Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound from hemp, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not elicit euphoria, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
A collection of research has shown CBD to help with human health. But despite the keen interest on the subject, research on CBD still has a long way to go.
CBD’s favorable research and anecdotal evidence, specifically on animals, has spurred interest on pet wellness management. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), currently, does not approve the use of any CBD products in animals.
*Related article: Should Your Pets Take CBD?
Still, the variance on state laws regarding CBD allows the emergence of CBD-based pet products in the market. For example, Florida allows CBD on pet food and treats as long as the least requirements are met. Similarly, Oregon allows the sale of hemp-derived CBD pet products with provisions.
Research and anecdotal evidences on CBD’s benefits for pets
For now, CBD research is mostly directed to humans. There are few instances where a research’s focus is to study the effects of CBD in pets. Here are some of them:
- A 2019 study showed CBD’s potential in treating osteoarthritis-induced pain in dogs. Over the course of 4 weeks, dogs received either a placebo or a 2 mg of CBD oil per kilogram of body weight every 12 hours.
The results showed significantly-decreased pain in the osteoarthritic dogs that received CBD treatment. Researchers also observed increased mobility in the same CBD-treated group.
- Another study explores the role of CBD in mitigating epileptic seizures in dogs. In the study, dogs with idiopathic epilepsy were grouped into two.
One group received a CBD-infused oil twice daily for 12 weeks on top of their current antiepileptic treatments. The other group received a placebo dose with their medications.
After comparing the data on seizure activity, adverse effects, and plasma CBD concentrations between the two groups, the researchers observed a slight decrease in seizure frequency in the CBD-treated group.
However, it should be noted that the study is inconclusive since a similar number of dogs in both groups simultaneously responded to both placebo and CBD treatment.
The study ended with a recommendation for further testing to see if a higher dosage of CBD can reduce seizure activity by more than 50%.
CBD studies on cats are even more rare. To augment the lack of reference, human-based CBD studies are used as parallel scientific literatures. Remember, cats possess an endocannabinoid system similar to humans.
CBD health claims pertaining to cats are generally attributed to anecdotal evidence, as well, such as Dr. Andre’s case.
“When I began to incorporate a product with more even ratios of CBD to THC, I saw dramatic improvement. Mattie (the cat) started eating better, playing, and no more IBD. It gave me my cat back, and gave Mattie 4 more amazing years” as per Dr. Casara Andre in a spread from today’s veterinary nurse.
Quick purchasing guide: CBD products for pets
The lack of unified regulation on CBD products means risk on the part of consumers. Simply put, the actual CBD market is full of products of varying degrees in quality and safety.
Thus, it falls on the consumer to do their due diligence.
- When choosing CBD products, it is best to check for certificates of analysis and third-party testing reports. These types of evidence will attest to the quality and truthfulness of a product. They will also inform you about the ingredients in a CBD formulation.
Take the Lazarus Naturals brand as an example. They make sure to attach third-party testing reports in their product pages. At Hemp Crate Co. we also keep third-party labs on our site for the products we feature.
- When choosing CBD for pets, keep in mind that some products may contain THC.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), THC is toxic to dogs. It is lethal at doses higher than 3 grams per kg, but negative effects may occur even at lower doses.
Furthermore, there is currently very little research on the effects of THC in dogs.
- Lastly, before starting a new treatment, always consult a veterinarian about the possible effects of CBD products on your pet.
While more than 60% of veterinarians report being asked about CBD for pets, many are hesitant to discuss it.
In some states, existing laws impose penalties and license suspension on veterinarians who advise pet owners on using CBD for their pets. In other states, there are forthcoming bills allowing veterinarians more freedom. For now, veterinarians are still cautious and picky on CBD products.
Hailed as the no. 1 CBD subscription box by Canine Jounal and Hello Subscription, The Furry Friends – Starter and Furry Friends Pro boxes have the most comprehensive line of CBD products for pets. The cherry on top? You’re getting a few treats too.
“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”