With CBD, one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, there are many success stories in dogs that have overcome anxiety, slowed seizures, and even beat cancer with CBD, one of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants.But can any miracle cure really work so well on our pets?
Cannabinoids are substances, including CBD and THC, that mimic the endocannabinoid chemicals found in all vertebrates. Receptors for endocannabinoids are located throughout the body. Endocannabinoids begin to act as master regulators that signal other systems when to increase or slow down, working to stabilize the body and return it to homeostasis. The cannabis plant cannabinoids act on the same receptors in slightly different ways. For example, THC causes “high” state, but CBD is not.
Is it Harmful?
Unlike the well-known THC, which can cause intoxication and even death to dogs when taken in human doses, the worst effects of CBD on dogs such as diarrhea and changes in certain liver enzymes have been documented after a few weeks of use. The main problem with CBD is that it inhibits a chemical in the body called cytochrome P450, which is responsible for the metabolism of most drugs. If the effectiveness of a drug depends on its metabolic product, CBD may make it less effective. If the safety of a drug depends on its elimination from the body over a period of time, CBD can cause it to rise to toxic levels. Never give a dog CBD without the knowledge of a veterinarian if he is taking other medications.
Does it even work?
Unfortunately, research that is related to dogs is still extremely scarce, but there are about 23,000 published articles on the effects of CBD on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results in terms of pain, especially from itching, arthritis, anxiety, cancerous lesions. How does it affect dogs? Depends on the animal.
- Arthritis: Several studies have examined the effectiveness of CBD for arthritis pain, and all have shown positive results. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found that dogs given CBD at 4.4 mg per pound twice a day for a month experienced significant pain relief and improved quality of life. Leading researchers have observed that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but after just a few days on CBD, they trotted and even climbed stairs. A Baylor University study showed a similar improvement, adding that CBD works best when delivered in liposomal form.
- Itching: Two relatively recent placebo studies have shown that CBD significantly reduces itching. An Australian study by CannPal found that their CBD product reduced itching, inflammation and skin lesions by 51% after eight weeks of treatment. An American study by ElleVet found that their product, which combines CBD with another cannabinoid, CBDA, significantly reduces owner reports of itching.
- Cancer: Cannabinoids are reported to cause cancer cell death and prevent metastasis. Researches from a Cornell University run the study of CBD use on dogs and cancer, and found that CBD, along with a standard chemotherapy drug, reduced cancer cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Side reports from veterinarians have claimed that CBD reduces cancer cells or puts dogs in remission.
- Behavior: anxiety and especially noise reaction is the main reason dog owners seek help using CBD. There are also side reports of its effectiveness, but no controlled study has so far shown it to be particularly effective. Shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies showed less aggression towards humans when tested after 15 days of CBD administration. In a study conducted at the University of Kentucky, physiological measures of anxiety in response to noise were not significantly different with CBD compared with placebo and were worse compared with trazodone (a drug commonly prescribed for anxiety). Please note that in this study, CBD was given four to six hours prior to testing, which may have been too long of a waiting period.
- Seizures: In this case, there are quite a lot of reports of positive tests. Only one single controlled study produced modest results. In this Colorado State University study, dogs given CBD for 12 weeks had 33 percent fewer seizures than those given a placebo, but it didn’t work for every dog. These researchers are now working on a larger trial using higher doses of CBD. Please note that THC has been reported to cause seizures, so it should never be included in any CBD product to control seizures. Also, CBD’s effect on cytochrome P450 can interfere with prescribed anticonvulsants, so never use it without your veterinarian’s consent.
There is also lab animal evidence that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing down degenerative myelopathy, suppressing nausea, and relieving pain, but this has yet to be specifically studied in dogs.
It is legal?
Many veterinarians do not consider CBD as a panacea because they believe that CBD has not yet been sufficiently proven to be useful, or because they fear professional or legal consequences. CBD products are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dogs, nor are common supplements such as: fish oil or glucosamine; nor most prescription drugs approved for humans commonly prescribed in veterinary practice.
It is legal to sell hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent THC until recently, the American Veterinary Medical Association did not approve, nor give permission, to veterinarians offering any cannabis products, including CBD, to pet patients. Even now, the law is unclear enough that many veterinarians fear the consequences of something going wrong with their suggestion of using CBD. While some veterinarians are hesitant to suggest CBD, just about everyone is willing to discuss it as soon as you bring it up.
Of course, some veterinarians are better versed in its pros and cons than others. The main concern is its possible interaction with prescribed medications.
As it turns out, there is some compelling evidence that CBD can totally help your pets. Each pet, like a human being, is individual and requires a responsible approach and a dignified attitude. Unfortunately, our fluffy brothers are also overcome by illnesses and they have to help in all available ways. It is the owner of the pet who should be responsible for how exactly to designate therapy for our smaller brothers. After all, he is all alone responsible for this matter and man’s best friend can only hope for the advisability of human decisions and active actions.
Appreciate your pets because they make an invaluable contribution to the life of a modern person.