Important Note: Currently in the United Kingdom it is not legal to market CBD products to pets directly. Any company doing this should be avoided. Nonetheless, the majority of these cbd for pets style products are simply the same CBD product offered to humans, but usually in lower doses (based on the size of the animal). As a result, studies have shown similar benefits and results in dogs for the “human” organic CBD oil.
CBD oil for dogs is one of the latest trends in the world of pet health and wellbeing. But just like with any other trend, especially those related to health, there is a lot of conflicting information available online.
After all, some promising research exists on the health benefits of CBD for humans, but clinical trials into its effects on other animals are, understandably, much less common.
Despite this, the fact that CBD is on everybody’s mind has people wondering whether it could provide a beneficial health supplement for their furry friends, especially those who suffer from issues such as separation anxiety or arthritis.
So is this something you should try, or is it potentially dangerous?
Let’s take a look at what the studies that do exist have found.
If you are unsure about the difference between cannabis and CBD oil, this is likely your first question:
Will CBD Get My Dog High?
You’ll be glad to hear that the answer is no. The “high” feeling associated with cannabis comes from THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, another cannabinoid present in the marijuana plant.
Hemp grown for producing CBD oil legally has to contain less than 0.2% THC, which isn’t enough for any psychoactive effects.
Since CBD and the other cannabinoids are not psychoactive, your dog isn’t going to be laying on your sofa eating all of your snacks after you give it a drop of CBD tincture.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for them though, so what impact does it have?
Scientists from around the world are trying to answer that question as we speak:
Can Dogs Have CBD Oil?
If you’re asking the question “Can I give my dog human CBD oil?” what you’re really asking is “Do dogs have an endocannabinoid system?”.
As we detailed in our guide to the endocannabinoid system, the receptors and neurotransmitters that make up that system are the reason CBD has the effects on humans that have been found so far.
With that in mind, you’ll be happy to know that dogs, and indeed all mammals, do share the endocannabinoid system with humans. While studies have noted that CB1 receptors in dogs do act differently to human ones, they have also found similar protective and anti-inflammatory responses to those found in the human ECS.
Studies have also found benefits around inflammation when giving CBD to dogs suffering from Intraspinal Spirocercosis and Meningitis-Arteritis, endocannabinoid such as 2-AG have been discovered in dogs, and some fairly compelling evidence has been demonstrated in using CBD to treat canine osteoarthritis.
Since these studies are so low in number, we would recommend caution, doing your own research, and even waiting for more studies to be completed.
With this said, the existing evidence does show promise and suggest that while the canine endocannabinoid system doesn’t necessarily work in exactly the same way as that of humans’, it does carry out the same function in terms of helping to manage the other bodily systems and promoting homeostasis.
Of course, if this was the confirmation you needed to attempt giving your dog CBD oil, your next question might well be….
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an official recommended CBD oil for dogs UK dosage, and due to the premature state of academic research, there likely isn’t anywhere else either.
To complicate things even further, there isn’t an agreed on CBD dosage for humans either.
While there are products specifically marketed as CBD for dogs, some of which claim to have specifically formulated a version of hemp oil for dogs, these should generally be avoided since there isn’t enough actual evidence available for this to be done in an accurate way.
There is no reason you can’t try giving regular CBD oil to dogs though, and the best way to prevent any negative side effects is to simply keep the dose small, for example, one drop of tincture per day given in food.
For humans, we typically advise gradually increasing this dose over time to find the sweet spot, but unfortunately this isn’t really possible with dogs since you can’t simply ask how they’re feeling to measure any benefits.
As a result, it’s probably best to keep it at one drop per day, especially for smaller dogs.
With that said, anecdotal evidence for using cannabis oil for dogs to treat visible conditions such as arthritis or anxiety have been mostly positive, so you could always try it for something like this and judge any changes in your pet’s condition yourself.
If you’re planning to buy CBD oil for dogs, you are probably wondering which type of product to look for in order to provide the safest, highest quality ingredients for your canine buddy.
Let’s take a look:
Best CBD Oil For Dogs
Unfortunately, the trending nature of CBD oil has led to a bunch of brands getting involved, some of which do their due diligence and provide high quality products, others of which do not.
In fact, there are even some products out there that are marketed specifically as CBD products despite not containing any cannabidiol at all, or very small amounts.
As a result, your strategy in looking for the best CBD oil for dogs in the UK (or elsewhere) shouldn’t be to find a specific CBD for dogs, but rather to find a brand you can trust to provide high quality CBD oil.
Things to look out for include:
- Published lab results: A company that publishes their lab results online is confident in their product and has nothing to hide. One that doesn’t, is unlikely to have the best lab results in the world, and potentially has a product with low CBD content, high volume of other ingredients, or even harmful pesticides and other synthetic chemicals that you don’t really want your dog to be ingesting. You’ll also want to use these results to ensure that the product contains either zero THC, or less than 0.2%. Any more than that is both illegal, and can have psychoactive effects for your pet.
- Full spectrum CBD oil: Full spectrum CBD oil contains all of the beneficial ingredients of the hemp plant, which, besides CBD includes flavonoids, terpenes, vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, trace amounts of THC, and a full host of other cannabinoids. This results in the ‘entourage effect’ which is where these ingredients work together to provide benefits far beyond what they can achieve alone. A product that isn’t advertised as full spectrum will usually be missing all of these ingredients and therefore may cause your dog to miss out on a lot of potential benefits.
- Don’t go for the cheaper option. Yes, we know, this is always tempting to do. Unfortunately most cheaper forms of CBD oil are poor quality or don’t contain CBD at all. Even if it does, it may be full of herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals or other dangerous ingredients. This doesn’t mean all expensive CBD products are good, but if you’re willing to do your research and pay a little more, you’ll usually be rewarded.
- Other beneficial factors such as a product that’s organic, ethically and sustainably produced, etc.
As long as you follow these rules and do your research, there should be nothing to stop you finding a high quality product that’s among the best CBD oil for dogs in the UK.
Hemp Oil Benefits for Dogs
As discussed above, unfortunately the scientific evidence into the benefits of CBD for dogs is far from conclusive.
Because of this, we wouldn’t be able to definitively tell you that it can help to treat any condition.
However, based on the fact that dogs share a similar endocannabinoid system to us, the most common conditions people attempt to treat using CBD are based around stress, anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain.
There has even been some cases of people using CBD oil for dog seizures and finding positive results, and the small amount of studies that have been undertaken found similarly positive results, but without further analysis it cannot be determined whether this was due to the CBD oil or just a coincidence.
Other common conditions that people use CBD to help manage in dogs include:
- Anxiety/social anxiety/separation anxiety
- Loss of appetite
There has also been some growth in people using CBD oil for dogs with cancer, but of course it is still uncertain whether this can even be beneficial in humans. As a result, this is likely more commonly used in an attempt to help manage pain, stress, the nausea related to chemotherapy and more, as opposed to actually helping to reduce cancer.
So, if you’re thinking of giving your dog CBD oil to help promote homeostasis and a state of wellbeing, are there any side effects you should worry about?
Side Effects for Dogs
Generally, CBD toxicity in dogs is of very low concern.
Cannabidiol is generally well tolerated and side effects are both extremely rare, and usually minor in severity.
Despite this, the following side effects may occur:
- Drowsiness or laziness
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
It’s currently unknown how much CBD is required to become toxic to dogs, and while it’s likely a large amount, we would always urge extreme caution when giving something new to your pets, and as such we’d recommend discussing it with a veterinarian first and using a very small dose at first.
As long as you take this care, monitor your dog after giving it CBD, and immediately cease use if you experience any negative effects, the risk is relatively low.
Have you tried giving CBD to your dog? Did you experience any benefits? Feel free to get in touch if so, and keep your eyes to the Evopure Plant Life blog for more deep dives into the world of CBD!