Although still a controversial matter in the medical world, Cannabis oil increasingly shows to have a very positive influence in treating certain ailments. Since it’s still a relatively new treatment on the market, a few people know that CBD oil can have fantastic benefits in treating dogs. Whether it’s cancer, anxiety, bowel problems or other, Cannabis is definitely to be considered at least as an alternative therapy.
However, there are always drawbacks to every medication, as well as matters of precaution that need to be taken into account in order to make the most out of it and avoid any side effects. Here’s everything you will need to consider in case you decide to try out CBD oil to treat your dog.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CBD OIL?
Simply put, CBD (cannabidiol) oil is basically a liquid derived from the marijuana (cannabis) plant or hemp. There are about 80 different cannabinoids that can be derived, including the cannabidiol which is perfectly safe and has healing properties. What continues to be controversial with the cannabis plant is the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component responsible for the “high effect” in drugs.
However, in most cases, CBD, being derived from hemp, does not contain THC, or in very little amounts that can be precisely measured and controlled. This is because hemp contains no more than 0.3 percent of the psychoactive substance THC. In other words, you can’t get high on hemp.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CANNABIS OIL AND WHAT CAN BE TREATED IN DOGS?
Before we even start, it’s important to highlight that it all depends on your state’s laws on marijuana use and production. Many countries still have strong laws against any kind of cannabis consumption, so you may not be able to find CBD oil on the market because of this at all.
Frequently associated with helping in sleep disorders, stress and restlessness, CBD oil can be very effective for safely treating separation anxiety in dogs, idiopathic fears and even for calming developed phobias and chronic stress.
Common triggers for anxiety in dogs are very loud noises, confined space or riding in the car, which can develop to become very traumatic experiences. CBD oil can help in naturally calming down and gradually help in adapting to everyday anxiety triggers.
As in humans, cannabis oil has shown to stop cancer cell growth and increase tumor cell death in dogs. Research continues to discover many benefits of including CBD oil in cancer treatment, especially for improving the immune system, supporting the conventional cancer treatment, disabling cancer cells to produce energy and more.
What’s more, studies have shown that osteoarthritic dogs can successfully be treated with CBD oil. The oil is very effective in reducing pain and providing relief, causing the stress levels that are a consequence of bone and joint discomfort to reduce.
Estimates suggest that up to 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Most of them are given drugs such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Sure, these drugs may help control the seizures, but they can be extremely harmful to your dog’s liver and other organs. CBD oil is natural and with no negative side effects on internal organs, showing to work well in epileptic seizures by reducing their frequency and lasting.
Finally, CBD oil can be given to dogs simply to reduce pain caused by different triggers. Intestinal and general inflammation that can cause chronic pain can be very torturing for a dog. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease is very common in canines and can be treated with CBD. Also, nausea and bowel movement problems are effectively treated with cannabis as well.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO BEWARE OF?
Although life-threatening risks of using CBD oil for pets are extremely rare, overdose (like with any medication) can lead to potential risks.
Namely, THC toxicity is most common, meaning that if you overdose your dog, it can get high on the psychoactive components of cannabis. During these episodes, a dog may not be able to stand or eat. If you suspect an overdose, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.
However, in medical treatment of pets with CBD oil this hardly ever happens. The toxicity more often occurs when dogs have access to other ingredients mixed with marijuana, such as chocolate, sugar, nuts or coffee. On the other hand, ingestion of large amounts of marijuana has been fatal in a number of dogs, so preventing overdoses with medical cannabis is still extremely important and not something to be overlooked.
HOW IS CBD OIL ADMINISTERED TO DOGS?
The most common way to give your dog CBD oil is orally, though there are some topical treatments on the market. It also can be used in conjunction with traditional medications and treatments, proving to sometimes even have synergetic benefits with the more tradition medications.
Again, the correct dosage is imperative. As with any medication, its effect and success depend on the right dosage or proper application. That said, research and FDA testing have not yet come to the final conclusions about what should be the right amount of cannabis oil in treatment. It depends on different criteria, the most important being the ailment itself, dog’s age, size, condition and breed characteristics even.
To avoid any possible complications, consult your vet and do the research on the CBD-based products and their proper use. Luckily, there’s an array of resources online, for example Totally Goldens and similar, offering useful information on everything important about dog care and treatment, as well as how different dog breeds sometimes need completely different treatment.
Depending on the nature of the product, precise dosage and responsible use, CBD oil can have either negative effects, or rather profound benefits that no other natural medication has shown to have. For starters, try at least combining CBD oil with conventional treating options (when applicable) and see if the improvements in health will happen to your dog. Being natural and with no recorded major risks, it’s a great option to consider if you’ve become fed up with pharmaceutical drugs that can, in more than few cases, have dangerous side effects.