There’s a whole lot of ‘buzz’ about CBD at the moment. It is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment for a variety of ailments, although most of the evidence about its efficacy is still anecdotal.
Not only are humans using CBD for themselves, but many have also begun treating their dogs with it as well. Now there are CBD products made specifically for dogs, which you can buy from your vet or local pet store.
What’s the hype about CBD?
To begin with, it’s important that you understand what CBD is. Cannabidiol is a compound found in plants from the cannabis species in high concentrations in the hemp plant. It has a growing reputation for some healing properties and is the subject of intensive medical study around the world.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is better-known as THC, and it is the compound in a cannabis plant that can make you feel ‘high’ and induce a cannabis dependency. CBD does not have any such effects at all, and since CBD products must by law contain less than 0.03% THC, they cannot have an intoxicating, habit-forming effect.
What can CBD do for your dog?
Just as it is with humans, CBD is believed to have the properties needed to alleviate the symptoms of several conditions:
- Anxiety and fear are common in dogs, especially when they are exposed to loud sounds such as thunder and fireworks.
- Hyperactivity causes many dogs to come across as overly energetic, and they often become frustrated, which they express by excessive barking, digging, or chewing.
- Canine epilepsy occurs more often than you would think and can be life-threatening in some circumstances.
- Joint pain as a result of arthritis is a regular occurrence among older dogs.
- Skin conditions such as eczema often occur in and around the stomach area of dogs.
How does CBD work?
The mammalian body has an endocannabinoid system, which contains naturally occurring cannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system is instrumental in helping other body systems perform their essential functions. One such system is the endocrine system, which controls the body’s hormones. The endocannabinoid system also plays an important part in the stimulation of the body’s pain response.
While serotonin is regarded as a neurotransmitter, it functions as a hormone outside the brain. By stimulating serotonin production, the endocannabinoid system, supported by CBD, can help to improve a dog’s overall sense of well-being. The endocannabinoid system also plays a vital role in regulating levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can reduce feelings of anxiety.
By reducing the body’s pain response and acting as a natural anti-inflammatory, CBD can help reduce the pain, swelling, redness, and itchiness caused by eczema.
Doggie CBD products
There is a growing market for CBD products for dogs, and owners have some options when it comes to how they want to give it to their dogs. The most popular form is CBD oil, which can be added to the food or water. Some manufacturers make CBD doggie treats, which can be given to the dog when necessary.
However, you needn’t buy CBD products specifically for dogs, as the ingredients are no different from those in CBD for human consumption. The growth, harvesting, and production process should be the same regardless of the intended use of the product. But you won’t find a single CBD product labeled as safe for consumption by humans and animals, as FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations prohibit this practice.
What do you need to know about buying CBD products for your canine companion?
- CBD comes in different concentrations, so make sure you read the label carefully. When it comes to dosages, use the ratio of one milligram of CBD per ten ounces of body weight. To work this out, you need to know how many milligrams of CBD are present per milliliter of the oil.
- Make sure you’re buying your CBD products from a reputable manufacturer. Responsible producers have third-party test reports about the purity of their product and what production processes they use.
- Always start with a micro-dose of CBD to make sure your dog doesn’t have an adverse reaction. Increase the dose incrementally until it achieves the desired effect.