With proper use and application, cannabis has become a go-to option for many pet parents wanting to support their furry friends. Cannabis for dogs may seem an unconventional solution, but a growing number of companies have made this alternative treatment option not only possible, but also safe and reliable.
Before we dive into cannabis for dogs, a quick definition of cannabis: cannabis is the shorthand for the plant Cannabis sativa, which is where extracts like CBD and THC are pulled from. Hemp is a type of Cannabis sativa plant, but one bred to have almost no THC and high levels of CBD.
Veterinarian-based research has shown that cannabis products like CBD dog treats and pet CBD tinctures have the potential to support pets’ overall health and wellness with few (if any) side effects. And best, when formulated correctly, the right cannabis products won't get your dogs high, keeping them safe from risks of toxicity and associated unpleasant central nervous system symptoms.
Finding the correct cannabis products for your dog will be essential to keeping them supported and safe.
Read on to find out which cannabis products are okay for dogs and which are not.
CBD vs. THC: Which Is OK for Dogs?
Cannabis comes in a range of products acceptable for humans, but not all types of cannabis are equally appropriate for your canine accomplaces. So before you go and share your own cannabis wellness products with your pup, let’s go through what types of cannabis are safe for pets and what aren’t.
CBD is the abbreviation for the compound cannabidiol, a compound that can be extracted from all types of cannabis. Generally, a type of cannabis strain known as indica is known to have more THC than CBD, and another specially-bred type of cannabis called hemp is known to have more CBD and virtually no THC.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is federally legal to grow, process into products, and sell throughout the entire United States. That’s because THC, the controlled substance in any cannabis plant, is at such low levels (less than 0.3%, in fact) that no dose of CBD can cause the hallucinogenic effects associated with controlled cannabis.
When this bill was passed, many, many CBD products were finally able to be properly grown, manufactured, and third-party tested to ensure potency and quality. As the benefits of CBD like supporting emotional balance and mobility became known in humans, it began to be manufactured for our animal companions, too, in hopes of extending the wellness benefits to them.
As the World Health Organization has phrased it, there has yet to be any research showing any adverse side effects of CBD use in animals. Because of this, many pet owners have begun giving their pets daily doses of CBD to support various facets of health, as currently the research seems to support that there are more positive effects for CBD and almost no negative.
The outlook for dogs and THC is a bit different. With THC and CBD both coming from the same plants, one may assume that their effects would be similar. However, there is a big difference in that while a huge dose of CBD doesn’t cause any very adverse effects in dogs, a very large dose of THC can be far too intense for them and can cause severe discomfort and anxiety because of THC’s psychoactive effects.
Dogs don’t understand what’s happening when they start to feel those changes to their central nervous system, which is why although THC is safe for dogs to consume, it should only be consumed in animal-specific formulas that contain the appropriate amount for our pups.
If your dog does get into your own THC-inclusive baked goods, gummies, etc., there are multiple symptoms that a dog might possibly have that can exhibit THC poisoning.
- They may become disoriented and stumble around.
- They might also be unable to control their bodies and may suffer from tremors and shaking, bouts of vomiting, loss of bowel control, or urinary incontinence.
- They may become agitated, but they also have an equal amount of risk for becoming dull and lethargic.
- They may experience a loss of motor function, and may also begin drooling, shivering, barking, crying, or whining in a way unusual to their typical behavior. Low blood pressure is also a possibility.
Aside from the doses of THC being disproportionate for animals, another danger of dogs getting into cannabis products made for humans (whether store-bought or home-made) is the fact that many of these products contain other ingredients that are harmful to our pups. Chocolate, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, and some kinds of nuts are all just examples of what you might find in a gourmet cannabis brownie that is within your pup’s reach if you leave it unattended on the counter.
So, if you are planning on giving your dog cannabis products, whether they contain THC or CBD, make sure that product is specifically formulated for animals.
Federal regulations mandate that any hemp-based CBD product must contain a concentration of less than 0.3% THC to be federally legal; otherwise, it is treated like a recreational cannabis product and is only legal in states that sell recreational cannabis.
CBD Products For Dogs
Many pet owners choose to spring for CBD products made specifically for pets, not because THC is bad for your dog, but because pet CBD products are generally easier to obtain since they’re more widely available. .
VETCBD Hemp’s CBD oil and CBD balm are designed by veterinarians to ensure they are safe for your dogs and offer maximum benefit. They are specifically crafted to support your dog’s wellbeing.
The pet CBD tincture is made with high quality, premium, full-spectrum CBD from American-grown hemp, infused in organic extra virgin olive oil. It can help support joint health and mobility, brain health, and GI health, while also helping to keep your dog calm and relaxed.
Our pet CBD balm can be used to both support minor skin irritations and target local inflammation. Use of the balm can also promote overall skin health since it’s also made with extra virgin olive oil and beeswax.
VETCBD Hemp’s formulated products have been thoroughly third-party tested to ensure they are free from any heavy metals or chemicals, including mycotoxins, pesticides, and solvents — you can check out our results here.
We hope you consider us if you purchase CBD products, and let us know how much you love them just after you try them.
CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report | World Health Organization
Hemp CBD vs. Cannabis CBD: What's the difference? | Medical News Today
Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs: Cannabis Intoxication in Pets | American Kennel Club
CBD products are everywhere. But do they work? | Harvard Health.