CBD for Pets: Does it Actually Work?

October 8, 2019 02:09 pm ET
CBD for Pets: Does it Actually Work?

Pet lovers of the world—we understand. We know you’re constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of life of your furry friends. They look to you for comfort and care, and that’s just what you want to provide. And sometimes that means exploring alternative medicinal options—like CBD.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural and non-intoxicating compound derived from the cannabis plant. In humans, CBD is known to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body and providing health benefits in many different areas. CBD products can be used to decrease the effects of anxiety, to reduce seizures, and to alleviate pain.

Our beloved pets can suffer from all of these afflictions. But will CBD work for them?

Animals and the Endocannabinoid System

Good news—the same endocannabinoid system that is present in the human body is present in all vertebrates! This is a most auspicious beginning when exploring the question of whether CBD will work for our pets. We know that CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, so if we were to find that some animals had no endocannabinoid receptors, we would have to write off the idea of those animals being helped by CBD.

Fortunately, whether your beloved pet is a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, you can bank on one sure fact—they have an endocannabinoid system in their body. That means that if you supply them with CBD, it is going to have an effect.

What Effect Will CBD Have?

Unfortunately, we still don’t have enough research to say with confidence how helpful CBD is likely to be. However, we do know a few things.

A clinical trial conducted at Colorado State University explored the effects of CBD on seizure frequency in dogs. As you may know, dogs often suffer from seizures, and it can be painful for their humans to watch and wonder if there is anything they could be doing to help or to make their dog more comfortable. Thankfully, because of the Colorado State study, we have come a long way toward an answer to that question.

The Colorado State researchers found that regular CBD use led to a reduction in seizure frequency in 89% of dogs tested. Although their sample size was small, and therefore the study is not conclusive, this statistic is incredibly encouraging. Pet owners whose pets suffer from seizures can turn to CBD as a remedy, and they have reason to hope for positive results.

Meanwhile, studies at Cornell University suggest that CBD may have positive effects on animals suffering from osteoarthritis, decreasing their pain, as evidenced by the fact that the animals tested displayed more comfort and willingness to move around after being given CBD.

Whatever struggle your pet may be dealing with, in other words, the research tells us that odds are good that CBD may be able to help.

How Do I Get CBD for My Pet?

A good first step if you want to try CBD for your pet is to speak to your veterinarian. They can give you advice and a recommendation. Your next step is to choose the delivery method for your CBD. You might choose oil—you can put a few drops in your pet’s mouth directly or on his food—or chewable treats. Whatever method you choose, read the directions and ensure you’re giving the proper dosage. When starting your pet on CBD, it’s always a good idea to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.

CBD can improve your pet’s health, happiness, and quality of life. Incorporate this compound into his routine today. 

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