Did You Know Dogs Have an Endocannabinoid System (EC)?

Its true. In fact, all mammals do and have evolved to use both their own naturally occurring endocannabinoids and the cannabinoids found in plants. The endocannabinoid system was only discovered in 1990, but we now know that all mammals make their own cannabinoids and have cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. Good news for dogs. The use of CBD-rich hemp-based products is increasing in use for dogs with disorders related to anxiety, seizures, cancer, and pain. While it’s true our canine companions may also benefit from the naturally occurring cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytonutrients found in the hemp plant, clinical research is still in its infancy. Little is known about tolerance, long-term effects, and appropriate dosage. That said, the few available published studies are generally favorable, showing CBD is well-tolerated in the healthy adult dog. Anecdotal reports on the benefits of CBD for osteoarthritis-related pain are largely substantiated by clinical studies. A pair of ongoing studies on the effects of CBD on dogs with epilepsy or osteoarthritis undertaken by Stephanie McGrath, DVM at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, CSU, is showing very promising results. A pharmacokinetic and clinical study headed by Joe Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVSMR at Cornell suggests that 2 mg/kg of cannabidiol (CBD) oil twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis (Wooten, 2018).

So, if you’ve decided your pup could benefit from CBD oil, you’ll want to follow the same rules as you would when purchasing CBD for yourself. The AKC recommends choosing both a quality company and a quality product. Look for premium ingredients – free of pesticides, toxins, fungicides, heavy metals, additives or other contaminants. Ask for a Certificate of Analysis. This will tell you the exact amount of CBD in your product and confirm there is little to no THC present. And don’t forget to ask a the third-party lab test report. Any quality company should be willing to provide this.

The science is starting to support the benefits of CBD oil usage in dogs and other pets. But it’s still a good idea to talk to your vet before committing to a CBD program for your dog. Casara Andre, DVM, founder of Veterinary Canabis Education & Consulting, recommends starting your dog out slow and with a low dose. Ideally, 1mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight twice a day. Monitor your dog’s response and adjust the dose accordingly. CBD for dogs generally comes in treat or liquid form, as an oil or tincture in canine-approved flavors. Buy CBD as a liquid because you have more control of dosage, and can adjust your dog’s serving by drop.

Gamble et al. (2018) Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Front. Vet. Sci., 23.

Cornell takes the lead in cannabidiol research by Sarah J Wooten DVM. May 9, 2018.

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2 replies
  1. rachel frampton
    rachel frampton says:

    My sister would like to buy CBD for her dog Shein since this will help relax the pet. Well, since this is the case, we’ll keep in mind to ask for a certificate of Analysis too. We’ll make sure to communicate with the vet first before making any decisions just like what you suggested.


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