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Is cbd oil good for pain in dogs

CBD for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

In certain states, medical marijuana is an option for people seeking relief from ailments like seizures, pain, anxiety, and cancer.

Pet parents and veterinarians alike are naturally wondering whether cbd for dogs, in the form of products such as cbd oil for dogs or cbd dog treats, can provide the same benefits.

Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for dogs.

THC vs. CBD for Dogs

CBD is one of over 80 different chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” that have been derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), perhaps the most famous cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive.

Instead, CBD shares important metabolic pathways with a class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and Rimadyl. These pathways control many processes in the body, from inflammatory responses to blood clotting.

Do not give dogs straight marijuana or any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. There is simply not enough research to justify the use.

CBD-based products, however, may help improve your dog’s quality of life when used in conjunction with other therapies.

Why Use CBD for Dogs?

CBD is often mentioned as a useful therapy for a variety of conditions, including pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer. Although the use of CBD in treating each of these conditions is under-researched, there are varying levels of scientific evidence for each scenario.

Arthritis

Because CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs, it makes sense that it would help with certain inflammatory conditions (anything that ends with -itis is an inflammatory condition).

Osteoarthritis, often abbreviated as arthritis, is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs.

One in four dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime, and by some estimates, as many as 60% of dogs exhibit some degree of the disease.

Research has shown that CBD can provide substantial pain relief in dogs with arthritis when given twice daily at appropriate doses.

In theory, the anti-inflammatory benefit seen in arthritic dogs could also be seen in dogs with other types of inflammatory pain, especially back pain from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

Preliminary studies in people have shown that combo products containing both CBD and THC are more beneficial for pain relief than when either drug is given alone. But no such research has been done on dogs, so THC should not be given to them.

Seizures

Seizures are probably the most-studied application of CBD in people, but limited research exists for pets. In dogs, seizures can be caused by a vast number of underlying conditions.

With regards to idiopathic epilepsy specifically, there is some research that suggests that CBD could be useful in reducing seizure frequency in these dogs. However, these benefits are only seen with dogs that are given traditional anti-seizure medications at the same time.

Cancer

Like seizures, the term “cancer” is an umbrella term that refers to an extremely diverse set of specific diseases, each with their own set of beneficial treatments.

In people, CBD has been studied for possible use in cancer patients, both to treat the tumor(s) directly, as well as to treat the secondary symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Very limited research has been done on the use of CBD for dogs with cancer.

However, the anti-nausea effects of CBD seen in people who undergo chemotherapy have also been documented in rats and ferrets, suggesting that dogs receiving chemotherapy may benefit from CBD treatment.

Anxiety

Perhaps the biggest misconception is that CBD is useful in managing a dog’s anxiety. In theory, it is possible that CBD, by reducing pain and inflammation, could indirectly reduce anxiety caused by pain or inflammation.

But because CBD is not psychoactive, it is unlikely that CBD has the ability to directly treat canine anxiety in the way that Prozac and other medications do. The use of CBD for anxiety in dogs, as with most conditions, requires substantially more research.

Potential Risks of CBD for Dogs

Overall, CBD itself seems to be incredibly safe in dogs and cats. However, numerous scientific papers have found that when given at the recommended doses, CBD does cause an elevation in an important liver value on bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase (ALP).

We are not yet sure whether the elevation of this liver value has any medical significance. It could signify that CBD causes irritation or damage to the liver. Alternatively, it could be an artificial finding in which the drug interferes with the way the lab measures the liver value.

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Anecdotal reports do exist of dogs becoming somewhat sleepy or sedate if they receive extremely large doses of CBD, but those effects appear to resolve on their own with time.

CBD doesn’t appear to have any drug interactions when it’s given to a dog that’s on an anti-inflammatory drug like Rimadyl.

Because there is a theoretical risk of drug interaction, as with any medication, you should consult your veterinarian first before treating your dog with CBD.

THC Dangers for Dogs

Unlike CBD, THC ingestion can cause serious problems for your pet.

“The most significant [issue] is THC toxicity, meaning, essentially, they are high,” says Dr. Gary Richter, owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California. “Depending on how significantly a pet has been overdosed, the effects of that can be quite long-lasting, even days.”

During these episodes, a pet may not be able to stand or eat. If you suspect THC toxicity, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Secondary effects of THC, especially respiratory depression, should be monitored closely to avoid complications.

Overall, life-threatening risks for dogs from cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Dr. Richter says. There is no documented lethal dose for THC in dogs. In fact, a dose of THC 1,000 times greater than the dose needed for a dog to feel “high” is still not lethal.

THC toxicity more often occurs when a pet has eaten a product that also contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins. “Even if the THC toxicity is not excessive, they can sometimes have problems due to these other ingredients,” says Dr. Richter.

How Much CBD Can You Give Dogs?

Though there are some topical treatments, CBD oil is typically administered orally to dogs, and giving the correct dosage is imperative. “As is the case with any medication, success has everything to do with dosing,” Dr. Richter says.

Studies on using CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures generally use a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, with most papers erring on the lower side of that estimate (roughly 1-2 milligrams per pound of body weight), twice daily.

This dosage has been found to be both safe and somewhat effective for just the conditions studied (arthritis and seizures). Additional research is needed to evaluate the necessary dosages for CBD in treating other conditions.

One complication in attempting to properly dose dogs with CBD is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that many CBD products actually contain little, if any, CBD.

The only FDA-approved cannabinoid product, Epidiolex, could theoretically be prescribed by a veterinarian for epilepsy in dogs, although this would likely be cost-prohibitive. Because it is FDA-approved, though, the CBD content of this product would be accurate, unlike most other CBD products on the market.

Can Veterinarians Prescribe CBD for Dogs?

U.S. veterinarians are forbidden from prescribing/dispensing CBD, and cannot encourage or instruct clients to purchase CBD products.

However, they are free to talk to you about the potential risks and benefits of a treatment plan you may have devised on your own. If you are considering giving CBD to your dog, speak to your vet, and you may want to also speak with a veterinarian who has experience with CBD.

CBD for Pain in Dogs: A Complete Guide

In the last 2 years, the popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) has exploded in popularity for dog owners seeking to manage pain & anxiety. CBD is often touted by some as a miracle drug, capable of curing nearly any ailment. The truth, however, is much more nuanced and while the industry is plagued by unrealistic promises for using CBD, actual research backed science is emerging that shows great promise for this hemp based compound.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll introduce you to canine pain management using CBD. We’ll cover topics on the safety and legality of CBD, what scientific studies have shown, the success rates of using CBD on dogs, and choosing a quality product. We’ll conclude with a list of resources where you can learn more about CBD.

How CBD Works In Your Dog’s Body to Modulate Pain

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an interconnected chain of receptors found in your dog’s brain, their nervous system, glands, and organs. Scientists don’t fully understand the ECS yet (it was only first discovered in 1992) but its believed to help maintain balance within the body.

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All mammals—humans, dogs, and cats included—rely the ECS system to regulate immune response. CBD oil interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in your dog’s body and acts as a natural neuroprotective agent with multiple health benefits. The cannabinoids in the oil open up two-way communication between endocannabinoid receptors to allow the body to either increase or decrease the immune response as needed. CBD oil is the natural way of regulating the system to maintain the perfect balance.

The reason CBD seems to help modulate pain is that many dog’s bodies are deficient in cannabinoids. Supplementing with CBD increasing cannabinoids in the body and restores balance to the ECS system.

RELATED: 10 Myths Regarding CBD Oil and Dogs

Is It Safe To Use CBD to Manage Pain for Dogs?

In 2016, Colorado State University completed a pharmacokinetic and safety study of CBD on healthy dogs. This was the first clinical trial to demonstrate that the cannabidiol compound was absorbed by the dogs and measurable in the blood. The study suggests that CBD usage in dogs is safe enough to warrant more studies. Source

For the study, 30 healthy dogs were given 2 different dosages CBD in 3 different methods of delivery: capsules, an oil tincture, and a cream applied on the skin. The results showed that CBD given orally as a tincture was best absorbed and bioavailable to the body. (This is why we recommend buying CBD in a tincture as your first choice).

What Scientific Studies or Clinical Trials Have Been Done on CBD for Pain Management for Dogs?

In addition to the safety and absorption study mentioned above, 3 clinical trials have recently concluded with promising results. It’s important to note that the we’re still in the early stages of understanding how CBD interacts with the body, and much more research needs to be done:

1. Cornell University: Osteoarthritis Pain Reduction in Dogs: Cornell University researchers found CBD increased comfort and the activity of dogs suffering from arthritis, according to a study published in July of 2018. This clinical study suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD given twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis. Source

2. Liberty Leaf: CBD Research Study on Canine Pain Management: In August of 2018, results from a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial demonstrated that dogs with diagnosed osteoarthritis receiving a daily dose of only 0.3 mg per kg of a CBD-infused oil formulation for 4 weeks showed reduced pain and improved functional performance.

3. Colorado State University: Reduction in Seizures for Dogs with Epilepsy: For 24 weeks, dogs that experience at least two seizures a month received either CBD oil treatment or a placebo. Preliminary results released in July of 2018 showed that a 89% of the dogs studied showed a drop in regular seizures.

How Successful is CBD At Managing Canine Pain?

iHeartDogs commissioned a survey that was completed by 455 people who gave CBD to to their dogs. The following data represents the responses of dog owners who gave CBD for pain management:

Survey Question: How effective do you feel the product was for your dog’s condition?

You can view the full survey results here.

How to Choose a Quality CBD from Hemp Product for Your Dog

Choosing a high quality CBD product can be confusing since the market is currently exploding and your options appear endless. Unfortunately, many brands do not perform 3rd party batch testing on their products to ensure the efficacy and purity.

We’ve put together a buying guide for CBD, containing 8 things to watch out for before making a purchase. You can receive the CBD Oil Buying Guide by by requesting it below:

What Real Dog Owners Say After Using CBD for Their Dog’s Pain

We asked members the iHeartSeniorDogs Facebook community for their experience with using CBD to alleviate their dog’s pain:

Cannanine CBD is currently the only CBD oil approved and recommended by iHeartDogs.com

CBD has done wonders for our 11 year old Roti. You have to be very careful not to give them too much THC so choose your CBD carefully – Ken Tress

A lifesaver! I truly believe I would’ve already had to put her to sleep if not for it. – Suzanne Stanfield

The best thing I have ever done for my 200 pound Old English Mastiff was CBD oil she is 7 and we rescued her at 3 yrs old she was kept in a crate for 22 hours a day so she has terrible arthritis… so I medicate her 2 times a week and she runs and plays with my 2 puppers!! – Janell Michelle Cody

It’s been two weeks for our 13 year old pug and his hips are shot. His energy is back now, not jumping from pain when I pet him and is happy again. If I hadn’t tried this CBD oil I wouldn’t have believed it. Been a God send for my ole guy. I highly recommend it. Beats giving him pain meds which takes his spirit away. – Susan Johnson-Smith

I purchased Cannanine CBD oil for my two Bull Terriers for two different reasons. One is 8.5 yrs old and has arthritis. After a couple doses 1 per day there was an amazing improvement. She is up and playing and running around with my 2.5 yr. old. My 2.5 yr old is very excitable and we bring them both to our Sean soak campground. I tried it on her for calming effects. It seems to hit her the next day. Still experimenting with this. But for my 8.5 yr old it has brought back her quality of life. – Ann Fyfe

Some dog owners use CBD, but in addition to other supplements or prescription medications:

My dog is on Gabapentin along with CBD. No problems. – Mary Mueller

My dog is on Gabapentin and uses a 300mg cbd. It’s Really made a difference. He is 11. – Gene Sorensen

Good option but definitely not 1st line. Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM combo with Turmeric is a better 1st line options. Add CBD if this combo is not fully working by itself. –

My dog was on carprofen (generic rimadyl) and gabapentin for his arthritis pain. When I started him on cbd oil, I started with a much lower dose than what was recommended. Too much cbd too fast may cause issues like drowsiness or loose stool. While the cbd oil gradually increased, the other meds gradually decreased. As someone mentioned, it’s best to wean your dog off gabapentin slowly, don’t stop abruptly. My boy is only taking the cbd oil now and he is doing quite well. He even runs a little and he hasn’t run in years! Good luck with your pup! – Barbara Kalman LaVista

I am using Cannanine cbd oil along with turmeric paste. I couldn’t be happier with the results. – Pam Smith

Other dog owners saw results, but also had a few mild side-effects:

Fang (our 120lb..13 year old lab): has been on CBD oil for about 5- 6 weeks now and we’ve seen a noticeable improvement in his joint pain and overall movements. He’s able to walk up our 5 stairs with NO help and at times even takes off rather briskly up them. As of today, I would highly recommend CBD oil for older dog joint pain. We have noticed an increased appetite which has been a bit of a problem since he’s always had a rather enormous Lab appetite. We just focus on keeping his food intake the same to avoid weight gain…he can be a tiny bit hungry to be pain free. – Sinéad Daly Heath

One User’s Story: CBD for a 12 Year Old Immobile Dog

Which Oil Does iHeartDogs Recommend?

Currently the only CBD oil reviewed and approved by iHeartDogs is the Cannanine brand. The formula is 3rd party tested per batch and 100% THC free, which is relatively rare but very important for animal use.

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Additional Resources: Where Can I Learn More About About CBD & Pain Management?

    (Cannanine) (AHVMA) (Cannanine) (NIH)

IMPORTANT: The information on this site is not intended to replace a one on one relationship with your veterinarian. Please do not make any changes to your dog’s medication without first consulting your vet.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.