While much research into the uses of CBD is ongoing, there is growing evidence to suggest that it has some medicinal benefits. With so much information available, let’s distill it down to what you need to know.
What is CBD oil, and why is there growing demand for it?
The legalization of marijuana and other cannabis products in many states has piqued people’s interest in the product. No longer viewed as something illicit, they want to know more about how they could use it themselves.
However, there’s a distinction to be made between CBD and marijuana. Marijuana contains the compound tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that makes marijuana potentially psychoactive and habit-forming. Cannabidiol, which is the full name of CBD, is something entirely different.
This substance is not the same as THC and contains only trace elements of it. So, CBD products won’t get you ‘high’. Legal CBD products are harvested from the hemp plant, which is different from the marijuana plant in that it contains virtually no THC.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that CBD can alleviate the symptoms of a myriad of conditions in humans. Similar evidence exists in terms of using it to treat some pet ailments. Scientists are still establishing the veracity of these claims by conducting several studies on CBD and what its potential benefits are.
How does CBD work?
CBD is believed to assist the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate hormone levels, among others. It allows the body to achieve homeostasis, which is a state of balance. Another potential benefit of CBD is that it acts as an anti-inflammatory, easing pain and discomfort.
What can CBD do for your dog?
Dogs experiencing conditions like arthritis could benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD products. It is even believed to be effective in the treatment of postoperative wounds.
There is some evidence to suggest that CBD can help to relieve nausea, thereby helping to stimulate appetite. As a supplement to the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help to ensure that the dog’s hunger hormones remain at optimal levels.
CBD is also believed to affect the neurotransmitter, serotonin., which acts as a hormone once it leaves the brain. It is also known as the ‘feel-good’ hormone and can help unusually aggressive dogs.
One of the most common problems dog owners have is pooches who struggle with anxiety. It can be constant or only occur when they are exposed to loud noises such as thunder and fireworks.
Anxiety is driven by stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. They put the body into a heightened state of alertness, allowing it to respond quickly to perceived threats. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help to regulate the levels of these hormones, thereby reducing feelings of anxiety.
The safety of CBD for your dog
As with all medicinal treatments, CBD does have some known side effects. They include:
- Dry mouth due to reduced production of saliva.
- Lightheadedness and dizziness due to a brief decrease in blood pressure.
- Drowsiness due to its calming effects.
How much CBD should you give your dog?
With no set dosage guidelines, it’s difficult to know how much CBD oil your dog needs. This is an area where research is ongoing.
As a rule of thumb, dog owners should always start with a minimal dose, increasing it incrementally if it doesn’t achieve the desired effect. Most CBD oil products come in liquid form in a bottle with a dropper. Start with a single drop a day and build up the dose from there, including it in your dog’s food, or administer it orally.
Buying CBD oil for your dog
Before you make your first purchase, here are some factors to consider:
- A good quality oil should come from organically grown hemp so that it doesn’t contain pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
- Make sure you buy from manufacturers with an established reputation that are transparent about the production process.
- Price is linked to quality, and most cheaper products are likely to be of inferior quality.