CBD and dogs - what we know so far...
Pets are living longer today than they have in the past, and with that, comes the onset of health issues such as arthritis and other forms of pain and inflammation.
Many more conventional medicines used to treat pain can have a negative impact on the immune system, liver, kidneys and GI tract. Sometimes they also don’t work as well as we would like them to – for humans as well as pets.
The most well documented use of cannabis in human or veterinary medicine is pain relief, with more and more studies and research trials supporting it's usefulness in this sense. Not only have we seen that extracts of both CBD and THC can provide relief in human patients with many ailments including advanced cancer pain, but more recent studies have shown it can be effective in a similar way for animals. Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine announced the findings of the first-ever pharmacokinetic clinical trial on the effects of cannabinoids for dogs and found that there was a definite pain reduction for dogs with arthritis, with absolutely no negative side effects, when treated with CBD vs Placebo.
One study from 2018 looked to assess anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-pain properties of a CBD oil in dogs with osteoarthritis. Researchers gave dogs doses of 2 or 8 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight. 80% of the dogs in the study showed improvement in their pain and mobility.
In another study, the AKC Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring a study with the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to look at the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. They are hoping that this will be the first study to garner scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this specific condition.
Many people have been using CBD for their pets for years and have seen the benefits first-hand, but studies like this one helps confirm what they have already witnessed whilst forwarding the greater understanding of the use of CBD to the general public.
Choosing the right form of CBD
If you decide that you want to try CBD as a treatment for your dog it's important to note there are more effective ways of use here depending on the bioavailability. Firstly, we wouldn't recommend giving your dog any sort of edibles containing CBD or THC unless they're specifically designed for pets, as mainstream CBD edibles could contain ingredients that may react badly with them.
Studies have shown that CBD oil, given orally, is the most effective way to introduce CBD to your pets diet due to the speed at which it can enter the animals system (its bioavailability). Using oil you can also alter the dose gradually to ensure that it's effects are most noticeable, whereas with capsules or edibles you have no control over dosage other than whatever is specifically in each capsule or sweet. One of the studies we previously mentioned here found that he most effective dose for increasing their dogs activity and comfort was at 2mg per kg of weight of the dog.
Start with a low dose, monitor your pets reaction and then increase the dose slowly if needed!
Sources: Project CBD, Ellevetsciences, AKG - American Kennel Club, Healthline.