CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has been found to have numerous potential health benefits for humans and animals alike. In recent years, there has been growing interest in the use of CBD for dogs, with many pet owners looking for ways to alleviate their furry friend’s symptoms of anxiety, pain, and other conditions. In this article, we will explore CBD for dogs, including the claims and research for each. Is CBD for dogs help or hype?
What is CBD?
CBD is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more well-known cousin, THC, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects and is not known to be addictive. Instead, it has been found to have a wide range of potential therapeutic benefits, including reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and reducing anxiety.
How Does CBD Work in Dogs?
Like humans, dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in the body. The ECS is made up of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids (natural compounds produced by the body) that work together to regulate various bodily functions such as appetite, sleep, pain, and immune function.
When CBD is introduced to the body, it interacts with the ECS, helping to regulate its function. This can lead to a wide range of potential benefits, including reducing inflammation, relieving pain, and reducing anxiety. The amount scientific research on the effects of CBD on dogs is nearly non-existent. Many of the few studies done are inconclusive or raise more questions than they answer.
What Conditions Might CBD Help Treat in Dogs?
Is the use of CBD in dogs a push by companies trying to market their products to dog owners by making unsubstantiated claims about its effectiveness? There is a good possibility that this is true, however, there is some research that suggests CBD may be effective in treating some conditions in dogs:
Anxiety: CBD has been found to have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, making it useful for treating conditions such as separation anxiety, noise phobia, and general anxiety. These claims are based mainly on anecdotal experiences however as no research has been done to support this claim. In fact, research has shown no effect on anxiety in dogs.
Pain: CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects, making it useful for treating conditions such as osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and chronic pain. In studies, CBD oil has been shown to decrease pain and increase mobility in dogs with osteoarthritis.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, making it useful for treating conditions such as IBD, which is characterized by inflammation of the gut. There is some research to suggest that CBD may be effective for reducing the inflammatory response in dogs.
Epilepsy: CBD has been found to have anticonvulsant effects, making it useful for treating conditions such as epilepsy. Research tends to show that CBD does seem to reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs with epilepsy.
Cancer: CBD has been found to have anti-tumoral effects, making it useful for treating conditions such as cancer. Studies have shown that CBD “significantly reduced canine cancer cell proliferation”.
As you can see, CBD has a wide range of potential benefits for dogs, including reducing anxiety (?), relieving pain, and treating a wide range of conditions. More research is needed. Unfortunately, research is often-times funded by huge companies trying to make money on a new drug or treatment. CBD is not a proprietary drug.
If you’re considering using CBD to help your furry friend, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian first, to ensure that it’s safe and appropriate for your dog. With the right dosage and administration, CBD may be a powerful tool for improving your dog’s health and quality of life.