If you’ve been active on the web for the last couple years, you might have observed the rising popularity of cannabidiol, or CBD, for treating numerous conditions and diseases. However, not everyone is as open to its use due to the fear that it may cause psychological effects, with over 47% of Americans believing that CBD is a regulated substance as it’s believed to be sourced from marijuana.

Photo by Pharma Hemp Complex on Unsplash

Contrary to this common misconception, CBD products, like oils, tinctures and capsules, are more commonly extracted from hemp, a close relative to cannabis. While hemp belongs to the same family as marijuana, it contains drastically lower levels of THC, the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects. This means that there is little to no risk of CBD causing lethargy or intoxication. Unlike marijuana, hemp is legal in most countries, with the plant’s fibers being used for clothes and ropes. 

In fact, scientific studies show that CBD extracts offer numerous health benefits not only for humans, but also for animals, especially for alleviating symptoms of arthritis, anxiety and chronic pain. Due to this, more and more pet parents are turning to CBD to improve their pet’s quality of life, especially pets who are suffering from chronic pain.

Are Veterinarians Recommending CBD?

While medical marijuana has been legalized in progressive countries and a handful of U.S. states, veterinary use of CBD is not yet legalized or approved by the FDA. This means that while CBD offers impressive benefits for pets, not all veterinarians are going to be open about CBD use, since it might put their licenses in peril.

But fret not, because many holistic, integrative veterinarians are now promoting the use of CBD to help pets live better, more comfortable lives without pain and anxiety. These types of veterinarians are, more often than not, ready to help you determine the correct dose and the recommended route for you to give your pets the CBD.

What Are the Potential Benefits That CBD Offers Pets?

CBD oil for cats and dogs has been shown to help them live more comfortable lives, by lowering anxiety levels, dampening inflammation and alleviating pain. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, as well as its positive effect on brain health, CBD oil has been observed to benefit other conditions as well, such as:

  • Seizures – Pets who suffer from seizures have been observed to have fewer seizure attacks after CBD oil use.
  • Fear – One of the main uses of CBD in pets is to alleviate anxiety and fear, especially in pets who have separation anxiety and trauma.
  • Osteoarthritis – The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil helps dampen the debilitating symptoms of osteoarthritis, as well as other conditions that cause chronic pain.
  • Cancer – Anecdotal evidence shows that CBD oil may help increase a pet’s chance of survival by stimulating appetite, slowing cancer progression and improving their quality of life.

Pet Products to Consider to Safely Give Pets CBD

CBD products come in all shapes and sizes, depending on how pet parents are supposed to use them. Manufacturers are now producing a wide range CBD oils, supplements and even CBD chews, making administration to our companion animals easier and safer. In fact, CBD bones are now being introduced into the market, which may help pets relax by just chewing on their favorite bone.

However, because of the rising number of CBD products available in the market, it’s become crucial for pet parents to determine which ones are the most trustworthy and reliable. Unfortunately, some products now falsely claim to contain CBD to fool pet parents into buying them. To avoid falling for these traps, make sure you do adequate research to ensure your pets only get high-quality CBD products.

Does CBD Have Side Effects?

Unfortunately, CBD use in animals is still an under-researched subject, with information about side effects mostly coming from human studies. Some of these observed human side effects may be seen in pets, including low blood pressure, light-headedness and drowsiness. Pets may also experience increased thirst due to the decrease in saliva production caused by CBD.

If you’re not sure how you can safely administer CBD to pets, it’s best to stay on the safe side and start with extremely low amounts first. Keep a close eye on your pets at all times after administration to make sure they don’t suffer from any type of side effect.

Photo by R+R Medicinals on Unsplash

Use Your Better Judgment When Planning to Give Pets CBD

There’s no doubt that CBD oil is an impressive extract that may help pets wade through anxiety and pain. And to be good pet parents, we’d want to choose only the very best for our furry family members. While CBD oil is promising, more scientific studies are needed to completely determine whether it is safe for pets to use. But if you’re planning on trying it out, try talking to a pet care professional first, ideally a holistic or integrative veterinarian, to help you weigh the options.