A Guide To CBD For Pets – Here’s What Vets and Animal Lovers Need To Know
The use of CBD for pets has caused a great deal of curiosity and confusion for pet owners and vets alike.
In Australia, we’re a little late to the party – but hold onto your horses because the cannabis plant is slowly making its way into our veterinary clinics. So what’s the all the fuss about?
In Australia, an online search for cannabidiol (CBD) pet products will give you limited results. And if you’re a vet, it’s unlikely that your medicine textbooks take a plunge into the topic. But as more and more pet owners catch on to the science surrounding CBD, it’s time that medical experts give the plant a second look…
Thankfully, we’ve put together this guide to make it a whole lot clearer.
But hold on a puppy-patting-second – what exactly is CBD?
What Is Cannabis for Pets?
First things first, let’s zoom out a bit and look at the entire cannabis plant. The cannabis plant is made up of more than 100 different cannabinoids – which are naturally occurring molecules. Perhaps the two most well-known cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
And if you’re a regular around here, you’ll know the THC is the rebel of the cannabis family… You know, it’s the psychoactive compound that runs riot – giving the entire plant a bad name…
CBD, on the other hand, is the antidote to THC – and is living proof that not all heroes wear capes. You see, CBD hosts an array of benefits to both humans and animals (which have unfortunately been tarnished by its naughty brother.)
How Does CBD For Pets Work?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a body system that’s found inside of humans and animals. It keeps control over our internal processes – including our immune system, nervous system and cardiovascular system.
And to put it simply, the cannabinoids found in cannabis interact in different ways with the ECS – which is why the plant has such a profound effect on our bodies.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Endocannabinoid System, we take a deep-dive into the topic in this blog post.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD For Pets?
Truth be told – studies into the effects of CBD on animals in Australia are limited. But thankfully, some of our overseas neighbours have done some research for us – and the early signs are looking good.
Recent studies show that CBD could:
- Relieve acute and chronic pain: studies have shown that CBD could relieve pain by reducing swelling and inflammation.
- Enhance mood and reduce anxiety: studies show that CBD could calm your pet down through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
- Promote healthy joints and bones: CBD could work to improve symptoms associated with animal osteoarthritis.
- Prevent epilepsy and seizures: that’s right, a recent study found that 89% of dogs treated with CBD had fewer seizures!
- Stop nausea and vomiting: CBD could be a powerful solution to preventing nausea and vomiting in our pets.
- Fight off cancer cells: remarkably, a study of mice with pancreatic cancer saw an increased survival rate for mice treated with CBD and chemotherapy.
- Support brain health: the ECS plays a key role in our brain function, so it’s no wonder CBD is believed to have a positive impact on our pet’s cognition.
- Offer “end-of-life” comfort: the properties in CBD that offer pain relief could also provide our furry friends with extra comfort when they reach the end of their journey.
You see, we’re not digging ourselves into a hole by saying cannabis could be good for our pets – because science is now confirming what many of us have believed to be true.
So now we know what cannabis can do – how on earth do we use it?
How Do You Use CBD For Pets?
The most popular way to deliver CBD to animals is through CBD oil – although you can also get topical creams and capsules. Dosage recommendations vary extensively for our four-legged friends – and that’s mostly due to the fact that there hasn’t been enough study done.
So just like Vegemite on your morning toast, less is usually more. As a general rule, it’s best to start low and increase the dosage as required. The exact amount of CBD you give to a pet varies on their weight and ailment – as well as how much CBD the product your using contains.
Like many areas of the cannabis plant, more research needs to be done to determine the right CBD dosage. Therefore, it’s best to consult the correct guidelines before giving or receiving any advice.
Side Effects Of CBD For Pets
We figured it would be downright irresponsible of us if we didn’t look at the side effects of CBD. And the truth is, if used responsibly, there shouldn’t be any. Although too much of a good thing could lead to drowsiness, diarrhoea or vomiting.
In saying that, if you give the right dosage, it’s safe to use and will not make them high.
Louder for the people at the back: CBD will not make our pets high.
The Bottom Line: CBD Guidelines For Vets In Australia
In Australia, CBD in the veterinary world is still a little taboo – and we’re still (patiently) waiting on further research to draw any final conclusions.
What this means for vets is that there are rules around advising or recommending CBD for animals, and you should always keep up to date with the state and federal guidelines.
And as a pet owner in Australia, getting CBD oil for your pet is possible, you might just have to jump through a few hoops to get there. And remember – always consult your vet before beginning any treatment. Your four-legged friend will thank you for it.