If you’re up to date with the latest and greatest advancements in the world of holistic healing, then it’s likely that you’ve heard of CBD. The incredible herb is shocking experts, veterinarians, and people like you and me every day. From supporting anxiety to playing a role in managing pain, the benefits of CBD are remarkable. For these reasons, among many others, it was only a matter of time before researchers began studying whether CBD could also have unbelievable benefits for our fur babies.
Well, there’s good news! Studies suggest that CBD can definitely promote wellness in our pups. CBD oil for dogs and CBD dog treats are now being used to support various ailments in our beloved four-legged friends, and the results are positively fascinating.
What is CBD?
So what exactly is this magical herb?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a natural substance called a cannabinoid that is found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids can produce effects on the body’s central nervous system and immune system. The cannabis plant is an umbrella term that encompasses several species of plants, including the hemp plant and marijuana plant.
Here’s where a few general misunderstandings occur. First, products from the hemp plant are legal in all 50 states. In fact, hemp-based products are likely already a part of your everyday life. Hemp is used in all sorts of ways, including fabrics, fibers, and fuel. Industrial hemp is used in manufacturing clothing, as well as beauty products and health supplements. You may also see hemp milk on the shelves of your local grocery store.
Hemp has an extremely low level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is another well-known cannabinoid. THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that people associate with “getting high.” The THC level in hemp can be no higher than 0.3%. Given hemp’s very low THC level, hemp is safe for dogs and will not have any mind-altering effect on Fido.
Second, while the hemp plant and marijuana plant fall under the same species of plant (Cannabis sativa L.), they are different in many ways, including genetic makeup, cultivation, and usage. The major difference that we want to make sure pet owners are aware of is the THC levels. The THC levels of marijuana plant-derived CBD can be as high as 20% (or even higher!), making CBD from the marijuana plant potentially very toxic for your pup.
Of course, CBD derived from the marijuana plant is legal only in states where recreational and medical marijuana is legal. Therefore, many pet owners won’t have the potential for mistaking the two. However, it is important to recognize that CBD products are not all cultivated and created equally (or even come from the same plant).
Regarding the CBD that your precious pup may benefit from, we’re talking about the hemp plant.
What Does CBD Do?
CBD is an all natural, non-toxic substance that can potentially support a number of ailments. Once the liquid is extracted from the hemp plant, it can be used in a variety of ways. One of the most highly studied topics is the use of CBD for pain and anxiety in humans and pets.
Although it’s rather unlikely that conventional veterinarians will begin stocking their shelves with CBD oils, the herb has holistic veterinarians singing its praises (and rightfully so).
We’ll get into the benefits of CBD products momentarily. But, before we do, we want to answer one of the most common questions regarding cannabis for dogs.
Can Dogs Get High?
A huge misconception is that CBD dog treats and CBD oil for dogs will get your pooch higher than the moon. This isn’t the case. As we previously discussed, the CBD that you will purchase for Fido is derived from the hemp plant and will have less than 0.3% THC, thus making it safe.
However, if your pup were to ingest CBD oil or a CBD edible derived from the marijuana plant, it is possible for them to get “high,” but, more likely, they will get violently ill. If our readers use marijuana recreationally, it is imperative for the marijuana to be kept far out of reach of their dogs. Your pup will not benefit from oils or edibles derived from the marijuana plant, so it’s best for them to stay far away!
CBD from the hemp plant is the only way to go for your dog.
Benefits of CBD for Dogs
Now, let’s get down to the remarkable benefits that CBD is continuously being recognized for.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
One of the ways that hemp CBD oil can benefit dogs and humans is through reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. As humans, we know what it's like to feel anxious, some of us more so than others. Depending on the anxiety’s severity, doctors may prescribe conventional anti-anxiety medications to help alleviate the associated symptoms. What pet owners may not realize is that their precious pup can also face a great deal of anxiety, whether it is in the form of separation anxiety or varying phobias (e.g., fireworks, thunderstorms).
Supporting Wellness with CBD
Hemp CBD may also play a role in easing pain in both humans and dogs. The CBD hemp oil can also help maintain a normal inflammatory response.
Furthermore, CBD may reduce:
- Nerve-related pain
- Neuropathic pain
- Inflammation caused by oxidative stress
- Intestinal inflammation
- Inflammation-induced pain
Cancer Treatment and CBD
In some cases, cancer progresses to a degree that requires conventional treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation. With chemotherapy and radiation come a slew of additional side effects, such as nausea and loss of appetite. When your pup is battling a disease like cancer, the last thing that they need is to stop eating, as food is their main source of nutrition.
Many pet owners use CBD in conjunction with traditional cancer treatments to reduce the negative effects of chemo and radiation.
CBD for Seizures and Epilepsy
If you stay up to date on recent news coverage on the incredible benefits of medicinal marijuana and CBD for humans, you may have seen stories on how the herb is supporting individuals who suffer from epilepsy.
Generally, if your dog receives a diagnosis of epilepsy, the diagnosis would also come with heavy medications, such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide, prescribed by your vet. Although these medications do help manage seizures, they can also cause severe, sometimes irreversible damage to vital organs, like the liver.
Additionally, some dogs are resistant to harsh medications. In other words, pet owners may be administering the medication as directed without realizing that it's not even working, or working as well as it should.
Ready for this? Studies suggest that CBD hemp oil may play a role in supporting those with epilepsy, even if the dog has been resistant to conventional medications. A recent study at Colorado State University’s veterinary school evaluated the use of CBD in dogs with epilepsy. Compared with dogs who received a placebo, many of the dogs receiving CBD experienced significantly fewer seizures.
CBD Oil for Reducing Chronic Inflammation
Studies are also finding that CBD hemp oil can be greatly beneficial in easing chronic pain and inflammation, along with their associated symptoms.
Supporting Heart Health with CBD
As if you needed any more reason to love this magical herb, CBD hemp oil may also play a role in supporting a healthy heart. CBD may help with:
- Healing damaged blood vessels
- Making an irregular heart rate more regular
- Relaxing the arteries and blood vessels (‘vasorelaxation’)
- Maintaining a healthy heart rate by promoting relaxation
Types of CBD for Dogs
As more and more research comes out on the incredible benefits of CBD hemp oil, more products are being created as a way for our furry friends to reap all the greatness that the herb has to offer.
We always recommend moving slowly when introducing a new product into your dog's life, no matter what the product is. This rule of thumb is no different for CBD oil. Although CBD oil is all natural and non-toxic, it is still something new. It is best to go slowly, even starting with half the recommended dosage and increasing from there. Trust us, your pup will soon reap the benefits of this magical herb, so there's no need to rush the process.
CBD Oil for Dogs
Pet parents may choose to begin introducing CBD into their dog's life through CBD oil. The CBD oil products typically come with a dropper and make it easy for pet owners to control the dosage of CBD oil that they are administering.
CBD hemp oil, available here, is based on your pup's weight and can be purchased in levels 1, 2, or 3.
- Level 1: Up to 25 pounds
- Level 2: 25–50 pounds
- Level 3: Over 50 pounds
Most pet owners report that their furry friends do not have any problems with the taste of the hemp CBD oil. However, we understand that some of our readers may have a picky eater on their hands. In these cases, we recommend adding the CBD oil to your dog's food or favorite treat.
CBD Dog Treats
Once your pup becomes adjusted to the CBD oil, pet owners may opt for one of our CBD dog treats.
These cannabis dog treats are an easy way for pet owners to ensure that their fur baby is reaping all of the benefits that CBD has to offer through a yummy treat that your pup is sure to love.
We recommend these tasty peanut butter-flavored CBD treats for dogs. Our peanut butter-flavored calming pet treats will help promote a care-free, happy life. Our calming chews are also great for restless sleepers and pups who get a bit too excited in public. Trust us, these chews can really help avoid some embarrassing situations.
Additionally, you may want to check out our turmeric-flavored treats that may help ease pain and reduce the need for risky surgeries or medications.
Our turmeric treats were formulated with the following dogs in mind:
- Dogs with joint and muscle pain
- Dogs with pain and inflammation
- Dogs who are recovering from surgery
- Dogs with digestive and nausea issues
- Dogs recovering from extensive exercise
If your pup suffers from allergies and skin irritations, you may be interested in our Restore CBD dog treats. These coconut-flavored treats may play a role in treating the following ailments:
- Irritated skin
- Dry, itchy skin
- Dull, dry coats
- Cracked and damaged paw pads
For our smaller or older dogs, let us introduce our CBD dog treats for joint support. These soft chews are ideal for the dog that is in need of extra mobility support.
CBD for Dogs: Knowing The Product
We want to briefly mention that, with the increasing popularity of CBD products, pet owners will see a plethora of available products online. We hope that you give Honest Paws a shot. However, if you decide to purchase elsewhere, we want you to be aware of a few things, primarily that not all CBD is created equally.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Pet owners will likely find cheaper versions of CBD oil, but this doesn't mean that the quality is still up to par. Be sure you are purchasing CBD oil products from a reputable company who sources from USA-grown hemp.
Also, make sure that the products are 100% natural, soy free, lab-tested, and non-GMO.
If the CBD oil is not 100% natural, it is highly probable that it contains pesticides, fungicides, or solvents. In other words, the oil can potentially do more harm than good if the product isn't high quality. Additionally, what makes CBD hemp products such a beneficial alternative to conventional medications is, primarily, their lack of chemicals. If the CBD isn't 100% natural and is potentially contaminated with pesticides, fungicides, or solvents, its positive aspects are completely diminished.
Another important part of choosing the right CBD product is making sure that it is lab-tested. The manufacturer should be able to provide a certificate of analysis for the CBD product. This document is a lab report that lists out the chemical ingredients in a product. You'll want a certificate of analysis because there are some companies that sell products that contain only very small traces of CBD and yet still sell it as a CBD product. It makes you wonder what else is in the liquid substance that you are putting in your dog's food, if so little of it is actually CBD.
For more information on Honest Paws and what makes our CBD products the best, check us out here.
CBD Dosage for Pain
The good news is that CBD hemp oil is all natural and non-toxic. Therefore, time and time again, it proves to be a safe and effective alternative for pets and humans alike. With that said, experts are still determining an exact dosage for each dog. The CBD products from Honest Paws vary by weight. Again, we recommend starting slowly. Even beginning with half the recommended dosage will ensure that your fur baby can soon reap all the benefits that the herb has to offer without being overwhelmed by it all at once.
CBD Side Effects
The side effects associated with CBD vary from species to species. In humans, tiredness, weight changes, decreased or increased appetite, and diarrhea have been reported.
Luckily, studies suggest the associated side effects of CBD oil and CBD dog treats are extremely mild and are likely not to occur at all. Lethargy and tiredness have been reported in some cases, but most pet owners do not find any negative side effects from the CBD products. However, when it comes to your fur baby, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
CBD Dog Treats: Bottom Line
It can be challenging being a pet parent. You want what is best for your fur baby, but sometimes it may seem impossible to figure out exactly what that is. Plus, dogs are notorious for hiding pain and ailments, so when a health problem does arise, it can be hard for pet owners not to go into a full-blown panic mode.
We understand the feeling. Your animals mean the world to you. We are also pet lovers and owners, so we get it, truly. That's why we are so confident in the incredible benefits of CBD for pets. We are all incredibly fortunate to be living in a time where we have alternatives to harsh, chemically-based medications.
Given that we can choose all natural, non-toxic options means that we can ensure that our fur babies are happy and healthy without the potential adverse side effects that often come along with conventional medications.
JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM is a veterinarian and freelance medical writer in Atlanta, GA. After earning her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, she pursued a non-traditional career path as a veterinarian.
JoAnna completed a 2-year postdoctoral research fellowship in neuroscience at Emory University’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center, then became a medical writer. As founder and owner of JPen Communications, a medical communications company, JoAnna is passionate about educating pet parents about pet care and responsible pet ownership.
Although she does not currently have any pets to call her own, she loves living vicariously through other pet parents and watching Nat Geo!