CBD has become one of the most popular supplements currently available on the market. This has occurred as more and more scientific evidence emerges about CBD’s potential to help individuals suffering from numerous disorders.
However, even as more and more humans try CBD, many questions remain about CBD’s long-term impacts and ideal therapeutic doses. Furthermore, 63.4 million Americans own dogs, and many have begun to ask whether or not giving their beloved animals CBD is safe and beneficial for their pets.
This is a question worth exploring, because while CBD appears to have the potential to be very beneficial to humans, it is not without its risks, and all of us obviously want to keep our pets safe. So, can you give CBD to your dog? Let’s take a look at the available evidence so far.
These days, it seems as if a new story is coming out every day on a new CBD study. Many contain good news, as numerous studies have shown CBD has the potential to address multiple physical and emotional ailments. However, whether or not these potential benefits may be applicable to dogs is an entirely different question.
The actual studies which have been conducted on pets and CBD are limited, but available information does appear to be positive. The extremely limited evidence available suggests that CBD has the potential to be helpful to our dogs in these areas.
Much of the scientific evidence which is available has been driven by the American Kennel Society. In 2017, the AKC announced that they would be working with Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Specifically, they sponsored a study to study what impact CBD would have on our dogs. Those findings were released in 2019, and they were positive: According to the study, 89% of dogs who received CBD showed a decrease in their frequency of seizures. The study was very small (only 16 dogs), so broader conclusions are difficult to draw, but at the very least, this study does show CBD’s potential.
This evidence is in line with the one other study in the area of CBD and dogs. A July 2018 study demonstrated that when CBD is given to dogs who suffered from osteoarthritis, the dogs seemed to show increased comfort levels and reduced signs of pain.
Furthermore, even the briefest look at websites which sell CBD show that many people have found CBD to be incredibly helpful at reducing pet seizures or calming pet anxiety. To be sure, anecdotal reports are not scientific studies. They are not necessarily applicable and they are most certainly not informed recommendations from doctors. However, they would seem to add to the evidence available about CBD’s potential.
Like in humans, there are some steps that everyone should take before giving their pet CBD. You will find that many of these necessary steps parallel things that all humans should do as well.
First and foremost: Talk with your veterinarian. They may have more advanced knowledge about CBD and will almost certainly be aware of new research or potential drug interactions. For the sake of your pet, this absolutely must be done. Not only does CBD have the potential to interact badly with other drugs that your dog may be taking, but there are also concerns that CBD may have a negative impact on your dog’s liver function. If liver function is a concern for your dog, your vet will know and may recommend caution.
Second, make sure to purchase only from reputable CBD vendors. Unfortunately, as a 2017 University of Pennsylvania study proved, not all sellers are honest, and many mislabel their products in order to make a quick buck. Indeed, recent articles raised the alarm that many CBD products sold to pets actually contained barely CBD – if any. This, of course, is unacceptable. As one Veterinarian in the article noted, CBD should have at least 25-75ml of CBD in order to be effective.
Unfortunately, these stories are all too common, as government regulations and testing are thus far inadequate to prevent this from happening. Hopefully, newer and stronger regulations are coming in the future.
To that end, only purchase CBD is there is an independent lab report – or Certificate of Analysis – which demonstrates how much CBD is in the compound which you purchase. Make sure to read the report and confirm that the amount of CBD in the lab report is equal to the CBD which the vendor claims it contains. Remember, reputable vendors will have this report available and be more than happy to show you the high-quality nature of their products.
If anyone gives you a definitive answer of, “Yes, absolutely, it is perfectly safe and we know that for a fact,” they are lying to you. The truth is that it is too soon for anyone to definitively say whether or not CBD is safe, or even beneficial, for our dogs. Too few studies have been conducted, and too many questions remain: What are the long-term impacts? What is the ideal dose? How does CBD impact different breeds?
These questions and concerns should be addressed to a trained veterinarian, and preferably one who has done some work in this area. Only they are truly capable of answering your questions about CBD.
However, don’t conclude this article by thinking that there’s no evidence out there. There’s a lot of good news and potential here, and future studies may be able to answer these questions. Furthermore, the available evidence thus far is positive.
Whether or not you give your pet CBD is a judgment call on your part. If that’s a decision you make, follow the notices above, and you’ll increase the chance of the CBD helping your pet.