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Pet owners everywhere know that our beloved pets can experience just as much physical pain as we humans do, and they don’t run short of ailments. Naturally, we need to take care of our pets’ bodies and do our best to help treat and prevent any afflictions, illnesses, and injuries they can get. And while human bodies and the bodies of cats and dogs are very different, there are certain similarities that allow for some treatments to be similar as well. One of those similarities is our endocannabinoid system. All animals have endocannabinoid systems, so our pets’ bodies are, in fact, built to be able to interact with the cannabidiol compound.
In the case of CBD, early science continues to show that, just like their human owners, pets—and specifically, dogs—respond well to CBD, showing the alleviation of symptoms of things like pain and inflammation, stress and anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, and psychotic behaviors. But since the research is still in its infancy, we wanted to check: What exactly are the updates coming from recent research?
Earlier studies on CBD and animals
One of the first major studies done on CBD and dogs was published in 2018 by Cornell University showing that administering CBD to dogs with osteoarthritis helped ease the pain for a full 80% of dogs in the study, with no noticeable side effects.
Additionally, in 2018, Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital conducted clinical trials to measure the efficacy of using CBD to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures in dogs with epilepsy, and preliminary data showed significant promise. With sixteen dogs in the trial, nine received CBD with less than 0.3 percent THC as treatment, while seven received a placebo; both groups were also receiving conventional anti-epileptic drug therapy. According to the study, CBD helped reduce seizure frequency for that group of dogs by 89%, versus the 43% reduction in seizures the placebo group experienced. The study is ongoing, and more results will provide a fuller picture—but as of now, researchers are very optimistic.
New research findings on CBD and dogs
While new research is still slow on the scene, in March of this year, more findings came out of Colorado State University reporting reduced osteoarthritic-related pain in dogs with the use of CBD-rich hemp oil extract. The University conducted a 90-day pilot clinical trial including 37 dogs that had been diagnosed with maladaptive pain related to osteoarthritis. Thirty of the 32 dogs that completed the study showed improved pain metrics. Twenty-three of the dogs were also taking the nerve pain medication gabapentin during the trial and, as a result of the CBD oil, 10 of those dogs were able to stop using gabapentin completely and 11 were able to reduce their daily dose of the drug.
Another paper, published in May 2020, by researchers at the Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nottingham in the UK reported that adding specific CBD oils and doses to a regimen of NSAID treatment for dogs with osteoarthritis has the potential to reduce pain, according to owner assessment. Veterinarian assessments did not find significant change, however the paper said they needed improved evidence to make any determinations.
Finally, this September, a group of veterinary researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas, and Boston University School of Medicine published findings in the journal PAIN from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the effects of daily cannabidiol use in osteoarthritic dogs. According to their findings, the dogs experienced greatly decreased pain and increased mobility.
What some researchers and veterinarians are finding, though, is that it is likely that hemp extracts that have a stronger ratio of THC—something in the ballpark of 1 part THC to 20 parts CBD—along with other cannabinoids and terpenes would be more effective at preventing seizures than isolate extracts, but because of the legal status of cannabis and the associated stigma of THC and its use, those potentially more effective options cannot be studied as of yet, much less administered.
The benefits of Cannabinoid Balance Pet+
Cannabinoid Balance Pet+ is a broad spectrum CBD tincture specifically designed to help alleviate symptoms in pets who suffer from anxiety, chronic inflammation, arthritis, joint pain, nausea, high blood pressure, and digestion problems. Using proprietary NanoZorb™ technology (the + in its title!) gives our pet oil a major bonus in that the nanotechnology helps to breakdown the CBD molecules into smaller components and add a coating that allows the lipid-based molecules to become more soluble with higher bioavailability, and thus higher efficacy, in animal bodies. Our Cannabinoid Balance Pet+ tincture is made from organic hemp, non-GMO sunflower lecithin, and coconut MCT oil and comes in a 30mL bottle at 250mg of CBD. Visit the product page to learn more.
Talk to your vet
The FDA has not yet explicitly approved any CBD products for pets, although because CBD products with less than 0.3% THC were removed from the controlled substances list, they are legal to buy in many states. There is a large percentage of vets who have started prescribing CBD products for their pet patients, however, California is the only state thus far that has passed legislation allowing vets to propose CBD options as treatments for their patients. If you live outside of California, you will have to be the one to bring it up with your vet.