Looking to help your furry friend stay healthy or deal with a health issue? Let’s take a look at how cbd oil benefits your pet. CBD and Hemp Oil has shown a number of promising properties for pets and while the research is still ongoing and many of the effects are not yet proven clinically, a huge number of people and veterinarians already swear by it for their cat or dog to deliver relief, rejuvenation and more. Understand the facts and get a breakdown of the 5 key hemp oil benefits for your pet here.
- Introduction – why would you use CBD Oil with your pet?
- What kind of pets can use hemp oil?
- Why don’t veterinarians prescribe CBD or hemp oil for pets like dogs and cats?
- How does CBD oil benefit dogs?
- Can CBD oil help cats?
- Do all CBD products work for pets?
- Conclusion on hemp oil benefits for your pet
Why would you use hemp oil for your pet?
CBD or Cannabidiol is derived from hemp, the non-psychoactive, non-psychotropic version of the marijuana plant that will not get high or alter your conscious state. That’s because hemp contains no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). The same science applies to your dog or cat – it won’t get high from CBD, which interacts with the body and nervous system via the endocannabinoid system but has no psychoactive properties. Many (but not all) pets also have an endocannabinoid system – dogs are cats are a couple of animal types that do.
The CBD chemical is renowned for a number of critical properties that make it incredibly promising from a therapeutic standpoint and already in high usage and uptake amongst people suffering chronic illness as well as managing mental issues or anxiety. It’s important to note that few of these helpful properties have been proven by scientific, double blind study consensus though but there are many very large clinical trials ongoing on both animals and humans to prove what people are experiencing anecdotally. A huge number of individual testimonies both from humans and dog or cat owners is indicating the efficacy of the chemical to help manage a broad spectrum of issues.
These properties are due to its interaction with certain metabolic processes in the body via the CB1 and CB2 receptors in both the brain, nervous system and body (these receptors are even located in the gut and spleen) that is very similar to some pain relief pharmaceuticals like ibuprofen (but completely natural).
We’re taking a deep dive here specifically into how the natural compound CBD can potentially help your cat or dog and what the current research is showing in this area. Veterinarians and pet lovers are strongly interested in the future potential of this game-changing compound and how they can improve the life and wellbeing of their patients or fur friends.
So let’s get into it – here’s what you should know about how CBD oil can help your dog or pet.
What kind of pets can use CBD Oil?
The first key thing to understand about using hemp derived CBD oil for pets is that it shouldn’t be used with just any pet. While the majority of vertebrates (even mollusks) and mammal species have an endocannabinoid system, we don’t yet know the interactions cannabidiol has with the majority of these animals and research has primarily been confined or focused on dogs.
Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system to deliver its payload of anti-inflammatory and range of other positive effects, stimulating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in this system to trigger the production and release of the helpful bodily compounds in humans, and its thought by many through anecdotal experience that a similar mechanism applies in cats or dogs to produce similar beneficial effects.
The other compound which is present in rich, whole plant hemp extract oils is phytocannabinoids. These substances are separate and different again from CBD but also provide a range of healthy attributes while being highly nutritious, similar to healthy long chain fats.
Some preliminary research has been conducted on dogs without negative impacts to the animals so we would only recommend using CBD for these pets (and cats) until more is understood. Its likely that biologically similar pets like Rats or Ferrets will retain similar benefits from the therapeutic compound but this is not yet well researched.
Its also very important to note that any product containing THC should never be provided to any pet and this is not recommended or condoned. Depending on the animal, THC can actually be much more powerful and dangerous for your pet than what it would be in humans. There’s also been limited research conducted into the effects on mammals outside of humans, but be warned it is likely very negative for your pet’s health. Reports have shown it can cause toxicity when metabolised in pets for the liver, spleen and other critical organs that may result in death. CBD from hemp does not display this toxicity profile though and is safe in both humans as well as dogs or cats.
Why don’t veterinarians prescribe CBD or hemp oil for pets like dogs and cats?
Although its well known that the phytocannabinoids and cannabidiol for pets can be very helpful and therapeutic for dogs and cats, providing a range of beneficial and safe ailments to a range of health issues, the veterinary practice in Australia does not condone or allow their use amongst patients. The reason for this is regulation. CBD is not allowed to be sold or used in Australia across NSW, Victoria and other states without specific medical certification for humans, and there is no current access route for pets that is written as legal in veterinary medical practices.
How does hemp oil benefit dogs?
Many of the high effectiveness properties of cbd and hemp oil for humans like reduced anxiety, improved mood, lowered stress and cortisol, better ability to manage pain particularly from issues like arthritis are also present in the compound’s interactions with canines and felines which is great news for your pet. The therapeutic benefits of CBD have been well known and widely used since ancient times which we’ve broken down here, but the modern research into cannabidiol and hemp’s ability to deliver relief are still preliminary and the evidence for each benefit differs in its completeness, particularly for animals.
The key similarity and reason we see the same human benefits amongst dogs and cats is the very similar metabolic pathways that CBD and hemp interact with via the endocannabinoid system. As we outlined above, both types of mammals have CB1 and CB2 receptors that allow them to derive much of the same anti inflammatory and anxiety reducing relief that humans receive.
- Improved ability to manage chronic pain like Arthritis
One of the core tenets of hemp extract and CBD’s effects is anti-inflammation in the body, particularly for joints and some organs like the gut. It particularly comes into its own for pain reduction and management for chronic issues that can impact mobility and joint health like osteoarthritis (where the actual joint or bone within the joint becomes significantly weaker and bone density reduces).
When these types of ailments strike over time, the pain and mobility problems resulting can be very negative to the health of your pet. It can promote weight gain and other subsequent health problems as an outcome of the chronic pain meaning the animal moves less. These issues are also known to affect both dogs and cats at very high frequencies, with around 60% or more expected to display symptoms of arthritis as they age and the joints wear down.
Needless to say, both owners and Vets want to find any way possible to help the animal reduce their pain or help manage it. Preliminary research is showing CBD is able to help reduce the inflammation that arthritis and osteoarthritis cause in the joints through wearing of the joint sheath in dogs, while also promoting the animal’s mobility and mood as they’re able to walk or run with much less ongoing pain. Importantly this research showed no negative side effects at all for the canine subjects when given at appropriate quantities and was a very successful clinical result, which you can read about here.
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Its clinically proven via a number of separate double blind clinical trials that the use of CBD in the right dosages and patients has the capacity to positively affect anxiety issues and reduce overall stress or cortisol markers amongst humans. Anxiety and stress issues mentally also cause stress markers and inflammation to be deposited into the body which cannabidiol helps reduce.
It’s not yet known where the same relief is provided to cats or dogs via the CB1 receptors and research is not yet conclusive in this area. While the compound is not psychoactive and poses little risk of trigger or worsening underlying mental issues in pets, it hasn’t yet been shown clinically that it helps calm or relief anxious tension which may be proven in the coming years.
- Potentially reduced seizure frequency and length
Its clear from a number of successful clinical trials amongst large sample groups that reductions in both the length and frequency (in some cases even completely resolving) of seizures is one of the biggest and most well understood benefits of CBD oil for human health. Whats not clear though is whether this is the same for dogs or cats who suffer from similar epilepsy or seizure conditions but it may be the case.
Problematically, seizures in dogs can be caused by a huge number of factors or mental issues so CBD may not always assist or reduce the effects. There are some studies that have shown when combined with other treatments or medications it may assist in reducing frequency in dogs but there has been limited deep, large population studies on this to provide multiple robust evidence points.
- Improved mood (anecdotal)
It is worth referring here to the mood and mindset improving properties of hemp oil that many people claim has helped them with mental stress or issues in being able to turn off and relax. While not a measurable scientific, research backed effect, the anecdotes of this being true for pets as well has also been commonly espoused online via many forums as well as through alternative medicine communities.
- Reduced body inflammation
As we’ve discussed, cannabidiol is a potent anti inflammatory that can assist in reducing the impacts of inflammation in the body whether it’s the joints, muscles or other organs. Many athletes such as Nate Diaz in the UFC actually use CBD for pain relief and inflammation reduction because of this property. Similarly for pets like cats and dogs much of the current research is showing wellbeing and pain reduction improvements as a part of the inflammation reducing CBD benefit.
Do all hemp products work with pets? Which are best to use for cats or dogs?
The biggest difference between cats and dogs when it comes to using CBD products is that cats typically can’t handle products that contain alot of fiber or need to be chewed and will usually reject it or spit.
There are many different options to ensure you get the right match for your pet and ensure they have the best experience and results possible. The typical methods of providing the CBD or hemp extract are via either supplementary means through a edible product such as CBD capsules, hemp oil or hemp edibles. Many of these products also contain a broad spectrum (known as ‘full spectrum’) of other terpenes and phytocannabinoids that provide a rich, nutritious profile of vitamins and helpful compounds that can help your pet (without risking their health or getting them high).
Typically these products are not actually specifically created for pets though and may be rebranded human designed products or spare product batches which shops have designated as pet quality. Its important to be careful here around where you source as you want to be very accurate and diligent around dosages and protocol for supplementing, to avoid creating any health risk or issues for your pet.
Conclusion and need to knows
While its clear that CBD or cannabidiol has a huge range of proven benefits amongst human users for a range of issues, the understanding of animal effects its still nascent and developing. This hasn’t stopped producers from putting out their cbd oil for pet products on the market and already selling many oils, extracts and creams as ‘formulated’ for pets like cats and dogs. But be wary of your supplier and why you’re purchasing.
Some initial benefits around the anti inflammatory properties, helpful for arthritis management and potentially providing relief for other ailments in dogs and cats is beginning to become clearer. Its also being shown that the flavonoids, phytocannabinoids, terpenes and similar compounds in hemp extracts can act similarly to healthy rich fatty acids and deliver helpful rejuvenation without being psychotropic or psychoactive in pets.
But the biggest risk and thing to note is CBD is not legal in Australia and can’t be prescribed or recommended by any certified Veterinarian for your pet. You’ll need to source it yourself from overseas suppliers or forums to get a hold of the oil which can be risky and much less controlled than a lab quality product. Despite this many will continue to place their trust and belief that hemp oil and its other derivatives is helping their pet through anecdotal experience and observation, which is growing in popularity and following significantly amongst dog and cat lovers.