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With the hype on CBD reaching the mountain top, you might be wondering whether or not you can introduce CBD to your pet.
CBD is safe for human consumption, even the WHO stated that in their 2017 report. But can you say the same about CBD oil for pets?
Can your dog or cat reap benefits from CBD?
How do you give CBD to pets and how much is enough to produce the effects?
This article will answer all of the above questions.
Read on to find out how to introduce CBD to your pet.
Can I Give CBD to My Pet?
Yes, you can. Like humans, dogs and cats have endocannabinoid systems comprising of the same cannabinoid receptors. Given this, the cannabis plant packs a serious punch of medical benefits for both humans and pets.
The endocannabinoid system located in our brain and throughout the whole body plays a role in managing the most important biological functions in the body, including pain sensation, mood, memory, stress management, body temperature control, and more.
But unlike humans, pets don’t tolerate THC. In fact, this compound is toxic for them.
That’s the reason why you should only use hemp-derived CBD products. Hemp plants typically have less than 0.3% THC, which is not enough to cause psychoactive effects or toxicity.
CBD, on the other hand, is non-intoxicating. If extracted from hemp — or isolated from other cannabinoids — it won’t produce a high. Therefore, CBD is completely safe for pets.
Long story short, you can give CBD to your pet as long as it doesn’t come along with significant amounts of THC.
Your best bet in this case will be hemp-derived CBD oil or CBD-infused pet treats.
Why CBD and Not THC?
As mentioned, THC is dangerous for animals — it has been shown to be toxic to them in moderate amounts. While the release of serotonin and other chemicals in humans is controlled, the reaction caused in smaller animals, specifically pets, can be overwhelming.
Moderate exposure to THC in pets can cause loss of balance, problems with breathing, excessive vomiting, and impaired cognition.
With that being said, let’s focus on different consumption methods for those who want to introduce CBD to their pets.
Different Forms of CBD Administration for Pets
There are three product types you may come across while looking for CBD products dedicated exclusively for pets. These include:
- CBD oil drops
- CBD pet treats
- CBD topicals
Oil drops can be administered sublingually. You just place a few drops under the pet’s tongue and pray that it holds them there for about one minute. The effects will probably take hold within 15-20 minutes, although certain conditions require more time for CBD to start working. Ideally, your buddy should love the oil’s taste but that rarely happens, especially with full-spectrum products.
If your pet is fussy about taking CBD oil, you can introduce them to CBD with some infused treats. These are almost the same as regular pet biscuits, save for the fact that each treat carries a fixed amount of CBD. This makes the ingestion not only more enjoyable but also easier because there’s no need for measurements. The only downside is the delayed onset of effects. CBD needs to pass through the digestive system before the effects can take hold, which usually takes about 30–90 minutes.
For pets struggling with temporary or chronic localized pain, we recommend CBD topicals. Such products often involve a CBD extract accompanied by some sort of carrier oil (MCT oil or hemp seed oil) and other natural ingredients.
Before you introduce CBD to your pet, make sure to ask your vet about CBD use. Some veterinarians already recognize cannabidiol as a natural tool to alleviate many animal ailments, so chances are your vet will endorse the use and help you figure out the right dosage.
Speaking of which…
How Much CBD Should I Give to My Pet?
A one-size-fits-all CBD dosage doesn’t exist. In fact, dosing CBD to your pet depends on many different factors, such as their body weight, age, severity of condition, the potency of CBD, and whether they have taken any CBD before.
Like with any substance you introduce to your pet, it’s best to start low and go slow. Many companies have come up with their own dosage charts based on prior consultations with veterinarians — you can use it as a good point of reference and follow the guidelines.
But, what if you want to know precisely how much CBD you should give to your four-legged friend?
The range of dosing varies between 0.05 mg per lb to 0.25 mg per lb twice daily.
There are actually three dosage tiers:
- Tier 1: 0.05 mg per lb of body mass (low end)
- Tier 2: 0.125 mg per lb of body mass (middle ground)
- Tier 3: 0.25 mg per lb of body mass (high end)
Most veterinarians advise pet parents to begin with Tier 1 twice daily and observe the results over one week. If necessary, scale up to Tier 2, and then — again, if necessary — go on to Tier 3 twice daily.
However, if CBD has been successful in helping your furry friend, just stick to the dosage. CBD doesn’t cause a tolerance buildup, so if you’ve found the sweet spot, there’s no need for increasing it over time.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of CBD?
Negative reactions to CBD are very uncommon in mammals. CBD is processed in a different way than THC is, making it a much safer compound, especially for smaller pets.
Giving too much CBD oil to your pet may cause a dry mouth effect, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and make your pup feel lightheaded or dizzy.
So… Should I Introduce CBD to My Pet?
Even if your pet isn’t suffering from any specific condition, CBD may serve as an overall health booster. It can boost the immune system of your pet, improve its bone health, and reduce stress in a natural and safe way.
We hope this article has helped you figure out which CBD format and dosage threshold you should use when introducing your pet to CBD. If cannabidiol has helped your furry friend, let us know in the comments below — we’d love to hear your stories!