Your Dog & Cannabis

Yesterday, I discussed joint issues in dogs and gave you a brief overview of ways to help your pup if they have arthritis, hip/elbow dysplasia and have inflammation or pain/discomfort. Today I will talk about popular medicinal herb you can give your dog these days and it’s called cannabis, made from hemp.

While it may seem controversial, dog owners are using hemp these days to help their pets with a wide range of ailments. Whether your dog has cancer, seizures, or anxiety, cannabis oil is being used as an alternative medication to help treat symptoms. Here’s everything I have learned about cannabis oil for dogs and I want to share my knowledge with you. I recently purchased a bottle of CBD hemp oil for one of my dogs who has developed arthritis, and I have researched extensively as well as consulted with my Veterinarian.

The cannabis plant itself contains 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDs are therapeutic cannabinoids, while THC is the cannabinoid that makes you high. Marijuana’s THC content is usually between 10 and 15 percent, hemp has a THC content of 0.3 percent or less. At this level, cannabis has no intoxicating effect, for people or dogs. Hemp CBD is different from Cannabis CBD as it contains no THC and is therefore completely non-psychoactive.

What are the benefits? Studies show that many cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects, and can help with pain, tumors, seizures, muscle spasms, skin conditions, phobias, appetite stimulation, aggression, anxiety, deteriorating quality of life, glaucoma and neurological disorders. Veterinarians are also finding that hemp CBD can be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.

More than anything, the most promising aspect of using CBD is the fact that it could help your dog get off synthetic drugs, which have many short and long-term side effects. Even if it can’t fully replace the medication, hemp CBD oil could possibly help you lower the doses that the dog has to take.

Unlike traditional prescription medications, there are no life-threatening side effects with proper dosage of CBD. It doesn’t damage the kidney, liver, or GI tract. The most common side effect is that your dog may get a little drowsy – about the same as if you gave them a Benadryl.

If you are thinking of trying some CBD oil for your dog, the recommended dosage starts with 1 drop of CBD oil per 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight per day. Give this dose for about a week, then move up to twice per day. Unlike essential oils, hemp CBD oil is actually one that is for oral use. You can either give it to your pup directly in their mouth if they will allow you to, or you can put it in their food daily.

As long as there are no side effects, you can increase the dose every 4 to 5 days until you see therapeutic benefits. Be sure to observe your pup’s response, and if you see any side effects such as disorientation, hyperactivity, vomiting or excessive sedation stop usage immediately and wait for these side effects to clear up. Once side effects cease, you can resume use at a lower dose. The key is to find a dose where you don’t see side effects but you do see results. With continued use, you may need to increase the dose a little over time to achieve the therapeutic results.

Pet owners should consider all sides of the cannabis issue when thinking about giving hemp CBD products to the furry friend in their life and most importantly, consult with your own Veterinarian! 

Stay tuned here on Paws Give Me Purpose for updates on how my dog is doing on the hemp CBD oil.

Sources and further reading:

http://m.petmd.com/dog/general-health/cannabis-oil-dogs-everything-you-need-know

https://www.leafly.com/news/health/this-dogs-seizures-are-being-treated-with-cbd-d82e

http://thebark.com/content/medical-cannabis-it-good-our-dogs