… and it’s called cannabis.
Dog owners are using it to help their pets with a wide range of ailments – from anxiety to arthritis to cancer.
Are dogs going to pot?
Not exactly. The cannabis dogs are taking is hemp, not marijuana.
For a long time, hemp was illegal in the US and other countries because it got lumped in with other forms of cannabis. Today, you can buy hempseed products in your local grocery store – not just soaps and lotions, but hempseed protein powders and drinks like hempseed milk.
But the hemp that has therapeutic benefits for your dog isn’t the kind lining the supermarket shelves.
We’re talking about whole herb cannabis.
So what’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
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Marijuana Vs Hemp
Marijuana and hemp both come from the plant Cannabis sativa (though marijuana also comes from another member of the Cannabis family, Cannabis indica).
The cannabis plant has over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDs are therapeutic cannabinoids, while THC is the cannabinoid that makes you high.
Marijuana’s THC content is usually between 10 and 15 percent; but hemp must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less. At this level, cannabis has no intoxicating effect, for people or dogs.
Hemp is higher in CBD, the substance that provides the therapeutic effects.
How CBD Works
The cannabis plant contains a number of different chemicals, including CBD, phytocannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids. Humans and other mammals have specific cannabinoid receptor sites. These sites are primarily in the brain and central nervous system, and in peripheral organs, especially immune cells. They make up what’s called the endocannabinoid system.
Studies show that many cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects, and can help with pain, tumors, seizures, muscle spasms, skin conditions, appetite stimulation, aggression, anxiety and neurological disorders
How CBD Hemp Can Help Your Dog
CBD hemp can help with both chronic and acute disease.
Among chronic conditions, it can help with arthritis, compromised immune systems, stress responses, aggression and digestive issues. There are also studies under way into CBD’s effects on Type 1 diabetes, organ diseases and cancer.
Veterinarians are also finding CBD oil can be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.
If your dog’s taking conventional drugs for any of these conditions, CBD hemp may make it possible to use lower doses of the drugs to achieve therapeutic effects. Since conventional medicines do have side effects, this is a useful benefit of CBD.
Does It Work Fast?
As with any herbal medicine, for most ailments you may not see an immediate effect. You’ll need to be patient.
Your dog may feel some pain relief in a few hours but other symptoms like inflammation may take a few days to show improvement.
First of all, because of the low THC, CBD hemp won’t make your dog high.
The most common side effect of CBD is that your dog may get a little drowsy – about the same as if you gave him a Benadryl.
On rare occasions, side effects have included excessive itchiness or mild vomiting, but these sensitivities are few and far between. If your dog reacts with these symptoms, you should stop giving him cannabis.
If Your Dog Gets Into Marijuana
This article’s not about marijuana, but this is important information. With the legalization of marijuana in many places, poison control centers are hearing more and more about pets getting into their owners’ marijuana stash.
It may be hard to tell if your dog has the munchies (isn’t it a permanent condition in dogs?), but other side effects from marijuana can be quite severe, including lethargy, dilated pupils, drooling, being off balance, muscle twitching, vomiting, involuntary urination and even unconsciousness.
If this happens to your dog, take him to the vet immediately. He’ll need palliative support until the effects wear off.
How much CBD oil should I give my dog for anxiety? How much CBD for epilepsy or cancer? These are some of the most frequently asked questions asked about CBD.
Personally I always advise my clients to start with low dosages and work their way up to effect. Once you find the dose that your animal friend needs stay with it and adjust as you need for optimum effect.
I also ONLY recommend CBD oils that have been extracted using cold CO2 methods and from ORGANIC farming.
For preventive health and aging, the low tier of 0.022 mg/lb or 0.05mg/kg is a great place to start. There’s may be days that you want to increase to the medium tier to help with situational issues like stress or allergies. Most people will only administer CBD once and sometimes twice for preventive health.
For all chronic medical conditions, a dosage that falls in the medium tier — 0.068 mg/lb or 0.15 mg/kg — is preferred by most pet owners. The one exception is clinical insomnia which is likely to require a dosage that falls into the strong tier.
If your pet is not sleeping well due to pain, discomfort, etc. a medium tier dosage may be all that’s needed. Many report better sleep even with low doses of CBD because it helps with other medical issues that may prevent restful sleep.
Hemp CBD is biphasic, and with most dosages, it will have a slight stimulating effect — though it does not appear to be enough to keep your or your pet awake when trying to sleep.
Please take time out of your day to learn more about CBD’s in Hemp Oil. Amazing potential for health and business. Pleas share with all you know and thank you for paying it forward.
Dr Louie and Dr. Blake