CBD and Hemp for Pets
All vertebrae mammals have an ECS, which means CBD impacts our pets the same way it impacts us. Since they’re smaller with more delicate systems, they likely don’t need as large of a dose. But like us, each pet’s ideal dosage differs and takes time to find.
What is CBD and the Endocannabinoid System?
Cannabidiol (or CBD) is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis, growing in popularity for use in the treatment of various physical & mental ailments. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), one of the body’s largest networks that regulate most of our physiological functions and nervous, endocrine, digestive, & immune systems. The ECS maintains homeostasis: a state of internal physiological balance — AKA our healthiest state of being.
How can CBD help my pets?
Like humans, there are many reasons a parent might choose to give their pet CBD. Some of the most common are:
- Arthritis and mobility issues
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Seizures and epilepsy
- Skin irritations or allergies
- General well-being
Cannabinoid receptors are scattered throughout the body, bones, & organs, heavily in the central & peripheral nervous systems, brain, spinal cord, gut, lymphatic, & immune systems.
CBD interacts with these & other receptors, influencing things such as pain, inflammation, sleep, stress, memory, mood, metabolism, motor control, bone repair & growth, immune function, reproductive health, and much more.
How much CBD should I give my pets?
As always, consult a licensed veterinarian before changing your pet’s routine or adding new herbs to their diet. While working with a trusted healthcare professional, people usually start by giving a dose twice daily for 2 weeks. Observe your fur baby’s behavior and adjust the dosage accordingly.
Veterinarian Dr. Robert Silver suggests a starting dose of 1mg/10lb twice a day. If not seeing the desired results, you can increase the dosage after a week. Like with humans, there may be some trial and error finding the ideal amount. Some pets might need more than others.
Although CBD is not the magical “cure” for pets or humans, it is used to support the healing process. It’s most effective when paired with balanced nutrition and lifestyle. That means different things for different pets. It’s important to take the time to find out what’s best for you.
The large majority of commercial pet food is made with inflammatory ingredients, which has been shown to build up over time. Chronic inflammation can manifest as deeper physical issues. Buying from conscious companies and feeding them as little grains & dry food as possible can help avoid inflammation caused by nutrition.
If you notice a sudden change in your pet’s behavior or other abnormal symptoms, it’s always best to first consult a veterinarian and rule out any underlying conditions.
Trauma and pets
Both humans and pets in today’s society deal with unresolved trauma, affecting the amygdala function in the brain, central nervous system patterns, and our environment. Trauma impairs the body’s vital functions, placing it in constant states of fight-or-flight. This doesn’t allow time to rest-and-digest, which is when our body repairs and absorbs nutrients.
Being in a constant state of adrenaline can cause a multitude of problems, including adrenal fatigue, endocrine, and digestive issues. This disrupts our ECS, so using CBD can be helpful, but we still must address the other issues.
Am I doing something or is something in my environment triggering pet anxiety?
This isn’t to say cater to or validate our pet’s fears, but if you notice loud music makes them antsy, turn it down a bit and/or give them a little affection (& CBD!) to show they’re safe.
If separation anxiety spikes the second you grab your keys, maybe pick up your keys throughout the day without leaving to help lessen the reaction to the trigger.
Like with humans, we can validate their feelings without encouraging their fear. Find ways to gradually help them feel safer in normally anxiety-inducing situations.
Overall, being consistent with our pets like we would in any relationship is most beneficial for their health. Maybe set a time of day where you both take your CBD together! Even if healthy with no known condition, people often regularly give their pets CBD to encourage homeostasis and support healthy immune function.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article and information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Medical Marijuana and your Pet by Dr. Robert Silver
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- Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs
- Cannabidiol: a major non-psychotropic
- Therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based drugs
- Cat Anxiety and Natural Resources
- Cannabidiol and its analogs
- Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
- Cannabidiol: State of the art and new challenges for therapeutic applications
- Cannabidiol: its use in refractory epilepsies
- Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome
- The Endocannabinoid System
- Marijuana and Depression