We pet owners want our pets to have the best life possible. However, sometimes their physical and mental health issues get in the way. Just like us, our pets, especially when they get older, tend to develop a number of serious conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Anxiety and depression are quite common as well. While most of these health issues aren’t fatal, they affect our pet’s physical and mental well-being, significantly reducing their overall quality of life.
Pet parents often believe they have no other option rather than relying on modern medicine. And, while it helps to an extent, it often causes more issues than it cures. However, today, it’s possible to help our pets live their healthiest life without depending too much on prescription drugs. Now, there are many natural, safe, and effective alternatives, including CBD-infused pet products. Pet owners can now buy organic pet CBD oil, tinctures, and balms in India and help their pets cope with various ailments.
What Exactly is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the 113 cannabinoids (chemical compounds) found in the hemp (cannabis Sativa) plant. It’s the second most prevalent of the active ingredients, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the plant’s extract. While CBD is quite effective on its own, it works well with other secondary cannabinoids such as CBC, CBG, CBN, augmenting their medicinal properties.
It is not a psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it doesn’t produce any intoxicating effects. In fact, according to some researchers, it has antipsychotic properties and moderates the intoxicating effects of THC in full-spectrum hemp extract or oils. Cannabidiol, if taken by itself, has analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic, and neuroprotective properties.
How does CBD work?
CBD works its magic by boosting the endocannabinoid system, which plays a vital role in regulating physiological processes such as mood, appetite, sleepiness, wakefulness, memory, and pain. The endocannabinoid system produces endocannabinoids, or cannabinoid-like molecules, which are neurotransmitters that bind to the cannabinoid receptors in our nervous system. CBD triggers the endocannabinoids, including a natural feel-good endocannabinoid called Anandamide by interacting with the receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Thus, it effectively aids a number of physiological processes within the body.
How Can CBD Be Helpful for Our Pets?
CBD is beneficial for our pets in the same way it’s beneficial for us. Just like us, our pets (and all other mammals) have a built-in endocannabinoid system in their body. So, they are well-equipped to handle cannabinoids. However, as it has no psychoactive properties, our pets can benefit from the medicinal and nutritional properties of this cannabinoid without getting “high”.
Why Should You Choose CBD for Your Furry Friend?
CBD has been trending big time for the last few years. But, it’s not new at all. It has been used for health and wellness purposes for hundreds of years before the advent of modern medicine. However, people shied away from using it because of myths such as “CBD is addictive”, “CBD needs to be smoked” or “ There is no scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of CBD”.
Now, with the myths debunked, growing awareness about nasty ingredients in prescription drugs and the unwanted side effects and complications they cause, have made people gravitate towards alternative medicines. This has contributed to cannabidiol’s growing popularity for both humans and pets.
While equally effective in treating certain issues and conditions, CBD, unlike over-the-counter and prescription counterparts, rarely causes any harmful and potentially permanent side effects. So, it’s not surprising to see why more and more people are using CBD products, both for themselves and their pets.
According to Supermarket News, in the U.S., nearly three-quarters of current CBD consumers are pet owners and nearly one-quarter of pet owners already use CBD products for themselves, their pets, or both. Also, almost 26% of adults with canine companions are using CBD. While half of them only use it for themselves the other half use CBD for their pets.
With CBD gaining popularity in recent years, more and more pet owners are also asking their veterinarians about CBD products. In a recent survey conducted by the VIN News Service, 63 percent of 2,131 veterinarians reported that they get questions regarding CBD oil for pets at least once a month.
Clinical Research on the Effectiveness of CBD on Animals
While major clinical studies on animals are underway, few published studies suggest that CBD is very helpful in managing pain, seizures and alleviating anxiety and depression in dogs and cats. A study done at Cornell University on sixteen dogs with osteoarthritis showed that a dose of CBD oil twice daily. It helped reduce pain, increased mobility activity level in 80 percent of the dogs as measured by two veterinary resources — the canine brief pain inventory and the Hudson activity scale.
Another study done in 2019, checked the efficacy of cannabidiol in addition to regular prescription medicine. They found that a group of epileptic dogs, who were given CBD oil in addition to seizure medication, experienced considerably reduced frequency of seizures than the group of epileptic dogs, who only received seizure medication and a placebo.
Veterinarian’s Take on CBD
A 2018 study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science asked veterinarians about the effectiveness of CBD for dogs based on their own observations and client reports. When it comes to managing anxiety issues, nearly 22 percent of 833 veterinarians said it was “very helpful” while another 65 percent said it was “somewhat helpful,”. According to the same study, 61 percent of 379 veterinarians said CBD was “somewhat effective” in treating storm or firework phobias in pets.
What Are the Different Pet CBD products Available in the Market?
Pets need products that are specially designed for them. Thankfully, there are plenty of products available in the market, ranging from pet CBD oil, extract, spray, and edible soft gels and treats. However, the concentration varies and so does that rate of absorption, and consequently how fast we see visible results. Usually, pet owners use extract or tincture mixed with food rather than applying topically. However, in some cases, topical applications are easier and more effective. The potency of hemp extract in pet CBD oil varies from 500mg to 1000mg. Your pet may accept one and show resistance to the other. If you have multiple options available, It’s best to go with their preference, given the product meets quality standards and has an appropriate concentration of cannabinoids.
According to the Colorado State University study done in 2018, pet CBD oil, given orally, was found to be more effective on epileptic dogs than topical creams or edible capsules. However, further research needs to be done on the efficacy of different cannabidiol products before we can come to any conclusion.
How to Buy Organic Pet CBD Oil, Tinctures, and Balms?
Today, owing to cannabidiol’s growing popularity, many brands are producing pet CBD oil, tincture, and balms. But, there is a lot of variability in product type, formulation, and potency as well as how manufacturers cultivate, extract and process their products. Since CBD isn’t regulated, it’s up to you to gauge the safety and efficacy of the products. You can do it by researching and educating yourself. However, here’re few basic steps to determine if the product you’re buying is of high-quality:
The first step is to look for evidence of third-party verification in the form of a certificate of analysis (COA) on the product’s website. A brand selling CBD products must have COA specifying the exact amount of cannabinoids and other chemical compounds present, including metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic found in the soil the hemp plants grew in. All CBD products, be it for humans or animals, should contain less than 0.3% THC. Also, cannabidiol is most effective in its pure and natural form. Anything else can vastly diminish its effectiveness. So, CBD products ideally shouldn’t contain any additives, preservatives, emulsifiers, or flavors.
The next step is to look for any information regarding extraction methods if you want to make an environmentally conscious purchase. CBD and other cannabinoids are derived from the hemp plant using either ethanol or CO2 extraction. The latter, also known as green extraction, is the most environmentally friendly way. It is also the best method quality-wise as it retains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids.
How and When to Administer CBD?
The 2018 study on dogs with osteoarthritis mentioned above found that the dose, which has been most effective in increasing comfort and activity levels, was 2 mg per kg of body weight. However, it’s important not to consider it as a dosing recommendation.
Manufacturers usually specify the suggested dose on the product packaging. Pet owners can buy pet CBD oil (500mg-1000mg) or tinctures and use it according to your pet’s body weight. However, every animal is unique and they do not respond equally to treatments. So, as with anything new, start with a low dose and then gradually increase it. In the meanwhile, monitor your pets' reactions. If they don’t show any adverse reactions, you can continue using the product. To curb the anxiety caused by certain events such as firework shows or car rides, administer CBD a couple of hours before the event.
Unfortunately, despite having a myriad of nutritional and medicinal properties, cannabidiol remained largely underutilized due to the misinformation and misconceptions floating around for years. However, now, with its safety and effectiveness backed by plenty of anecdotal and scientific evidence, CBD products might be the ideal treatment for the chronic conditions that trouble our four-legged friends.