CBD for Pets: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects
When CBD first entered the market, it rapidly gained popularity as a natural medication alternative that provided therapeutic effects for various health conditions.
CBD has now begun to gain popularity as a treatment for pets with specific health and behavioral problems. Read on to find out more about how CBD works to benefit your cat or dog.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. All cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell-signaling system present in all mammals (including cats and dogs) to restore balance in the body (1).
Because of its interaction within the body, CBD is considered highly versatile and is utilized for various therapeutic effects like pain relief and elevated mood, which can assist conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain (2).
What CBD Products are Pet-Approved?
Users can take CBD in a variety of ways, including capsules, oils, tinctures, gummies, and creams, or lotions that are applied topically. There are also various types of CBD products within the CBD market: isolate, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum.
A CBD isolate product is just the pure form of CBD without any additional compounds, flavorings, or cannabinoids like CBN or CBG (3). Because of this, CBD isolate is considered the best choice for pet owners who want a more controlled alternative than full-spectrum, which contains all other cannabinoids plus small amounts of THC.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a cannabinoid that causes psychoactive effects in users. In dogs and cats, too much THC can be dangerous and even deadly (4). It is essential to check in with your vet before administering any products containing THC so you and your vet can monitor your pet throughout the process.
The easiest and most effective way for your pet to take CBD is with CBD oils. CBD oils are CBD extracts taken from the cannabis plant diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut or hemp. Other forms of CBD, like capsules, pills, and gummies, are more suitable for humans since they can be a choking hazard. CBD oil is a safe, controlled approach for pets.
Benefits of CBD for Pets
CBD has many benefits that can help your pet. Here are some of the most common ones.
Chronic pain and inflammation are linked. CBD can help reduce both pain and inflammation through its interaction with the ECS. The ECS has receptors in the brain and nervous system. When cannabinoids like CBD interact with them, this can reduce pain throughout the body and reduce inflammation (5).
Keeping a healthy appetite is vital for our pets. A regulated appetite means they are getting enough nutrients in without overeating or packing on extra weight. CBD can help regulate their appetite through its interaction with the ECS (6). Besides pain relief, the ECS is in charge of many body processes, like metabolism. When metabolism is regulated, the appetite of your pet may increase or decrease based on their needs.
Increasing the levels of serotonin in our body is associated with decreased anxiety and depression. CBD can interact with serotonin receptors in your pet to increase the uptake of serotonin (7). The result? An elevated mood, improved feelings of calm, and a healthier, happier pet!
It is essential to start slow when you’re first giving CBD oil to your pet. All pets will react differently depending on their size, body composition, and metabolism. Start slowly by providing a few drops and adjusting from there based on their reaction. Doing this also allows your pet to get used to taking a new compound, especially if they haven’t been exposed to CBD before!
There are several ways to give CBD oil to your pet. The first way is done topically. CBD oil can be squeezed out from the bottle, applied to your hands, and massaged into their skin. This can be an excellent option for local pain relief. Another way is by mixing CBD oil with your pet’s food, which helps if they are a picky eater or refuse to take CBD by themselves.
For fast absorption, researchers recommend taking CBD oil sublingually, or under the tongue (8). Gently open your pet’s mouth and squeeze a few drops on or under their tongue for fast pain or anxiety relief.
Safety and Side Effects
Generally, CBD oils are safe and well-tolerated amongst humans and animals (9). To ensure safety, choose high-quality, organic CBD oils from reputable companies that quality-test their products. While these CBD oils are usually more expensive, they will be held to stricter standards, meaning your pets won’t be exposed to harmful chemicals or contaminants (10).
While CBD oil doesn’t have many serious side effects (11), here are a few to keep a watch out for:
- Drowsiness and lethargy
- Changes in appetite
- Dry mouth
- Changes in bowel movements
Closely monitor your pet in the first few days after giving them a CBD product. If symptoms persist or get worse, check with your vet. You may need to lower the dosage or stop using the CBD entirely if your pet displays prolonged side effects.
The Bottom Line
CBD has a lot of benefits that can help your dog or cat improve their well-being. It’s essential to give your pet a high-quality CBD product and start slow when incorporating CBD into their routine.
Talk to your vet before starting. They will be able to assess your pet’s needs and whether CBD is right for them.
**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**
Why Choose Sunny Skies For Your CBD Needs?
At Sunny Skies CBD, we are committed to:
1) making high-quality products
2) operating in an open and transparent manner
3) building an independently owned and operated family business