CBD is the abbreviation of cannabidiol. CBD is a naturally occurring substance that is commonly found in cannabis and hemp. CBD does not get you high and it is legal in the UK. It is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is prohibited in the UK. THC is the compound within the cannabis plant that causes the user to experience the infamous high so often associated with cannabis. Both THC and CBD are just two of over one hundred cannabinoids that are contained within the cannabis plant.
There is still a massive amount of research that needs to be conducted to irrefutably prove the efficacy and safety of CBD. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence and a number of clinical studies that have found CBD can be beneficial for treating pain, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain conditions, insomnia and multiple sclerosis. These benefits may extend beyond humans and also be beneficial for animals too. As both humans and mammals have an endocannabinoid system.
In the UK, CBD products are still not allowed to be marketed or sold for the purpose of being given to any animal. This is because while there is a widespread usage of CBD among humans, the appropriate animal trials have not yet been undertaken.
There is yet to be a CBD product for animals approved by the British Veterinary Association in the UK.
What do Vets think of CBD?
There was a survey recently undertaken that spoke to over 2,000 vets. This survey found that 63% of veterinarians reported that they were asked by pet owners about CBD at least once a month.
However, many vets are not willing to discuss CBD with dog and cat owners. This is because those vets that advise pet owners to use CBD can be penalised and may even be liable if the dog or cat falls ill and it is attributed to the CBD.
Even though medical cannabis is legal for humans in the UK, the veterinary profession is far behind in its acceptance of cannabis-based medications. This is due to the lack of evidence of CBD or THC being effective for dogs and it is a lot harder to measure how effective pain relief is for a dog as they cannot disclose how they are feeling.
There has been very little research carried out to investigate how CBD affects dogs. This means that the safety and efficacy remain unknown. It is always advisable to speak to your dog’s vet before giving your dog CBD.
How Can CBD Be Used in Dogs?
The research that has been conducted on humans illustrates that CBD may be effective in treating anxiety, depression, insomnia, epilepsy, irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic pain conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.
While the evidence of the effects of CBD on dogs is limited, there have been some studies to investigate the effects of CBD on dogs.
A study carried out in 2018 investigated the safety and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, as well as CBD’s capacity to be a pain killer in dogs with osteoarthritis. The researchers gave the dogs doses of 2mg or 8mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight.
80% of the dogs that participated in the study showed improvement in their pain levels and mobility. These factors were measured by two veterinary resources, the canine brief pain inventory and the Hudson activity scale. However, it is important to note that the study was funded by a CBD producer, so there is an obvious conflict of interest to be considered when assessing the results of the study.
Another small study that was carried out in 2019 discovered that epileptic dogs that were given CBD in addition to seizure medication had substantially fewer seizures than the dogs who received the seizure medication and a placebo. However, there were a similar number of dogs in the CBD group and the control group that responded to treatment which resulted in a decline in seizure activity. The authors of the study recommended that further testing needed to be carried out to reach a definitive conclusion.
How Can You Give Your Dog CBD?
The easiest way to give your dog CBD is by using a CBD oil. You can either drop the CBD oil into your dog’s bowl or you can use the self-contained pipette to drop it under your dog’s tongue, if they are a well-behaved dog.
CBD Capsules are also another option for dog owners who want to see if CBD helps their dog. You can easily place the CBD capsule in your dog’s dinner like you would any other form of medication like a painkiller or antibiotic. If your dog has severe arthritis or hip problems, giving them CBD may help ease their struggle.