CBD in Animals

(excerpts from Caroline Coile, PhD – AKC Family Dog May/June 2021 pg 88-89)

There are multiple success stories of pets over-coming anxiety, seizures, and cancer resolution due to cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are substances including CBD and THC that mimic endocannabinoid chemicals naturally produced in all vertebrates. Receptors for endocannabinoidsare found thought the body. The body’s endocannabinoidsact as master regulators that signal other systems when to speed up or slow down, working to stabilize the body and return it to homoeostasis. Canabinoids from the cannabis plant affect these same receptors. For example, THC causes a high, while CBD does not.

Unlike THC which can cause death and toxicity, CBD cannot. Diarrhea and a change in liver values may be all that is affected. The main concentrations with CBD is that it inhibits a chemical in the body called cytochrome P450 that is responsible for metabolizing most drugs. If a drug’s efficacy depends on its metabolized product, CBD could render it less effective. If a drug’s safety depends on it being cleared from the body within a certain time frame, CBD could cause it build up to toxic levels. Never give your dog CBD without your veterinarians knowledge if your dog is taking other drugs.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found that dogs given CBVD at a rate of 4.4 mg/pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain,relief and quality of life. A Baylor University study found similar improvement in the dog’s arthritic condition.

An Australian study conducted by the company CannPal found their CBD product reduced itchiness, inflammation and skin lesions by 51 % after eight weeks of treatment.

Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. Cornell CVM study of dogs and CBD combined with chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Other veterinarians have reported that CBD has put cancer dogs into remission.

Many dog owners use CBD for anxiety and especially noise reactivity. According to the University of Western Australia, CBD has helped ease aggressive behavior in dogs. This may be helpful with aggressive shelter dogs.

Colorado State University study was designed to give dogs CBD for 12 weeks. These dogs had 33% fewer seizures but it did not work for every dog. More studies are expected in this field.

There is evidence in lab animals that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing degenerative myelopathy, quelling nausea, and relieving pain. More controlled studies are needed.

Find a product with the National Animal Supplement Counsel (NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance and also a product with a third party certificate of analysis that includes a list of ingredients, potency, and discloses the possible presence of heavy metals, mycotoxins, or pesticides. Avoid giving edible products intended for humans to pets. Many of the edibles contain ingredients toxic to animals….(ex: Xylitol). AVOID any product with THC listed in the ingredients. Broad-spectrum products which may include terpenes may provide better coverage for problems treated with CBD. Typical dose is 0.1-0.2mg/kg of your dog’s weight twice a day by mouth.

While it is legal to sell hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3 % THC, the AVMA did NOT approve of veterinarians suggesting any cannabis products, including CBD, for patients. The legality remains vague.

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