Using CBD Oil to Treat Pets
With medical marijuana now approved for use in Maryland, there is an increasing interest in the use of CBD oil for dogs. It is important to note that there is limited research on the use of cannabis or hemp oil products in canines, although some vets and dog owners are using the oil to treat specific conditions in pets.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a naturally occurring product found in hemp plants as well as in marijuana. While the two are different, most of the CBD oil used in the treatment of health conditions such as seizures and cancers in dogs is derived from hemp, as there are fewer restrictions on the sale of these products.
The extraction of the oil is completed through various methods. It is most commonly extracted using a combination of ethanol and alcohol to remove the essential oils from the plant that contain the cannabidiol, which is the medical component of the flowers of the plant. It can also be extracted using a carbon dioxide process, which removes the essential oils that offer the medical benefits.
There are more than eighty different types of cannabinoids in marijuana, and they are combined in specific ratios in different types of CBD oils. It is important to understand that CBD oil does not contain a large amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the substance that creates the “high” experience when using marijuana.
With low amounts of THC found in the CBD oil produced for use in pets, there is no risk of the dog experiencing any psychoactive effects with correct use. However, the dosage has to be carefully formulated for the dog based on the size of the dog as well as the type of CBD oil.
The Action of CBD Oil
The cannabinoids in the oil are absorbed by the body and act on specific receptors. These receptors regulate pain and specific body functions and hormonal levels, helping to relieve pain, reduce anxiety and to provide relief from cancers, digestive issues and chronic conditions such as arthritis.
There are few side effects with CBD oil when correctly dosed and provided to the dog as recommended. Unlike other types of pain medication or sedatives used for anxiety in dogs, there are very few issues owners have to watch for or be concerned about. It is possible for a dog to overdose on CBD oil, which can be potentially fatal if the dog consumes a large amount of oil or eats marijuana.
Cautions for Dog Owners
The use of CBD oil in dogs currently has limited research, with much of the current information in anecdotal form. In addition, not all CBD oils available through online sites are the same in quality, with many having limited CBD when tested. This is particularly true with the online hemp products on the market, which often have limited information about the specific type of cannabinoids and the various other ingredients found in the products.
Before considering the use of CBD oil for your dog, talk to your vet. CBD oil is not a cure for all conditions, and it should never be used without a diagnosis of the health issue.