As more evidence has come out on the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids (CBD) for humans, dog owners are looking into CBD as potential treatment for their furry friends. CBD has been linked to reducing inflammation, pain, anxiety, and seizures in canines.
Why Try CBD for Your Dog?
- CBD is Safe for Dogs- There are no significant signs of adverse effects or potential toxicity among canine studies. A recent study administered hemp extract in the form of soft chews to 6 dogs over the course of 12-weeks and found that there was a 96.7% acceptance rate, with 3.3% showing loose stool and 0.45% vomit. Besides this small evidence of loose stool and vomit there were no other observable negative side-effects. Most notably, there was no change in blood count or chemistry throughout the 12-week study, which is a positive outcome in terms of potential toxicity.1 Another recent study performed by Cornell University and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) followed 16 dogs medically confirmed with Osteoarthritis (OA) and treated with CBD based oil. Each dog was given 2 mg/kg of CBD oil for the first 4 weeks and then 8 mg/kg for the next 4 weeks with the washout period in between. There were no adverse side-effects or psychoactive side effects seen among the dogs in this study at either the low or high dose.2
- CBD Actually Works- The Cornell study showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity levels among canines. While this was only observing benefits of CBD on dogs with OA, we can likely assume there would be beneficial effects on other conditions causing canines pain and inflammation.2
- NSAIDS May Cause Problems for Your Dog- The primary treatment for chronic-pain conditions are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The problem is, there is evidence that NSAIDS could actually be causing harm to your dog. In a systematic review of 64 canine studies, 35 of 64 dogs showed adverse effects to NSAIDS, most commonly gastrointestinal issues.3 These negative side-effects for canines taking NSAIDS could potentially be avoided if their treatment were to be replaced with CBD.
How Do I Give My Dog CBD?
- Oil is Best- Studies have shown the best way for dogs to consume CBD is via CBD oil rather than in form of a CBD-infused soft chews. The soft chews showed higher concentration but less retention in dogs’ systems than CBD oil. 1
- Serve with Food- Studies have shown that CBD oil dropped into thier regular food will increase absorption by 4–5 fold. 4-5 Therefore, when introducing CBD to your dog, try dropping the oil on a treat or giving it to them directly in their mouth right after a meal.
- Start with a Lower Dose Twice a Day- When figuring out dosing for your dog, start low (about 2 mg/kg) and build up as needed. A lower dose will stay in your dog’s system just as long as a high dose. A study showed that when dogs were given 2 mg/kg of CBD and 8 mg/kg of CBD, each dosing level stayed in the dogs’ systems for about 4.2 hours. 2 This means that a dose at least twice a day will provide the best effect.