Over the past decade, the popularity of marijuana in the United States has skyrocketed. Many people are now effectively using medical marijuana in the form of high-cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis oils and edibles to treat their health problems, and it may turn out these medicines can have the same positive effects in dogs. However, that’s not to say they may not also cause some negative side effects for our furry friends.
Continue reading to find out the potential pros and cons…
DISCLAIMER: idreamofdoggies.com does not offer veterinary advice, nor do we encourage you to give any products containing THC to your pets. Always consult your vet before administering any cannabis products to your dog.
CBD Oil (Hemp Oil) vs. Cannabis Oil vs. Edibles (CBD Treats)
Before delving any further into this subject, we need to clear up some confusing terms. You may hear these three terms used interchangeably. It’s paramount that you understand the difference between them so you know what you’re getting.
CBD, or hemp oil, is legal for anyone to purchase over-the-counter, and can easily be bought online or in health food stores, because it does not contain any THC – the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
Cannabis oils and tinctures – the kinds sold at dispensaries – are made from the marijuana plant, and do contain THC. Even though some high-CBD cannabis products sold at dispensaries only contain small amounts of THC, they still have the potential to be psychoactive if a large enough dose is given.
Lastly, when talking about dogs, “edibles” usually refers to non-psychoactive CBD-infused treats; however, edibles for humans typically contain large amounts of TCH, and should not be given to canines.
Here’s a quick recap:
- CBD Hemp Oil: does not contain THC
- Cannabis Oil: contains THC
- Edibles for Dogs (CBD Treats): do not contain THC
Please note: the potential and proven health benefits of CBD have not yet been clinically tested on dogs, only on other mammals.
Research done on mice has shown cannabinoids to be effective at relieving pain. Cannabis used in clinical trials has also proven to help humans with pain relief; so it stands to reason dogs would also benefit from cannabidiol analgesics.
According to Peter Grinspoon, M.D., a contributing editor for the Harvard Medical School website, CBD is commonly used to treat people suffering from anxiety. Many dog owners report similar calming effects when they give CBD oil or treats to their dog.
Dr. Grinspoon also writes that CBD, according to the scientific data, appears to be the most effective at treating epilepsy in children. The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation is currently sponsoring a major clinical trial to find out if this is also true for dogs.
Studies on shrews and rats have found CBD to be effective at reducing nausea and preventing vomiting.
Anti-inflammatory, Anticarcinogen, and Anticarcinoma
Studies have shown CBD can help with inflammation, including inflammation from arthritis. Evidence also suggests CBD may help in the prevention and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer.
CBD may dry out your dog’s mouth, making them excessively thirsty and uncomfortable.
CBD may make your dog drowsy, which might also disorient them.
CBD hemp oil is non-psychoactive, which means it can’t get your dog “high.” But other types of cannabis oils, tinctures, and edibles may contain THC in varying quantities. If the dose is too high, the dog will become intoxicated and impaired.
If this happens, you can expect them to have difficulty standing, walking, and eating. These effects may last several days depending on the dosage. We strongly advise that you do not to give THC to your dog. No formal testing has been done on the effects. Remember, it is psychoactive, so you have no idea how it might affect your dog’s mind and mood.
Toxicity and Death
It’s extremely rare that dogs die from consuming large amounts of cannabis, but it can and does happen. However, when toxicity occurs, it is typically due to some other ingredient the dog ingested with the cannabis, such as chocolate. You should never give an edible meant for human consumption to your dog. It may contain ingredients toxic to canines.
More Research Needs to Be Done
The use of medical marijuana and cannabidiol to treat dogs is emergent, and there is still much more testing that needs to be done. At this time, no one can say for certain what the perfect CBD dosage or treatment plan for a canine is.
Tips for Buying CBD Oil for Your Dog
If you’ve decided CBD oil is right for your dog, here are some tips to help you make a good choice:
- Only buy non-psychoactive CBD oils – no THC.
- Precise doses are easiest to achieve with liquids – oils and tinctures.
- Oils are typically stronger than tinctures.
- Only buy organic CBD oil, free of pesticides, fungicides, and solvents.
- Only buy CBD oil from manufacturers with a good reputation who provide a lab analysis, so you know exactly how much CBD it really contains – some brands hardly contain any at all.