CBD products for pets are relatively new to the market, and with anything new comes skepticism. How do we know that CBD is really safe for dogs and cats? Trials and research studies are how scientists gather information in a non-biased and controlled way. CBD has been legal in certain states long enough for there to be a variety of studies to give us information about how pets react to it, and how it affects their bodies. Here’s the scientific scoop about CBD and what researchers currently know.
How Does CBD Work?
Every mammal, including humans, dogs, and cats, has what is known as an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system helps our body normalize itself when it is having allergic reactions, digestive tract irritation, cognitive issues, and when other functions get out of whack. Receptors in the ECS activate when things go awry. CBD and other cannabinoids interact with these receptors to help promote the return of normal bodily functions.
What Effects Does CBD Have on Pets?
Much more research has been performed on humans than on pets, but because our endocannabinoid systems are so similar to that of dogs and cats, we can draw many of the same conclusions. And, new studies are being published every year that shows CBD is safe and helpful for dogs and cats. Research has shown that CBD helps to relieve anxiety, cancer-related symptoms, inflammation and autoimmune diseases, irritated skin, nausea, reduced appetite, chronic pain, seizures, and more in dogs and cats. While many over-the-counter remedies are available for these conditions, those medications may have negative side effects on pets. CBD is a safe, natural therapy for dogs and cats that isn't known to cause adverse side effects.
The Facts That Show CBD is Safe for Pets
CBD Dosing in Healthy Dogs and Cats
A study published in October of 2019 aimed to show the effects of 2mg of CBD given orally once daily to both dogs and cats over a 12-week period. The results showed there were no changes upon physical examination. Chemistry and blood work revealed that the oral absorption of CBD in cats was far lower than that of dogs, suggesting the dosing is different between these two species. The study concluded that CBD is safe for healthy adult dogs, but more research is needed to assess the absorption and utility in cats.
In May of 2021, a study was published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research that focused on a 28-day period of CBD dosing to 20 healthy adult Beagles. The study was randomized and placebo-controlled, and CBD dosing varied from 1 to 12 mg. The study found there were no clinically significant adverse findings, and therefore short-term CBD administration is safe for healthy dogs. It also suggested that CBD plasma levels increase over time, but normalize within 14 days.
Another peer-reviewed study conducted on cats was published in March of 2021 within the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. This randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study focused on the effects of CBD and/or THC when administered to a group of 20 healthy cats. No clinically significant changes or clinical chemistry across treatment groups were noted. CBD had more favorable safety outcomes than formulations containing THC.
When to Talk to Your Vet About CBD
The studies mentioned above were conducted on healthy pets. Some studies have shown evidence that CBD may increase certain liver enzymes, though not in a clinically significant way. For pets who have no issues with the function of their liver, research suggests that CBD is safe for dogs and cats. If your pet has a serious health condition, it is advisable to talk to your vet about the introduction of CBD by itself or in combination with other treatments.
Buy CBD from Trusted Sources
CBD for dogs and cats is not safety-regulated in the same ways that medications are for humans, so it is important to purchase your pet CBD products from a reliable source. Look for sources that use USA-grown hemp and USA manufacturing processes, as well as third-party lab testing.