In recent years, the increase in demand for Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, has increased. It has gone beyond serving human wellness needs to pets’ health.
While pet owners are constantly looking for different remedies for their pets, the question that is constantly at the back of everyone’s mind is, “What does science really tell us about the safety and efficacy of CBD for our pets?”
In this article, we’ll explore the guides to adhere to understand the science of CBD for cats and dogs.
Understanding CBD: An Introduction
CBD is a compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is non-psychotropic, unlike its infamous sibling, THC. This means it doesn’t have the properties for producing components that can cause intoxication like marijuana.
CBD has undergone studies for both humans and animals because of its potential therapeutic benefits that range from pain relief to anxiety reduction.
Dogs and CBD: The Current Science
- Osteoarthritic Pain: Just like human beings, when dogs begin to age, they can experience joint pains and osteoarthritis. Thankfully, a study by researchers at Cornell University in 2018 highlighted the potential of using CBD to help manage osteoarthritic pain in dogs. As a result of these findings, it gave thousands of pet owners hope that they won’t need to watch their pets struggle with age-related ailments.
- Seizures and Epilepsy: Epilepsy is not only a human condition, a lot of dogs suffer from it too. According to a study that gained a lot of attention, it shared a staggering 89% reduction in seizure frequency among dogs that were treated with CBD in conjunction with other antiepileptic drugs. This breakthrough could mean pet owners can look forward to a world where dogs afflicted with regular seizures can gain their health.
Navigating Potential Side Effects
Just like any kind of treatment, whether for animals or humans, it is impossible to ignore the possibility of side effects. Some of the side effects that have been reported with using CBD for dogs include drowsiness, dry mouth, and a slight drop in blood pressure. However, you should ensure you do regular vet checkups and monitor the behaviour of your pet anytime you introduce any new supplement.
Cats and CBD: Charting Unknown Waters
- The Gaps in Feline Research: Even though there has been a whole lot of significant progress in research that tries to understand how dogs react to CBD, the same can’t be said for the feline world. The current literature shows a huge gap in available data on the therapeutic use of CBD for anxiety, pain, and inflammation management in cats.
CBD Tolerance and Absorption in Cats
The fact is, not all pets are created equal, especially when equating it to CBD absorption. Studies show that cats may have a different response to CBD.
They tend to have a lower plasma peak of CBD, which shows a major difference in their absorption rates compared to dogs.
Cats also seem to have a different tolerance level, making precise dosing super important.
Treading Cautiously: Dosage and Precautions
The paucity of feline-centric research makes it necessary that cat owners have a deep understanding of what it means to use CBD for cats and exercise caution.
This is why the best way to go around it is by starting with a minimal dose and observing how your cat is reacting to it.
However, before you do any administrative, make sure you have a consultation with a veterinarian to determine personalized dosage.
Ensuring Quality: Choosing the Right CBD Product
As CBD is gaining so much popularity, there have been a lot of inconsistencies because of products that are not of great quality.
You have to make sure that your pet only gets the best quality, go for reputable brands that are known to provide third-party lab test results. Being strict about this process guarantees the purity and potency of the CBD product.
Conclusion: The Future of CBD in Pet Wellness
It is obvious that CBD presents a novel and exciting frontier in the realm of pet wellness. While there seems to be an increasing number of breakthroughs for dogs, cat owners must ensure that they opt for a more measured and vigilant approach.
We cannot joke around with the wellbeing of our pets, therefore any decision on CBD supplementation should always go through a veterinarian.
Dr. Jason O’Donnell works at Holy Cross General Hospital. He is a General Practitioner with extensive experience in cardiology, geriatrics, adult medicine, and internal medicine. Dr. O’Donnell studied at the UCL Medical School and holds a Doctor of Medicine in London in the UK. He also completed an internal medicine internship at London Imperial College. From here he went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at St. George’s London University. He is currently practicing adult medicine, cardiology, geriatrics, and internal medicine at Holy Cross General Hospital. Before he performs any operation, he first assesses the patient’s medical goals and concerns. After the surgery, he monitors the recovery of the patient and makes adjustments to the treatment program, when necessary. Dr. O’Donnell is also a proud member of Health for Humanity where he volunteers his skills in medicine for people in need across the globe.