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CBD Oil for Dogs – relief for pain and anxiety

Cannabidiol oil (CBD) has become a popular supplement for dogs experiencing anxiety or who suffer from inflammation caused by any number of things, including arthritis.

Cannabidiol is a natural compound found in the hemp plant that is very beneficial to both humans and dogs.  When CBD enters the body, it activates the  endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a biological system made up of neurotransmitters that bind to receptors that are involved in a variety of processes including pain sensation, mood and memory.

Hemp comes from the same Cannabis family as marijuana but they are two different plants.  Marijuana has high amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive constituent of cannabis, from about 5-35% and low amounts of CBD, which is the opposite hemp which has very low THC (less than 0.3%) and high amounts of CBD.  CBD does not have any intoxicating effects like those caused by THC.

Not all hemp oils are created equal.  Here are a few helpful tips in finding a product that is right for your dog.

  • In order to be effective, it’s best to choose a full spectrum cannabidiol, not an isolate.
  • Be sure the manufacturer you choose use third party lab testing for quality and potency.
  • Make sure the manufacturer uses a supplier who farms organically.
  • Also find out how the oil is extracted from the plant.  Never chose a company that uses butane or ethanol as a distraction solvent. Vapor distillation seems to be the best process.

There are a lot of manufacturers out there, but a few of the companies we like are Pet.Releaf and Healthy Hemp.

CBD oil can be very helpful to help your dog if he is suffering from car anxiety, fear of fireworks, motion sickness and tension.  It can also be very helpful to alleviate pain associated with arthritis.

Many veterinary professionals are reluctant to recommend CBD oil because there has not been enough research to prove its efficacy.  The Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University (CSU) has been conducting clinical trials on the efficacy of CBD used for epilepsy and osteoarthritis in dogs.

Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at CSU, found that 89 percent of dogs who experienced seizures had a reduction in their frequency as a result of CBD oil.

I started administering CBD oil to my dog for car anxiety about a year ago.  I had tried every product on the market with very poor results. CBD was one more thing for us to try. I gave the recommended dosage amount about 30 minutes before getting in the car and amazingly, she seemed much calmer while driving. 

About six months ago, I gave CBD oil for pain associated with a small surgical procedure. I made the choice to keep my dog on CBD oil as a supplement since I had learned of its potential anti-cancer properties. I gave a half dose, twice a day with her meals. My dog was not exhibiting any obvious signs of pain, but taking the CBD on a regular basis showed me that perhaps I was missing something. She started running more on our walks and jumping like a puppy.

I was worried about CBD oil because I didn’t want her to feel lethargic or too relaxed or seemingly depressed.  I’m pleased to say none of those things take place.

While clinical trials are limited and studies incomplete, my personal experience has been very positive. Low and slow is always a good way to go if you are trying something new. That is, start with a low dose and a slow progression. Always give the least amount needed to get a result so you have somewhere to go should you later need more.

Our holistic veterinarian recommends cannabidiol as well as our rehabilitation professional.  They have both have told me of their experiences seeing many dogs who have less stiffness and pain from arthritis and less anxiety when they are taking CBD oil.

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