Is CBD Safe for Pets?

Is CBD Safe for Pets
Is CBD Safe for Pets

Just like for human use, nowadays, it’s no secret that CBD products are becoming more and more popular for pet use as well. And when we speak of pets, it’s important to note that we primarily think of cats and dogs, of course. 

CBD is now used to treat anxiety in pets and as a pain reliever for multiple pet conditions. A broad spectrum of high-quality CBD products has begun to appear in pet retail stores. It seems like people are eager to try any product that might benefit their four-legged companion’s health and well being. 

Nevertheless, before you get on the CBD bandwagon for pets, keep in mind that not all CBD products are perfectly safe for pets, and you need to spend some time reading and researching before you head down to the nearest pet shop and get a CBD-infused product for your loved one.

To start things off, you should know that CBD use has been pronounced legal in the UK since 2018. However, despite this, recent views on CBD for pets are mixed. Therefore, it’s critical to understand what CBD products for pets are and what scientific research has revealed to make the best selection possible for your pet.

So, without further ado, here’s everything you should know about whether CBD is safe for your pet and how to use it if you ever need it.

What Exactly Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabinoid, is one of about 100 chemical components in the cannabis plant known as “cannabinoids.” CBD has been proven to have some physiologic effects on humans, although it is widely regarded as non-psychoactive. Supporters claim it can assist with everything from sleep and anxiety symptoms to more complex health issues, including epilepsy, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. It is also thought to be beneficial in treating nausea and discomfort.

CBD vs. THC: What’s the Difference?

On the other hand, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the principal psychoactive chemical found in cannabis plants. THC and CBD are the two most common cannabinoids, and their molecular structures are very similar. It’s crucial to note, however, that the cannabis plant can be divided into two types: hemp and marijuana. Although both plants contain CBD, marijuana has a high THC content, whereas hemp has little to none.

What’s Safe for Pets?

While CBD is widely thought to be safe for pets, the truth is more like a grey area. Like other herbal supplements, CBD pet supplements are mainly unregulated and not approved as medical therapy. Meanwhile, the AVMA claims that CBD products “appear to offer therapeutic potential” in treating pain and illnesses like epilepsy and osteoarthritis in pets, but cautions that scientific evidence is still inadequate.

Photo by R+R Medicinals from Unsplash

Additionally, anyone considering providing CBD to their pet should be aware that THC is harmful to animals. As a result, all CBD pet supplements and treats should include as little THC as possible (ideally 0%). However, due to a lack of regulation, it’s challenging to determine precisely how much THC or CBD is in any given product.

For that reason, if you ever find yourself in the position to shop for a CBD product for your pet, you should always buy only from reliable suppliers and companies that are widely known for the quality of their products and third-party tests.

Scientific Studies On CBD Use In Pets

In multiple studies, CBD has been demonstrated to lessen nervous behaviours in mice and people, but what about cats or dogs? Though anxiety is the most prevalent reason for providing CBD to dogs and cats, this is primarily based on anecdotal data.

According to a study released in September 2020, CBD may have a negligible effect on decreasing a dog’s nervous demeanour, according to a study released in September 2020. The controlled examination, led by professionals from the Lincoln Memorial University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Kentucky, looked at a group of dogs  and their responses to firework noises before and after they were administered CBD. While the CBD-treated group had lower stress-hormone levels than the control group, there was a minimal behavioural difference when the firework noises were introduced.

Photo by R+R Medicinals from Unsplash

Nonetheless, people with dogs or cats should be aware that their pets may react to CBD differently. For example, while there were few behavioural changes and the CBD-laced snacks were considered safe for both groups, some cats had adverse reactions such as vomiting and shaking of the head. Ultimately, more research is needed to establish the precise effects of CBD.

How to Practice Safety With CBD Pet Products

Regarding CBD pet treats, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it is up to you and your veterinarian to decide whether or not to provide CBD to your pet. While veterinarians cannot prescribe CBD, discussing any CBD products you are considering with your pet’s veterinarian is a good idea to confirm the contents are safe.

Photo by Karlo Tottoc from Unsplash

It’s important to remember that perspectives on CBD vary widely, even among veterinarians. As a precaution, you may want to obtain a second opinion. As a reminder, always check with your local government to see if any CBD oils, pet tinctures, or CBD treats are restricted in your area. If you decide to give your pet CBD, always start with the lowest advised dosage and monitor your pet’s reaction over the next few hours.

Final Thoughts

A lot of pet parents administer CBD to their pets to reduce anxiety in pets. However, while pet CBD may assist by declining stress hormones, research has yet to prove that it will help your pet feel relaxed or lessen nervous behaviour. It’s also worth recalling that determining the precise quantity of CBD or THC in any oil, oral tablet, or other CBD pet product can be difficult, if not impossible.

The good news is that today’s pet owners have a variety of pet anxiety therapies to choose from. But, ultimately, it’s best to contact a professional veterinarian before giving your pet CBD products and only buy from renowned CBD companies that stand 100% behind their product and its effects.

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