Is CBD for Pets Safe? Why Would People Give Their Pets CBD?
Cannabis and the CBD market are booming industries that don’t show any signs of stopping any time soon. As a result, new CBD products are springing up across the nation every day, enhancing quality of life, improving symptoms of conditions, and helping to treat various medical issues, even if only a little bit.
CBD is so popular in a mainstream setting that there are specially-engineered CBD products for pets, which is what we’ll be talking about today. What is CBD for pets? Is it safe for them? What pets can take CBD? Let’s find out all that and more.
What is CBD?
One of the 60+ cannabinoids identified in various cannabis plants, cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive component that’s most commonly known to help treat a host of medical problems. Without the intoxicating effects that THC provides, CBD may help with nausea, appetite loss, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and much more.
Why Would People Give CBD to Their Pets?
We’ve already touched on what CBD is in more detail in past guides, so we don’t want to be too repetitive. The non-psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoid known as CBD that’s been reported to provide a series of benefits in humans may provide similar results for dogs and other types of pets.
People report taking CBD to relieve pain, reduce anxiety or depression, lessen inflammation, and much more. Since mammals all have similar endocannabinoid systems, those results may be mirrored in some animals.
CBD has a tremendous plethora of uses, so there’s no “one” reason why someone might consider giving it to their pet. The most common reason is for promoting general wellness for your cat, dog, horse, or other pet that they treat like a family member; especially as that animal gets older in age.
Even still, there’s a lot of research going into the effects CBD might have on one’s cardiovascular, joint and bone, and brain health, in both humans and other animals. In fact, as it stands, we currently have more preliminary evidence on CBD through animal studies than we do on human participants right now.
Pet owners in our community, as well as ourselves, noticed the results that CBD delivered to their pets in real time. The quality of most pets’ lives improved over time, correlating with when they started incorporating CBD into their everyday routine.
We don’t pretend to make any medical claims, but what we’ve seen in action is that a daily serving can eventually improve the shininess in their coat, can improve the energy they have throughout the day, and could even alleviate minor pain that may have gone undetected by you before giving them CBD. Elderly pets, for example, start to feel inflammation and joint pain that may not be immediately noticeable to us humans.
Is CBD Safe for Your Pet?
It’s perfectly understandable to be hesitant about trying CBD for your pet; especially when you consider that cannabidiol research and the CBD industry are all at the start and fresh.
Because everything is still so new, though, it makes sense to hear that the animal care and veterinary communities are divided on how effective CBD might be for pets. Until the CBD industry has tighter regulation to make everything more stable, it’s not even uncommon to see two veterinarians from the very same practice that differ wildly on their opinion about what CBD can do for pets.
The most important question we’re here to answer in our guide today is this: is CBD safe for pets? The FDA hasn’t evaluated or approved any cannabidiol products for pets, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all are unsafe. We want to touch on the risk involved with giving CBD to your pets, providing the pros and cons associated so that you can decide for yourself whether CBD is going to be safe for your furry friend.
Potential Drug Interactions
Just like us humans, we recommend speaking with a certified medical professional or, in a pet’s case, a veterinarian before adding CBD into their daily routine – especially if they’re already taking prescription medications.
CBD can cause blood pressure to fluctuate and it can increase the effectiveness of some medication. You need to speak with a vet first to see if the medicine needs to be scaled down before incorporating CBD into their routine.
The Risk of THC
As we mentioned, a pet’s endocannabinoid system doesn’t respond to THC the same way that ours does. It can cause paranoia and be genuinely dangerous for pets to experience, including dogs, cats, and smaller animals.
Too much THC in a pet’s system can cause incredibly negative reactions that could even last after the trip is over – don’t put a pet through that by ensuring you go with a CBD company that has each batch of their products tested through an independent third-party lab.
Side Effect Possibility
Most pet owners that start integrating CBD into their pet’s routine find that their pet’s symptoms they were targeting are alleviated thanks to CBD, but there are some minor side effects as they stay consistent. Fortunately, most of the side effects can be eliminated by just taking some precautions ahead of time.
One of the most common side effects is dry mouth and intense thirst, so just make sure you keep your pet’s water full before you give them their first serving of CBD.
Furthermore, watch how sleepy they get after you give them a serving. If they drowse off easily, you may want to lessen the serving size or switch it to a serving you give them in the evening time, when sleeping is more appropriate.
Is it Legal to Give CBD to Your Pets?
If the CBD derived from hemp that contains 0.3% THC or less, was grown by a properly licensed grower, and adheres to all federal and state regulations on the matter, then you should be good to go – but there are two ways you can get CBD, so the answer isn’t always so clear.
To better explain, any CBD that’s been derived from hemp under careful regulation in the US is legal, and there are no laws, federally or for any state, that specify that you can or cannot give your pets CBD.
There are at least 14 states across the nation where marijuana is recreationally legal, however, and that can pose a potential risk to your pet. You must trust that the brand you’re shopping with is being honest about whether they derive their CBD products from hemp or marijuana, especially if they’re located in a recreational state.
Furthermore, it’s not illegal to give your pet any amount of THC, but THC-free products that are third-party tested to ensure they contain no detectable levels of THC are highly recommended for your furry friend. While our endocannabinoid systems are similar, research indicates that THC may increase the paranoia and panic-inducing aspect that comes from THC’s high.
The psychoactive, mind-altering effects cause an animal like a dog or a cat to respond differently than most humans might, and they have no way to say no, so it’s absolutely not recommended to put them through something potentially traumatic like giving them THC of any degree.
Always make sure that the brand you shop with for your CBD pet treat test their products to ensure they’re THC-free, like we do here at Ounce of Hope.
What to Look for in a CBD Pet Product
Finally, we just want to cover what you should keep an eye on to make sure you’re setting up your furry loved one for success with a CBD product that will really work for them. There are a few key, important things to watch out for.
While it’s not necessarily a requirement, we like to go above and beyond for our pets, and we thought you would, too. A CBD-infused pet product just shows a lot more promise if the product follows Good Manufacturing Practices (stated on the label) and they have a seal from the NASC (National Animal Supplement Council).
These both provide just a little more confidence that the product is certified that it was manufactured with safe ingredients in a clean environment.
Likewise, grapeseed oil and xylitol can both be toxic to animals, so it’s vital that it’s not in the CBD formula. Don’t just pick a brand that claims to provide products free of xylitol and grapeseed oil – certificates of analysis (COAs) will provide an in-depth look at everything in the formula, so you know for sure that your pet is safe.
Last but not least, when you are looking at the COAs, you can verify that the product contains no detectable levels of THC. As close to being THC-free as you can get in this industry, a product that contains no detectable levels means your pet stands the lowest chance of consuming THC.
Have you ever considered a CBD product for your pet’s day? We recommend the pet products right here from Ounce of Hope, though there are other CBD brands out there that fit the same guidelines – they’re just few and far between! If you’ve been mulling it over, we hope this guide helped you start really considering CBD for your dog, cat, or other furry friend.
Until the CBD industry changes and more veterinarians are accepting of CBD, we must eagerly await a time like that. Until then, you can still find a way to speak with your vet about CBD for your pet and find the right THC-free formula for their needs.