However, many people still do not fully understand what CBD is, how it works or how to take it for the best results.
Even as more veterinarians and animal health advocates promote CBD for dogs, some pet owners continue to wonder "Is CBD safe for dogs?" Here, it is only natural you want to be sure whatever you give your precious furry best friend is safe, healthy and beneficial.
So let's take a closer look at CBD for dogs - is it safe? If so, what benefits can it offer your pup?
What Is CBD, Exactly?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is the main active ingredient in a certain plants in the Cannabis genus of plants.
And here is where a great deal of the confusion lies. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, different plant varietals have different types of active compounds
In some cases, this difference is native - naturally-derived. In other cases, this difference is cultivated - human-made. In other words, some varietals of Cannabis have never been found growing wild, but rather have been domesticated by botanists to have higher concentrations of certain active ingredients
What is important for you, the dog owner, to know is that the varietal that is strong in CBD, or Cannabidiol, is different from the varietal that is strong in THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana that creates the notorious "high.
No plant in the Cannabis genus will ever be completely void of either CBD or THC, and besides these two compounds, there are literally hundreds more that are still being examined and studied by botanists.
But CBD products made from plant varietals (often called "hemp") that are high in the active ingredient CBD, which does not cause a "high," must also have 0.3 percent or less THC content to be sold legally as an over-the-counter product or health supplement in the United States.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
CBD taken on its own has many potential health benefits for both people and pets. However, it is important to know that use of CBD is still in its infancy and a lot that is not yet known.
For this reason, always talk with your dog's veterinarian before starting your dog on XO Hemp CBD. Start with the very lowest possible dose until you see how your dog responds
CBD can be taken in a variety of forms. Using oil, tincture or liquid ensures you can carefully control the dose
This is why the American Kennel Club veterinary staff recommends CBD tincture, oil or liquid over any other form for use with dogs.
Common temporary short-term side effects of using CBD with dogs can include dry mouth, drowsiness and low blood pressure. There may be other side effects that are not yet documented so always watch your pup carefully.
5 Potential Benefits of CBD for Dogs
These are five of the best-known and most promising potential health benefits of CBD for dogs.
Dogs can get epilepsy just like people can. And just like some people don't find relief of symptoms from traditional medications, so too can some dogs continue to suffer from drug resistant epilepsy.
In 2017, the Canine Health Foundation announced a clinical study to explore the use of CBD to treat canine epilepsy.
Since nearly one-third of dogs with epilepsy do not find relief with traditional canine medications, this study provides new, fresh hope to epileptic dogs and their owners.
According to PetMD, one of the most important potential health benefits CBD has for canines is in the area of pain management.
Many traditional medications used for pain relief in canines come with strong side effects. In some breeds that have higher known sensitivity to drugs, these side effects can even be deadly.
For this reason, the search continues for alternatives to help ease pain in canines, whether from surgery, injury, cancer, illness or some other reason. CBD can moderate pain symptoms without the side effects of traditional pain relievers by blocking messages about pain sensations at their source - in the brain.
Arthritis is another health condition that dogs and their people share in common. Along with pain, arthritis can trigger stiffness, lameness and sometimes immobility.
Cornell University conducted research to determine the impact of CBD therapy for dogs afflicted with osteoarthritis. The double-blind study results were extremely promising.
Dogs that were given the CBD (versus the placebo) showed significant improvement to quality of life with significant reduction of pain.
4. Stress and anxiety.
While some dog breeds can cope with periods of alone-time, other breeds cannot tolerate this hardly at all.
For dogs that have been abused or traumatized, or puppies removed from the litter too early in life, managing more severe separation anxiety can often make the difference between a new forever home and euthanasia.
CBD is now being studied as an aid to stress and anxiety in dogs, whether from separation anxiety specifically or from some other source, like seasonal fireworks.
The Canine Journal reported that CBD shows promise as a treatment for canine separation anxiety, general anxiety and stress.
5. Gastrointestinal distress.
More and more dogs are presenting with gastrointestinal (GI) distress. For many dogs, GI distress is associated with food or environmental allergies. In some dogs, GI disturbances can be linked to emotional anxiety or stress.
In still other dogs, the cause of GI distress comes from other health issues such as colitis, gastritis or inflammatory bowel disease.
When dogs experience gastrointestinal distress, it can lead to loss of appetite and weight loss, aggression or depression and plenty of elimination issues.
Some veterinarians are now recommending CBD as a potential aid to alleviating the symptoms of GI distress in dogs.
If you would like to try CBD for your dog, start by talking with your canine veterinarian. You may just discover CBD provides for improved life quality, reduced pain and a happier pet dog!