Cannabis has proven highly effective in treating all sorts of conditions including cancer symptoms, anxiety, stress, arthritis, and seizures.
Interestingly, these are all conditions to which our pets are also prone. Yet, as of now, minimal studies show that THC may not be ideal for our four-legged friends.
Using CBD for your pet, however, is another story.
Your Pet Has Struggles Too
It’s no big surprise that more and more veterinarians are using cannabidiol (CBD) products to treat a wide array of ailments in pets. CBD products that are specially formulated for pets seem to be particularly effective in treating arthritis.
Yet, you’re likely not going to hear this from your vet. In many states, your vet is not permitted to recommend, let alone prescribe, a cannabis product for your pet. Even the most ardent supporters of CBD for pets.
This is because each state has its own veterinary board. So even if you’ve in a state where both legal and medical marijuana are legal, the board must adhere to federal law. That means your vet very well may not be able to advise you without the threat of legal repercussions.
You’ll have much better luck asking anyone who works at the local pet store.
At the time of this publication, a handful of pioneering veterinarians and pet herbalists are striving to educate pet owners and legislators alike on the benefits of CBD for pets. This includes treating stress, pain, inflammation, and arthritis, as well as gastro-intestinal issues, anxiety, seizures, and cancer.
Meanwhile, most pet parents are still in the dark about this amazing option.
CBD from Marijuana?
From a medical standpoint, vets are discovering that cannabis products used to treat a human maladies could apply to dogs and cats as well.
Right now, there is only sketchy decades-old research on THC and its impact on animals. And according to this old research, dogs have a high density of THC receptors in their brain which makes them particularly sensitive to it. They may suffer tremors, urinary incontinence, and even seizures.
As such, many vets are sticking with CBD from hemp for the time being. And it’s proven effective in many cases.
The Benefits of CBD from Hemp
The benefit of using CBD from hemp is that it contains high levels of CBD with no risk of THC whatsoever. Plus, hemp-based treatments are available in all 50 states since hemp is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. So they’re accessible to everyone.
Anecdotally, many dog owners report that hemp products help with pain and sleep. And the most common side effects are sedation and, well, the munchies. (Though it’s often difficult to tell when a dog has the munchies since that’s a semi-permanent state for many of them.)
Even so, a few very informed veterinarians are beginning to experiment with marijuana derived CBD for pets. They’re finding that the entourage effect of using hundreds of active compounds rather a single isolated one has a stronger impact. It’s important to note that they ensure that the THC content is minimal though and that they’re experimenting in only in a very controlled environment.
So the best practice for pet parents looking to try CBD for their pet is to stick with the hemp-derived variety. For now, at least.
Pets and CBD – The Perfect Combination?
Obviously, much more research is warranted on the topic of pets and CBD – particularly when derived from the marijuana plant. And until federal prohibition is lifted, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a vet who can give you advice on this.
In the meantime, there are plenty of hemp-derived CBD options for your pet. Your best bet is to seek out tinctures that have been specially formulated for pets. These oil-based tinctures have a set amount of cannabinoids for exact dosing.
And for more great stories about CBD, THC, and the wild world of cannabis, keep checking back with our blog.