Photo by Jamie Street

Benefits of CBD for Pets

There is a huge renewed growth in interest for the therapeutic use of cannabis in pets and animals. In recent years cannabis use has become a focal point for veterinary medicine and there is a lot of discussions which has led it to become a mainstream topic.

The development of CBD based pet products and treats has led to a multi-billion dollar industry that is fuelled by the demand of pet owners, while the law and medical establishments are a few steps behind.

Cannabis History

Photo by João SilasCannabis has been used by both humans and animals for millennia. First documented by the Chinese around 3000BC and documented in their book of Pharmacopoeia as a medicinal herb. The ancient Greeks used cannabis to dress the wounds of animals and sores on their horses and the same method applied to combat horses in the WW1. In England and the US, cannabis was imported from the East for decades to treat colic and sedate nervous or injured horses. It is a well-known fact that cannabis has been used by in the horse fraternity to improve the performance of jumpers, saddlers and racehorses. Today we are seeing a renewed interest in cannabis for treatment not only in horses but other domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.

How does Cannabis work for our Pets?

Photo by Kimzy NanneyJust like in humans all animals with vertebrate have an endocannabinoid system ( ECS ) that contains millions of receptors that bind with cannabinoids. The ECS is comprised of both the central nervous and immune system and is generally considered the bridge between the body and mind. This neuromodulatory system plays an important role in the development of the central nervous system. The ECS is responsible for a number of important bodily functions such as mood, movement, appetite and memory to name a few. Although the exact science of exactly how cannabinoids work in synergy together is still baffling both scientists and researchers we are getting closer to the answer. However, for now, we do know that cannabis does play a huge role in the regulation of the system, helping it achieve a better balance in health and wellness as well as bringing us back to a healthy balance ( homoeostasis ).

Just like in humans, cannabinoids work for our pets. But one thing that is an important consideration is their bodies are generally smaller and built differently to ours, so what may be good for you, may be terrible for your small dog. It’s very important to note that although cannabis may be an effective treatment and supplement for our pets, it can also cause unwanted side-effects if the dosage is too high. The Recommended Daily Intake ( RDI ) for people has still not been agreed upon and the same goes for our furry friends. The best advice is to seek an open-minded vets advice, thoroughly check the product you purchase for your pet that meets standards and quality checks, as well as start “low and slow”.

What is Hemp?

Hemp ( CBD ) is defined as cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3% THC in the USA. For many years companies have manufactured and marketed CBD rich products for both human and animal consumption. The good news is that the 2018 Farm Bill has removed hemp as a banned substance which can be cultivated and processed by licensed farmers in the US. The FDA and the federal government is not in agreement and the debate still continues about whether or not CBD is a drug. While CBD products are a little bit more legal, veterinary use of these products is a totally different story. As of the end of 2018 the Veterinary Medical Board CBDof California still had no official stance or policy on CBD. They do state that no vets should discuss, recommend or sell any CBD products, and could have their medical license revoked. In response, veterinarians and other interested parties proposed AB 2215 as an amendment to state law, this was passed late in 2018. Today vets are able to discuss and recommend CBD products to pet owners! With a little bit of luck, California will be the first state in the US to recommend medical cannabis for pets. This will be decided no later than the 1st of January 2020 and is already in the hands of Congress to decide on the matter.

As a pet owner, you are able to purchase CBD pet products and even consider purchasing medical cannabis for your pets that contains THC. However, getting advise or dosage information from your vet may be a battle as it could put your vet’s medical license in jeopardy. So its no smooth sailing for either pet owners or vets, the law is neither here nor there on the matter.

Public demand and an exponentially growing cannabis market will ensure that products are legally available, but until the law catches up its still a very grey line to cross.


The Benefits of CBD for Pets

If you have read this far, I am sure you have either used CBD on your pet or willing to try. With the thousands of tests that have been done on both humans and animals alike, there is mounting evidence that CBD actually works. Below are some of the major benefits that pets will receive when incorporating CBD into their diet. Photo by Andreas Wagner

  • – CBD helps treat seizures and epileptic fits in pets
  • – Helps increase your pet’s appetite
  • – Brilliant treatment for pain and inflammation
  • – May help treat cancer in older pets
  • – CBD is great for the heart health

Bottom line is CBD is an effective treatment not only for people but for pets too. Being a responsible pet owner is the most important fact when treating your loved ones with CBD. Investigate the products, ask questions about the product from the retailer, speak to other pet owners that may be treating their pets with CBD and most importantly is a start “low and slow.”

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