The CBD Oil Debate: Is It Safe For Your Dog? Does It Work?


(Picture Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), or cannabis oil, for dogs have been the subject of recent scrutiny. Some dog owners claims that CBD helps their dogs with a host of medical conditions. Others hear that CBD comes from marijuana plants and immediately become wary of these products.

With the current legalization of marijuana in different states, accidents of pets overdosing on marijuana have made this a touchy subject for pet owners. That’s understandable, even though CBD does not produce the high that comes with other marijuana products and is not responsible for overdoses.

Even if CBD doesn’t have the same negative effects in pets, pet owners should ask whether it’s actually helpful for their furry family members.

If you are wondering whether CBD oil may be the way to your pet’s relief, here are a few things to know about the product.

What Is CBD Oil?

When one hears of cannabidiol, cannabis oil, or simply CBD oil, it’s easy to picture outrage, even with the movement toward legalization of marijuana. Marijuana’s effects on dogs still have to be further studied, but this does not mean CBD oil use should be classified with it.

CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant. There are different ways to extract oil from the plant, some of which remove all the THC content. THC is the substance in marijuana that brings the feeling of “high.”

The targeted part of the cannabis plant is the flower, which has trichomes filled with essential oils. Marijuana can have up to 80 cannabinoids, which can include either THC or CBD. The psychoactive element is THC, while CBD is mainly used for its medical properties.

The key to using CBD oil safely for dogs is to ensure the right dosage that balances little-to-no THC in the mix. “Depending on the nature of the product, if it contains little or no THC, then the dog is not going to get high,” said Dr. Gary Richter who is also the medical director and owner of the Montclair Veterinary Hospital in California.

Putting The Perk Back In Your Pet

Most older dogs experience pains and anxiety, especially those who are suffering with arthritis and other conditions brought on by old age. There are common medications for this, but they eventually tend to lose effectiveness, which impacts dogs’ quality of life.

This is where some pet owners start to swear by the effects of CBD oil.

CBD oil reduces anxiety in many pets, including separation anxiety and thunder phobia. It can also act as an agent against inflammation, making it a good soothing element for dogs suffering from arthritis.

In some cases, CBD can also be used as a natural ingredient in lieu of phenobarbital. In one such case, Petey, a 5-year-old Beagle, suffered from a prolonged grand mal seizure. Instead of phenobarbital, which can have many side effects, his owner tried CBD oil.

Petey’s condition improved. In three months, he went from one to two big seizures per month to only one small seizure.

The Bottom Line About CBD Oil For Pets

The idea of your pet ingesting marijuana may seem scary, but only if you don’t know the difference between CBD oil and other cannabis products.

Pet owners have to overcome a big misconception about CBD oil. Most people believe that manufacturers create CBD oil products equally. Farming and production processes differ given the lack of regulation.

CBD oil for dogs comes mostly from hemp. The final product includes very little to no THC trace, giving your dog all the benefits with the least potential for risk.

With that in mind, CBD oil is safe for most dogs in the right doses and with the right products. However, you must consult your veterinarian before you give your dog any CBD. Your vet can advise you about your individual dog and give you more information about administering it safely.

You can buy CBD oil as over-the-counter items since they are not considered controlled substances.

Are you considering using CBD oil for your dogs? What’s your biggest concern about the product? Let us know in the comments below!

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