Can I use CBD on my pets?
CBD products are widely known for their use on humans, but hemp extracted CBD for pets is rising in popularity. If you are interested in this topic, you probably know that CBD can be used for pets in the same ways it can be used for humans. Check out the following post to learn more about CBD products, how they interact with your pet, and how to choose the best product for your canine or feline companion.
Hemp Derived CBD Products
The Cannabis Sativa plant from which Hemp shares its genus and species contains over 100 compounds, 66 of which are considered Cannabinoids. Cannabis, or Marijuana, is typically known for the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) compound. THC is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the “high” experienced from smoking pot. CBD on the other hand is non-psychoactive and does not give users a high. This is an important distinction, because THC can be dangerous for animals. Many Colorado veterinarians have reported an increase in severely intoxicated pets, especially since cannabis legalization. Although possibly lethal, “pot-poisoned” pets tend to exhibit more of the negative side-effects related to THC; including fear, paranoia, anxiety, and dry-mouth.
In contrast, CBD does not produce most of the negative side-effects associated with THC, but does exhibit many of the benefits. Some rarely reported downsides to CBD in pets are an increase in appetite, lethargy, and dry-mouth. Those minor pitfalls have not prevented increased veterinary study of how Cannabinoids interact with animals. To better understand why pet owners are turning to CBD, let’s take a look at the endocannabinoid system of our pets and see how CBD interacts with it.
The Endocannabinoid System of Dogs and Cats
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is important for executing numerous physiological functions. Some of those regulated functions include:
- Anxiety and mood
- Memory and cognitive abilities
- Sleep and energy
- Pain perception
The ECS’s main function is to regulate homeostasis by managing the stress response-system of the body. The ECS cannabinoid receptors discovered in humans, also exists in our four legged friends. This complex system is as critical to our lives as it is to our pets.
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in cats and dogs. These neurotransmitters are produced naturally in many ways, including the consumptions of certain fats and oils. One of the most crucial fatty acids for cats and dogs are linolenic acid (ALA), found abundantly in Flaxseed Oil. Cannabinoid molecules also bind to these receptors causing different effects on your pets body; benefiting your pets endocannabinoid system and the functions it manages.
The science of CBD for your pets
Although scientific research is being performed on the veterinary uses for CBD and other Cannabinoids, we are unable to share any medical claims. We recommend exploring the findings of Clinical Sciences researcher Dr. McGrath of The University of Colorado and her findings about Cannabidiol during her veterinary research. Also consider The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association survey comprised of 1201 respondents. The survey found that:
- 36.5% of respondents currently use CBD products on their dog or cat
- 10.1% of respondents have used CBD products on their dog or cat in the past
Additionally, 4,628 pet owners were surveyed about CBD use on their pets. Owners were asked whether they perceived any benefits from the CBD products used on their cat or dog. Overall, 13.8% reported they perceived the product to have “helped a great deal,” while only 8.7% perceived no impact. The survey encompassed 15 different symptoms, of which 13 symptoms included pet owners who reported at least a “little” help with the symptoms monitored.
Despite some positive research findings, many veterinarians are hesitant to applaud CBD products because of the limited body of evidence. However, the known ECS link between humans and animals means a logical inference can be made that CBD can be leveraged in the same ways it can be for humans. Research is beginning to support that hypothesis and we encourage you to seek out these clinical findings. In the meantime, Lynx CBD will continue to bring you the best, and most up-to-date, information we can abiding by the restrictions of our industry.