CBD Hemp Oil For Dogs
Researchers are turning their attention to CBD (cannabidiol), a compound found in cannabis and hemp, for its beneficial impact on canine health and disease. CBD, without high levels of THC, typically comes from hemp so your dog won’t get the intoxicating “high” that comes from marijuana. CBD has a wide range of healing properties for our furry friends without the psychotropic “high” and CBD poses minimal risk of overdose or harmful side effects.
Empirical evidence abounds with stories of pet owners who have seen a real difference in their dog’s physical health using CBD supplementation. A dog previously lingering in pain, not eating or sleeping, is suddenly back to being physically active, engaging with other family members and just seems to be a happier more contented dog–CBD oil seems to give these dogs a new lease on life.
CBD Oil Side Effects
With so much upside, Cannabidiol has a ‘safety profile’ that’s hard to match. CBD oil for dogs is well-tolerated with zero or minimal side effects. CBD is generally considered non-addictive with significant therapeutic attributes but there are drug interactions that pet parents need to be made aware of. CBD and other plant cannabinoids can potentially interact with many pharmaceuticals by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450 liver enzymes. This family of enzymes metabolizes the majority of drugs dogs consume–including 60% of marketed veterinarian medications.
At sufficient dosages, CBD will deactivate P450 enzymes, thereby altering how compounds are broken down and metabolized by the liver. Metabolizing medicines properly can involve multiple molecular pathways and alterations to that process can mean a drug is more (or less) effective than it’s prescribed amount indicates. In fact, there is evidence that suggests that high-dose CBD may enhance the effects of pharmaceutical medications like analgesics or chemotherapy agents, indicating that consumers need to make adjustments to lower the dose of traditional prescription medications if they also give their dog CBD oil.
By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either reduce or increase the effects of other drugs so close monitoring of both prescribed medications & CBD is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome with the least negative drug interaction.
If the dosage of cannabidiol is low enough, it will have no noticeable effect on liver enzyme activity, but CBD at these low doses will still exert its positive therapeutic effects. There is no clearly established cut-off dose, below which CBD does not interact with other drugs so the adage, ‘go-low & go-slow’ is the best measure to find the sweet-spot for successful dosing.
What’s important to understand about the potential interaction of CBD with the P450 enzyme system and prescription medications is that it may not be the drug itself that is altered and therefore the medical effect is changed–but instead, it may be that a specific metabolite (breakdown molecule) of the drug that confers the medical benefit is competing with CBD to be sufficiently processed. In this way, the metabolite (active chemical) cannot be produced because of CBD competition for liver enzymes. This is especially relevant for canine epilepsy medications and cancer fighting chemotherapy drugs. Again, it depends on the drug in question and the dosages used.
CBD Oil Dosage For Dogs
Drug interactions are especially important to consider when using life-saving drugs, drugs with narrow therapeutic windows, or medications with major adverse side effects. The best way to avoid any possible interactions of the liver enzymes and CBD is to make sure to give the appropriate dose of CBD based on your dog’s weight and to give it separately from any other medications.
A good adage for dosing your dog with CBD is ‘go-low & go-slow’ to achieve a successful therapeutic effect without negative consequences. As with all medications for your dog, have a set schedule for dosing CBD. It’s a good idea to keep a written log or CBD Dosage Journal to accurately track and monitor you dog’s dosage measurements along with the time and observable response to the dose.
CBD Oil For Dogs Benefits
With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD oil for dogs, the most encouraging result is that CBD appears to be safe, even when taken in high doses and over extended periods of time. Although CBD can decrease the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize many prescription drugs it can also attenuate other drugs to make them more effective with smaller, less toxic doses. So if your dog is on medication, you might want to check with your holistic vet before using CBD.
Most CBD oil for dogs and other pets is derived from hemp oil so it contains only very small traces of THC. Because of this, all 50 states have approved the use of hemp-based CBD for human and animal products. The bottom line is, CBD oil could be a healthy (or even life-saving) phytonutrient for your dog. More and more pet owners and holistic vets are drawn to its diverse and marked health benefits and they feel good knowing the side effects are minimal and animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance.
Research suggests that CBD has lower toxicity and higher tolerability than THC in both humans and non-humans. However, research has not yet established safe dosing guidelines for either population, partly because of highly restrictive federal laws that prohibit scientists from thoroughly investigating its effects.
At this point, there is no risk of toxicity at any dosage level of CBD oil for dogs. Some dogs even love the taste. But canine patients on a CBD-rich treatment regimen should monitor changes in blood levels of prescription medications and, if need be, adjust the dosage.
If you’re curious about how CBD can support your dog’s health and wellness, try it–just be sure to chart their progress to discover their “sweet-spot” dose.