This post will delve into the benefits of CBD for dogs with anxiety but before we begin, lets clear some confusion:
Weed. Marijuana. Pot. Cannabis. Hemp. 420. What’s the difference?
The answer is they are all the same!
Cannabis has been outlawed for so long that its been called under many different names but they all refer to the Cannabis plant. In medical terms, it’s called Cannabis, CBD and Hemp. In social terms, it’s called everything else.
Industrial Hemp, however, is a strain of Cannabis Sativa that is naturally low on THC. After extracting the medicinal oil, this fibrous plant can be used to make paper, food, fiber, rope, bio-fuels, plastic and many other products.
As for the plant itself, the stalk, stems, and seeds are commonly referred to as hemp while the leaves and flowers are typically referred to as cannabis.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It is one of 113 compounds called Cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant.
Each Cannabinoid has its own health benefits.
CBD stands out from the other Cannabinoids because it offers many health benefits even when isolated by itself and is non-psychoactive, non-addictive and non-toxic. Neither you nor your dog can get “high” or “stoned” on CBD even if you wanted to.
CBD Isolate, Full-spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD – what’s the difference?
- CBD Isolate is when CBD(Cannabidiol) is isolated from the Cannabis plant and only contains trace amounts of other Cannabinoids
- When all the Cannabinoids are included, it’s called Full-Spectrum CBD. This includes THC.
- If all the cannabinoids are included minus the THC, its called Broad Spectrum CBD.
CBD oil is the end product once it’s extracted from the Cannabis plant.
The most heavily studied Cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
THC is What Gives Cannabis A Bad Name
Though it has its health benefits on humans, it is psychoactive meaning it is responsible for giving the high and hallucinatory effects. It is also toxic to dogs in concentrations of more than 0.3%. This is one of the important things to look for when choosing a CBD product.
The Cannabis plant falls under 3 species which are Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis. More attention is given towards Cannabis Sativa because it naturally contains more CBD and less THC while Cannabis Indica is the opposite. There are also hybrids which are combinations of the three.
If Your Pet Shows Signs Of Anxiety, CBD Oil Can Definitely Help
- Tail between legs
- Dilated pupils
- Frequent Yawning
- Hunched body posture
- Accidents in the house even if potty trained
- Ears pushed back
- Chewing/destructive behavior
- Fearful behavior
- Aggression/growling/showing teeth
- Excessive barking
- Pooping/Peeing in stressful situations
Humans, dogs, fish, birds, reptiles and most mammals have a highly complex Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS) and its job is to keep us in a state of balance or Homeostasis.
It may surprise you to know that our bodies produce its own Cannabininoids called Endocannabinoid, “endo” meaning originating from itself.
You’ve been using Cannabinoids without knowing it!
Endocannabinoids function like signalling chemicals similar to Dopamine and Serotonin. They then attach themselves to Cannabinoid receptors found all over the body, mostly in the nervous system and are associated with the following:
- Mental Health
- Cardiovascular health
- Eye and Skin Health
Humans and dogs that go through emotional stress, poor diet, and illness can disrupt the normal function and balance of the ECS.
In Dogs, CBD oil can help restore this balance as well as proper species-appropriate diet and exercise.
In Humans, apart from CBD, there are other things you can do to further restore the normal levels of ECS:
- Social interaction
- Fish oil
- Sunlight and vitamin D
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle.
- Avoiding alcohol
CBD oil can help your dog in many other ways
But first, do not confuse hemp seed oil with CBD oil.
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant through a process called cold-pressing. It contains small amounts of THC and does not exhibit the same medicinal properties of CBD.
Hemp seed oil is considered by many as a superfood and used mainly as a nutritional supplement.
CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, flowers and stems of mature Cannabis plants.
There are studies that Full-Spectrum CBD produces what’s called the “Entourage Effect” whereby all Cannabinoids working together produce more health benefits as opposed to only having CBD by itself which is why more veterinarians recommend Full-Spectrum CBD
However, Cannabinoids in Full-Spectrum CBD vary between manufacturers. You can only know for sure when you read the certificate of analysis which is another important thing to look for when buying quality CBD oil.
What To Look For In CBD Oil
It seems CBD oil producers are sprouting everywhere and some of them might be cutting corners to save a few bucks.
One of the most important things to look for is the extraction method.
- The most efficient and least expensive yet most dangerous method involves the use of solvents like alcohol, propane, butane and ethanol. Studies have shown CBD oil having traces of toxic petroleum residue when solvents were used.
- Another common yet safe method involves heating olive oil and raw Cannabis to extract Cannabinoids. The downside of this is that olive oil is highly perishable which is bad for business and end-users. Unlike solvents, olive oil doesn’t evaporate so the extract isn’t as concentrated so the consumer has to increase the dosage.
- The safest yet most expensive method is called C02 Extraction which uses gasses and does not leave behind any toxic residue. This method is expensive because the modern machinery involved is pricey.
- Check the label to confirm if the THC level is no more than 0.3%. Nobody wants a stoned dog.
- Look for Organic so your dog doesn’t ingest any pesticides.
A Certificate of Analysis done by Third-party testing is very important because CBD products are not heavily regulated. Third-party testing is done by organizations that have no affiliate with the Cannabis company and therefore have no incentive to alter the results. There are Cannabis companies that mislead consumers by not stating the correct amount of CBD or THC in the label. Some contain too much THC or not enough CBD or none at all. Look for the Certificate of Analysis to find this information as well as to check for any heavy metals, pesticides or toxic residues.
Not having a Certificate of Analysis done by a Third party is a deal-breaker
Click here to learn how to interpret a Certificate of Analysis
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?
Getting a proper dose can be confusing because there are many factors to consider like the size and weight of your dog, the ailment you’re trying to treat plus ailments that your dog already has. Adding to the confusion are the different concentrations made by different manufacturers. But first and foremost, the most important step should be to consult your veterinarian (Ideally a holistic vet).
Generally, the more serious the ailment, the higher the dose. If it’s for a less serious ailment like anxiety or phobias, the lower the dose. To be sure, read the manufacturer’s recommendations. It should be readily available on the packaging. Always start slow to allow your dog’s body to adapt.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
CBD oil is a totally natural product. It has been extensively researched and tested. There is no evidence to prove that it can cause harm to dogs and humans. Dogs already produce their own cannabinoids through their Endocannabinoid System. There are, however, risks that come with buying products that contain toxic residues resulting from poor extraction practices and products that contain higher levels of THC than what is listed on the label. It may also interact with other medications. Speak to your vet prior to giving CBD oil to your dog.
Ingesting the Cannabis plant and cookies laced with Marijuana is another story, though. It could poison dogs with untold levels of THC. Keep them away from reach and never smoke Marijuana with your dog around.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789136/ (endocannabinoid system)