CBD for cats and dogs is not widely available, however, there is evidence that small amounts of CBD may become a helpful remedy for various pet ailments. There has been one especially positive study regarding CBD for cats and dogs as well as large amounts of anecdotal evidence* that back up this study.
Cannabidiol (CBD) usually comes in two forms and can be produced from (non-psychoactive) hemp plants. Learn more about CBD for pets below.
Anecdotal evidence refers to evidence that has not yet been founded in any scientific literature but some proof of the theory may exist outside of the scientific/medical community.
What is CBD?
There are two different types of CBD (cannabidiol) available on the market today. Full-spectrum and isolate.
Full-spectrum may contain trace amounts of THC which is not advised for pets, however, the trace amount of THC found in some CBD products will not affect them in a psychoactive manner (they will not get a psychoactive ‘head high’). THC levels should be below 0.3% in any full-spectrum CBD in order to qualify as a true CBD product.
CBD isolate is more expensive, and, stronger than full spectrum CBD. This crystal-like substance can be infused into oils, tinctures, and fats in order to administer it to your pet. As mentioned, CBD isolate is incredibly strong, a very small amount will be enough for any pet.
How Does CBD Help a Cat or Dog?
There are many different reasons why CBD could become a helpful medicine for a pet.
Anxiety, behavioural problems, pain relief, and arthritis are common conditions for pets that may be helped by a very small amount of CBD.
Mammals, such as cats and dogs, all have an endocannabinoid system that modulates important bodily functions. The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of receptors that allows cannabis to become efficient medicine for mammals.
Although the scientific studies available concerning cannabidiol and pets are limited, results are somewhat promising.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs
Cornell University released an incredibly important CBD study in 2018 entitled, Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs (link at end of the article). This study examined dogs who had osteoarthritis and their reaction to CBD in terms of pain and activity level.
- The study dosed 2mg of CBD twice daily
- The clinical significance of this study suggests that CBD can increase comfort and activity level in canines who have osteoarthritis.
- A placebo, randomized, owner-blind study was conducted as a control.
- This study lasted for 4 weeks in total with baseline veterinary questions and physical examinations performed twice during the study.
The study found that CBD (cannabidiol) provided significant pain relief and increased activity, leading to a promising conclusion that CBD could become a helpful remedy for this specific condition.
CBD for Cats and Dogs: Vets Cannot Prescribe CBD to Pets
Although some veterinarians may advise their clients to explore CBD as a treatement opiton, they are unable to prescribe CBD for your pet explicitly.
The American Veterinary Medical Association, “encourages well-controlled clinical research and pursuit of FDA approval by manufacturers of cannabis-derived products so that high-quality products of known safety and efficacy can be made available for veterinarians and their patients”.
Although many states in the U.S have legalized cannabis (medical or recreational), these laws do not apply to pets or animals. The U.S allows pets/animals to have hemp-based products prescribed under the 2018 Farm Bill.
The Canadian Cannabis Act (2017) clearly states that medical cannabis prescription applies to humans only and there is no legal cannabis pet product available within the country. However, under the Industrial Hemp Regulations (IHR), there are several hemp-based products that have been approved for specific breeds of animals. These products are exempt from the Cannabis Act because of the little-to-no THC content within them.
The best course of action is to discuss CBD with your veterinarian and although they cannot prescribe it specifically, they can give advice on administration or safe dosage.
Thank you for reading “CBD for Cats and Dogs”. Sharing this on social media by using the icons below helps us to grow and provide cannabis content like this on a regular basis.
- American Veterinary Medical Association. (2019). Cannabis Use and Pets.
- Fox, H. (2017). 5 Things to Know Before Using Medical Cannabis for Your Pets.
- Gamble, L. J., Boesch, J. M., Frye, C. W., Schwark, W. S., Mann, S., Wolfe, L., Brown, H., Berthelsen, E. S., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
- Gyles C. (2016). Marijuana for pets? The Canadian veterinary journal. La Revue Veterinaire Canadienne. 1215–1218.
- Kogan, L., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., Hellyer, P., & Rishniw, M. (2019). US Veterinarians’ Knowledge, Experience, and Perception Regarding the Use of Cannabidiol for Canine Medical Conditions. Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
- Meola S, D. Tearney C, C. Haas S, A. Hackett T, B. Mazzaferro E, M. (2010). Evaluation of Trends in Marijuana Toxicosis in Dogs Living in a State with Legalized Medical Marijuana: 125 dogs.
- Pyszniak, M., Tabarkiewicz, J., & Łuszczki, J. J. (2016). Endocannabinoid System as a Regulator of Tumor Cell Malignancy – Biological Pathways and Clinical Significance. Oncology Targets and Therapy.
- Samara E. Bialer M. & Mechoulam R. (1988). Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs. Drug Metabolism and Disposition.
- The Cannabis Act. (2017).
- Vaughn, D. (2017). Medical Marijuana in People and Pets: History, Controversy, and the Future. American Veterinarian.