Cannabis oils for dogs? Let’s face it, the cannabis revolution is here! Of course, we old hippies know that smoking weed gets us high and is lots of fun. But, it’s so much more than that and we’re discovering the health benefits inherent in cannabis. And it’s not just for humans!
Have you thought about cannabis for treatment of your dog’s ailments? Well, all reports say CBD for dogs is a good thing. So, read on about cannabis oils for dogs.
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil is the concentrated liquid extract of the marijuana plant, cannabis sativa.
Humans have used Cannabis Sativa for more than 3,000 years. The ancient Egyptian Ebers papyrus described it around 1550 BC and the Chinese likely used it as a medicine before that.
Cannabis plants produce thousands of compounds but the most recognized are those in a class called cannabinoids. The two most known of these are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
If you want to get high, it’s the THC you’re looking for. If you don’t, but would like to derive certain health benefits, CBD is the ticket.
CBD products that don’t contain THC are legal to consume. Thus, CBD products, including the oil, are becoming socially acceptable and increasingly popular.
Since you probably don’t want to get your dog high (she wouldn’t like it if you did) you’re probably going to choose CBD to address her health problems.
According to Gary Richter, an integrative medicine veterinarian in Oakland, California, the endocannabinoid system in dogs and cats is very similar to that of humans. A major difference is that there appears to be a greater concentration of cannabinoid receptors in a dog’s brain than in most other animals. This is significant because it makes dogs more susceptible to a THC overdose. Again, it’s not a good idea to give your dog THC.
Is CBD Good for Dogs? Benefits of cannabis oil for your dog
Within both you and your pooch lies the Endocannabinoid system that helps moderate a host of bodily processes when using endocannabinoids. The compounds in CBD interact with this system by blocking or activating its receptors.
Many pet owners might start treatment by giving their dog human CBD but it’s better to give her CBD that’s especially formulated for dogs.
Here are some of the benefits:
This can be very helpful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias. As a matter of fact, CBD has been extensively studied for its effect on stress and anxiety.
Signs of anxiety include:
- Unwanted urinating or defecation
- Nervous lip licking
- Appetite loss
CBD targets aching joints and provides relief for your dog.
CBD and other substances in hemp have been found to have an anti-tumor effect. Also, it stops cancer cells from growing and it increases tumor cell death.
It’s probably a little too early to break out the champagne and tout CBD as a cancer “cure.” However, there are promising studies done at the University of Naples, Italy and the University of Aberdeen in the UK that have shown CBD has clear anti-tumor effects on colon cancer.
Other studies have shown similar results on many types of cancers.
Furthermore, treatments like chemotherapy can have very negative effects on dogs just like with humans. Chemotherapy affects some dogs more than others. These effects can include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and appetite loss
- Drops in white blood cells
- Minor hair loss
- Skin irritations if chemotherapy drugs leak outside the vein (rare)
- Nerve pain
Treats seizures and epilepsy
Epilepsy is the general term for neurological disorders that cause recurring seizures. Seizures can be caused by trauma, brain tumors, toxins, infections and issues with blood and organs. Canine seizures are the result of abnormal electrical impulses in the brain that lead to sudden but short-term disturbances in your dog’s behavior and movements.
Perhaps as many as 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Usually, your veterinarian will prescribe phenobarbital and potassium bromide for treatment. These help but can cause harm to your dog’s liver and other organs. Furthermore, these drugs don’t always work. CBD has been shown to work well with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Here are some signs of seizures:
- Paddling – i.e; laying on the floor and paddling as if in water
- Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
- Suddenly collapsing
- Twitching and jerking
- Loss of bladder control
- Appearing dazed and confused
- Loss of consciousness
Some breeds are more prone to develop epilepsy. These include Beagles, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Cocker Spaniels.
Despite the interest in pet CBD therapy, the idea of treating an animal with hemp-derived cannabinoids is still considered radical by many veterinarians and pet lovers. But, some people are always skeptical and cautious about new and revolutionary ideas and hopefully they will come around eventually.
What are the potential risks/side effects?
The following information is based on the effects of CBD on humans but we can probably translate this to dogs.
- Dry mouth. Although your dog can’t tell you if she has a dry mouth, her increased water intake might.
- Tremors. Human patients with Parkinson’s disease have reported increased tremors with high doses of CBD.
- Low blood pressure. Your vet will have to check this. In the meantime, check to see if your dog seems overly tired or lethargic.
- Lightheadedness. Does your dog seem dizzy?
- Drowsiness. Pay attention to changes in your dog’s sleeping patterns.
How to administer CBD
The best way to administer CBD oil to your dog is under her tongue. As an alternative, you can mix it into her food. However, keep in mind that when the oil is added to food it has to pass through the digestive tract and at least 30 minutes is required for it to take effect.
According to All the Best Pet Care, you should give your dog 1 – 5 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight.
Australian holistic veterinarian Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte says he’s been amazed at the success he’s had treating dogs with cannabis.
An older Staffy had a fast-growing tumor in her mammary gland and chest x-rays revealed that there might also have been metastasis. The doctor treated her with CBD oil and some other herbal medicines. The tumor shrank to nothing in 3 months and after 6 months there was no recurrence.
In another case an old Jack Russell Terrier with a severe heart murmur and painful arthritis was given CBD and THC diluted in pressed hemp oil. After a month of this treatment he was much happier, more active and his heart murmur was much less severe. Afterward, the doctor exclaimed that heart murmurs usually don’t get better so this was fantastic news!
Dr. Bassingthwaighte suggests working with a holistic vet if you think cannabis would help your dog and says it’s powerful medicine when you know what you’re doing.
There’s no doubt that cannabis has health benefits. So, are you and your dog ready?
We love comments so please leave yours below. Have you used cannabis for medicinal purposes? Has your dog? Tell us about your experiences!