CBD is becoming increasingly popular for treating pain, anxiety and other ailments in pets such as cats, dogs, horses and even birds.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that most CBD research has been done on animals, there is still little research being done specifically on these animal groups. We have therefore taken a different approach and asked our clients to share their experiences of using Salunabis CBD on their pets. Charlie, a London based author and blogger, who also regularly writes our blogs, shares his personal experience giving Salunabis CBD to his elderly labrador, Dougie. This article focuses on CBD for dogs, but CBD has a similar effect in cats and our other two and four legged friends. In fact, CBD for cats, is popular for managing their anxiety.
My Labrador has been diagnosed with arthritis in his shoulders. It wasn’t a surprise – he was struggling to take his bodyweight on his front legs, and I could see the effort it took to haul himself out of bed. He takes Yumove pills for his joints, but I’m always on the lookout for something that could make him more comfortable.
I have been taking CBD for joint pain since September and it has worked miracles. Dougie and I have looked quite the pair, hobbling around the house, and I began to wonder if he could share in the relief as well. As expected, there was plenty of information floating around the internet regarding CBD for pets, and it was difficult to decipher the evidence from the anecdotes.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis plant, meaning it doesn’t contain THC which causes the “high” effect, and more importantly, is toxic to animals. For many years, medicative products have been tested on animals before being sold to humans. At last, we have begun to return the favour!
Whilst validated research is finite, I quickly discovered that Dougie, like all animals, has an Endocannabinoid system too. Our Endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors that bind with the cannabinoids in our central and peripheral nervous systems.
These receptors are divided into CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors directly communicate with the brain. They regulate anxiety, sleep, memory, appetite, pain – the list goes on.
CB2 receptors deal with the rest of the body. They tend to ailments like inflammations, skin conditions, and immune function.
CBD is internationally acclaimed for its ability to treat pain in humans. But in 2018, a trial was conducted to assess the extent of CBD’s anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties on dogs with osteoarthritis.
The scientists recorded 80% of the dogs as having experienced decreased discomfort and increased mobility as measured by two veterinary resources called the “canine brief pain inventory” and the “Hudson activity scale”.
I should add that this trial was conducted by a CBD producer so the results could be biased. However, since Dougie began taking CBD with me, he hasn’t yelped once.
As well as easing physical pain, CBD for pets has proven to reduce neuropathic pain, especially through reducing seizures. A study published in 2019, noted that epileptic dogs experienced far fewer seizures when their typical medication was supplemented with CBD, versus other dogs that continued to receive their medication with a placebo.
Both samples of dogs did in fact show signs of improvement, so additional testing has been promised by the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. That said, you only have to go online to hear of numerous cases of dog owners praising CBD’s effect on their canine’s mental wellbeing.
Fear-related anxieties (such as fireworks) are often triggered by loud noises or visual stimulations, but they also occur around strangers or strange environments, even a ride in the car. Your dog might also struggle with separation anxiety. In any case, the symptoms are clear: restlessness, excessive barking, destructive behaviour, and defecating in the house (to name a few).
A 2018 study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science reported nearly 22% of the 833 vets who were questioned said that CBD was “very helpful” in managing [anxiety]. A further 65% said it was “somewhat helpful.”
As it stands, the FDA hasn’t approved any CBD products for use on animals; either medicines or edibles. However, California is leading the research and will soon secure the rights for qualified vets to recommend CBD for dogs as a form of treatment.
In the EU, CBD is legal in most countries. Though it is important to be knowledgeable of each country’s specific laws and regulations with regards to THC concentration. It shouldn’t exceed 0.2%, especially if supplied for animals due to its aforementioned toxicity.
It is imperative that the owner checks the necessary CBD dosage for their pet.
CBD as an oil or tincture is most effective as you can adjust the dose drop by drop, whether by applying it via the mouth or on their food.
The first time I gave Dougie CBD, he received three drops of 5% and promptly fell asleep. He’s a big dog (~40kg) and now receives 1 drop 3 times a day which works well. Due to the lack of research and every dog’s unique reaction, it is best to start at the lowest dosage (1 drop per day) and work up accordingly. If the dog becomes drowsy, reduce the dose.
What to look for when purchasing CBD for pets
Always look for "Broad Spectrum" oils as that contains 0% THC.
Be certain that the CBD is free from pesticides, fungicides, and solvents.
Salunabis CBD for pets is naturally organic and free from additives, artificial flavours, preservatives and toxins. Dougie’s arthritis won’t regress, but I can confirm he’s not in pain anymore, and as a dog owner, that’s all one can hope for.