We’ve all the heard about the superior health effects of CBD, or Cannabidiol, the non-intoxicating extract of the cannabis plant. With hemp legalization, a number of scientific studies have shown evidence of a link between CBD oil usage and pain relief, stress management, epilepsy, and more. But what about CBD for dogs?
CBD for Dogs
If it works for man, does it work for man’s best friend? As it turns out, all mammals have the same endocannabinoid system, meaning that our bodies create their own compounds similar to those found in the cannabis plant. These compounds and the endocannabinoid receptors that take them up are involved in many bodily processes such as appetite, mood, memory, and pain sensation. In all mammals, some researchers think CBD may mimic and strengthen the body’s own regulatory system.
Given CBD’s many purported healing properties, here are 10 distinct reasons your pup could also reap the benefits of CBD in her diet.
1. Hip Dysplasia
More a problem for certain breeds, all dogs are prone to hip and other joint problems as they age. Studies have shown that CBD oil, taken internally or even rubbed on an affected area, can ease the pain of arthritis in humans and even prevent further nerve damage. Studies have also shown that glucosamine, once touted as an essential treatment for hip dysplasia, is not as effective as previously believed. Adding CBD oil to your dog’s diet early on could possibly help stave off joint problems, and its purported anti-inflammatory properties could potentially provide pain relief to dogs who have already been diagnosed.
2. Skin disorders
Skin disorders are extremely common in dogs, and can be due to any number of disorders, from allergies to thyroid problems. Some users have claimed that CBD oil, applied directly to the skin, has both soothing anti-inflammatory properties. According to many, it is also an antiseptic. Problems such as flea bites and hot spots are prone to infection on a dog’s skin, and CBD oil could, if these are true, both soothe the itching and promote healing.
3. Thunder Anxiety
No one knows why some dogs seem oblivious to thunder, and others turn into panting, whining, pacing puddles of fear. But if your pup is one of the latter, try CBD on their tongue or in a treat when the weather forecast predicts a storm. Studies have shown that CBD has a calming effect similar to pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications, without the side effects of lethargy, decreased appetite, and nausea.
Approximately 3% of dogs suffer from an epilepsy disorder of some kind. Given that there is already a CBD-derived treatment available for epilepsy in humans (Epidiolex, FDA-approved in 2018), studies are being conducted now by the American Kennel Club to develop a canine version of the drug. Early results look promising. But why wait for a pharmaceutical when the active ingredient is available at your local dispensary?
5. Cancer Treatment
Dogs get the C-word, too. My own dog was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia at the tender age of 4. (Luckily, she lived until the ripe old age of 15). I learned from that experience that dogs tend to tolerate chemotherapy better than humans (they generally don’t lose their fur), but they can lose their appetite, a side effect that’s often treated with steroids. Humans have used marijuana (CBD being the active ingredient) to counteract the nausea of chemotherapy for decades. It could possibly work for your pup the exact same way, potentially without the anxiety and aggression that can be caused by steroids.
6. Motion Sickness
What pup doesn’t love riding in the car? The sights, the smells, the wind flapping her ears – dogs love it all. Well, most do. I once had a dog that got so nervous in the car that she once climbed onto my lap and barfed over my shoulder (while I was driving). So that’s not to say that pup doesn’t get a little nauseous, especially once you start hitting those mountain curves. CBD’s purported anti-stress and anti-nausea properties could, for some, make it a particularly effective treatment for heading off motion sickness in dogs. Trying giving your pup a CBD capsule an hour before you begin your trip. Your car upholstery will thank you.
7. Separation Anxiety
Dogs are pack animals. They just don’t like being alone. So who can blame Rover for getting a little anxious when he has to spend a good 8-10 hours by himself while you work to buy his favorite kibble? Again, CBD has been reported to be a potent stress-reliever. Adding CBD to your dog’s diet could help calm your pup until he realizes that you do indeed come home at the end of the day.
Dogs have allergies just like we do; only in dogs, the allergies tend to manifest differently. Instead of sinus infections, your dog may develop rheumy eyes, or lose hair, or develop itchy spots on his skin. Flea bites are responsible for many allergic reactions in dogs. Allergies are the result of the body’s inflammatory overreaction to foreign objects in the environment. CBD’s reported anti-inflammatory effects could counteract the body’s reaction, relieving allergies in a whole-body way.
9. CBD for dogs: pain relief
No matter what the cause, we all suffer from pain of some kind. Dogs can’t always tell you how they’re in pain, but a perceptive dog owner can tell when something is amiss. Given that CBD is called by some a broad-spectrum treatment that interacts with the body’s own healing processes, it could potentially provide relief from almost any type of pain. For aging dogs in particular, adding it to their daily diet could be a great way of counteracting some of the aches and pains of growing older.
10. Living as long a life as possible.
The sad truth is man’s best friend just doesn’t live as long as man. You want your best friend to stay with you, happy and healthy, as long as possible. CBD, besides being, according to many users, an effective treatment for many disorders, is also said to be an antioxidant that fights the free radicals associated with the aging process. The inclusion of CBD in a healthy diet could -potentially- actually fight aging on a cellular level. You owe it to your best friend and yourself to extend your time on earth together in the best way you can.