Does CBD Work For Dogs?
Updated: Jan 12, 2022
As CBD treatment for pain, anxiety, and insomnia has become more and more common, pet owners are starting to ask whether it is safe and effective for their dogs and cats as well, and the answer is absolutely, yes!
Just like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system which is made up of 3 components: natural endocannabinoids that the body produces, endocannabinoid receptors that CBD binds to, and enzymes that break down the CBD and make it available for use. This system is found throughout the body...in brain cells, bloodstream, spinal cord, cardiovascular system, joints, muscles, and skin, which is what makes it so powerful in fighting anxiety, inflammation, and pain.
Although CBD has not been extensively studied for use in animals, the studies which have been done point to CBD as being highly effective for these conditions There is also some anecdotal evidence of it being effective in reducing or eliminating seizures, and as a treatment for cancer, but those results are very preliminary, and will require extensive study to determine whether they are effective for those conditions.
In July of 2018, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University published a paper, Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. The state objectives of their study were "to determine basic oral pharmacokinetics, and assess safety and analgesic efficacy of a cannabidiol (CBD) based oil in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA)."
Methods: Single-dose pharmacokinetics was performed using two different doses of CBD enriched (2 and 8 mg/kg) oil.
I have linked to the study above so that you can read it in full, but their conclusion was that "dogs with OA receiving this industrial hemp extract high in CBD (2 mg/kg of CBD) were perceived to be more comfortable and active. There appear to be no observed side effects of the treatment in either the dogs utilized in the PK study at 2 and 8 mg/kg, or dogs undergoing OA treatment for a month duration. There were some dogs with incidental rises in alkaline phosphatase that could be related to the treatment. Further long-term studies with larger populations are needed to identify long-term effects of CBD rich industrial hemp treatment, however short term effects appear to be positive."
One thing that the study did not look at was whether lower doses of CBD would be just as effective, which is why we recommend that you start your dog at lower dosages and increase gradually until you observe a change in their pain level as evidenced by increased activity and easier movement. Also, if you are giving it to your dog for anxiety, then definitely start at the lower dose.
So what about side effects? These are generally mild, but may include dry mouth, drowsiness, or a slight drop in blood pressure, none of which have been shown to be dangerous, but we always advise our clients to let their vet know if they are considering adding CBD to their pet's routine, especially if they are already taking prescribed medication. We also advise that you start with the lowest dose, and increase or decrease depending on how your pet reacts. There is no concern over toxicity, as excess is simply excreted by the body in the urine.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ONLY TRUE FOR PURE CBD PRODUCTS WHICH COMPLY WITH THE LEGAL RESTRICTIONS OF CONTAINING NO MORE THAN 0.3% THC. THC IS HIGHLY TOXIC TO DOGS AND CATS, SO IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU PURCHASE YOUR CBD FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE.
Bark At The Moon Naturals purchases pure CBD isolate produced by a licensed manufacturer, and we send each new batch to an independent lab for testing before we use it in any of our products. Our test results are available upon request. Our last batch tested at less than 0.25% THC.
If you have any questions about our products, drop a comment below or hit the Contact Us button.