CBD is the abbreviation used for cannabidiol, one of the chemical compounds derived from either hemp or marijuana plants. CBD acts on the endocannabinoid systems (ECS) of both humans and pets, including dogs and cats. The endocannabinoid system is a unique communications system in the brain and body that affects many important functions, including how a pet feels, moves, and reacts. When extracted and used in oils, chews and other products, CBD can potentially assist with a variety of different conditions including calming, relaxation, and potentially even osteoarthritis pain relief for our pets.
CBD is the non-intoxicating component of both hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, CBD cannot get you or your pets high, if dosed appropriately. However, CBD can influence brain activity in pets, which leads to some of the potential benefits, such as a reduction in stress and anxiety for dogs and cats. Pets should never be given an intoxicating level of THC. It’s important to discuss dosage instructions with your veterinarian and to never experiment with products not created specifically for pets.
Studies have shown that CBD products have a wide margin of safety in both dogs and cats. Multiple veterinary studies published in the past two years have shown that, even when given high levels of CBD, pets experienced no major adverse effects.
Remember, CBD contains no intoxicating properties and will not get your pet high. As more research is conducted, we will all gain more information regarding the effect of long-term use of CBD products in pets.
Hemp-derived CBD products for pets are still new in the veterinary space, so the scientific verdict is still out on what CBD can and cannot do from a medical perspective. Hemp-derived products work conjointly with a pet’s natural endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate many of the body’s different functions in our dogs and cats. Based off of both human and veterinary literature, CBD products may also help pets in the following ways:
There is also anecdotal evidence to support the use of hemp-derived CBD products for pets. A 2018 survey revealed that pet owners endorsed hemp CBD treats and products because of perceived improvement in numerous ailments including pain, inflammation, anxiety, digestive system issues, and aid with sleep. A few published peer reviewed studies showed that using hemp-derived CBD oil improved the lives of dogs with osteoarthritis.
Significant research still needs to be performed to thoroughly compare the differences between the endocannabinoid system of pets and how this system responds to phytocannabinoids (synthetic and plant-based cannabinoids) like CBD. There are two major types of cannabinoid receptors in a pet’s body—CB1 and CB2. These receptors help to balance and regulate a pet’s immune and central nervous system, which can ultimately influence inflammation, pain, allergies, and mood. There are three main components of the endocannabinoid system: the receptors, the endocannabinoids and the enzymes. The endocannabinoids (chemicals naturally produced in a pet’s body) are generated on demand and bind to the receptors, especially in times of stress, disease or injury. Phytocannabinoids, like CBD, work similarly to the endocannabinoids by also binding to the cannabinoid receptors.
Dogs have the highest density of CB1 receptors in the brain compared to any other species, including humans. A recent publication indicated that cats appear to have lower absorption and possibly faster elimination of CBD compared to dogs. Therefore, cats may need to be dosed more often to maintain appropriate blood levels of CBD. Every pet is different, and not all dogs and cats will see the same results from using CBD products. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions about how your pet is reacting to a specific product.
Pet parents will find a variety of CBD products on the market, and each has a different use and is designed to serve a specific purpose. While products vary by manufacturer and brand, below are a few common CBD product types and labeling information that interested pet owners should become familiar with.
CBD Oil for Pets
CBD oil for pets—also known as an oil tincture—consists of an extract (either full or broad spectrum) that has been suspended in a carrier oil. The biggest advantage to using CBD oil is that it is dispersed to pets using a measured dropper. This allows you to dose your pet much more accurately and adjust the dose (up or down) as often as needed. Also, since oil is administered either under your pet’s tongue, cheeks or in your pet’s mouth, it has the potential to be absorbed more quickly through mucous membranes than if your pet swallows a pill or capsule.
CBD Treats and Chews
CBD treats and chews are a great way to get CBD extract into your pet, especially if they enjoy taking treats. These products are made similarly to regular CBD oils, but then the final oil product is infused into a treat or chew. The benefit of using a CBD chew for your dogs or cats is that it is easier to administer, because they are usually tasty and pets enjoy the taste.
CBD Topical Products for Pets
Administering cannabidiol directly to the skin is another popular way to utilise CBD products. These products are designed to alleviate local conditions including aches and skin issues. This method of application is effective because there are cannabinoid receptors found in a pet’s skin.
CBD Capsules and Pills for Pets
Capsules are made in a similar way to regular CBD oils for pets, but the final oil product is suspended in a gel capsule. These are popular options because they work for pets that are adverse to the taste of CBD oil or who happen to be picky eaters. Also, capsules are ideal for traveling. They are less messy and easy to carry around.
Full-Spectrum Vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD Products
When researching a product for your pet, the CBD effects are not the only thing you should consider. When you see the terms “full spectrum” and “broad spectrum” on labels, it provides some insight into what other compounds are in the products.
Broad-spectrum CBD products for pets are extracted from the hemp plant. They include all of the other compounds from the plant—except THC. In broad-spectrum products, the THC is entirely removed after the initial extraction.
Full-spectrum CBD products for pets are extracts that contain all of the compounds naturally found in the original hemp plant, including cannabinoids (THC and CBD), terpenes and flavonoids. Full-spectrum, hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. All of these active compounds work together to provide amplified health benefits, a phenomenon called the entourage effect.
Yes, hemp-derived CBD products are legal for pets, assuming they meet the requirement of containing less than 0.3 percent of THC. You don’t need a prescription for these products.
Swiss Medunion is in the works to create the best & top quality CBD-infused Pet Feed Products. There are a lot of laws and research guidelines to consider. We don't want to rush this process but are determined, when we are ready, we will present exceptional Products.
For any questions or enquiries, please don't hesitate to reach out.