Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is a health supplement that is relatively new in the popular consciousness. Information surrounding what it is and how it works has grown outside of scholarly circles and into the public’s awareness during the last decade when the bulk of all research and studies into the benefits of CBD has been conducted.
A large part of this compound’s popularity is because, unlike THC which is extracted from marijuana, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. This means it does not make you high. When it comes to pets, this is very important, since THC can be toxic. However, it isn’t 100% clear how CBD works.
If studies into CBD for humans are relatively new and sparse, that’s even more true for CBD for Pets research from Hemmfy. What little research there is regarding how CBD works for pets is mostly centered around dogs in three specific areas: anxiety, pain, and nausea/appetite stimulation. Here’s everything you need to know about how CBD can actually help dogs.
One of the main benefits of CBD seems to be its ability to help people feel less stressed and anxious. This seems to be true for dogs as well. Some of the most common forms of anxiety in dogs revolve around sudden loud noises (fireworks and thunder), separation anxiety (their owners leaving them at home), or generally stressful situations like being taken to the vet or groomer.
CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that both humans and dogs have, with some differences. One of the things that the ECS regulates in our bodies is our feelings of stress and anxiety. When humans and dogs take CBD, it can help us feel calmer and less anxious.
However, the effects seem to be more inconsistent in dogs. There are currently the first batches of formal clinical studies into how CBD works on dogs. What smaller studies have been conducted before has been inconsistent, albeit with some promising results.
Since CBD is safe to give to dogs (in appropriate doses), your dog can try it in certain situations to see if it helps. If you are planning to go on a car ride with your dog and you know it gets anxious, you can give them CBD treats ahead of time and see if they are calmer. You can do the same thing when you see thunder on the weather forecast, or ahead of a vet or groomer appointment.
For Chronic and Acute Pain
CBD is perhaps best known for being able to reduce pain and inflammation, and this seems to be true for dogs as well. This can make CBD a great supplement to give to your dogs when they are older and start developing issues like joint pain, which makes their mobility and ability to rest comfortably more difficult. You may also want to give CBD to your dog when they have acute pain. This can be from things like post-surgery recovery, a sudden injury, and so on.
The added benefit of CBD is that it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. That makes it very useful for treating chronic pain issues like arthritis, or any injury and condition that is exacerbated by inflammation.
One completed study in 2018 found tested CBD on dogs with osteoarthritis. It found the following results: “Clinically, canine brief pain inventory and Hudson activity scores showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity… with CBD oil. The veterinary assessment showed decreased pain during CBD treatment.” There will be more studies into how exactly CBD helps with dogs to help determine the right dosage for different breeds and sizes.
An effective way to try CBD with your dog to help with its pain is to use a supplement that you can mix into their food. Consuming it at regular intervals can provide semi-regular pain and inflammation relief throughout the day. You can also give them CBD treats like Joy Organics CBD dog chews if they are more likely to eat them immediately.
For Appetite Stimulation
The digestion system is full of receptors of the ECS, which is why CBD has been used to help treat nausea. It has been used to treat cancer patients who are feeling nausea as a symptom of their disease or as a result of chemotherapy treatment. This seems to hold true for dogs as well, as CBD treats and supplements can be given to dogs who are older or car sick to make them feel well enough to eat.
There has been a study of how CBD can treat nausea in animals because of how it interacts with the serotonin receptors in the ECS. Serotonin is a hormone that influences how you generally feel, from your mood to your general state of health and wellness. This can include nausea, or more specifically your appetite.
As your dog gets older, it may develop health issues that affect its appetite. If you want to help them live more comfortably in their final years, you can give them CBD oil drops or treats — if they’ll eat them — ahead of their mealtimes. This way, your dog will feel less nauseous and have an improved regular appetite.
There has yet to be a full clinical study on dogs to see how CBD can help sick and older dogs, but this research is coming. With our understanding of how the ECS works in humans and animals, and how CBD interacts with it, you may find that an appropriately sized dose of CBD for dogs will help your pet with the above three issues.
However, results can vary, so it’s wise to experiment in smaller doses to see how your dog responds. You may also find that your dog prefers different forms of CBD that are made for dogs, whether it is treats, food supplements, or straight CBD oil. You may also find that the different forms work better for different situations. They may not want food or treats when they’re feeling sick, for example, in which case you can apply CBD drops into their mouths directly.