A growing number of research studies now show that cannabidiol, or simply CBD, can also benefit our beloved canine pets that may be suffering from moderate to severe pain, chronic inflammation, stress and anxiety, and even seizures. It is the latter two that special formulations of the extract are now available to help our dogs to better cope with these health problems. Cannabidiol is different from tetrahydrocannabinol in that CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects, although both come from the same genus of plant, cannabis.
This is not to say that all CBD oil products in the market are safe to give to your pet as some may be tainted with something else or doesn’t contain CBD at all. That is why we’ve consulted with our vets, asked the opinion of our editors and staff, and sought the views of pet parents to come up with the best CBD oil for dogs for seizures and anxiety. Here is the result of that endeavor.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs for Seizures & Anxiety
Picking the right CBD for dogs for seizures and anxiety can be especially tricky and we’ll try to explain this before we help you gain a better understanding about cannabidiol or CBD really is, what canine health conditions it can help with, its benefits and potential side effects, its recommended dose and method of administration, and the things you need to watch out for when purchasing a product such as cannabidiol for dogs.
Maybe you have already noticed that the title of this article is “Best CBD Oil for Dogs for Seizure and Anxiety”. However, if you also noticed in the products that we have shared with you there are actually none which had the label “CBD Oils for Dogs”. What we did present, however, are products that contain hemp oil.
This is not to say that this article is misleading. Unfortunately, the current norms in product branding make it that way. This is why we’re here to clarify things. You see, there are a lot of companies that try to mislabel hemp oil products as CBD oil products, and vice versa. This is completely understandable, albeit grossly misleading.
The Hemp Industries Association assailed in July 2014 the highly-prevalent misbranding of cannabidiol oil as hemp oil. The respectable organization clarified that hemp oil should never be confused with cannabidiol oil or CBD oil. While it is true that both oils are extracted from the same plant, Cannabis sativa L, they differ from the part of the plant where the oils are generally extracted from.
HIA argues that hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of Cannabis sativa L, hence giving it the official name of hemp seed oil. On the other hand CBD oil or cannabidiol oil is extracted from the flowers of the same plant. However, this is not the only part of the plant where cannabidiol is actually extracted. In some cases, CBD oil is extracted from the combination of Cannabis sativa flowers, stalks, and leaves during the processing of industrial hemp fiber.
So why does this matter?
The principal ingredient that we would like to obtain here is cannabidiol. Unfortunately, different parts of the Cannabis sativa L plant come with varying concentrations of cannabidiol. For example, seeds from which hemp oil is derived only contain at most 25 parts per million. On the other hand, CBD extracts or pure CBD oil processed from flowers contain up to 150,000 parts per million. In other words, CBD oil contains more than 6,000 times the cannabidiol contained in hemp seed oil.
But this is not to say that hemp oil doesn’t contain cannabidiol. It still does, although not as concentrated as pure CBD oil.
However, going back to our list of the best CBD oils for dogs, you may have noticed several things.
- The use of full spectrum hemp extract
- The use of phytochemical-rich hemp extract
- The listing of hemp oil in addition hemp seed oil
Both full spectrum hemp extract and phytochemical-rich hemp extract signify that most of the plant parts – the stalks, leaves, and flowers – have been used in the extraction process. Given that the Hemp Industries Association already clarified that CBD oil refers to the product of the extraction process utilizing the different parts of the Cannabis sativa L plant except the seeds, then full spectrum hemp extract and phytochemical-rich hemp extract means CBD oil. Sadly, this is also where the misbranding issue cited by HIA comes in. Obviously, the manufacturers of these products should have just written in their labels or ingredient list CBD oil instead of hemp oil.
Speaking of ingredient list, why would a manufacturer include hemp seed oil and hemp oil as separate entities when the HIA already clarified that hemp oil is hemp seed oil and vice versa? This can only support the notion that what manufacturers refer to as hemp oil is actually CBD oil. That is why they also listed hemp seed oil in their ingredient list.
In short, the hemp oil used by the manufacturers of products we’ve featured in this article simply refer to CBD oil.
Another concern that we have encountered is the relationship between cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana that is more known for its psychoactive effects. The good news is that cannabidiol has been proven to lack the psychoactive effects of THC. While both molecules actually come from cannabigerolic acid, the main difference is in the enzyme that acts on this precursor molecule. For THC it is the THCA synthase. For CBD it is CBDA synthase. The difference in enzyme systems is what differentiates the cannabinoid that causes addiction from the cannabinoid that provides a variety of health benefits.
How Does CBD for Dogs Work?
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is one of the most-studied cannabinoid on the planet. On the other hand, not much is known about cannabidiol or CBD. Well, until recently.
So how does CBD for dogs work? To understand this it is important to understand a few things.
First, all cannabinoids, including both THC and CBD, work by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the dog’s body. These receptors are labeled as CB1 and CB2 by scientists.
- CB1 Receptors
Cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptors are mostly found in the nervous system, both central and peripheral. When these receptors are stimulated they cause a reduction in intracellular cAMP by inhibiting the production of adenylate cyclase. In other words, CB1 receptors induce a reduction in nerve impulse transmission since cAMP is a nervous system messenger. It is important to take note that the nervous system does not only include the brain and spinal cord, but all other organs throughout the dog’s body since everything is connected to the central nervous system by way of nerves. Even the skin has nerves in its structure, otherwise there won’t be pain felt.
- CB2 Receptors
Cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors are mostly found in the immune system, the gastrointestinal system, and the peripheral nervous system; although recent studies say that CB2 receptors are also found in the brain, albeit in substantially lesser amounts than CB1 receptors. In the immune system, these receptors have been isolated in the thymus, tonsils, and spleen where they are observed to be responsible for the release of cytokines. Cannabinoid type 2 receptors are mostly found in macrophages, T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and monocytes of the immune system.
In the gut, CB2 receptors have been shown to play a role in reducing inflammation that are typically observed in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Specifically, these receptors help prevent the inactivation of the normal gut flora. Cannabinoid type 2 receptors are also known to play a role in alleviating pain originating from peripheral tissues, although not coming from nociceptive neurons.
Why is it important to learn the two cannabinoid receptors? Well, as we have already mentioned, cannabidiol or CBD exerts its effects primarily by interacting with these receptors. As such, you can say that learning the activities of these receptors can also pave the way towards greater understanding of the action of CBD.
But, there is a catch. Isn’t it that tetrahydrocannabinol or THC works exactly the same way? It also interacts with both CB1 and CB2. Technically CBD is not really that different from THC and may actually cause psychoactive effects.
Not necessarily. You see, while both THC and CBD interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, there are a few differences.
- THC is more specific to CB1 receptors and hence, has more psychoactive effects than CBD.
- THC binds directly to the CB1 receptor so that the effects are readily apparent.
- CBD has been shown to have very low affinity for both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
- CBD still interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors but does not directly bind to the receptors.
- CBD attaches itself to the receptors rather indirectly in a process many scientists call as modulation.
It is the last statement that we will look into the second most important element to understanding how cannabidiol or CBD works.
Since CBD inherently modulates the activities of cannabinoid receptors, what this essentially means is that it stimulates the dog’s body into producing and releasing its very own cannabinoids. As such, if tetrahydrocannabinol provides the dog’s body with readily-available cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t. Instead CBD stimulates the dog’s body into producing its own cannabinoids. That is why it doesn’t produce the psychoactive or addicting effects since the cannabinoids that are produced are naturally-occurring and not exogenous. It is also for this reason that these naturally-occurring cannabinoids make up what is now known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS.
Here is a list of the different functions that the endocannabinoid system is known for.
- Enhances the proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitors especially in the hippocampus of the brain
- Inhibits the release of certain neurotransmitters to help temper neuronal excitability
- Increases appetite by acting on the hypothalamic nuclei
- Plays a huge role in maintaining balance in terms of nutrient transport and energy storage by acting on the cells of the gut, fat cells, liver cells, endocrine tissues of the pancreas, and skeletal muscle cells
- Inhibits excessive arousal which can play a role in toning down anxiety and seizure in dogs
- Improves the functionality of immune system cells particularly B- and T- lymphocytes, macrophages, and monocytes
- Serves as neuromodulator for ameliorating inflammation and skeletal muscle spasms
- Aids in signaling the correct timing of implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterus
- Down-regulates intestinal motility as well as the nerve impulse transmission to the smooth muscles of the reproductive, urinary, and digestive systems
- Suppresses the noxious sensory neuronal responses in the spinal column to reduce pain sensation
- Regulates body temperature
- Promotes sleep by decreasing wakefulness and increasing REM sleep and slow-wave sleep
- Elevates exercise-associated mood by acting on the central nervous system
Since cannabidiol or CBD acts to stimulate the production of endogenous cannabinoids in the dog’s body, it is now very clear how this particular substance can bring about the much-talked about health benefits not only to humans, but to dogs as well.
Cannabidiol (CBD) does not only exert its effects on the endocannabinoid system. It also acts on the serotonin receptor known as 5-HT1A. This receptor also plays a role in inhibitory neurotransmission. CBD has been known to exhibit an agonistic activity to this serotonin receptor which can help further explain its use in both seizure and anxiety control in dogs. This action on the receptor is also what gives CBD its neuroprotective properties.
So, how does CBD work?
- It modulates the activities of cannabinoid receptor types 1 and 2.
- It stimulates the production of endogenous cannabinoids through activation of the endocannabinoid system.
- It stimulates a certain type of serotonin receptor.
What Medical Conditions CBD for Dogs Help With
The mechanisms of action that we have discussed in the preceding section are what give cannabidiol (CBD) oil its exceptional properties in the management of a variety of health conditions in dogs. Here is a list of the medical conditions that CBD for dogs can help with.
- Canine Anxiety
The double action of CBD acting on the inhibitory neurotransmission mechanism of the endocannabinoids as well as the natural inhibitory effect of serotonin receptors help provide for a calmer and less anxious dog.
We already know that the principal effect of cannabinoids in the central nervous system is the tempering of excitatory impulses, generally by inhibiting the release of cyclic-AMP. What this means is that nerve impulses are not sent from one neuron to another. This causes a generalized reduction in brain electrical activity. In short, the brain is able to go into a more relaxed and calmer state, something that you would want to happen in an anxious dog.
The effects of cannabidiol on the 5-HT1A receptor can be likened to the action of commercially-available anti-anxiety drugs. Many of these medications act by stimulating serotonin receptors which, in turn, increases the amount of the inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. While one of the effects of serotonin is an elevation of mood, it also has a more pronounced effect on reducing symptoms of anxiety or even fear.
Given that dogs also experience fear or anxiety and that this can be demonstrated in a variety of dog behaviors such as accidents, howling, barking, aggression, chewing, and even muscle tremors, providing them with CBD oil should help ensure a calmer, more peaceful dog.
- Seizure Disorders
One of the most sought-after effects of CBD oil is the management of seizures and seizure-like manifestations such as muscle spasms, tremors, and even tics. Seizures or convulsions are typically described as involuntary and uncontrollable contractions of the muscles. These are brought about by the abnormally erratic firing of electrical nerve impulses originating from the brain. Instead of synchronized discharge of nerve impulses, what happens is that there is asynchronicity.
Neurotransmitters are sent out from one neuron to the next, typically in rapid succession but more importantly in a disorganized manner. Since the skeletal muscles are innervated by the peripheral nervous system, they receive these asynchronous, erratic neural messages such that they contract in an uncontrollable fashion. Furthermore, because of the flooding of electrical nerve impulses at the motor endplates of muscles, the contractions are sustained and more forceful than ever.
The problem here is not really in the muscle itself, but rather in the brain. Erratic electrical discharge from the brain doesn’t allow for the efficient distribution of oxygen and glucose to the cells of the brain. If the seizure takes an unusually long time to subside, there is a possibility that the area upon which these abnormal neuronal discharges occur will be greatly deprived of glucose and oxygen. This can lead to substantial reduction in brain tissue oxygenation, a condition medical and veterinary professionals call cerebral hypoxia.
Cerebral hypoxia, if not treated immediately, can lead to irreversible death to the cells of that part of the brain. Stroke may ensue or, in most cases, cerebral hypoperfusion injuries can occur. These can send your dog into a coma if not death.
Cannabidiol can help reduce the severity of convulsions or seizures by preventing the likelihood of hyper-excitable neurons. This helps prevent the abnormal erratic discharges from the brain itself.
- Pain Syndromes
There are many theories about pain. However, when it comes to the use of cannabinoids in the management of pain, it is a widely-held observation that its analgesic effects are closely related to the modulation of noradrenaline coming from the brainstem and descending towards the dorsal horn of the spinal cord.
What happens is that these nerve fibers are known to possess GABAergic activity or one that is fully capable of suppressing nerve excitation. When endocannabinoids such as palmitoylethanolamide and anandemide bind to certain receptors in the descending tract of the spinal column, they increase the release of noradrenaline which help attenuate the pain impulses being processed by the noxious sensory neurons found in the dorsal horn. In other words, they block the processing of these pain impulses by flooding it with noradrenaline while also increasing the inhibitory properties of GABAergic fibers.
This can have significant implications in the management of pain in dogs. When taken together with CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, one can see that its use in certain chronic canine pain syndromes such as arthritis and other types of pain is indeed a welcome relief for our beloved canine friends.
- Inflammatory Disorders
We mentioned above that cannabidiol has excellent anti-inflammatory effect. This was highlighted in a 2012 research that showed CBD to be especially effective in reducing the symptoms of inflammation in acute lung injury. Another study on the same year also established the crucial anti-inflammatory activities of CBD in the management of acute pancreatitis. These 2 studies supported the earlier 2006 investigation that suggested CBD as an important adjunct in the management of neuropathic pain and chronic inflammation. While it is easy to say that these studies were never performed using dogs as test subjects, using laboratory mice instead, the results nevertheless, underscore the increasing importance of cannabidiol in the management of chronic inflammatory disorders.
The ability of cannabidiol as a powerful anti-inflammatory is strongly associated with the location of the cannabinoid type 2 (CB2) receptors which are mostly found in immune system cells such as monocytes, macrophages, and T- and B- lymphocytes. Its activity on cytokines help improve the anti-inflammatory action of these immune system cells so that they become very efficient in the management of chronic inflammatory disorders in dogs such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disorder, canine encephalitis, canine chronic bronchitis, masticatory muscle myositis, acquired myasthenia gravis, and even demodectic mange.
Since one of the cardinal signs of inflammatory processes is the occurrence of pain, the action of cannabidiol on immune system cells can help target two principal problems: pain and inflammation.
- Nausea and Vomiting in Dogs
There are a lot of reasons why dogs can get nausea or exhibit vomiting. In most cases it is often related to a change in the dog’s usual dietary patterns. However, it can also be brought about by other reasons such as bacterial infections, foreign body ingestion, acute liver failure, intestinal parasitism, pancreatitis, viral infections, inflammation of the gallbladder, and even as effects of undergoing surgery. Whatever the case, nausea and vomiting in dogs are almost always characterized by abnormal gastric and intestinal motility.
There are three ways in which cannabidiol can help dogs with nausea and vomiting. First, by interacting with CB1 receptors, the endogenous cannabinoids released will help inhibit the firing of cAMP into succeeding neurons. This helps reduce the number of electrical impulses traveling towards the gut, reducing gastric and intestinal motility.
Second, since CB2 receptors are also abundant in the gastrointestinal system, their stimulation can help prevent the activity of the immune system on normal gut flora, allowing for the more efficient digestion and absorption of food molecules which can help minimize nausea and vomiting.
Third, the activity of CBD on 5-HT1A can also help minimize nausea and vomiting in dogs. Stimulation of the serotonin receptor has been proven to reduce the sensation of nausea while also suppressing the vomiting reflex.
- Certain Types of Cancer
One of the most remarkable areas where cannabidiol preparations are now being used on dogs is in the management of certain types of cancers. The area has received widespread attention when several promising studies showed the potentially beneficial effects of CBD on cancer treatment.
For example, the Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center showed in 2011 that cannabidiol has the potential to cause apoptosis or programmed cell death in the neoplastic cells of breast cancer. The Naples, Italy-based University of Naples Federico II published a report indicating that CBD may help prevent the growth, development, and spread of colon cancer tumor cells.
Madrid-based Complutense University went another avenue studying instead the synergistic qualities of cannabidiol in the enhancement of the cancer cell-killing effects of onco-chemotherapeutic agents. The study underscored the activity of CBD in hastening the rate upon which the active ingredients of chemotherapeutic agents are absorbed by cancer cells. At the same time the study observed healthy, normal cells were substantially protected because of their reduced exposure to the chemotherapeutic agents.
Again, while these studies have been performed in test subjects other than dogs, the implications are nevertheless promising. Since certain breeds of dogs are also more prone in the development of certain types of cancer, adding CBD oil in their diet or even as regular supplementation should protect them against these cancers.
What are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?
The benefits of CBD oil for dogs should be readily apparent. These can be gleaned both on how they work and the different health conditions upon which these supplements can be used. Generally, these benefits are as follows.
- Alleviates Canine Anxiety
The inhibitory effect of cannabidiol is one of the most sought-after properties of CBD oil for dogs. Reducing canine anxiety can translate to a variety of benefits for pet parents, too. It allows them the ability to train their dogs properly without causing hyper-excitability or extreme eagerness. Many of the stress- and anxiety- related canine behavioral problems can also be addressed more efficiently.
This means your dog will no longer be tearing apart your furniture, upholstery, bedding, carpet, and anything that it can get its jaws on every time it feels anxious. You need not worry about going after urinary and fecal accidents anymore, saving you the hassle of messy cleanups while keeping the integrity of your belongings. More importantly, your dog will be calmer, more relaxed, and better equipped to handle frustrations, boredom, and other potential sources of canine anxiety.
- Manages Seizure Disorders in Dogs
As we have described in the preceding section, the main issue in canine seizure disorders is not so much in the sustained, forceful contractions of your pet’s skeletal muscles, but rather in the ensuring reduction of oxygenation to its brain, depending on the length of each seizure episode. With CBD you can help minimize the ill effects of reduced oxygen supply to the brain by helping normalize the firing of nerve impulses from the brain.
Do take note that cannabidiol is not a treatment for seizures as this condition can have a variety of causes. Nevertheless, you’ll feel more secure knowing that your dog will have reduced incidence and severity of seizures, tremors, and spasms. This alone is a benefit that other supplements, let alone medications cannot provide.
- Inhibits the Growth of Certain Types of Cancer Cells
While it is true that cannabidiol can provide exceptional control of the growth of cancer cells, its cancer-fighting ability is limited only to those types of neoplastic conditions that have already been proven in laboratory settings. Unfortunately, the list is still short considering that there are hundreds of potential cancers that can hit any breed of dog.
Knowing that CBD oil can induce cell death in neoplastic cells while speeding up the rate of uptake of chemotherapeutic agents by cancer cells should provide hope for those pet parents who may have pooches that have certain types of cancers. It is not a cure for all cancers that are known to affect dogs. But the mere fact that it can play a role in the more effective management of cancers is sure a welcome relief.
- Alleviates Pain
Alleviating pain in your dog should help it with its mobility and enjoy its existence to the fullest. Dogs that are in pain don’t want to move because movement only exacerbates the sensation of pain. If they don’t move they will not be able to get the exercise that they need. They will not be able to tone and strengthen their muscles. In short, their muscles will atrophy or shrink in size and lose their tone. This can lead to other problems.
A dog in pain will also not want to eat which robs it of invaluable nutrients necessary for continued development. It also robs your dog of the much-needed nutrients that can play a role in reducing pain sensation. With CBD oil you can help your dog move as freely as possible by reducing, if not eliminating pain sensation.
- Reduces Inflammation
Inflammatory disorders are a very common occurrence in dogs. From the gastrointestinal tract to the cardiovascular system to the skin and the respiratory system and a whole lot more, these conditions can also bring discomfort to your beloved pet. And since inflammation is almost always accompanied by pain or discomfort, addressing inflammatory conditions means improving the performance of daily activities of your dog.
If the inflammatory disorder happens to be limited to the GIT, then your dog will not be able to receive all the essential nutrients that it needs. If there is inflammation of the skin your dog will be exposed to secondary bacterial, fungal, or even viral infections because of breaks in the skin secondary to incessant scratching. If the inflammation occurs in the lungs or even in the cardiovascular system, then the issues will be related to oxygenation.
Cannabidiol can help reduce inflammation and free your dog from all of these nuisances.
- Supports the Immune System
This is one of the most profound benefits of using CBD oil for dogs. As already explained, since cannabinoid type 2 receptors are also found abundantly in immune system peripheral tissues like the spleen, thymus, and tonsils as well as in cytokines that mediate the immune system response, one can expect greater immune system functionality in dogs receiving CBD oil.
In addition to the improvement in the overall immunologic activity of macrophages, B-lymphocytes, and neutrophils, CBD oil also exerts beneficial activity on T-lymphocytes especially immunoglobulin-M levels. This type of immunoglobulin is an unusually large type of immune system cell that is the first to respond to antigenic exposure. This enhances the immunologic activity of the complement system which further aids in the management of antigen-antibody interactions.
What this simply means is that your dog will be more than ready to face any kind of infection that is sent its way. On hind sight, the improvement in immunologic marking can also play an important role in the identification of hyperplastic cells that have the tendency to mutate and become neoplastic cancer cells.
- Protects the Nervous System
The neuroprotective capability of CBD oil is directly related to its inhibitory effects on nerve impulse transmission. The generation and propagation of electrical nerve impulses require energy. This can seriously deplete brain cells of glucose and oxygen necessary for other metabolic and physiologic processes. By limiting the firing or discharge of nerve impulses, CBD oil can make the brain and its related structures to go into preservation mode. This helps relax the brain and its many neurons, allowing them to operate at a more normal pace.
The nervous system is an integrative system. All organisms rely on a fully functioning nervous system to coordinate and integrate all other processes in the body so that everything is synchronized. It is the job of the nervous system that the different functions of the different organs work synergistically together to advance the optimum health and wellness of the entire organism; in this case, your dog.
- Promotes Well-balanced Metabolism
One of the lesser-known benefits of CBD oil is the promotion of a well-balanced metabolism especially in terms of the more efficient transport of nutrient molecules and the judicious and more sensible storage of energy molecules. Cannabinoid type 2 receptors are known to be present in the gastrointestinal system and this is where energy and metabolic homeostasis or balance actually begins.
Endocannabinoids have been established to act on certain tissues that play a role in nutrient transport, metabolism, and energy storage. As such you can expect these endogenous cannabinoids to be present in the pancreatic islet of Langerhans, the skeletal muscles, the tissues lining the gut, fat cells, and liver cells. Of particular importance is the ability of endocannabinoids to help modulate insulin sensitivity which, everyone now knows, can play an important role in the development of canine obesity, atherosclerosis, and even diabetes in dogs.
How Do You Administer CBD Oil for Dogs?
Cannabidiol products come in various formulations. Many come as drop formulations although there are also in tablet or capsule forms as well as sprays and treats. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the label or even on the package insert.
For CBD drops, this can be administered directly into your dog’s mouth or you can mix it with your pet’s food. The problem with mixing with your dog’s food is that if your pet doesn’t have the appetite you won’t be able to give the full dose of the CBD oil to your pet.
CBD treats and tablets are sometimes a lot easier to administer especially if they are formulated to be as palatable as your dog’s regular treats. Unfortunately, the addition of synthetic chemicals may adversely affect the safety of the product.
There are also CBD sprays that can be sprayed directly into your pet’s mouth or even sprayed onto their dog food.
Key Things to Watch Out for When Purchasing CBD Oil for Your Pet
We mentioned above that choosing the right CBD oil for your pet can be tricky. Here are some things that you really have to watch out for when you’re purchasing CBD oil for your canine friend.
- “Hemp Oil” Label
As we have already explained above, you really need to be careful when reading the label. It is very rare to read “CBD Oil” in product labels. Instead you will read “hemp oil”. You should try to read some more and look for other terms like “phytochemical-rich” or PCR and “full spectrum hemp extract” as these will indicate that the extracts are derived from whole Cannabis sativa L plants. You may also need to check the ingredient list. If it has both hemp seed oil and hemp oil, do take note of the ‘hemp oil’ part as this is the CBD oil in that particular product.
- Source of Hemp Extracts
The source of the hemp extracts should always be clearly indicated in the product that you’re buying. There are certain parts of the US that are well-regarded as hemp haven. For example, Colorado is well-known for its extensive hemp farms. There are also countries that have been growing premium-quality hemp products through the years.
- Non-GMO, All-natural Ingredients
You don’t want the CBD oil you’re going to give to your dog to be laced with harmful chemicals and other substances that may undermine the effectiveness of cannabidiol. As such, you should always look for guarantees that the product doesn’t use GMO ingredients and that their product is made of only natural ingredients. If there are certifications from the USDA or even the FDA, then it should be a good sign.
- Extraction Methods
The two most preferred extraction methods for CBD oil are super-critical CO2 extraction and cold press. These two methods of extraction are considered to be the most appropriate and the safest when it comes to retaining as much cannabidiol from the Cannabis sativa L plant.
CBD Oil for Dogs Dosage
As you may have already noticed from our list of the best CBD oil for dogs, each product may actually come with an entirely different dosing recommendation. For starters, the dose of CBD oil is quite dependent on the type of formulation that is available. In our list we presented mostly in oil forms as drops although one is in the form of a spray. Do take note that CBD is also formulated as treats and as capsules.
For example, CBD oil drops can be as low as 2 to 4 drops or as high as 20 drops every day. Capsule preparations will typically come with 150 to 200 milligrams of CBD oil in the form of hemp extracts so your dog can actually take a capsule once or twice a day.
Another consideration is your dog’s size. Smaller dogs will definitely require smaller doses of CBD oil. Likewise, larger dogs will require substantially larger amounts of CBD oil.
However, there are veterinarians who recommend giving an initial dose of 0.05 milligrams of CBD for every kilogram of your pet’s body weight to be given every day. This can be increased, of course, but should not exceed 1 mg per kilogram per day.
The current recommendation is to approach the dosing of CBD oil on a three-tiered method. The idea is to gradually increase the amount of CBD oil being consumed by your dog over a span of several weeks until the maximum desired levels have been reached.
Here’s an example of how a 3-tiered CBD dosing plan looks like.
- Tier 1 – 0.05 milligrams for every pound of weight to be given two times a day
- Tier 2 – 0.125 milligrams for every pound of weight to be given two times a day
- Tier 3 – 0.25 milligrams for every pound of weight to be given two times a day
Putting your dog on CBD oil supplementation can be tricky. That is why we strongly recommend having a chat with your veterinarian about it so you can be guided accordingly. The trick is for you to always start with the lowest possible dosage that can guarantee a response from your dog. Give this over a week especially noting for any side effect or untoward reactions. If none develops you can increase the dose to the next level, again watching out for side effects. Do this until you’ve reached the desired levels.
What are the Side Effects of CBD Oil for Dogs?
We now know that the main action of CBD is in the activation of the endocannabinoid system and stimulation of the serotonergic mechanism. Since these two pathways generally have other physiologic effects, it is possible that CBD oil for dogs can also produce unwanted yet generally tolerable side effects. Here are some of the more common side effects of CBD oil for dogs.
- Drowsiness or increased tendency to sleep
- Dry mouth as can be evidenced by increased thirst
- Muscle tremors
- Disorientation or light-headedness
- Low blood pressure
On the plus side of things, CBD oil for dogs is generally regarded as safe and well-tolerated. This is welcome news considering that it belongs to the same plant family as the highly addictive marijuana. On that note, one of the most positive things about cannabidiol is that it will never get your dog high.
Cannabidiol or CBD oil for dogs is gaining popularity because of its tremendous benefits to the health of our favorite pets. Not only is it effective in helping our canine friends alleviate their anxieties and help minimize the effects and severity of seizures, CBD oil for dogs can also boost the immune system, reduce pain and inflammation, protect your dog against certain types of cancer, and protect the nervous system among other things. However, it is critical to choose the right CBD oil to give to your dog so you’ll be giving it these benefits and more. You’ll find our list of the best CBD oil for dogs to be exceptionally valuable in providing you with insight on what to choose.