You may have heard about CBD oil as a miracle supplement for dogs. Claims and testimonials abound. “I gave this to my dog who suffered from, fill in the blank, gave him CBD and now he is fine!” But what is CBD really and are all these claims true?
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. This substance is often derived from marijuana, but it can come from other plants, like the hemp plant. However, CBD does not create any sort of “high” like marijuana does. Another substance, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the main compounds of marijuana that creates the “high.”
CBD is generally put into some sort of carrier oil such as MCT oil, olive oil, or hemp oil. These oils hold onto the CBD and make it easier to dose and consume. These oils generally have their own health benefits.
All The Health Claims
I am sure that you have heard an abundance of claims for what CBD has helped or cured people and pets from. You can hear claims of CBD oil helping with extreme arthritis, curing cancer, helping with heart problems, gut issues, pain. There are claims that it can prevent dementia and insomnia. There are also claims that CBD can improve mood, protect against depression and anxiety, even help with PTSD. Basically, if there is a problem that plagues mankind and their pets there is a claim that CBD can help. But can it?
What CBD Oil Does
So, what does CBD oil actually do? Well, every human and animal has what is called an endocannabinoid system in their body. This system is necessary for fine-tuning our physiological function. This system affects you and your dog’s whole body.
The main effect of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis. What is homeostasis, you ask? Homeostasis is the body’s natural state. The state in which to body functions best and wants to be in. If homeostasis is left in some part of the body it causes symptoms which we would think of as illness. Think cancers, depression, sleeplessness, arthritis, inflammation, and basically any sickness! So, homeostasis is hugely important to overall health and the status quo of the body. In many cultures, healing revolves around returning balance to the body and that is what the endocannabinoid system does.
So, great system, right? But where does CBD oil come into play? Well, many of the cells that make up the endocannabinoid system have receptors that are looking for cannabinoids, like CBD. When CBD binds with these receptors it can cause all sorts of changes in the body. All these changes are to help the body reach and maintain homeostasis.
Possible Side Effects of CBD
So this all sounds quite epic, right? But are their side effects? CBD oil is generally very safe. There are very few side effects of CBD oil however it may cause changes in appetite and nausea in some animals. It is also important to realize that the carrier oil the CBD is mixed with may affect your dog as well.
What To Look For When Buying CBD For Dogs
It is highly important to look for CBD oil that contains no THC when you are buying it for your dog. Dogs are incredibly sensitive to stimulants and can become very sick with very low doses of stimulants, including THC.
The carrier oil is also something to keep in mind when looking for CBD oil. MCT oil is usually a good choice as long as your dog doesn’t have a coconut allergy. Hemp-derived CBD in hemp oil is always a good option since these can work synergistically together.
Find a brand that you trust. Preferably one that is third-party tested for quality. Several companies make CBD oil for pets, these are often a safer option because companies know to keep THC out of pet CBD oil. It is still important to check that there is no THC even though the company says it is safe for pets.
It is always a good idea to talk with a holistic vet before giving CBD oil, especially if your pet is on medication. For dosing follow the manufacturer’s directions to start with. However, overdosing on CBD oil is pretty much unheard of. So, if you feel, after a few weeks, that the manufacturer’s dose is too low try adding a half dose more. It is a good idea to keep notes on how your dog was before CBD and how he does after. This will help you to notice if the CBD oil is helping or not.
CBD oil can play a crucial part in your dog’s health. It can be given for specific health issues from anxiety to cancer. CBD oil can also be given for no other reason than health maintenance. Which is actually a great reason to give it. CBD oil plays a crucial role in helping the endocannabinoid system keep a body in balance. And a balanced body is a healthy body.