CBD – three letters that are everywhere these days.
Short for cannabidiol, it’s the non-psychoactive ingredient in some cannabis strains that has shown amazing potential for human health, from lowering anxiety to preventing seizures and even fighting cancer.
But what about our pets? Dogs and cats and other furry friends can benefit from CBDs just as much as humans, and an increasing number of products can be found that cater to pet owners.
Here is your guide to how CBDs can help your pet. Most pet-oriented products come as an oil to put in the pet’s food or injected down its throat. Most are also based on hemp, not cannabis, so they may be legal in some states where cannabis is not. Just be sure the products don’t contain THC, the active ingredient in cannabis most humans enjoy, as even small amounts can lead to anxiety, vomiting, and even death.
You may also have a hard time finding a veterinarian willing or able to offer advice on such treatments, given marijuana’s longtime legal status (and the fact it remains illegal in most states and under federal law.)
Pets get stressed. Whether it’s the neighbors’ fireworks or a move to a new home, dogs will whimper, put their tails between their legs and hide under the bed. And cats, well, they seem to get it worse (hence the phrase “scaredy-cat.”) CBDs have been shown to work with human brain receptors to induce a calming effect, and since other mammals have similar receptors, they can work the same way on pets.
Medicate the pet about 30 minutes before the fireworks show or car ride. Pet owners have also found success in changing the behavior of traumatized animals like rescue dogs with a daily dose of CBDs.
Among stoners, it’s called “the munchies,” the insatiable appetite that can come with smoking certain kinds of marijuana. Well, if your dog or cat is showing a lack of appetite, CBD products can have a similar hunger-inducing effect. It can also help with stomach problems and vomiting and bowel problems like diarrhea.
Marijuana’s classification as a Schedule 1 drug – which means the federal government considers it to have no medical uses – has long hamstrung research on its cancer-fighting properties. Still, what study has been done has shown enormous potential of cannabis and CBDs on fighting cancer cells and reducing tumors. Even less has been done on cannabis and pets, but many pet owners who get this unfortunate diagnosis are turning to CBD products to help fight the battle.
You’ve probably heard how states with legal marijuana like Colorado have seen an influx of parents seeking CBD oil to treat children with uncontrollable seizures. Well, as many as 5% of dogs suffer from some form of seizures, and most veterinarians prescribe harsh pharmaceuticals that can have dangerous side effects. While there hasn’t been much research on CBDs and pet seizures, more and more pet owners around the country are opting to go this route, and anecdotal evidence suggests dogs can experience similar reductions in seizures.
Just like us, as dogs and cats grow older, there are aches and pains. CBD oil has been shown to reduce inflammation from arthritis and dull pain receptors in humans, and our older dogs and cats can also benefit with a small daily dose to help manage pain without resorting to pharmaceuticals.