Cannabidiol (CBD) is increasingly included in various therapeutic products due to its pronounced painkilling and sedative properties. Rising interest in the therapeutic use cases for CBD has also encouraged the introduction of CBD-infused products into the pet treatment regimen. So, this article considers everything known about CBD pet drops and answers the question – can CBD drops for pets help treat health conditions as effectively as they do for human users?
CBD Health Benefits for Pets
CBD is a relatively new product in the American product, as weed has long been banned as a Class 1 drug. However, clinical research with weed and isolation of CBD from the weed plant have moved the CBD market fast forward. This cannabinoid is not intoxicating and comes with health benefits only, without the feeling of high that many weed users find undesirable.
There are plenty of clinical findings on the effect of CBD on pain, stress, and anxiety in human subjects. It’s also known for treating depression and PTSD, as well as inflammation, insomnia, and nausea. So, what about pets? Can they derive the same health benefits from this product?
- Anxiety. Animals are also prone to abnormal anxiety and stress, which may reduce their quality of life and cause frequent urination or other uncontrolled behaviors. CBD acts as an effective stress relief as it activates the brain areas producing serotonin to make the pet feel happier and more satisfied. Therefore, it can create a large-scale calming effect and soothe your pet, relieving their stress regularly.
- Pain. CBD is known for delivering effective pain relief and inflammation reduction. The mechanism of its activity is not precisely understood yet; however, experts believe that CBD affects the nerves responsible for pain sensation. Therefore, CBD’s combined painkilling and anti-inflammatory effect can considerably relieve a pet suffering from joint trauma, osteoarthritis, and other pain-related conditions.
- Seizures. CBD use in the treatment of seizures is a well-established practice in human clinical practice and research. Many studies have proven the beneficial effect of CBD on the frequency and intensity of seizures, and the only FDA-approved CBD medication, Epidiolex, is prescribed to people suffering from serious seizure-provoking disorders – the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. These successes in the use of CBD for treating seizures in humans have made many believe that they can achieve the same with pets. However, even though there is no clinical research on animals. So, if you decide to treat your pet’s seizures with CBD, we strongly recommend doing this under the guidance of a qualified veterinary expert.
Understanding CBD Effects on Your Pet
Though there is much research in humans and mounting anecdotal accounts of CBD helping dogs and cats, how can you say your CBD treatment is working? Experts advise watching your pet closely after the CBD intake to see whether their symptoms improve. For instance, a dog suffering from anxiety and pain will naturally look calmer after CBD intake, even after the initial period of sleepiness passes. Dogs with seizures will also look calmer and exhibit lower seizure frequency and intensity. Finally, a pet that suffers from cancer may also exhibit calmer behavior and experience less nausea, which you can judge by witnessing an improved appetite. In other words, though your pet still won’t live forever, pet CBD drops can alleviate the pain and discomfort your small furry friend may experience.
When discussing CBD products for pets, we need to point out that there is no FDA-approved animal product. In fact, there is only one FDA-approved remedy for people, so there is no clinically viable proof that CBD can work as a safe and effective food additive or dietary supplement for your pet.
Another note of caution is the quality of CBD products. The market is awash with many offers from various brands using a range of manufacturing practices. Needless to say, not all of them are ethical and reputable, and the price you pay for cheap products is your pet’s well-being. Thus, we recommend thoroughly checking the CBD pet drops’ certificate of analysis, verifying the hemp’s origin and quality, and double-checking the brand’s reputation. After you’re 100% sure that the product is worth your attention, you can buy a pack of CBD treats for your pet and start the CBD intake.
Another safety precaution you should keep in mind is the possibility of intoxication with THC. Though most manufacturers of CBD products for pets keep that risk down to a minimum, even the state-allowed 0.3% of THC can cause real trouble for pets that are sensitive to this component. So, even if the meager amount of THC won’t make your pet feel high, it may cause drowsiness and elevated anxiety. You can avoid these troubles by checking that the hemp extract used in the production of CBD pet drops is broad-spectrum or isolate, not full-spectrum CBD. Though your pet won’t receive the additional health values of terpenes and cannabinoids apart from CBD, the risks of THC contamination will also be zero.
Here is a handy checklist you can use when choosing the CBD drops for your pet based on the risks and precautions we’ve discussed above:
- Is the CBD used in the product organic? High-quality CBD treats for pets are produced only from hemp grown on organic farms, which ensures its freedom from contaminants, heavy metals, and pesticides.
- How was hemp processed to obtain CBD? The safest methods are CO2 and cold press extraction. So, it’s better to find a company that uses these techniques instead of CBD processing with the help of toxic solvents.
- Is there a COA available? A COA is a result of independent, third-party lab testing that guarantees that the ingredients are indicated correctly.
- Is there any THC? It’s better to avoid THC altogether, though 0.3% THC rarely poses considerable risks to pets.
CBD Pet Drops FAQ
How long does it take for CBD pet drops to take effect?
CBD products for pets usually take from 30 minutes to 45 minutes to take effect. Oil works a bit faster, and CBD treats for dogs (like chews or bites) may take longer. However, most well-formulated CBD products for pets are equally potent and produce the expected therapeutic effect without a difference.
Does CBD ensure dogs’ relaxation?
Yes, CBD causes a similar effect on pets as it does on people. CBD is an effective remedy against anxiety and is even used to treat seizures in dogs. So, you can expect a pronounced relaxing effect that will look like your dog’s drowsiness.
What is the daily CBD dose for pets?
Consult a veterinarian to find the right dose for your pet. It depends on the pet’s size and weight, as well as on their health condition. As a rule, the prescribed dose is 5mg to 20mg CBD per day, which equals one CBD capsule or 2-4 drops of CBD oil per day.
How long does the CBD effect last for a pet?
CBD edibles take effect later than other forms of CBD intake (e.g., smoking), but they also last longer. Thus, you can expect your pet to feel the calming effects of the CBD dose for up to 24 hours.
Is it safe to treat my pet with CBD?
There is little clinical research on the use of CBD with pets and dogs, but several studies have already been held to offer conclusive clinical evidence. A 2019 study by Deabold et al. showed that hemp-based CBD products with a well-chosen CBD dose are safe for healthy dogs and cats. However, the researchers found that pet CBD drops for cats work differently, as cats exhibit lower serum concentrations and adverse effects (e.g., excessive licking and headshaking) during CBD treatment.
What are the symptoms of CBD overdosing in pets?
Unfortunately, pets can’t talk to their owners and share their discontent or worries in case of CBD overdosing. Thus, it’s imperative for the pet’s owner to monitor their furry friend’s state and note any alarming symptoms of overdosing to deliver timely assistance. The most visible overdose symptom is the dog’s or cat’s sleepiness, low blood pressure, or light-heartedness.
Dry mouth, lethargy, diarrhea, or liver enzyme alterations are more serious side effects. So, ensuring your pet has access to drinking water and can get enough rest after CBD intake is vital. Please don’t plan a long walk with your pet right after CBD consumption; it will hardly make it. If the symptoms persist, it’s time to call your veterinarian and discuss the dose’s alteration.
Can I give my pet the CBD oil that I’m using?
On the one hand, the CBD oil people use doesn’t differ from the CBD oil offered to pets. So, treating your pet with the CBD product you’re using is generally safe. On the other hand, it is all about dosing. CBD oils for humans usually contain a higher concentration of CBD that a pet will tolerate poorly. Besides, a small amount of THC will not get you high, while your dog or cat may feel the unpleasant intoxication from that meager concentration.