Lots of our customers ask us about CBD oil and based on our experiences around the rest of the pet industry, it’s clear that the hemp and CBD sub-industry and trend is exploding right now. While some have found CBD oil to be a lifesaver (literally and metaphorically) for their pets, others have purchased it and seen no remarkable outcomes one way or another.
So our team here at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies put our heads together and did some research to help our customers decide when it’s a good idea to give CBD oil and hemp products a try, and what you need to be wary of when going down the path! As always, feel free to speak to a staff member at your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies stores in Ann Arbor (2425 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103) or Chelsea (1192 S. Main St, Chelsea, MI, 48118) to get some more information.
A Brief Overview
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It is essential to note that in most cases, CBD does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. In fact, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.
It is also worth noting that as of right now there have been no formal studies on how CBD affects dogs. What scientists do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.
When should you try CBD oil for your pet?
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.
CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, anti-epileptic properties, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.
We’ve found this infographic that is not only cute but informative, courtesy of Cannabis Supplements for Pets.
Possible Side Effects
The following potential side effects are based on how CDB affects humans, because remember, there are no formal studies done on how CBD affects pets.
Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
Our Advice When Picking Products
Based on OUR research, here are a few things you should keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil or hemp products such as treats. Like most other pet supplies at our Wags to Wiskers locations, not all of them are made with the same intentions regarding quality or with the pets in mind. Oils are the same; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working. At Wags to Wiskers, we do our best to “vet” the product first and only sell items that we would trust with our own pets.
Look for organic. If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
Don’t price shop. The higher the quality and purity, the higher the cost. You don’t want to go for a cheaper option that could have toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives.
Get the analysis. The manufacturer should provide a certificate that tells you the amount of CBD that is in the product. Many CBD oils contain only small amounts of CBD. You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
Buy CBD as a tincture. You can buy dog treats containing CBD, but the best form to administer is a tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop. If you’ve found that the CBD oil is positively affecting your pet, then you could move on to providing treats on a more frequent unregulated basis.
As a pet owner, try to have realistic expectations. While some pet owners swear by CBD, keep in mind that researchers are just starting to learn how to use it for pets and at which dosages. The team at Wags to Wiskers feel really comfortable that it’s a safe products, but the jury’s still out on it’s effectiveness. The measure of it’s effectiveness is entirely down to the pet owner’s ability to observe and judge, making it rather subjective.
Make sure to dose gradually. Pets will have their own personal limits and what worked for some may not work for others.
Store your products carefully. Cannabinoids are susceptible to degradation. Oils and treats should be kept at room temperature away from bright lights or sunlight, while heating and extreme cold can dramatically change chemical composition. If you have an oil that has changed colors, it’s probably damaged and should be discarded.
CBD oil for pets is legal and considered safe. With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD for humans, the most encouraging result is that CBD appears to be safe, even when taken in high doses and over extended periods of time. The bottom line is, CBD oil could be a healthy (or even life-saving) herb for your pet. More and more pet owners and holistic vets are drawn to its diverse health benefits, and they feel good knowing the side effects are mild and animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance.