Who could have guessed that cannabis was going to cause so much confusion? OK, probably a lot of people. But despite all the confusion, using products derived from cannabis isn’t slowing down. In fact, most predict that cannabis products, like CBD, will continue to see rapid growth throughout the next decade.
What is CBD?
CBD oil is derived from the flowers and stalks of cannabis plants. There are two main varieties of cannabis with the majority of CBD oils coming from the hemp variety.
Marijuana is the other main variety, but it contains an abundance of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and this causes a high when consumed.
Besides that, hemp is nearly identical to marijuana, and as such, many of the medical value associated with marijuana can be achieved with hemp as well.
This is due to cannabis plants containing hundreds of compounds called phytocannabinoids that benefit health as they closely mimic endocannabinoids that mammals create to regulate health.
It’s important to note that while named after the single compound, cannabidiol, you want hemp CBD oil that contains all of the beneficial compounds found in hemp — we call this full spectrum CBD or whole plant extract.
Is CBD Safe For Dogs?
When comparing hemp CBD to marijuana, CBD is a much much safer alternative for your dog. In fact, you should never give your dog marijuana as they can overdose from too much THC, wherein humans that’s pretty much impossible.
When comparing CBD to prescription drugs, CBD often has a much safer side-effect profile — especially when moving into high doses.
There is no known toxic limit for CBD, and the sky’s the limit. The most notable side effect with CBD products is the potential for some tiredness — this only happens with very large doses that aren’t usually needed.
Current comprehensive research shows CBD is well tolerated with most seeing no side effects of any nature. However, this may not be the case if your dog is on a prescription drug. Like grapefruit, CBD will inhibit enzymes in the liver that metabolize hepatic drugs which accounts for the majority of prescription medications. CBD, however, is a much more potent inhibitor.
By delaying metabolization CBD may raise the potency of the prescription medication, and if your dog is on a dosage-sensitive medication, this is a serious concern.
On the other hand, this is likely a reason people and pets have been able to lower the dosage of their prescription meds when taking CBD. Studies show that your best bet is to monitor plasma levels for drug concentrations and adjust dosages accordingly.
You will not have to worry about this issue if your dog isn’t on a drug metabolized in the liver.
What Medical Conditions Can CBD Help With?
All mammals can benefit from CBD as we all have a developed endocannabinoid system. In fact, some mammals like dogs may benefit more from CBD than we do as they have more endocannabinoid receptors.
The endocannabinoid system pretty much has a hand in stabilizing and regulating all internal functions from appetite to anxiety. This means CBD can be used to help with:
- Hypersensitivity to pain
- Hypersensitivity to anxiety and stress
- Appetite regulation
- Seizures and epilepsy
- Nausea and vomiting
- The side effects of cancer treatments
You can find numerous anecdotal reports and rigorous studies backing the effectiveness in using CBD to help treat the above conditions.
CBD Oil For Dog’s Arthritis
Using CBD oil for your dog’s arthritis or inflammation is one of the big three reasons people use CBD — the others are epilepsy and anxiety.
The endocannabinoid system is divided into two main receptors. You have CB1 receptors that regulate mood and other sensations — they are found predominantly in the brain.
Then you have CB2 receptors found mainly in the immune and nervous systems. CBD largely targets CB2 receptors making it an excellent medication for regulating the body’s inflammatory response.The older we get, the more chances there are for bad inflammation to run amuck. Many pet owners use CBD to not only help treat arthritis but to prevent it from ever occurring in the first place.
What Your Veterinarian Thinks About CBD
By the time you read this, your veterinarian is likely more comfortable with CBD than they were when this article was written. Research is moving fast on CBD.
In late 2017, Colorado State University started the first veterinarian research program undertaking clinical trials on how CBD can help dogs with different medical conditions.
They have continued this research into 2018 with bigger studies that showed 9 out of 10 dogs saw a reduction in seizures with CBD.
As well, once passed, the 2018 Farm will remove all ties that link marijuana’s legality to hemp’s. While legal in all 50 states, CBD exist in a grey legal area that causes a lot of confusion for retailers and hemp farms.
It’s likely that your vet has no direct issues with CBD. Many won’t recommend it because they don’t know what it is or have the information they need. An even larger issue is they can’t prescribe CBD even if they wanted to.
It’s strange, but even in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, vets cannot legally advise the use of CBD without fear of repercussions. Doctors that treat humans don’t have to worry about this according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
This is unfortunate because the one notable side effect of CBD is the ability for it to delay the metabolization of certain prescription drugs. Most studies show that this side effect is avoidable too and conclude that CBD usage should not be stopped — in most cases you drop the other drug’s dose and all is fine.
If this is a worry, bring all of this information up to your vet. They may approve blood tests to monitor the situation while not officially approving of CBD. Veterinarians that know about CBD appear to strongly support CBD, with some waiting for more studies to be 100% sure, while others wait for the legal repercussions to come to an end.