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July 16

CBD Oil: What Pet Owners Need to Know

July 16, 2019

Now that you know about the hidden dangers of essential oils for your pet(s), you may be wondering about the common household product’s big and notorious brother – CBD oil. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been sweeping the market for both humans and their four-legged friends. However, because this product is relatively new to the masses, there is an abundance of contradictory information on its benefits, effectiveness, and downfalls. This article is meant to help you determine whether or not CBD oil can or should be used on your pet, and provide you with information based on research.

 

Line drawing of a CBD molecule. "What exactly is CBD?"

 

CBD is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients in cannabis (marijuana) and is derived directly from the hemp plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana, by itself it does not cause a “high.”  It is important to note this difference, and that medical or recreational marijuana should never be given to your pet due to harmful and toxic side effects.

Is it legal?

CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, but the exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws that legalize CBD with varying degrees of restriction. While the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it.

 

How are humans using it?

Humans typically ingest CBD oil straight from the bottle, put drops in their drinks and food, take CBD capsules, or buy topical treatments like CBD lotions and balms.

Many people swear by it as a general pain reliever, a helpful way to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and a natural way to promote sounder sleep and reduce inflammation. There is even some scant research supporting that CBD can help treat epileptic seizures, helps to fight some forms of cancer and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. However, researchers agree that despite this hype there isn’t conclusive data to support CBD’s benefits. Ultimately, it’s always best to consult your doctor before taking it.

 

"Why are people giving their pets CBD?" with vector art of a marijuana leaf, dropper bottle and dog.

 

Now that we understand why CBD has been causing a craze for people, it’s easy to see why some of the industry’s biggest consumers aren’t even human. Owners want their pets to experience similar benefits—giving it as a way to provide relief to their pets for everything from anxiety to pain and seizures.

Even though many claim to have success with their animals, there is still little data proving it works for animals. “There’s a lot of anecdotal stories about it but no science,” said Dr. Stephanie McGrath who is studying CBD to treat dogs with epilepsy at Colorado State University.

"Should i be giving my pet CBD?"

Because we want the best for our pets, and the CBD business has become such a prevalent trend, it may be tempting to get your furry best friend a new and helpful supplement. However, it is highly recommended that you contact your vet before giving your pet any CBD product for many reasons including:

  • Quality can vary – Because these products aren’t regulated (meaning concentrations) extraction methods and general quality of products vary widely.
  • No dosage chart – Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have enough research on the safety and risks, there is no actual amount listed on how much oil to give your pet.
  • Risk of negative reactions – With no true dosage recommendation available for pets, the possibility for medication and supplement ill-effects is increased.
  • Animals can react differently Possible negative CBD effects include dry mouth, tremors, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness.
  • Check for alternatives – Ask your vet if there are other safe and more researched alternatives that could work better for your pet.

 

"The bottom line"

 

CBD oil is a controversial topic and when it comes to the wellbeing of your pet, a veterinarian should always be consulted before giving them any CBD or new product. Thousands of people across the nation have claimed to see various benefits in their pets, and that’s not to say yours can’t experience them either. Just be sure to check with your vet that the quality, dosage, and product are right for your pet.

At Grand Valley Animal Hospital we will work with you and your pet to ensure their quality of life is maximized. Please do not hesitate to visit or contact us with questions regarding CBD and other concerns. If your pet is in immediate danger, regardless of if they ingested an illegal product, please call 701.757.3500.