Is Weed Good For Dogs?
When your favorite furry friend gets sick, develops a chronic condition, or gets diagnosed with an illness, it can be heartbreaking; especially since so many conventional pharmaceutical medical treatments are not fully effective–leaving you feeling helpless and scared about your best friend’s uncertain future.
When conventional treatment options don’t work, people seek alternative healing methods.
In the realm of natural healing, cannabis for animals seems like a logical botanical pathway to explore. Many pet parents looking for something to support their dog’s health are considering Hemp as a natural therapeutic option.
Effects Of Marijuana On Dogs
How can CBD from Hemp help your dog?
CBD from hemp can help with both chronic and acute canine disease. Among chronic conditions, it can help with arthritis, compromised immune systems, stress responses, aggression and digestive issues.
There are also studies under way into CBD’s effects on Type 1 diabetes, organ diseases and cancer. Even though it’s illegal for them to prescribe it; veterinarians are also finding CBD can be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and even during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.
If you’re giving your dog conventional drugs for any of these conditions, CBD hemp may make it possible to use lower doses of the drugs to achieve the same therapeutic effects or even use it instead of prescription medications. Since conventional medicines have known negative side effects, CBD as a healing alternative has no known side-effects.
Weed & Dogs
Marijuana Vs Hemp–What’s the difference?
Marijuana and hemp both come from the plant Cannabis sativa (though marijuana also comes from another member of the Cannabis family, Cannabis indica). The cannabis plant has over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDs are therapeutic cannabinoids, while THC is the cannabinoid that makes you ‘high’.
Marijuana’s THC content is usually between 10 and 15 percent; but hemp must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less to be legal. At this level, cannabis has no intoxicating effect, for people or dogs. Hemp is higher in CBD, the substance that provides the therapeutic effects through the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) present in all mammals.
How Do Humans and Canine Endocannabinoid Systems differ?
Taken as a whole, the Endocannabinoid Systems of dogs and humans are very similar. One striking difference is there appears to be a greater concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the dog’s brain than there are in most other animals.
This is significant because it makes dogs more susceptible to THC overdose, potentially giving them a certain amount of neurologic impairment in the short-term. This phenomenon is known as static ataxia. Otherwise, when cannabis medicine is used effectively, their endocannabinoid system will act in the same way it would for a human.
The purpose of the endocannabinoid systemin mammals is to maintain homeostasis within the body. It’s logical to consider using cannabis as preventative medicine much in the same way that a person would take a daily multivitamin–to maintain proper eating, sleeping and repair & restorative functions. CBD from hemp balances these inter-connected biological systems.
Current research tells us that all invertebrate animals have endocannabinoid systems along with a group of receptors that interact with the naturally occurring cannabinoids our bodies produce. These systems affect pain, sleep, appetite, mood and memory. This is the reason that so many human patients are finding relief for their ills–like pain, skin conditions, GI immunity issues–with medical marijuana. Why would we not hold the hope that pets could gain measurable relief just as humans do when it comes these same symptoms or ailments?
Cannabis Oil For Dogs
What types of conditions can hemp medicine alleviate in pets?
Animals can benefit from medical cannabis for many of the same reasons it helps people—all mammals have an endocannabinoid system–for pain, seizure control, gastrointestinal disorders, anxiety-related issues. Positive results have also been shown with reducing tumor growth in certain types of cancer.
However, even though there are numerous case reports and anecdotal evidence about the efficacy of cannabis medicine for dogs, veterinary medicine & animal practitioners typically avoid mentioning this growing mountain of evidence because of the legal backlash they will inevitably have to endure. So pet-parents are left in the lurch in understanding their treatment options.
Ultimately the reason for the lack of therapeutic-oriented research is because cannabis is federally illegal and there’s no funding.
Generally, it’s pharmaceutical companies that are putting most of the money into medical research. Once there’s a legal pathway and money to be made in veterinary products, that research will happen. But for thousands of dog owners who have pets that are suffering from pain, inflammation or GI issues these studies can not come fast enough. Untold numbers of loving dog owners are already seeing dramatic effects with hemp CBD oil and are willing to share their success stories.
CBD For Dogs
Is CBD combined with THC beneficial for dogs?
What is the proper CBD:THC ratios recommended? The answer to that question depends on both the condition that’s being treated as well as the individual animal (age, weight, health status, etc.). Many people in the cannabis community have heard about the ‘Entourage Effect’–the ratio of THC to CBD is an important part of that.
There are certain diseases and health challenges that respond better to medicine with both CBD and a certain amount of THC in it. Other medical conditions are better addressed with a ratio weighted to THC levels. The research suggests that CBD Oil for dogs with epilepsy, cancer & chronic pain often benefit more from products that have both CBD and THC, rather than CBD alone.
The ratios of hemp-based CBD with very little (less than 0.3 mg) or no THC, seem to hold promise for conditions like anxiety, sleep & eating disorders, canine allergic skin problems and localized inflammation.
Also, senior dogs with age-related pain and discomfort have demonstrated dramatic improvements in mobility with small amounts of CBD given daily.
CBD Dosage For Dogs
What dosage should I give my dog?
A lot of people say they want to start giving CBD Oil for dogs as medicine for their pet, but they’re not quite sure about the right dose. What Is the best way to calculate the ideal amount for your animal?
There’s a dosing range that is recommended to start at–it’s best to begin at the low end and base the starting dosage on your dog’s body weight using a mg/kg benchmark.
Start with a minimal amount (0.25-0.5 mg / kg) per day. Then, every few days, slowly increase the dose until you’ve achieved the desired effect for whatever is being treated. Then you’re probably done and you can maintain that level of CBD on a regular maintenance schedule. Adjustments can be made, up or down, depending on the effectiveness. Over time your pet will be able to take more medicine without any demonstrable side effects. Medical cannabis is not the answer for all pets. Some animals do better on it than others, just like people.
Cannabis is medicine and its dosing should be carefully calculated. It’s important to know the concentration of THC and CBD in milligrams for one’s own pet. Once you have that information, you can look for a product that suits your pet’s needs.
When in doubt, err on the side of under-dosing because you can always slowly increase the dose and monitor the effect.
Compassion Starts at Home
A plethora of anecdotal evidence about the efficacy of cannabis for dogs is available but knowing how and how-much CBD to give your dog can be overwhelming for pet-parents.
Unfortunately, due to marijuana’s Schedule I status, veterinarians are not allowed to write letters of recommendation for their clients or tell them where to obtain cannabis medicine, so pet owners are left to their own to research and uncover the proper administration of cannabis for their furry companions.
If you decide to give your pet cannabis medicine, get informed! The medicine you give your dog should have the same standards for anything you would put in your own body. Make sure the product is safe and tested for cannabinoid content, quality and is free from any contaminants or additives.
If you want to alleviate your dog’s pain & discomfort and see them happier with more mobile then start your furry friend off on a low dose of cannabis medicine and monitor the effects that it has on their experience–you may well discover that CBD is truly an ‘elixir-of-life’!