What is CBD anyway?
CBD, the shorthand for cannabidiol, is one of the many active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Unlike the better-known substance THC, CBD is not psychoactive, does not lead to physical dependence and produces no intoxicating effects, i.e. it does not get you ‘high’ and will not lead to addiction.
CBD can actually be used for a wide variety of complaints, ailments and diseases. What's more, CBD is legal in the UK, but you have to be sure of the contents of the specific CBD product you purchase.
What can CBD do for animals such as dogs, cats or horses?
Basically, CBD can do exactly the same in animals as it does in humans. This is because our animal friends also have an endocannabinoid system and CBD interacts with it in much the same way to help regulate their body's processes and keep them in a healthy balance.
For example, fear, anxiety and the associated stress could be alleviated in your dog or cat, similar to the way it has been shown (and continues to be researched) for humans. Likewise, CBD can also be used for pain relief or to stimulate appetite if your animal isn't eating properly (i.e. due to injuries or wounds).
CBD is not limited to these examples, it can potentially help alleviate the symptoms a number of ailments for animals. For example, there is growing interest in how CBD can be used to treat arthritis.
How can CBD help my pet?
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Pain relief
- Can help with epileptic seizures
- Can help with infections
- Supports the immune system
- Can improve neurological functions
- Supports good digestion
- Can increase general well-being
- Support the healing process
- Can help with skin / coat problems
The use of CBD oil for dog owners in particular is interesting. Since taking CBD oil can relieve stress or anxiety, CBD could potentially help your dog in the event of separation anxiety, thunderstorms or fireworks. All common problems for dogs.
CBD has also helped with epileptic seizures in the form of severe tremor in the limbs, by alleviating and reducing symptoms. In fact, it is this affect that cannabis and its cannabinoids have in relation to epilepsy that led the UK government to legalise cannabis for medical purposes. So as you can see, the area of application of CBD is quite large and flexible.
What CBD products are there?
Of course, there are various products on the market that contain CBD - including for animals. The best known and most commonly used is CBD oil.
Not all CBD oils are the same, however so be sure to read our guide. When buying a CBD oil, you should therefore pay particular attention to the quality and the ingredients.
- Natural product: Make sure that the CBD oil you selected is natural and does not have pesticides or the like.
- Don't take the cheapest: Thje idiom "you get what you pay for" also applies here. So be prepared to spend a little more on CBD oil. After all, your animal is worth it. Nevertheless, there are of course inexpensive oils that are of high quality.
- Pay attention to the THC value: This is not only important for your animal, but also for the fact that you are not buying a product that is illegal and therefore not marketable. In order to comply with UK law there should be no THC in products. In practice, this means that the THC content should have been tested in a laboratory that can measure up to 0.01% THC. Reputable providers provide an analysis or a certificate from a laboratory.
In addition to oils, there are other products for animals that contain CBD. For example, you can also purchase CBD creams to apply topically to skin, fur and claws. There are also CBD capsules.
CBD Oil for animals - how to dose?
As with us humans, there is of course no one-size-fits-all dosage for animals. The basic rule is that you should start with a lower concentrate and a lower dosage. After all, you can increase both if necessary.
Therefore, you could start with a 2-5% CBD concentrate which is at the lower end of the scale. In the case of more serious conditions, it is still possible to switch to a high concentration afterwards (for example 10%) as soon as the animal has got used to the substance.
As a rule of thumb for dosing in animals: 1-2 drops per 5 kg of body weight. Initially, an animal should only have the drops once a day. If necessary, this can be increased over any time. The dosage should also be done in consultation with a veterinarian.
You should be aware that CBD and other substances can actually affect or impede other medications so definitely consult your vet if your pet or animal is taking other medicines or drugs.
If you suspect that your animal is not reacting to the CBD oil, that there are more serious side effects, or if you think your animal has been overdosed, stop the treatment immediately. A subsequent conversation with a veterinarian cannot hurt.
Advantages of using CBD
CBD is a very promising cannabinoid with a wide variety of (positive) properties. As is we've covered on this page and elsewhere on our site, the list of what CBD could help with is long.
One of the biggest advantages, however, is that it is considered safe and has few and harmless side effects. For example, CBD could replace common medications, some of which have a number of strong side effects, in various treatments.