The last decade has been a whirlwind for cannabis reform activists across the United States. With more than half of our states (28) making marijuana legal for medical purposes and a growing number making it available to anyone over the age of 21 to enjoy recreationally it would be difficult at this point to get the horse back in the barn, so to speak. Indeed, the most recent nationwide poll shows that well over half of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. That’s quite a change from the 32% of Americans that favored legalization just a decade ago.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the relaxation of marijuana laws across the country have been consumers of hemp-based CBD products, who can now find their favorite 50-state legal cannabinoid in a wide range of products including tinctures, edibles, concentrated extracts and more. But did you know that cannabis is not just for humans anymore?
Can CBD help your dog?
Scientifically, dogs (as well as most other mammals) have a similar anatomy to humans. Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system can be found in all vertebrate animals. Considering that CBD works directly with the central nervous system (CNS), we can confidently conclude that CBD will have some sort of effect on dogs. Early research as well as anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabinoids, and specifically CBD, can help dogs in many different ways including:
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- Decreased appetite
- Symptoms of aging, including arthritis, chronic pain and deteriorating quality of life
- Digestive issues
- Joint and mobility issues
- Severe phobias and anxiety, such as thunderstorms, social anxiety, long distance travel or fireworks
- Skin issues
How to give your dog CBD oil
The most popular method of ingestion is with hemp-based tinctures, such as our MCT oil CBD tincture, that have been infused with CBD. The tincture can either be dropped directly into the dog’s mouth or onto a dog treat or mixed in with soft food. Another good alternative are CBD dog treats, which provide the pet owner with an easy method for regular, accurate titration.
Depending on the ingestion method you have chosen CBD dosing for a dog can take a little trial and error, but typically a dose of 2mg to 3mg per 25 pounds of body weight is a good place to start. Although CBD is non-psychoactive there is a possibility that too much may cause anxiety, so it is always best to start with a small dose and slowly raise the dose over time. Remember that it can take up to two hours for orally consumed cannabinoids to take effect so be sure to dose early and titrate slowly.
What vets and pet owners say
Many pet owners have taken the “it’s good enough for me so it’s good enough for them” approach with their dogs, figuring if marijuana takes care of what ails them then it must be good for their pet’s medical issues as well. In many cases this is true, but it’s extremely important to remember that dogs can easily suffer from THC poisoning so CBD is probably the best choice. Dr. Douglas Kramer, a Colorado veterinarian that has studied the effects of cannabinoid therapy on animals, agrees that it’s time for more vets to be open to cannabis. “I don’t want to come across as being overly in favor of giving marijuana to pets,” Dr. Kramer said. “My position is the same as the AMA’s. We need to investigate marijuana further to determine whether the case reports I’m hearing are true or whether there’s a placebo effect at work. We also need to know what the risks are.”
A 2016 study conducted by researchers at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Colorado State University shows that between 62% and 95% of the surveyed pet owners, all of whom had used hemp-based CBD products to treat their pet, believe in the health benefits of CBD infused products, rating it from ‘moderate to excellent’. Based on results of the survey, which can be read below, pet owners found the most success when using CBD to treat pain, sleep issues, anxiety, nervous system issues, inflammation, seizures, nausea and vomiting, muscle spasms and digestive issues.