Is CBD Safe for Your Pets?

Is CBD Safe for Your Pets?

Is CBD safe for your pets?

Disclaimer: This story is intended for informational purposes only and is not for the purpose of providing medical advice. Please always consult with your pet’s veterinarian. 

Since becoming federally legalized in 2018, CBD has become a popular cure for many health ailments. It’s no surprise with the various medicinal benefits that the ingredient has extended beyond the cannabis industry and into health, wellness, and even beauty markets. As interest in CBD grows, many people are wondering if their furry friends could benefit from it too. 

This curiosity has led to one of the biggest trends in pet wellness in recent years. Analysts predict that the CBD pet care industry will reach $125 million by 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing subcategories of the CBD market. 

But, is CBD safe for your pets? 

To answer that, we need to answer:

What is CBD? 

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in marijuana and hemp plants. It is the second most abundant compound – the first being tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. CBD, unlike THC, does not have psychoactive properties. This has made it a popular choice for those wanting the medicinal benefits of consuming cannabis, without the feeling of being “high.” 

Cannabinoids (what CBD and THC are) are responsible for sending signals throughout your body to create these effects. Each cannabinoid offers a different experience from pain relief, to euphoria, to increased focus. The reason they’re able to do this is because they bind to an extremely similar compound found naturally in the body, endocannabinoids. Just like humans, pets also have endocannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system encompasses many functions including balance, muscle movement, memory, mood, and more. This has led many scientists to believe that pets, because of their similar internal system, can experience similar benefits to CBD usage.

CBD vs. THC in pets

It’s important to note that marijuana itself is toxic to pets due to the presence of THC. While pets have similar endocannabinoid systems, they have many more endocannabinoid receptors in their brain than humans. This means the effects of THC are much more dramatic, and in severe cases can cause tremors, seizures, and even comas. It only takes a small amount of THC to cause toxicity in both cats and dogs. If you believe your pet has ingested THC, please bring them to the nearest veterinarian. 

Legally, CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC, which should make them safe for pets. However, there are also pet-friendly CBD products that contain 0.0% THC for extra precautions. 

CBD products for pets Las Vegas

How can CBD be administered to pets?

Like CBD products intended for human usage, CBD pet care products come in a variety of forms. The most popular include tinctures that can be added to food or placed under the tongue, treats and chews, and there are even pet-friendly CBD topical creams that be rubbed directly onto the skin.

Another similarity to human usage is that each form affects your pet differently. One study found that CBD oils had the best pharmacokinetic profile in dogs. This means it reached the highest concentration in the blood and stayed in the system the longest. It also performed the most consistently across different dog breeds. Stephanie McGrath, assistant professor of neurology at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and also the lead researcher on this study, found that the least consistent CBD pet care product was topicals. The research team was unable to draw any conclusions on its pharmacokinetic profile.

Are there health benefits to giving your pet CBD?

In humans, CBD is shown to treat depression, appetite loss, insomnia, and more. With similarities across our endocannabinoid systems, scientists believe CBD could also benefit pets in a similar way. 

While there isn’t much definitive scientific data on CBD usage in pets, there is a plethora of anecdotal evidence. Many owners report CBD usage to help treat pain, control seizures, and control anxiety. It has also been reported to provide cardiac benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits,  appetite stimulation, and possibly even anti-cancer properties. According to one 2018 study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 22 percent of 833 vets said CBD was “very helpful” in managing anxiety. Furthermore, 65 percent said it was “somewhat helpful.” That means 87 percent of veterinarians reported CBD usage helping anxiety management in pets.

Another study found that CBD effectively reduced the pain score in dogs with osteoarthritis. Additionally, another Cornell University study found that giving dogs with epilepsy CBD oil helped reduce the frequency of their seizures. 

Despite this overwhelming evidence, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD-containing drug called Epidiolex. This means federally veterinarians can only prescribe one medication that contains CBD. However, Nevada has recently made history as it became the first state in the U.S. to allow veterinarians to recommend and administer CBD under law. This law will take effect on October 1, 2021.

Are there any risks to giving your pet CBD? 

While there is no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage in pets, there are some small risks associated with human usage. Please always consult with your physician and your pet’s veterinarian for medical advice. The following side effects are known in human usage and could potentially affect your pet in a similar way:

Dry mouth: Also known as “cotton mouth.” Though this side effect is more common with THC, it can also happen with CBD. 

Drowsiness: For some people, this may be the desired effect. However, if you’re taking sedating medications, this could be a potentially negative effect. 

Gastrointestinal issues: Some users experience nausea, diarrhea, or liver issues when using CBD. This varies greatly depending on the individual and their medical history. 

Lastly, if your pet is on medication, CBD usage could interfere or interact with it. As always, consult with your pet’s veterinarian.

Is CBD safe for pets?

Currently, more research is being conducted on how CBD affects pets. With time, science will show the full potential of CBD usage for pets. From current available scientific data, it appears that CBD usage in pets has similar medicinal properties to that of human usage. Just remember, while CBD may be safe for your pets, please keep marijuana (THC) products out of paws reach.  At Green, we offer a variety of CBD products including tinctures, prerolls, bath bombs, and more. For all additional questions, please feel free to contact us here.