(by Andres Rojas)
With CBD-use exploding in recent years, many pet parents are wondering if CBD & pets are a good combination. After all, Cannabidiol from industrial hemp is reputed to have many incredible benefits for humans – such as pain relief in cancer patients.
However, we still don’t know that much about CBD’s effects in humans; much less in dogs and cats. GP, licensed veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Werber weighs in on the subject.
Benefits of CBD for Pet Health
Both CBD for pets and humans are credited with similar health benefits, such as treating:
- Bowel disorders
- Sleeping issues
However, a lot of the evidence we have for these results is anecdotal. What we do know, however, is that some scientific studies show that CBD can reduce pain in osteoarthritic pets and reduce seizure frequency in epileptic dogs.
Pet CBD Use Is Mostly Safe
The truth is we don’t understand all of CBD’s benefits yet, but the good news is that experimenting with hemp-based CBD is pretty safe. As Dr. Jeff recalls:
“The only few stories I've heard of pet deaths involving THC, (the active ingredient in Marijuana), was because of pot butter which happens to be very, very concentrated THC.”
As Dr. Jeff says, non-THC CBD for cats and dogs is, as far as we know at this time, safe. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Dr. Werbs recommends keeping your doses small:
“By avoiding THC and using an industrial hemp product that has no THC, or .0001 whatever, then that's going to be pretty safe. But you still–It can knock you out, it does have effects so you don't want to use a ton.”
Getting the Dosage Right Is Critical
CBD itself is a safe product for humans (as far as we know). However, when it comes to pets, Dr. Jeff emphasizes on the importance of getting the right dosage:
“The problem is even we veterinarians don't know a whole lot. So, what we do know is the safety features of marijuana with THC. We know the LD50, the lethal dose that 50% of animals that have it will die, and that is a pretty large dose.”
Of course, the dose will vary depending on the size of the dog or cat – for example, a big dog might take 10 milligrams while a small one could take 1-2 milligrams. So make sure you talk with a board-certified veterinarian about it.
Finding Good CBD Takes Effort
Despite the great demand, pet CBD products aren’t regulated by the FDA. This means that it’s up to you to source all the information you can by:
- Reviewing the labels on different products.
- Reading reviews from both real customers and noteworthy publications.
- Examining how the product is manufactured.
Do yourself and your pets a favor by dedicating time to doing your homework before giving CBD to your dog or cat. Of course, don’t forget the most important part of the homework process: talk with a reputable, trusted veterinarian, who can recommend for your pet the right product, and direct you on the appropriate dosage.
Dr. Jeff’s Verdict?
Overall, Dr. Jeff confesses he’s a fan of CBD for pets, as it seems to bring more benefits than harm:
“So anyway, do try it, though. I am a fan, I'm an advocate. I've heard a lot of great stories, a lot of success, but it's not for everyone and you might, as with any medication or any supplement, you might get some dogs that have no response – no positive response, anyway. So, again, proceed with caution but if you are having an issue, do proceed.”
Got any more pet health questions? Ask Dr. Jeff himself today.