CBD Hemp Oil For Dogs: What Is It? Does It Really Work?

Brett Hartmann gives his dogs Cayley, a six-year-old-Labrador Retriever drops of a cannabis based medicinal tincture to treat hip pain and anxiety, June 8, 2017 at his home in Los Angeles, California. It's early morning, just after breakfast, and six-year-old Cayley is wide awake, eagerly anticipating her daily dose of cannabis. The black labrador, tail wagging, laps up the liquid tincture owner Brett Hartmann squirts into her mouth, a remedy he uses morning and evening to help alleviate Cayley's anxiety. As the multi-billion dollar medical and recreational marijuana industry for humans blossoms in the United States, so is a new customer base -- animals. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

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CBD hemp oil has various health benefits for humans, ranging from acne clearing skincare to reducing anxiety. It was even recently approved by the FDA in the form of Epidiolex. If you’re a pet parent, you’re probably wondering if CBD for pets can introduce your furry friend to a world of benefits.

You’ll be happy to know that CBD hemp oil for dogs can promote optimal wellness, from helping maintain normal emotional balance to assisting the immune system.

Here’s what you should know about CBD hemp oil for dogs.

What Is CBD Hemp Oil?

Husky dog sniffing a sheet of marijuana. Trained dog looking for drugs.

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So, what is CBD hemp oil, exactly?

Hemp is a cannabis plant–a range of plants that contain cannabidiol, or CBD. You’ve most likely heard of cannabis plants and the debate circling around them. If you have, then you may be wondering if hemp oil even legal.

Is Hemp Legal?

The legal discussion surrounding hemp has been ongoing as recently as 2018.

In the 2018 Farmer’s Act, hemp was officially made legal throughout the entire United States. The act offers some strict guidelines as to what qualifies a cannabis plant as being hemp.

All cannabis plants contain CBD and THC, the latter being a chemical known for its hallucinogenic effects. These are just two of the many cannabinoid chemicals found in cannabis plants.

Plants that are considered hemp must contain less than 0.3% of THC. This amount is so minimal that ingesting even a large amount will cause no “high” effect.

All legal hemp must also come from a licensed grower and follow the individual state’s laws when it comes to dealing with cannabis plants.

How Does CBD For Pets Work?

You’re probably wondering if CBD for pets is good for your furry family members. A lot of medicines and supplements that are good for humans are not suitable for dogs. Luckily, that’s not the case with CBD.

All mammals, from humans to dogs, have a bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system, named after the cannabis plant as it was discovered first.

The endocannabinoid system is in charge of maintaining homeostasis, or balance, within the body. Receptors for the endocannabinoid system are found throughout the body, putting it in charge of appetite, mood, sleep, metabolism, the immune system, and much more.

Research has shown that introducing outside cannabinoid molecules, like those from CBD oil, can help balance the body by helping it maintain homeostasis.

Benefits Of CBD For Pets

Indoor portrait of cute basenji dog having rest on its favorite place in the chair

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When it comes to hemp oil for dogs, there’s a wide range of uses.

CBD may help pets cope with occasional discomfort by promoting healthy joints. The Journal for Experimental Medicine has found that by blocking certain receptors, CBD can help manage occasional stiffness and soreness.

Another study done on dogs with arthritis had promising results when it came to giving CBD to dogs, as they became more active.

These studies show how CBD can support a healthy inflammatory response. Dogs, like people, can suffer from a range of conditions that can lead to painful and uncomfortable inflammation, like dermatitis, bowel disease, and joint pain.

A study by the journal Future Medicinal Chemistry found that CBD can help balance the body’s immune system and immune responses, helping to regulate homeostasis in pets.

As mentioned earlier, CBD can help dogs maintain normal nervous system function. A preliminary study from Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital showed that 89 percent of the dogs who received CBD had a reduced number of seizures.

Along with reducing physical ailments, CBD oil can also help promote emotional balance and relaxation.

Some dogs have chronic separation anxiety or get nervous when traveling. Since CBD affects the endocannabinoid system, which in turn affects mood, CBD can offer a way to help your dog manage their anxiety.

Similarly, it can help dogs who are picky eaters or those who feel nauseous when eating by increasing their appetite.

Side Effects Of CBD For Dogs

As you can see, CBD has a slew of benefits for your pooch. However, like all supplements, it will affect some dogs differently than others. You should consult your veterinarian before trying CBD products with your dog.

Possible side effects of CBD oil include dry mouth, drowsiness, and lowered blood pressure. These effects are usually temporary and not life-threatening. Observe your dog to see if they seem disoriented and thirsty.

CBD has also been shown to decrease appetite in people, so watch to make sure your dog is eating regularly.

As a pet owner, you know your dog is unique; as a result, they may react to CBD differently. Always make sure to follow a CBD oil for dogs dosage chart to minimize any side effects. Observe your dog, so you see how they react to CBD when first administered.

How To Administer CBD To Your Dog

There are a few options you have when it comes to administering CBD oil. Again, remember to look at a CBD oil for dogs dosage charts, as small dogs and large dogs need different amounts.

One of the most direct ways is to add CBD oil to your dog’s food or water. There are also treats infused with CBD oil. These can be helpful since they are infused with other flavors that can mask the taste, and depending on the source, they can also come infused with additional benefits like Omega-3.

When it comes to treating your dog with topical CBD, you have the option of sprays and balms. CBD oil, itself, can be rubbed into your dog’s skin to help with any potential pain.

What To Look For In A Pet CBD Product

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When you go shopping for CBD products, always check to make sure that the company you’re buying from sources from certified growers.

Reputable sellers should also have lab results from independent labs proving that their cannabis has low THC.

Have you ever tried CBD hemp oil for your dog? Did you see any benefits? Let us know in the comments below!