CBD can help relieve anxiety in pets.

Russ, an 11-year-old Labrador mix has arthritis in his hips. Getting up and down is painful and difficult, and sometimes he wets himself trying to get up. That used to be the case, anyway. But, the owner found a way to relieve the arthritis. She gave her dog Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound extracted from cannabis, which is what hemp is. CBD has a myriad of therapeutic benefits to offer but, unlike cannabis’ other primary compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t bring on a “high” or “stoned” feeling. In the states where CBD is legal for human use, a multitude of CBD pet products has hit the market. That being being said, veterinarians have been left out of the loop with most of the cannabis state laws, so they can only discuss CBD as a treatment option if the pet owner starts the conversation. Driven by ongoing research and anecdotal reports, more people are turning to CBD to help their pets manage arthritis, chronic pain, seizures, anxiety, and other conditions and illnesses. CBD can be an effective treatment option for a variety of conditions and illnesses.

What is CBD? 

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of 113 compounds (cannabinoids) found within the cannabis plant, which is what marijuana and hemp are. Unlike the famous THC, CBD won’t get your pet “high” or “stoned.” CBD is non-psychoactive and is safe to give to pets. Additionally, CBD is non-toxic, and there is no worry of fatalities in the event your pet is given a larger dose than intended. In fact, the CBD found in pet products is sourced from hemp, and should contain little to no THC.

How Does CBD Work? 

CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This is a biological system found in all animals, including vertebrates and invertebrates. This system helps maintain homeostasis by managing a long list of biological processes, including sleep, hunger, immune response, memory, and sleep. The endocannabinoid system is comprised of two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. These two receptors are designed to interact with the cannabinoids naturally produced by the brain, called endocannabinoids. However, they are also able to interact with external cannabinoids, such as hemp CBD, causing numerous responses throughout the body. And many of those responses are highly beneficial.

Benefits of CBD for Pets

There is a long list of therapeutic benefits CBD has to offer your pet, including:

  • Pain reliever
  • Controls and prevents seizures
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anxiety relief
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Antiemetic
  • Inhibits growth of cancerous cells
  • Promotes homeostasis

Giving Your Pet CBD

Before you give your pet any CBD or CBD products, there are some steps to follow. It’s important to discuss CBD as a viable treatment option with your vet before you go ahead and give some to your pet. You need to know if it will interact with any of your pet’s current medications or health conditions, because of how it is metabolised within the body. Step 2: Don’t look for a bargain When it comes to CBD, you don’t want to skimp on price. You want CBD products that have been responsibly and correctly formulated, are completely free of contaminants, and contain only the ingredients listed on the product label. You want products that follow Good Manufacturing Practices and / or have a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). These labels mean that product has most likely been made with the safest of ingredients, in a sterile environment. All purchased CBD pet products should be third-party lab tested and come with the results of that testing. On the other hand, you can make your own CBD-infused coconut oil at home from premium hemp flower, so you know how it was made and what is in it. Be particularly wary of products that also contain THC. While some veterinarians do use it to treat certain conditions, experts do not recommend pet owners give their animals THC.  THC can be toxic to animals. Step 3: Start low, go slow If your veterinarian gave the green light, you may be wondering how much CBD to give your pet. Whether you’re using hemp CBD for pain relief or for anxiety, the right dosage can vary by pet and situation. Some pets do not have as many endocannabinoid receptors as other pets, so it may take a bit of experimenting to find the right dosage and frequency. A good rule of thumb is to start on low end of the range of 1-5mg CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight, and expect to see results in 30 to 60 minutes. Give the CBD once or twice a day, or every eight hours if for pain. Step 4: Watch your pet for 2-3 hours after  After first giving your pet CBD, it’s important to stay with them for 2-3 hours to watch for any reactions. CBD causes very few side effects, though it does interact with some medications. So, it’s important that both you and your vet are on the same page with your pet’s treatment. Step 5: Store CBD products properly  Cannabinoids tend to break down easily. CBD oil and CBD treats should be kept at room temperature and away from sunlight, bright light, heat, or cold. If your CBD products have changed color or develop an odor, it’s time to replace them.

Final Thoughts

CBD is seemingly everywhere these days. You’ve likely heard of someone suggesting CBD or hemp for chronic pain or anxiety, or have seen ads for CBD oil online. As many states have started legalizing cannabis for medical and recreational use, the market has been flooded with CBD products – including CBD for pets to treat pain, control seizures, and relieve anxiety. If your furbaby has been suffering from an illness or condition, you are probably willing to try anything to help your pet feel better. One effective treatment option is CBD. CBD offers the long-list of therapeutic benefits without getting your pet high or stoned. Whether you  go the DIY route or purchase CBD pet products, you can rest easy knowing you’re providing your pet with some of the best treatment nature has to offer.

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