Although it was first discovered in 1940, 2019 will be the year the acronym ‘CBD’ became a household name.
You can find CBD all over the high street, as well as the web, with everything from creams to gummies, and even massage oils infused with CBD.
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance that’s found in the cannabis and hemp plant, both of which are known for their therapeutic benefits.
But, unlike cannabis, CBD doesn’t contain any THC – the chemical that gives you the ‘buzz’ or high.
CBD oil for dogs; is it safe?
At the moment, there’s no formal study on how CBD affects dogs, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from dog owners who claim it has helped tremendously when it comes to treating pain, arthritis, digestion problems, seizures, nausea and stress in their pets.
We asked Jess the Vet from FirstVet what she thinks about the use of CBD oil for pets. Because there are no studies which show either a positive or negative impact of CBD oil, Jess suggests owners err on the side of caution, treating CBD oil like any other medicine:
“The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) considers that any products containing Cannabidiol are veterinary medicines and should be regulated and used as such. There are currently no CBD-based products that have been granted a UK veterinary marketing authorisation.
With no CBD products currently authorised in the UK for veterinary use, a vet may prescribe a legal human CBD product”.
Can CBD oil calm your anxious dog?
If your dog is anxious or scared on a regular basis, you’ve probably tried many things to calm him or her down.
No one likes to see their beloved pet hide under the bed whenever there are fireworks, tremble at the thought of going in the car, or suffer from severe separation anxiety when you have to head to the office.
Both humans and our four-legged friends share the same endogenous cannabinoid system.
In English, this means that the receptors found in the organs, brain, immune system and central nervous system are targeted by CBD oil in the same way in both dogs and humans. When the chemicals in CBD oil reach the receptors it promotes a relaxing effect.
For anxiety, CBD oil is reported to have a rapid effect, and you may start to see changes in as little as five to 30 minutes.
How to give CBD to your dog
Although some topical CBD treatments are available which you can rub directly onto the skin, it’s typically given to dogs in oil form, mixed in with their food.
Because it’s not been scientifically studied, there aren’t any regulated dosage levels yet, but the Canine Journal have produced a CBD dosage guide.
Always consult your vet before giving your dog any CBD oil, and start with a very low dosage in order to keep an eye on their response to CBD.
Side effects to look out for are drowsiness, fatigue, dry-mouth and dizziness.
What’s the best CBD oil for my dog?
The best CBD oils are made from organically-grown hemp, using pharmaceutical-graded ethanol to get rid of toxins.
Make sure you use a vet-approved, high-quality CBD oil – don’t just opt for the cheapest product out there, as you often get what you pay for.
Importantly, THC levels should always be less than 0.3% – any more than this can be extremely harmful to animals.
Expert opinion on CBD oil for dogs
Jess the Vet suggests you talk to your vet about getting a prescription if you’re considering using CBD oil for your pooch.
“Lots of pet owners are reported to be using cannabidiol as a nutritional supplement, or in some cases to treat disease, often without veterinary advice.
This is a concern for animal welfare because food supplements are not as well regulated as medicines, not to mention there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the use of CBD in dogs”.
There is still much to be learned about CBD oil and its use in treating dogs for anxiety and a range of other ailments.
What we do know, is that there are no products out there designed specifically for dogs, and it is illegal to market CDB oil for use on pets.
It’s not been proven (scientifically at least) to work, but there are some dog owners who swear by it.
If you are considering using CBD oil to treat your dog, we’d suggest you speak to your vet and get their professional advice beforehand.
Here at Gudog we’ll continue to bring you health advice from Jess the Vet at FirstVet. Sign up to the Gudog community, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see the latest posts as they’re published.