American’s interest in cannabidiol (CBD) products is increasing at an unprecedented rate, with record sales predicted for this rapidly growing market during the next few years. The word is definitely out about the wide range of health benefits CBD can provide, and people are taking advantage of hemp’s legal status and the various products produced from it. Whether it’s an oil, topical, or infused edible, everyone seems to be getting on the CBD bandwagon.
CBD’s increasing popularity even extends to our household pets, particularly cats and dogs. Many people use CBD to address and treat physical and behavioral problems with their companion animals with very good results, and CBD for pets is legal in all 50 states. For common conditions like anxiety and skin irritation, CBD appears to provide the same healing and soothing properties for pets that it does for their human owners.
Before diving into various CBD treatments for pets, let’s cover some basic information about this cannabis compound. CBD, which is present in marijuana as well as industrial hemp, is one of the two main cannabinoids with strong commercial value, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) being the second. THC provides a strong psychoactive experience, which is why many people consume recreational marijuana. THC also has medicinal value and applications for a range of chronic conditions including pain, insomnia, and fibromyalgia. CBD is not a psychoactive agent, so regardless of the amount you or your pet takes, it will not result in an intoxicating effect.
CBD is now legal, and an increasingly wide range of products contain it. As well as CBD oil and tinctures, a wide variety of topical products like lotions, creams, salves, balms, and bath salts also contain this beneficial cannabinoid. While CBD does not get people “high” in the sense that THC does, it does have a relaxing quality and eases anxiety, and it’s also been known to effectively treat depression. Like THC, CBD works in combination with various cannabis terpenes to promote wellness in a combined manner, known as “the entourage effect.” Exactly why these cannabis compounds work more effectively as a group is not entirely known and is a topic relevant to ongoing research. One of the most recent and popular ways to consume CBD is in the form of smokable or vapable hemp flower. Now cultivated by skilled growers in the same meticulous manner as marijuana, there are an increasing number of hemp strains hitting the market, with increasingly potent levels of CBD. The whole-plant approach to consuming CBD is rapidly gaining popularity.
With so many people—and an increasing number of pets—benefiting from the use of CBD and CBD-related products, you may want to consider using it to address physical or mental conditions your pet may be experiencing. It’s safe as well as effective.
Common Uses of CBD for Companion Animals
Pet owners, particularly people who use CBD themselves with good results, want their cherished companions to receive the same CBD benefits as humans. Based largely on anecdotal reports—but mostly reports that are universally positive and support CBD as an effective treatment—pet owners are purchasing CBD oil or CBD products specifically created for pet use.
Some of the most common conditions people use CBD for cats and dogs are separation anxiety, fear from thunderstorms or loud noises, as well as relief from pain, arthritis, and inflammation. There also are valid reason to use hemp for skin conditions and infections. It turns out that many of the same reasons humans consume CBD also apply to their pets.
While research in the veterinary community about CBD uses and benefits is ongoing, there have already been some significant findings and promising results from research that indicates this cannabinoid may have a valuable and promising future for use on animals.
Research conducted at Cornell University has been widely publicized in a number of publications and other media. The finding of this study indicates great potential for treating dogs with arthritis with CBD. Other research conducted at Colorado State University as a pilot study to explore the potential benefits of CBD for treating arthritis in dogs has resulted in similar, promising results.
The Colorado study also has seen widespread coverage in the media, and has been the subject of numerous articles. While the evidence supporting the effectiveness of CBD on dogs is largely anecdotal at this time, research with more clinical parameters will no doubt shed additional light on how CBD may benefit man’s best friend.
The First Step
Since our companion animals enrich our lives so much and become literally parts of our families, you want the very best for them. A prudent first step before administering CBD to your dog or cat is to have a discussion with your pet’s veterinarian—or a veterinarian with a progressive approach to holistic medicine.
Document some of the most compelling reason why you think CBD will help your pet. Write some notes you can refer to about specific incidents that support your desire to try CBD. Perhaps your dog gets such severe separation anxiety that it destroyed your leather couch when you went to work one day—an event you probably won’t need notes to remember. Thunderstorms are a terrorizing experience for many animals, so if your pets shake uncontrollably with fear, and your cat goes under the bed or your dogs goes to the far end of your walk-in closet when a storm is brewing, you probably have enough compelling reasons to get buy-in from your vet for a CBD regimen. While you don’t need a prescription form a veterinarian to obtain CBD for your pet, your vet should know about your plans for Fluffy or Fido. If for no other reason, keeping your vet in the loop may provide compelling reason for him or her to recommend CBD for other canine and feline patients.
Ways to Provide CBD to Your Pet
The process of dosing your pet with CBD is usually very simple and easy, with no stress for the pet. Most people simply administer one to three drops (depending on the size of the pet) of CBD oil or tincture into the mouths of their pets, without the pets reacting in a negative manner. There should be no struggle, and if worse comes to worse, you can put the drops on a favorite food treat.
Some people prefer to provide CBD to their pets in a treat form that’s very pleasing for the animal. There also are CBD treats specifically created for dogs, as well as cats. Dogs love the beef and liver flavored treats and look forward to eating them. And even the most finicky cat will enjoy the tuna flavor of feline CBD treats. The makers of these products not only know the range of benefits CBD can provide to pets but also ensure that the CBD treats are palatable and enjoyable for them.
You want the very best for your pet, CBD is a natural way to provide relief for a variety of physical and mental conditions. Perhaps you use CBD yourself and live a better life as a result. If you believe your pet has an identifiable condition that CBD may help, have a discussion with your veterinarian about the possible benefits of CBD. Once your pet receives it, you will very likely see an improvement.