per 10 pounds of bodyweight is recommended. The range accounts for what you are using the CBD oil for. CBD oil for dogs in a great deal of pain would run on the higher end of the dosing spectrum. CBD oil for dogs with separation anxiety might run around 2-3 mgs per 10 pounds.
Here is an abbreviated breakdown:
- 10 lbs (1-5mgs)
- 20 lbs (2-10mgs)
- 30 lbs (3-15mgs)
- 40 lbs (4-20 mgs)
- 50 lbs (5-25mgs)
You see where I am going with this….
— How much CBD oil should my cat take? —
1 – 5 mgs per 10 pounds of body weight. The same rules apply as above for dogs.
— How much CBD should my other animals take? —
Again, the 1-5 mgs per 10 pounds of body weight rule applies. However, when it comes to livestock and small animals like rabbits, hamsters, mice, etc… I would always consult your CBD oil friendly vet.
— A note for all pets owners regarding daily intake of CBD oil —
Give CBD oil to your animal 1.5 hours before any pharmaceuticals that metabolize in the liver (roughly 60% of all meds) to avoid any interactions.
Start with a dose on the low end of the range. Changes usually occur within 30 minutes. If there is no change after an hour, increase the dosage. Improvements will take more than one treatment. To control pain, give approximately every 4-8 hours. For other uses, or to break unwanted behavior patterns, give once or twice a day.
Be sure that you have correctly calculated how many milligrams of CBD is in each drop when using a tincture. Check the label and call the company if you have any questions at all!
4 Corners Cannabis, the brand I use and trust, has these dosage suggestions:
500 and 1,000 mg bottles:
Give your animal 1 drop per every 10 lbs of body weight.
250 mg bottle:
Give your animal 2 drops per every 10 lbs of body weight.
Remember, you can save 10% on every order, every time from 4 Corners Cannabis using code HYBRIDRASTAMAMA at checkout!
— Is CBD oil safe for my pet to take with other medications? —
Each case is unique, and you must consider your pet’s medical history. There are over 1500 prescription drugs for pets in the United States; each of them could interact in a different way with any supplement CBD oil. If your pet is on any prescription medication I recommend consulting with a veterinarian before administering any supplement.
Also, remember to give CBD oil to your pet 1.5 hours before any pharmaceuticals that metabolize in the liver (roughly 60% of all meds) to avoid any interactions.
— Does CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets have any negative side effects? —
Typically CBD oil does not produce negative reactions in pets. However, these are some warning signs to look out for:
- Dry mouth with or without increased water intake
- Excessive drooling
- Low blood pressure (normally noticed at a vet appointment)
- Lightheadedness in the form of disorientation or being off balance
- Lack of energy and enthusiasm
- Increased nervousness
— Mindful practices when using CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other animals —
Keep a journal of your pet before and for several days if you decide to use a CBD oil product. This will help you decide whether it’s having a positive effect. Better still, record video of your pet to document their progress, or lack thereof (this will help you overcome the flaws of human memory). Or ask your friends/family whether they’ve noticed any difference in your pet without telling them that you’ve been giving your pet CBD oil (the closest you’ll get to a blinded study).
— How should I administer CBD oil? —
I personally will only use and recommend a CBD oil tincture for dogs, cats, and other pets. This is because it hits their bloodstream darn-near immediately providing the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time. You can often time loose potency of the CBD when creating a CBD treat or pill.
There are several ways to give your pet CBD oil:
- Apply the drops using a hand-feeding syringe with silicone feeding tip or a plastic dropper. Typically I would not recommend plastic however, you want a plastic dropper instead of glass in case your pet bites down. Apply the drops directly to the middle of the tongue or back of the cheek/gum line.
- Apply the drops to a treat or meal. This is my preferred method.
- Apply the drops to the water bowl (use this as a last resort because the oil drop could get splashed out of the bowl).
- You can also apply CBD oil topically either as a salve or as the tincture. This works great for things like hot spots, sores, rashes, and minor wounds.
— Key things to watch out for when choosing a CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other animals —
Of course, the #1 thing you’ll want to look out for when selecting CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets is that the product actually contains CBD. It’s easy enough to label something as “hemp-infused” or “hemp-based”, but it’s another thing altogether to actually have the appropriate levels of cannabidiol present in order to initiate any sort of chemical/physiological change. Short of going into a whole thing about which brands and products are ‘legit’ and which are not, take a look at 4 Corners Cannabis (and remember to use coupon code HYBRIDRASTAMAMA for 10% off any order, anytime). I trust them for my own personal CBD oil usage and that of my pets. They have their lab analysis available to the public on their website showing exactly how much CBD is in their product line.
Make sure that the CBD oil brand you choose has independent lab results that prove the oil is free of toxins. CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets should ideally come from an organic source but if not, it needs to be free from toxins. Hemp is an amazing toxin sucker-upper so having these lab results is critical. You do not want to give CBD oil to your pets if it contains pesticides, solvents, or fungicides.
Look for CBD oil that is free of additives. CBD works best when it is untainted by other ingredients. CBD oil has to have a carrier oil (usually MTC, avocado, or coconut oil). This is fine. Stay away from other unwanted ingredients like flavorings and sweeteners.
— Is there a guarantee that the use of CBD oil will have positive impacts on my pet? —
There are numerous studies that show the positive effects of CBD oil in both human beings and animals. With that said, one cannot guarantee whether the use of CBD oil will have positive impacts on the pet or not.
You will only know the impacts of CBD oil on your pet once you start adding CBD oil to your pet’s diet plan. There are plenty of pet owners that are benefitting from the use of CBD oil, and there is no harm in giving it a try.
— What brand of CBD oil for your dog, cat, or other pet do I recommend? —
If my hints throughout the post weren’t obvious before, 4 Corners Cannabis is the only CBD oil for dogs, cats, and other pets that I would use and that I trust. The owners care. The owners control everything from start to finish. They even created their own superior hemp strain. The owners are super transparent, willing to speak with customers at length, and are all around just great people. And most important, their CBD oil for pets is pure, cleans, and works!
Remember, you can save 10% on every order, every time from 4 Corners Cannabis using code HYBRIDRASTAMAMA at checkout!
Due to the influence of big pharma, the FDA has historically refused to investigate the benefits of CBD oil for pets. I am not allowed to say or imply that CBD has any medical benefits, however the 1st Amendment also protects my right to tell you about my experiences with CBD helping my own pets as well as that of my friends and family. There is also the fact that there have been more than 1500 clinical studies regarding the effectiveness of CBD. Please note that I believe, but cannot legally claim or imply, that countless dogs, cats and other pets have used CBD oils for many conditions.