CBD Dosage for Dogs
If you’re considering CBD Oil for your dog, there are some important points you want to keep in mind. In recent years the pharmacological constituents of CBD cannabinoids have been studied leading to published research on the benefits of CBD as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, and antipsychotic, as well as having neuroprotective properties.
CBD (Cannabidiol) has also been shown effective at high doses for the treatment of a variety of conditions ranging in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and dementia, as well as diabetes and nausea.
At lower doses, CBD has physiological effects that promote and maintain health, including reducing oxidative stress. For instance, CBD is more effective than vitamin C and E as a neuroprotective antioxidant and can ameliorate skin conditions such as acne (Cannabidiol as Antioxidant).
CBD Oil For Dogs
This new research is pointing toward a future in which cannabinoid therapy–whether derived from the whole plant or via single-cannabinoid extracts–may be an effective treatment for a wide range of diseases that affect humans as well as our canine companions.
Dogs Have Endocannabinoid Systems
Just like humans, animals also have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The ECS is this complex array of cannabinoid receptors found in the brain, organs, skin, bones, and generally throughout the entire body. Through what is called “cannabinoid signaling” this system is what helps us maintain whole body homeostasis. That all-important balancing act between the body’s metabolic processes–meaning that it controls and regulates pain, appetite, sleep, inflammation, and cell metabolism, including the life cycle of cells. The last of which is especially important in canine cancer therapy.
On the opposite side, a lack of cannabinoids could cause disruption to multiple systems in the body. It is theorized that this disruption, or lack of homeostasis, then leads to more significant and life-threatening problems.
Like us, animals produce their own cannabinoids to interact with and signal the ECS. And like us, animals also run into endocannabinoid deficiencies. This is where whole-plant-based, full-spectrum CBD extracts comes into play but using them will require a certain degree of mindfulness through observation and experimentation.
Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’
CBD from hemp is, in essence, a food with very beneficial effects on canine health. As such, it should be considered as just one of the many components to your dog’s total daily wellness regimen–like proper diet, exercise and behavior training. Determining an effective dose of CBD for your dog depends on a number of different factors: size (weight) of your dog, breed, health condition, disease history, concentration of CBD plus individual variances in metabolism and delivery mechanism (see more under Sublingual Application).
But before we dive any deeper, it’s important to emphasize that every dog is different. As any pet owner knows, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny Chihuahua to Great Danes and everything in between. For each breed, the dosage of CBD is always going to be different, meaning you should begin with a lowest dose and gradually increase over time.
Once you begin dosing your dog with CBD finding the optimum ‘sweet spot’ for treating your pet will require a systematic diligence on your part, so be prepared to keep a Daily Canine Journal.
Write everything down–take copious notes. Over a period of time (one to two weeks) you should start to see trends. Try and notice nuances towards a change in your dog’s behavior, activity level and in the general quality of life of your dog. Be observant and write it down. Consistency is what is going to determine the window of opportunity to fully capture the healing benefits of CBD.
Since every dog is going to have a different reaction to CBD it’s important to be vigilant in the beginning to measure and document his response. Be aware of subtle differences or changes and write them down in your dog’s Daily Canine Journal. Your dog’s journal should include his daily dietary intake of food, water, treats and activity levels along with your own impressions of his moods, behaviors and personal idiosyncrasies. These interpretations are recorded at each level of CBD administration. The idea is to calibrate a regimen for your dog that uses the least amount of CBD to achieve the desired effect.
This is a period of trial and error. CBD is not so much ‘condition-specific’ (Eg. arthritis vs epilepsy) as it is an individual dog specific medication. You, the Pet Parent, are the best source to determine actual effective dosage. This is an experiment so go-low & go-slow. Start with a low amount and titrate up until you find the effective ‘sweet spot’. Be willing to engage in the science of healing your dog. The work you put in now will be justly rewarded later when you see your dog acting, feeling & behaving infinitely better.
If after giving your dog a tiered amount of CBD (over a two week or month period) and you still don’t see the results you want or expect, just know that not all dogs respond the same–even to the same CBD source. Be aware that a different CBD may provide the long-lasting relief you and your dog were seeking. It may take two or three trials of different CBD products over a three to six month period to hone in on the best source for your specific dog. Discovering the optimum dosage for your dog is like trying to hit a moving target–but with diligence and patience you can find your dog’s CBD dosage Sweet Spot.
Also, with animals we must avoid thinking in terms of human-sized doses. The general rule of thumb is this: give the smallest dose possible and gradually work your way up until you find the smallest yet most effective dosage level. And be prepared to alter that dosage up or down (titrate) for desired effect.
But knowing exactly what dosage you’re giving your pet can be tricky. Very few of the products you find will have an actual concentration dosage recommendation listed on the label. And because many of the products on the market are highly potent and animals have a smaller body size, we have to be extra careful.
Before starting your pet on a course of action make sure you understand the applications and limitations in using CBD.
Through sublingual application of concentrated oils & tinctures pet owners are discovering the expansive benefits of CBD oil for their dogs.
Sublingual dosing means that you are administering CBD through tissues beneath the tongue. Through this method of administration, the cannabinoids come into close contact with blood rich tissues in the mouth and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.
Sublingual CBD application is considered a better choice of dosing dogs than oral ingestion (or topical on the skin) for a couple of reasons.
First, sublingual CBD application is more easily adapted for delivery to dogs because canine patients need only a small amount of CBD to deliver a ‘therapeutic effect’. A dropper bottle dispensing single measured drop(s) is infinitely more precise and easily tolerated when a dog is having difficulty eating solid food or swallowing water.
Conditions frequently accompanying older even as they age naturally. Sublingual dosing is also the quickest form of relief; ideal for dogs whose conditions require them to rely on fast-acting therapeutic effects, such as those who are in chronic pain. Sublingual application delivers the effects of CBD in as little as 30 seconds up to 2 minutes.
Second, because of the decreased bio-availability in the digestive tract of oral medications due to the presence of digestive enzymes it is more difficult to monitor the actual effective dose needed to treat your pet with oral application. It’s possible that 20-60% of the original oral dose of CBD is lost due to acidic stomach acids and lower bioavailability.
Also, whether you are using sublingual dosing or other methods of administration, when it comes to CBD keep in mind that hemp-derived compounds like CBD possess ‘Bi-Phasic’ properties–this means that HIGH doses and LOW doses can actually lead to the opposite intended effect. In other words, more is not necessarily better!
Why You Can’t Apply Human CBD Dosing To Your Dog
Before we discuss relevant animal research on CBD possible effects on various parameters, several important differences between route of administration and pharmacokinetics between human and animal studies have to be mentioned.
First, CBD has been studied in humans using oral administration or inhalation. Administration in rodents often occurs either via intraperitoneal injection or via the oral route. Second, the plasma levels reached via oral administration in rodents and humans can differ. Both these observations can lead to differing active blood concentrations of CBD.
In addition, it is possible that CBD targets differ between humans and animals. Therefore, the same blood concentration might still lead to different effects. Even if the targets, to which CBD binds, are the same in both studied animals and humans, for example, the affinity or duration of CBD binding to its targets might differ and consequently alter its effects.
CBD drug interactions
Second, CBD drug interactions (Cytochrome P-450 complex Enzyme systems) CBD interaction with general (drug)- metabolizing enzymes, such as those belonging to the cytochrome P450 family. This might have an effect for coadministration of CBD with other drugs.
For instance, CBD is metabolized, among others, via the CYP3A4 enzyme. Various drugs inhibit this system. This leads to slower CBD degradation and can consequently lead to higher CBD doses that have longer pharmaceutical activity.
In contrast, other drugs induce CYP3A4 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CYP3A4), causing reduced CBD bioavailability. It’s interesting to note, approximately 60% of clinically prescribed drugs are metabolized via CYP3A4.
As with the success of medical cannabis for human patients, CBD benefits for animals are also dependent on the proper dosage, and weight of your dog has the most bearing on dosage. For animals, the dosage must be adjusted to ensure that the tincture or treat will be effective for your dog’s specific condition or symptoms.
CBD Dosages That Are Commonly Recommended
Although there have been no speciﬁc studies completed as of this writing deﬁning speciﬁc dosages for speciﬁc medical conditions in dogs anecdotal reports from vets and pet owners who have used CBD containing products indicate that a fairly low dose of CBD can be given with good results.
Doses of CBD as low as 0.05- 0.1 mg/kg of body weight (0.025-0.05 mg/pound of body weight) have been shown to be eﬀective. When those lower dosage ranges are not eﬀective, CBDs can be given at higher doses with no fears of adverse side-eﬀects, except possibly some mild sedation. Consider using a dose as high as 1-5 mg/kg once or twice daily for certain conditions like arthritis pain or cancer.
But knowing the myriad of benefits CBD can deliver as a means to alleviate your furry friends pain or anxiety it should also be given serious consideration as an everyday-feeding addition to support your dog’s youthful exuberance and general overall homeostasis as he grows into maturity.
There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that cannabis can help with many medical conditions. What has not been well-deﬁned, though are the dosages of the cannabinoids that work for a multitude of canine conditions. Once there are randomized, placebo-controlled studies, we can then better deﬁne eﬀective dosages of cannabis for speciﬁc conditions.
Until then, we will need to moderate and medicate our pets cautiously–starting with a lower amounts of CBD and gradually working up to a dosage range that seems to work best for your family pet.
Read More – Is THC Bad For Dogs?