What are CBD oils?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oils contain high concentrations of the cannabidiol. They are extracted from both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant and often mixed in carrier oils such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
Cannabidiol is the second highest occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, after Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, CBD poses no psychoactive effects when consumed. It is a therapeutic chemical compound, beneficial to the treatment of numerous health ailments, including mental health and neurodegenerative disorders.
The term ‘CBD oils’ can refer to two types of oils:
- Cannabis oils in which the concentration of CBD outweighs that of THC and;
- Cannabis oils with no concentrations of THC at all, or only traces.
Following the rise in CBD oil consumption in humans, more pet owners are administering these oils to their pets. According to reports made on the CNBC network, the sale of CBD pet products quadrupled in 2017 alone. The market, formerly worth $8 million, took a massive hike to $32 million with the influx of CBD-friendly pet owners.
One may wonder why CBD products — particularly oils — have garnered such a massive interest in the world of pets. This interest can be attributed to numerous factors, including the many health benefits of the oil in the management and treatment of several health conditions. Here’s a closer look at the benefits of CBD oils in dogs.
What are the benefits of CBD oils on dogs?
In human medicine, CBD oils have proven beneficial to the treatment and management of both physical and mental health conditions. In pet medicine, particularly with dogs, the healing cannabinoid barely disappoints. Dogs suffer similar ailments to humans and, therefore, it’s no surprise that CBD oils have proven effective to the management and treatment of conditions, such as:
- Gastrointestinal ailments;
- Symptoms of cancer;
- Back pain;
- Neuropathic pain;
- Seizures, amongst others.
According to Dr. Tim Shu, CEO of VETCBD, a pet cannabis company based in California, medical cannabis — of which CBD oils are inclusive — is more beneficial to dogs than traditional medicine. This is due to the fact that, unlike traditional medicine, medical cannabis poses no life-threatening side effects when administered in proper dosages. Shu remarks, “It doesn’t damage the kidney, liver or GI tract. Dogs aren’t high or sedated.”
How does CBD oil interact with the dog’s body and brain?
CBD oils interact with the body and brains of dogs in the same manner as humans — through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an innate network of neuro-transimtters that work to effectively regulate bodily functions.
In order to effectively regulate bodily functions, the ECS interacts with chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. When the ECS interacts with CBD in dogs, it can influence numerous bodily functions, including:
- Immune system function;
- Pain perception;
- Neurogenesis, amongst others.
Are there any risk associated with administering CBD oils in dogs?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), CBD is a safe, non-toxic, and non-addictive substance with potential therapeutic value. Despite being safe and non-toxic, CBD oils are known to have a few, albeit rare, side effects when administered to dogs. These side effects include:
- Dry Mouth — Research has proven CBD oils can reduce the production of saliva in dogs. When administering CBD oils, make sure pets are also properly hydrated.
- Lowered Blood Pressure — High doses of CBD oils can actively reduce the blood pressure of pets. Keep dosages correct at all times.
- Appetite changes;
- Diarrhea; and
Final words: How can we be sure CBD oil for dogs works?
The research and studies into the effects of CBD oils on humans are quite limited — and with dogs, even more so. The efficacy of CBD oils in dogs has been drawn from two major sources:
- Testimonials of pet owners who administer the substance to their pets regularly, and
- Research papers on other mammals, including humans and rats.
Early results from a clinical trial on CBD for dogs with epilepsy found that 89% of the pool experienced a reduction in seizures. Another study proved CBD oils significantly beneficial to dogs experiencing pain from osteoarthritis. More studies on the subject are being conducted and will be brought to light once results have been conclusive.