CBD Gummies For Dogs Arthritis

Have you been wondering about using CBD for dogs with arthritis? While research is still limited in this area, there are promising signs. CBD oil for senior and disabled pets may improve arthritis and overall pet health. CBD helps with pain management and improves mobility.

CBD for dogs with arthritis: What does the science actually say?

Have you been wondering about using CBD for dogs with arthritis?

There’s a lot of buzz around using CBD as a treatment for arthritis in dogs. However, it’s important to separate the rumors from real science and anecdotal owner experiences.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common claims surrounding CBD for canine arthritis, and whether there’s evidence to back them up.

First, what exactly is CBD?

CBD is the non-psychoactive extract of the cannabis plant. Once extracted, CBD is often infused into oils, balms, or treats to help deliver the extract to the body.

CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is one of many cannabis compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds are known to have soothing and therapeutic effects. In fact, a majority of CBD products actually contain several cannabinoids, with CBD being the primary ingredient. Other popular cannabinoids include CBC, CBG, and CBN.

CLAIM: CBD can make dogs high – No

In the pet industry, all CBD is extracted from hemp plants, not marijuana. This helps guarantee that CBD products for dogs cannot cause a high. To remain federally legal, the hemp plants themselves must contain less than 0.3% THC, which is the cannabinoid primarily responsible for creating a psychoactive effect when inhaled or eaten.

CLAIM: CBD for dogs is illegal – No

Since amendments to the Federal Farm Bill in 2018, hemp containing less than 0.3% THC (otherwise known as Industrial Hemp), can be legally grown, sold, and possessed. This allows both humans and dogs to safely experience the benefits of hemp-made CBD products.

At a state level, there are a few specific additions or alterations to CBD laws. For example, in Idaho, CBD products must contain 0% THC and not 0.3%. Ask your veterinarian about specific laws in your state that they might be aware of.

CLAIM: CBD can oil cure canine arthritis – NO

First, it’s important to note that there is no cure for arthritis – there are just different treatment options to help manage pain and inflammation and keep dogs active.

The increased popularity of pet CBD has led to an influx of rave reviews and social media posts from owners who have tried CBD with their dogs. Among these, perhaps the most common observation is that taking CBD has helped their pup to improve their mobility and reduce joint pain.

While these reports are highly encouraging, it’s important to remember that they usually describe CBD’s effects on symptoms, not arthritis itself. Some studies have reported beneficial effects lasting for a short while after CBD treatment is stopped (see below).

If you are considering using CBD for your dog, please tell your veterinarian and always inform them about how much and how often your dog takes it, along with all other medications or supplements your dog takes.

CLAIM: CBD is anti-inflammatory – There is some evidence to suggest there are anti-inflammatory benefits.

Indications are that CBD does have an anti-inflammatory effect on many dogs. It’s able to do this by interacting with receptors (called CB1 and CB2 receptors) in a part of dogs’ bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is found in almost all mammals, including humans. Scientists believe the ECS is responsible for maintaining balance inside the body, releasing hormones, and stimulating responses to modulate how organs respond to external stimuli. The ECS is known to modulate pain signals and the activation of inflammation.

Through the CB receptors, CBD affects how the ECS activates pain and inflammatory responses, helping dogs to experience reduced pain and swelling.

CLAIM: CBD can help alleviate common symptoms of canine arthritis – Yes, for some pets

Because the major types of canine arthritis are inflammatory conditions, CBD might be able to help reduce associated pain, swelling, and mobility issues in many dogs.

While studies on CBD’s ability to treat symptoms of arthritis in animals are very limited – and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is advocating for more well-controlled clinical research and for manufacturers to seek approval from the FDA to assure safety and quality – there are some encouraging signs.

For example, in 2018, a study by Cornell University tested CBD’s effects on dogs with osteoarthritis and found it clearly improved levels of comfort and mobility when compared to a placebo.

In 2020, a similar study found that CBD was associated with reduced joint pain and quality of life in dogs, while a veterinary study published in the journal Pain also found CBD decreases canine pain while increasing mobility.

The bottom line

With so many dogs developing mobility issues, joint pain, and arthritic conditions as they age, the demand for treatments is growing. Managing canine arthritis is best accomplished by taking a multi-pronged approach that includes:

  • Regular pain management, including NSAIDs
  • Regular, low-impact exercise like walking or underwater treadmill use
  • Maintaining an ideal weight and body condition
  • Supplements that include anti-inflammatory properties such as CBD can be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan but they are not intended to be the only or even primary approach to managing arthritis.
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While research into CBD benefits in animals is relatively limited, there is starting to be evidence that CBD products can provide arthritis relief by reducing inflammation and pain in dogs with joint issues, resulting in increased mobility.

When considering CBD for their dog, owners should look for pet-specific products made from Industrial Hemp. Always talk to your veterinary team whenever starting any new treatment, supplement, or medication with your dog.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis and Other Mobility Issues

The fastest growing health trend for both humans and pets in 2021 is CBD oil. Perhaps you have seen it on the shelves of your local pet boutique or even at your vet’s office.

If you have a mobility impaired or senior dog struggling with conditions such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, you may be wondering if this is just another passing fad, or if there is any science to support its use. Of course, you want to do all you can for your pet. But you also don’t want to waste your money or risk your beloved pet’s health.

It turns out that CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol or hemp oil, has been extensively researched. This article will give you a basic primer on what CBD oil is, how it works, and what sorts of health benefits it may offer your dog with joint pain, arthritis, chronic inflammation, and other mobility issues.

Our hope is that if your dog has arthritis, hip dysplasia, or another condition that includes chronic pain and inflammation, that you will learn more about how CBD may be a good choice for your canine companion.

All CBD products are not the same. For example, full spectrum CBD oil may offer your dog more relief. If you decide to work with your vet to give it a try, we hope this article will also help you find the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis and mobility issues.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is derived from a special strain of cannabis known as hemp. You may be thinking: “Wait. I thought marijuana was toxic to dogs.” You are right to have this concern. Strains of cannabis grown for recreational and medical use in humans usually contain high amounts of THC, a psychoactive compound that is toxic to dogs in large doses.

However, hemp is special. This strain of cannabis is regulated by law to contain less than 0.3% of THC, far too small an amount to harm your pet when hemp oil is properly dosed.

Hemp is high in another cannabinoid found in hemp: Cannabidiol. This compound is not psychoactive and it won’t get your dog high. But it does have several scientifically researched health benefits. This article will explore those most relevant for our senior and disabled canine companions, including those struggling with osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and other conditions that can reduce mobility. Wondering if dog CBD is right for your pooch? Read on.

The Endocannabinoid System

The use of cannabis for its medicinal qualities goes back centuries. However, the scientific exploration of the healing qualities is much more recent. The last few decades in particular have been marked by a surge in laboratory studies on tissues, animals, and humans.

One of the biggest breakthroughs was the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the early 1990’s. It turns out that this system acts with a series of receptors, transmitters, and specialized enzymes to regulate several bodily functions including: metabolism, immunity, digestion, skin health, allergic reaction, anxiety, and more.

Many people think that it sounds like a scam when they see that CBD oil may have so many health benefits, however, it is precisely because the Endocannabinoid System regulates so many other functions in the body that it can have a broad stabilizing effect on these same systems.

Your dog, like all mammals, has her own endocannabinoid system (ECS). In addition to producing her own endocannabinoids, her ECS responds to the introduction of cannabinoids such those found in hemp oil. These can be introduced via food, supplements, and applied topically.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

High quality CBD oil may play an important role in a vet approved plan for your dog’s health. CBD may be especially useful in canines who suffer from mobility issues, persistent pain and inflammation, or chronic conditions that often come with age such as arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the science:

Pain Management

For many disabled and senior dogs, pain management is a key component of treatment to maintain quality of life. Pain can be caused from injury, surgery, and chronic and progressive disease such as IVDD, hip dysplasia, and arthritis. Reducing pain is important for your special needs dog’s quality of life.

Generally, pain management will include prescription medications such as opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Although these medications are very effective, they also come with serious side effects. Side effects include chemical dependence, long term liver damage, and the potential for a lethal overdose. On the other hand, the natural supplement cannabidiol has demonstrated in multiple studies to be effective in reducing pain with minimal side effects.

Decrease Inflammation

Inflammation is a significant source of pain for many of our handicapped and older dogs suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Typically, these conditions are treated aggressively with NSAIDs.

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Unfortunately, this class of drugs has come under recent controversy concerning the safety of their use, particularly for aging dogs and those experiencing organ dysfunction. This is particularly a concern for long term pain management. Long term NSAID use can have serious side effects on the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidneys. In fact, renal failure and death are possible risks of the long term use of this class of drugs. When choosing a treatment regimen for your pet, you and your veterinarian must always balance the risks and benefits of any medication to determine the best course of action for your pet.

Adding CBD to your pet’s treatment plan may be beneficial with minimal risk to your pet. Several studies have shown that cannabidiol has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, both when taken orally or when applied to the skin. One study showed CBD to be effective against inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, that it slowed the progression of this degenerative disease by preventing the nerve damage caused by inflammation! And, with fewer and less severe known side effects than many approved NSAID drugs commonly prescribed to senior pets.

Reduce the Use of Pain Medications with CBD Oil

CBD oil is thought to enhance the activity of opioids and NSAIDS, making it possible to reduce the dose of these drugs without compromising on pain control.

This is great news for dog owners looking to avoid complications from long term use of these drug classes. It certainly warrants a conversation with your veterinarian!

Improve Mobility

As our dogs age, they begin to show less interest in activities they once enjoyed. Daily walks, a swim in the pond – may become too much for a dog in pain to handle. It is heartbreaking to watch the process unfold and we all want to prolong our pet’s mobility as long as we can.

Because it can address both pain and inflammation, CBD oil may help to improve your aging dog’s mobility. One study on dogs showed that 2 mg of CBD administered twice daily improved mobility for dogs affected with osteoarthritis.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, especially seniors and large breeds. Symptoms of arthritis in dogs can include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased mobility
  • Difficulty jumping or using stairs
  • Lameness
  • Reluctance to engage in activities
  • Irritability or aggression

Arthritis pain can sadly have a significant impact on the quality of life of many senior dogs. CBD oil for arthritis is a relatively new treatment that has shown some benefit for dogs with arthritis pain.

Is there any veterinary research on CBD oil for dogs with arthritis? Great question!

Veterinary medicine tends to follow trends in human medicine, often lagging by years from testing to approval of veterinary drugs. The FDA has not approved a veterinary drug to treat arthritis based on CBD or hemp based compounds.

However, that is not to say that there is no research to support the use of CBD for arthritis. There are several promising studies that demonstrate that cannabidiol is effective at reducing inflammation in rat models of arthritis. One study showed that CBD was effective at reducing inflammation and slowed the progression of degeneration in rats.

Medical Research

Medical researchers are investigating how some cannabinoid receptors, such as the GPR55 receptor, may be directly implicated in the progression of joint problems in arthritis. One study showed that CBD interacts with this receptor in a way that seems to slow down the progression.

Although there is less research to be found specifically on CBD and dogs with arthritis, a study conducted by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 showed that 2 mg of CBD administered twice daily to dogs with arthritis resulted in decreased pain and increased activity levels. The dogs in the study also had no reported side effects from the treatment.

The Arthritis Foundation released a report giving some guidelines on the safe use of CBD for people suffering from arthritis. They note that: “Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies in humans.

Although large clinical trials have not yet taken place, it is also fair to say that early research on the use of natural CBD for dogs with arthritis is promising. For dogs with arthritis, CBD may be another treatment option in addition to traditional arthritis medications and supplements.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another common joint issue that begins during puppyhood. And, like arthritis, hip dysplasia is a condition that involves joint pain and inflammation.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that occurs due to uneven growth of the hip joints. This results in arthritis of the hips, often at a young age. Just like dogs with arthritis, dogs with hip dysplasia experience joint pain, loss of mobility, and chronic inflammation. Other symptoms of hip dysplasia are also similar to those in dogs with arthritis, including:

  • Reluctance to rise from sitting or laying down
  • Difficulty with jumping or using stairs
  • Lameness in the hind legs
  • Decreased range of motion in the hips
  • Loss of muscle mass in the rear limbs
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We know that CBD products can help with pain and inflammation. Many vets and pet owners are using CBD oil for dogs to help alleviate symptoms of hip dysplasia. This is giving our pets a better quality of life with less discomfort and more mobility.

Talk to Your Veterinarian About CBD Oil

Canine CBD oil is available ‘over the counter’, but always talk to your vet before adding a medication or supplement. This is especially important since CBD oil can interfere with the metabolism of other drugs your canine may need for proper treatment.

You may have been told, or heard not to eat grapefruit at the same time you take medications. The chemicals in grapefruit can temporarily inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver which are critical for metabolizing these medications. Cannabidiol can have a similar inhibiting mechanism so timing your dosing may be very important.

Some dogs experience mild side effects from the use of CBD oil products. These may include symptoms such as mild sedation, seeming drowsy or “out of it”, vomiting, or diarrhea when first starting the product. If these side effects occur, or if you have any other questions or concerns about CBD oil for dogs, stop giving the product and contact your veterinarian for further advice.

If you do decide to give your dog CBD oil for arthritis or mobility issues, make sure you show the product you’ve chosen to your veterinarian first. Your vet will want to make sure the product is third-party lab tested, contains an appropriate dose of CBD, and is THC-free. Some CBD pet products do not meet these safety and clinical efficacy standards. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations to help you choose the best CBD products, or check out our guidelines below.

Best CBD for Dogs with Arthritis

If you want the best CBD oil for dogs for arthritis, be sure that you know what to look for.

Unfortunately, thanks to all the recent science on this supplement, demand is high and supply is still trying to catch up. This makes the market ripe for fake and low-quality products, a situation the FDA has warned pet owners about.

To choose the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, be sure to buy a safe product from a trusted company that makes high-quality CBD oil for dogs specifically, such as LolaHemp. If you decide to do your own research on a brand to try, be sure it checks off all of these important quality considerations:

Quality Considerations when selecting a CBD Oil

Made just for dogs: Avoid CBD oil products made for people which can include flavorings and other ingredients that can be harmful to canines. Dog owners should also be aware that many CBD oils made for people can also contain high levels of THC, which can be fatal to pets. The best CBD oil will be one made specifically for dogs.

Organic sourcing: Refined hemp oil can contain harmful pesticides and herbicides routinely used in industrial hemp farming. Pet owners should look for full-spectrum CBD oil products made from organically sourced hemp, such as LolaHemp products.

Third-Party Lab Tested: You should verify the quality and concentration of any hemp oil before you buy. Look for a product that has recently been third-party lab tested to be sure you are getting a high-quality CBD product tested for purity and concentration. The label should specify the mg of CBD and the product should be THC-free.

Full Spectrum: Full-spectrum CBD oil is the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, and it is considered superior to CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil – sometimes referred to as broad-spectrum CBD oil – contains all of the vital compounds found in the whole hemp plant. Even in trace amounts, these compounds improve the overall healing qualities of hemp, known as the “Entourage Effect.”

MCT Coconut Oil: Widely believed to boost the ability to metabolize CBD oils, an MCT coconut oil carrier oil is a sign of high quality. Look for a broad-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD oil with an MCT carrier made specifically for dogs to ensure you’re getting a quality product.

Commitment to Animal Welfare

Put your money where your heart is. Support companies that make animal welfare a priority through service and donations to rescue pets in need. The best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis also helps other pets, too!

Guest Author:
Dr. Elizabeth Racine, DVM

Elizabeth Racine, DVM is a small animal veterinarian with a passion for improving the lives of pets. She has worked in the veterinary field in various roles for more than a decade. Dr. Racine’s professional interests in behavior, nutrition, and palliative care. As a writer, her work has been featured by several world-renowned pet health and wellness brands. Dr. Racine shares her home with her dog Dasher – a beagle with his own storied career training new veterinary students – and her trouble-making orange cat named Julius.

Guest Author:
Joey DiFrancesco

Joey DiFrancesco is an animal lover, rescue advocate and entrepreneur. He is the founder of natural pet products brand Lolahemp, as well as online pet novelty shop, Lolawawa’s. Both brands are heavily active within the rescue community and contribute a portion of proceeds to animal rescue efforts.