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The Pros & Cons of Using CBD with Your Pet

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound found in the hemp plant that has been shown to have a significant positive impact on treating and reducing pain, stress & anxiety, seizures, or other neurological issues in dogs and cats. Despite coming from the cannabis plant, CBD does not contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that causes users to experience a “high”. Studies and scientific data on the effects and risks of CBD are still developing, but so far, the results seem to be very promising for a wide range of medical conditions and overall wellbeing.

Pros:

  • Studies have shown CBD to relieve pain associated with osteoarthritis and promote physical activity in pets whose mobility has been reduced by soreness, aches, inflammation, stiffness, etc.
  • It has been shown to produce calming effects for pets who are prone to stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, etc., and can help with sleep.
  • Studies have shown that CBD can reduce the occurrence of seizures in pets with epilepsy or other serious neurological disorders.
  • There is also evidence to support CBD’s effect in easing symptoms associated with bowel disorders, asthma, nausea, and a variety of other health issues commonly found in pets.

Cons:

  • In studies there have been few downsides observed in the use of CBD in pets.
  • Very high doses may contribute to excessive sleepiness/lethargy or an upset stomach but reducing the dosage seems to resolve these issues in most cases.
  • The most substantial concern with most CBD products, whether for pets or humans, is the lack of regulatory oversight currently in place for these products. There are a lot of CBD products on the market, many of which (particularly low-cost options) may not actually contain any actual CBD at all or may contain harmful additives or contaminants. For example, products labeled as “hemp oil” or “hemp seed oil” likely do not contain the actual CBD compound and will not provide the same benefits.
  • As many as 40% of CBD products have been shown to contain THC, which can be harmful to pets.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about which products they recommend for your pet’s specific needs. 
  • Look for products that carry the National Animal Supplements Council (NASC) Quality Seal, or the Certified Seal of the U.S. Hemp Authority- which have been audited by a third party for quality assurance.
     

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.