Is Medical Cannabis good for your furry friends too?
As Medical Cannabis becomes more and more accepted as a viable form of treatment for a variety of ailments; many people are now turning to a new unexpected reason for using Medical Marijuana: their pets. There are few beings in existence that earn more love and affection than our pets! Many of us would do whatever it took to make sure that they lived long, healthy and happy lives; be they dog, cat, horse, bird or anything else! Sometimes this might involve doing something extreme, or spending thousands of dollars, and other times it might mean making sure they have the proper diet, or the right supplements to help support their wellbeing. One of these paths that many pet owners have been taking over the last few years, is that of CBD. “Cannabidiol—CBD—is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.” according to projectcbd.org. The benefits that CBD can offer to pets, especially those on the more elderly end of the spectrum; improved joint function, health and mobility, improved mood and increased energy , etc. are very attractive to many pet owners. According to many studies, pet owner testimonials, veterinarians, etc. CBD can offer pets many health benefits, and starting them on a CBD regimen of some kind can help improve, and extend the healthy life of your pet.
CBD and Pets? Does it work?
CBD is fast becoming a popular option among pet owners where Medical Cannabis has become legalized, and the reasons for this are numerous. Many veterinarians and amateur studies show similar results, while no official government studies have been conducted that we could find; there have been many small scale experiments and exposures. It is important to remember before continuing on however, that we are strictly using the term “pet” for a reason, as we are not referring simply to dogs, cats, etc. It is important to remember that how any sort of medication or drug affects an animal (or a human for that matter) greatly depends on the size, age, and general health of the animal, etc. To understand the benefits that CBD can have on our pets, it is important to understand the base, underlying science of Cannabinoids, and the Endocannabinoid System. The Endocannabinoid system, is found in all mammals, and in many vertebrates in general. Now, this is a topic for an entire separate article, but suffice to say the Cannabinoid system is a network of cell receptors in the brain, and throughout the nervous system that are partially responsible for a wide range of sensations; pain, happiness, sleep, mood , etc. These receptors produce and absorb special Cannabinoids. Yes, our body naturally creates, and craves some of the chemicals found in Cannabis. Supplementing ourselves, and our systems with CBD can lead to a wide range of health benefits. This has been proven, and the thought behind it is, since all mammals have a similar system, CBD should function in similar ways in different mammals. So then what benefits can be expected from adding CBD into our, and thus our pet’s systems? “Among chronic conditions, it can help with arthritis, compromised immune systems, stress responses, aggression and digestive issues. There are also studies under way into CBD’s effects on Type 1 diabetes, organ diseases and cancer. Veterinarians are also finding CBD hemp can be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.” States dogsnaturallymagazine.com. Many users attest to the added vigor that their pets begin to display after being on a CBD regime for a good amount of time. Notably, one woman claimed her twenty-two year old cat was acting like a sixteen year old cat again! Which, of course is not the prime of its life, but it sure sounds like that feline is thankful! Many other users report very similar results, so there seems to defiantly be evidence for a trend!
Who is it for?
LethargySo who are CBD pet supplements for? Well, anyone with a pet! As we discussed earlier, the reason CBD effects our systems so strongly, is because of the natural presence of Cannabinoids in our bodies. Since all mammals are relatively the same in the way in which their body functions, it can be assumed that CBD would function the same way in our dogs, cats, and horses, as it does in ourselves. If this is the case, which it seems to be, then we can rest assured that CBD can be a very beneficial supplement for our pets. So who is it specifically for? Individuals with older pets may see the most benefits from starting them on a CBD regimen, as the benefits of joint health, arthritis , etc., can truly make a difference in an elderly pet’s life. Animals get arthritis, and other degenerative diseases just like we do, but they are not able to express it as we do. Common signs and symptoms of an elderly pet, (or any animal for that matter) being uncomfortable is:
- Lack of interest in activities previously interested in
- Loss of appetite
CBD can greatly help with these maladies, and improve the life of an elderly friend. The second largest group of CBD pet supplements, would be those who are trying to help alleviate the symptoms of certain conditions that their pet is suffering from:
- Skin Conditions
- Hot Spots
- Dietary Supplement
- Fur/Hair issues
Finally, the next group of main individuals who will be using CBD for their pet, are doing so to just give them a little kick, a boost so to speak in life. For those who do not actually need it for anything, there seem to also be numerous positive effects, as could be discerned from the effects on more elderly pets. While CBD may not be the cheapest thing to have your pet on, for those who can afford it, and want to try to provide the best for their pet, even by looking outside of the box, CBD might be something good to look at.
What are my options?
If you’re familiar with Medical Cannabis, then you know how many options there are out there for the actual ingestion of the medication. From smoking, to vaping, cakes and candies, drinks and topicals. We have injections, capsules, tinctures and so much more! However, Cannabis is not the same for pets. Firstly, and most importantly, THC is TOXIC to many animals including cats, dogs, etc., if they receive high enough quantities. We are only referring to CBD here! Despite the wide range of options for human consumption, Medical Marijuana only comes in a few limited forms for pets, generally speaking they are:
- Tinctures-Liquid drops placed sub orally.
- Sprays-For skin issues etc.
- Additions to Food-A liquid, or powder to be added to the food for consumption
- Treats-For dogs and other animals, etc., small baked goods, etc.
For those looking for the cutting edge in medical options for their pets, be they small and furry, or large and hoofed, CBD seems to be a popular path to take. CBD can offer a wide range of benefits for a variety of pets, and their owners. More and more often CBD is replacing one the counter supplements, and medications for our pets, and for good reason. Of course, be sure to discuss any changes with your veterinarian, but it might be something to give your pet that little extra oomph that they used to have, and you know they still deserve.
- CBD for Pets as a Treatment Gains More Owner Approval | Elixinol
- Medical Cannabis: Is it good for our dogs? | The Bark
- What is Cannabidiol? | Project CBD
- CBD for Pets — ResQ Organics Pet
- The Promise of CBD for Pets | Sensi
- CBD for Pets – HempMeds
- Cannabis For Your Dog: How It Can Help – Dogs Naturally Magazine
- CBD for Pets – HempMeds
- The Medical Marijuana Debate for Pets | NBC 7 San Diego
- Pets on Pot: The Newest Customer Base for Medical Marijuana – The New York Times
- Can Dog Seizures Be Treated with CBD Oil & Treats? | Leafly
- Is Medical Marijuana Safe for Pets? A Case for More Study