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CBD for Dogs: Benefits, Uses, and Things You Need to Consider 


When cannabis was first deregulated in California, it was necessary to have a doctor’s permit to consume it or own it.  I was in line to get such a permit when the woman behind me explained that she was getting her cannabis card so she could get the medicine for her dog. She said she was in perfectly good health and had no need, but her dog needed the medicine badly.  It struck me that people will do anything for their pets, as in those days, getting your name on a registry was risky.  And it struck me as sensible that the pets would have starved endocannabinoid systems, just like most people walking around.

Years later, the Sisters would begin making their own line of CBD products, and we proudly touted that all our products are for people and their furry friends. We didn’t believe our ancient mothers would have made separate oil batches for pets and for people.  We believed it would be the same medicine, administered differently, with different dosage requirements maybe.

Over the years, we have learned that some people and pets are sensitive to the small amount of blood orange extract that we add to flavor our oils.  So maybe we were wrong.  Maybe our ancient mothers did make special batches of oils, just for the pets.

We suspect the pets benefit from a balance of raw plant medicine with cooked plant medicine and have developed a proprietary, essential oil-free, scent-free, recipe for dogs and for their people.

Photo by CRYSTALWEED cannabis on Unspl

What is CBD and How Does It Affect Dogs?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and hemp. CBD oil does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that gives cannabis its psychoactive properties.

There hasn’t yet been a formal investigation on the effects of CBD on dogs. What is known is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors found in the peripheral and central nervous systems, which support the body’s ability to remain balanced and healthy.

There are two major types of cannabinoid receptors in a pet’s body; CB1 and CB2. These receptors balance and regulate a pet’s immune and central nervous system. From there, these can influence inflammation, pain, allergies, and mood. The endocannabinoid system is comprised of three primary parts;

  • The receptors;
  • The endocannabinoids;
  • The enzymes. 

The dog’s body naturally produces substances called endocannabinoids. They then bind to the receptors, especially in times of stress, disease or injury.

Phytocannabinoids work very similarly to the endocannabinoids by also binding to the cannabinoid receptors.  But, there is a difference between dogs and cats. 

Dogs have the highest concentration of CB1 receptors in the brain of all species, including humans. Cats, on the other hand, appear to have lower absorption and possibly faster elimination of CBD compared to dogs. So, you will need to dose your cat more often than your dog to maintain the levels of CBD. It must be said that every pet is different, and you won’t see the same results in each pet. Just keep the dosages low and monitor them carefully. If they react badly, stop immediately. 

What Dog Health Problems Can CBD Oil Treat?

Research conducted on the effects of CBD on people shows that it may be useful in treating a number of diseases, including chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the benefits of CBD in dogs have only been the subject of a few trustworthy studies.

In one study, dogs with osteoarthritis were used to test the safety, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pain effects of CBD oil, and it was found that 80% of the subjects showed improvement in both mobility and discomfort.

Another study from 2019 showed that epileptic dogs who received CBD in addition to their seizure medicine saw much fewer seizures than those who only received their medication. However, more research is required to corroborate these findings, even though this study and others like it may provide a window into CBD’s therapeutic potential for dogs.

Is it safe?

There is currently no study on the benefits and hazards of CBD use in canines. Neither CBD nor a dosing schedule have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, we are unsure about what dosage range would cause an adverse reaction. When giving your dog something new, it is generally preferable to consult your veterinarian first.

Dogs, like people, are all different. Not all medicine works for all people and in some rare cases, with both people and pets, there could be an allergic reaction. This is true with all medicines.  

The experience the Sisters have with pets on our farms is that we would not have pets without CBD around. We use the medicine freely with the dogs and cats, and the neighbors use it for sick horses or livestock. 

CBD saves our pets, but that isn’t to say that your dog will respond or that some dogs won’t have an allergic reaction. We always dose small, low amounts, and watch the pet or person for a reaction.  If there is no negative reaction, we can dose further, and watch.  Dosage is a very individual thing.

Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

Choosing the Right Product for Your Dog

So, which product should you go for?

Well, as you know, we have a variety of products that we sell, and some great products for your beloved animals.   

CBD Oil for Dogs, like our essential-oil-free, CBD-infused oil with a liquid coconut oil base that can be used by both pups and their people. This is dispersed to pets using a measured dropper and allows for easy application and measured doses. One study from 2018 on dogs with epilepsy found that CBD oil was more effective than a gel capsule or topical creams.

CBD Treats and Chews are made similarly to regular CBD oils, but then the final oil product is infused into an edible. It is easy to get them to chew on it, but the dosage is lower than the oils. 

CBD Topical Products for Dogs. These products are perfect for muscle aches and skin issues. Apply on an open area (or a shaved area) and make sure your pet does not lick the site for at least 30-45 minutes. 

CBD Capsules and Pills for Dogs. These are great for a picky pet, but they don’t absorb as easily as the oils. 

The Bottom Line 

The bottom line is that millions of people are dosing their pets with cannabis compounds and we are first hand witnesses to the efficacy . . .  most especially when it comes to relieving their pain and suffering.

All I advise is to start with the lowest dosage, and slowly work up from there. 

Keep an eye on them and make sure that they do not react badly and if your pet has a serious illness, be sure to consult with your vet before dosing.

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