With the growing claims about the benefits of CBD, many pet owners have begun to wonder if CBD may offer advantages to their pets. At the same time, CBD products specifically geared toward animals have hit the market. But are these products truly effective?
Research has suggested that compared to its influence on humans, CBD has different effects on animals. Though there is much more data on the impact of CBD on humans than on their pets, there is growing interest in the scientific community and amongst veterinarians to determine the specific effects of CBD on pets. As a result, researchers are now systematically studying if and how CBD biologically affects dogs, cats, and other pets. Their data have led to the majority of veterinarians supporting the use of CBD for pets.
A recent study investigated how different routes of CBD administration modified physiological activity in dogs. The subjects of the study were 30 purpose-bred beagles, and each dog received 1 of 3 CBD products: a CBD capsule, a CBD-infused oil, or a CBD transdermal cream. The dogs ingested the first two products orally, whereas the cream was applied externally on the dogs’ skin. Each dog received their CBD product daily over the course of 6 weeks. Half the dogs had a 10 mg/kg daily dose, and the other half had a 20 mg/kg daily dose.
The researchers found that CBD was indeed measurable in the dogs’ plasma, suggesting that the CBD did get into the dogs’ biological systems. Specifically, though, the oral infused CBD led to the highest plasma concentrations of CBD, and unsurprisingly, these concentrations were higher when the CBD dose was higher. These results suggest that CBD – and especially oral CBD-infused oil formulations of CBD – affect dogs. Dog lovers can also rest assured that based on their observations, the CBD appeared to be well-tolerated by the dogs, not causing any serious adverse side effects.
Based on the observation that CBD does make its way into dogs’ systems, pet owners are likely curious about how the CBD makes their pet feel or what specific benefits their pets may reap from CBD. While there is still little research in this area, there are data that suggest that CBD may alleviate pain and reduce seizures in animals.
CBD at doses of 2 mg/kg has been shown to reduce pain in dogs with osteoarthritis without any reported adverse side effects. Similarly, a 2.5 mg/kg dose has been shown to significantly reduce seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy, with higher plasma levels of CBD associated with fewer seizures. According to veterinarians, CBD may also be able to help pets with anxiety.
Given the growing popularity of CBD, it is likely that research into the various ways that CBD can improve our lives and the lives of our pets will continue. As more data are accumulated, the specific impact that CBD may have will become clearer.