I Give CBD Oil to My Pets, But Should You Do it Too?
Have you ever wondered “can I give CBD oil to my pets”? Well, you’re not alone. Unfortunately for now, there’s not much scientific consensus on the topic, although I’ll say right now that I personally give my 2 dogs and my cat CBD every day on their food, especially since they’re getting up there in age. I know it’s done wonders for me personally and I want to make sure they’re comfortable as they age. However, anecdotal evidence only goes so far and what’s the real deal? What’s do the scientists say? And is there really a benefit to give CBD oil to my pets and yours?
What’s the Holdup?
Even with more and more states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, the federal government still categorizes cannabis as a schedule one controlled substance. This means that the Feds claim that marijuana is as addictive and harmful as heroin or methamphetamine. On top of how awful and dangerous the Feds claim cannabis is, in order for a drug to be a schedule one controlled substance, there must be “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.” This is according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Drug Fact Sheet.”
Anybody that knows anything about cannabis understands that the DEA classification of cannabis is a bunch of baloney. There has been plenty of research that lends credibility to the medical uses of cannabis, THC, and CBD. The problem resides in the DEA’s classification of cannabis makes conducting legal research into marijuana difficult for scientists.
When you wonder if you can give CBD oil to my pets, you can blame the DEA for the surprising lack of research into the safety of CBD for animals. Here at OMG THC, we know how important our fur babies are to us, so in your quest to find out if you can give CBD oil to my pets, we have done the research for you.
So You’re Wondering if You Can Give CBD oil to My Pets… First Understand These Things
What is CBD Exactly?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many chemicals found in the cannabis plant which are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that include the ever-famous delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. Over 800 different cannabinoids have been found in the cannabis plant, but CBD is normally obtained from hemp, which is a form of the cannabis plant that contains only small amounts of THC.
CBD does not produce any mind-altering effects or any kind of “high” like THC does when smoked or consumed. According to a report by the World Health Organization, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential in humans. Currently, there has been no evidence of any kind of public health-related problem that has arisen with the use of CBD.
The exact legal status of CBD is fuzzy. While CBD is mostly available in all 50 states with varying degrees of restriction, cannabis is still illegal at a federal level, and CBD is a component of cannabis. In December if 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal.
What Does CBD Do?
Our bodies contain a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which is directly involved in regulating a number of different important functions like sleep, appetite, pain sensation as well as immune system responses. (Hill, 2017).
Our body produces a type of neurotransmitter called endocannabinoids which binds to the cannabinoid receptors in our nervous systems. Studies have shown that CBD helps reduce chronic pain by its response to this endocannabinoid receptor activity. Research has also shown that CBD reduces inflammation by interacting with neurotransmitters. (Marija Darkovska-Serafimovska, 2018)
Several studies have shown that while CBD has been shown to be effective for treating nerve and back pain when used on its own, it is most effective for treating pain when used in combination with THC. Specifically with pain related to multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis. In several countries around the world, not including the U.S., an oral spray called Sativex (nabiximols) has been approved and used to treat MS. This spray is a 1:1 combination of CBD and THC and is highly effective in treating pain associated with MS. A study that included 47 people with MS examined the effects of taking Sativex for a month. The participants experienced improvements in pain, walking ability, and muscle spasms. (Russo, 2015)
Research has also shown that CBD can modulate brain activity and connectivity in neural systems relevant for psychosis and anxiety, possibly reflecting CBD’s therapeutic effects. (Batalla, 2021)
I Want to Give CBD Oil to My Pets, but Is CBD Safe for Them?
When asking yourself if you can give CBD oil to my pets you have to understand that CBD is still not approved as any kind of over-the-counter medication for use in animals. This means that there has been no testing and approval on a federal level when it comes to CBD products and their effects on animals. It is also important to understand that all animals have different kinds of systems and certain medications could affect your cat, differently than they could affect your dog.
THC in its pure form is toxic to both dogs and cats. Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada and more and more states in the U.S. getting on board, there has been nearly double the number of calls incoming to the Poison Pet Hotline regarding their pets ingesting marijuana. Mild symptoms include sedation, low heart rate, urine dribbling, and difficulty standing or walking. If your pet ate a high concentration of THC, serious symptoms could occur, such as vomiting, exaggerated response to stimuli (such as noise or light), seizures, coma, and even death.
Normally signs that your pet has ingested cannabis can take 1-3 hours, and sometimes can take up to 13 hours to start to show up. It is important to understand that your pets can become poisoned by inhaling the smoke from cannabis, they don’t just have to eat it. Although, the smoke is much less harmful to them. If your dog or cat has been exposed, it is important to seek veterinary assistance as soon as possible. Your vet will attempt to induce vomiting as well as likely administer activated charcoal to try to bind the toxins.
Studies May Lend Credence to CBD Benefits
CBD, when extracted from low-THC hemp has been shown to be safe for animal ingestion. Currently, you will be able to find many CBD products for dogs and cats in the form of oils, tablets, and sprays.
The limited research into the question “is it a good idea to give CBD oil to my pets” has been promising. In a randomized, double-blind 2020 study found that “Cannabidiol possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties and significantly improved the mobility of large domestic canines afflicted with osteoarthritis” This is great news for large dog owners due to the frequency that large breed dogs will suffer arthritis in their hips as they get older. This study was directly on the heels of another that specifically researched the effect of CBD on large breeds. (Verrico, 2020) (Gamble, 2018)
Another promising study in 2019 shows that CBD may help reduce the number of seizures suffered by dogs with epilepsy. While these studies are small and preliminary, they are well-designed and peer-reviewed. (McGrath, 2019)
Most of the mainstream drugs that are used to treat animals with arthritis and epilepsy have serious long-term side effects such as weight gain and lethargy. Researchers are excited to continue the studies on CBD for pets because of CBD does prove effective then it can be used as a long-term medication that carries not a lot of side effects.
Can My Pet Overdose on CBD
The World Health Organization reports that in its pure state and harvested from hemp, CBD is well-tolerated by all animals. However, there have been some studies that show a noted increase in the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase (ALP) during CBD treatment. Researchers, after noting this, ran simultaneous liver function tests to ensure that the CBD wasn’t causing liver failure, and everything came back normal.
Currently, there is no research that shows whether the high ALP levels were caused by something harmless, or it could turn into a serious problem with long-term use of CBD or with an elevated dose.
Researchers warn pet owners that giving CBD to an animal that has known liver issues may cause complications. This is due to CBD being metabolized by the liver in animals, and if you give CBD to a dog that is already on medication that is processed by the liver, there could be an interaction. There hasn’t been sufficient research into how these interactions can occur and what would happen if they did.
In order to ensure that your pet will not overdose, or suffer any harmful interactions is quality control. CBD isn’t well regulated yet, so there are many lower-quality CBD products currently being sold. Some CBD products can even contain THC, which is toxic to animals. One way to ensure your CBD product is safe is to check it for a certificate of analysis, or COA (the batch number on the COA should match the number on the product’s label or packaging). A COA is issued when an independent lab tests the product to confirm its ingredients and potency, among other things.
The Bottom Line About Pet CBD Oil
The bottom line regarding the question “can I give CBD oil to my pets,” really boils down to trusting the small amount of research that has been already conducted. CBD has been shown to be relatively harmless to dogs and cats, as long as it contains little to no THC.
CBD has also been shown to be beneficial for pets suffering from chronic pain, arthritis, and epilepsy. Although, there have been some liver functions that may make using CBD along with other drugs that metabolize in the liver dangerous.
About Experience Premium Cannabis
Experience Premium Cannabis (aka EPC) is a homegrown cannabis product producer in Las Vegas, Nevada. We make solventless products that are good for people and good for the planet. Additionally, we embrace niches in the medical and recreational cannabis market that others ignore or reject.
Additionally, we care about quality and the effects our products have on people’s lives & health. Experience Premium Cannabis use only CO2 and ethanol extraction methods. Furthermore, we care about our company’s impact on the planet. All of our packaging is made with the highest amount of recycled materials allowable by Nevada law. In other words, our products are simple, clean, environmentally friendly, and highly effective.
As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you might have. We’re here for you and we’re responsive to your needs. If you’d like to locate our products, check out our dispensaries list. You can also find out more about Experience Premium Cannabis on Leafly. If you’d like to place an order for your Nevada dispensary, check out our Leaflink product profile.
For Adult Use Only
Experience Premium Cannabis products are intended for use by and available to adults 21+ and over. Keep our products out of reach of children and pets. Furthermore, be smart about handling, use, and dosage. In other words, be vigilant. Keep yourself in check. Finally, enjoy our products responsibly and keep everyone safe.
- Batalla, A. (2021). The Impact of Cannabidiol on Human Brain Function: A Systematic Review. Pharmacol.
- Gamble, L.-J. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
- Hill, K. P. (2017). Cannabis and Pain: A Clinical Review. Cannabis Cannabinoid Research.
- Marija Darkovska-Serafimovska. (2018). Pharmacotherapeutic considerations for use of cannabinoids to relieve pain in patients with malignant diseases. Journal of Pain Research.
- McGrath, S. (2019). A randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. J Am Vet Med Assoc.
- Russo, M. (2015). Sativex in the management of multiple sclerosis-related spasticities: role of the corticospinal modulation. Neural Plast.
- Verrico, C. (2020). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain. Journal of Pain.