However, you'll want to stick to isolate CBD products, rather than full-spectrum CBD products that include THC, for pets with heart disease, as the mind-altering compound can elevate heart rate, says Cital.
Nonetheless, vets have mixed feelings about the CBD craze. “A lot of vets are very hesitant to discuss or even recommend some of these products just because the American Veterinary Medical Association has put out some language that is unclear, and I would say confusing, with regards to how to use or talk to clients about CBD,” explains Cital. As a result, there’s no universal school of thought among vets on how to handle it.
Much like the protective mother of a newborn child, every proud pet parent would do whatever it takes to ensure their fur babies are healthy, both physically and mentally. And nowadays, those options include CBD products for pets, thanks to their soaring popularity among humans and potential to help alleviate pain and anxiety. After all, anyone with a weighted blanket could understand that getting a dog to wear a Thundershirt might not be a realistic solution, so a few CBD treats might be the next logical step.
Are There Any Risks of Using CBD for Pets?
Here, a veterinarian technician specialist shares all the need-to-know info on the benefits of CBD for pets, the best dosage for your dog or cat, and the key features to look for in any CBD pet product.
While "to my knowledge, there have not been any major negative side effects unless you’re using ridiculously high dosages (i.e. 20 or 30 to 100 milligrams per kilogram twice a day) for a long period of time,” says Cital, there are contraindications to consider before giving your pet CBD.
Within this CBD market, there are three different varieties of products, all typically made from industrial hemp: isolate formulas that contain only CBD; full-spectrum products that also contain a tiny amount of THC, other cannabinoids, terpenes (the compounds that give the plant its skunky smell), and flavonoids (compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects); and broad-spectrum products that have all of the above except for THC, so there's no "high" effect, according to the journal Proceedings.
Though not life-threatening, your pet may have a few unpleasant side effects from CBD products, such as loose stool or gastrointestinal upset, says Cital. And just as you start to feel tired AF after you pop a melatonin gummy, your pet may feel lethargic after taking CBD, though Cital says this side effect is usually short-lived and may stop after the first few treatments.
While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.
Learn more about the CBD study funded by the Canine Health Foundation.
According to Dr. Klein, CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
Currently, there has been no formal study on how CBD affects dogs. What scientists do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Dr. Klein says it is essential to note that in most cases, CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. In fact, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.