Cbd oil basics for pet

CBD Oil & Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

For both people and animals, medicine tends to trend high-tech. One of the most promising new veterinary drug therapies, however, incorporates ingredients derived from cannabis, a plant that’s been in use by humans for thousands of years. This primer covers the basics of veterinary cannabidiol (CBD) and reflects what’s currently known.

New findings are released every day, it seems, so if you’re interested, we advise staying on top of developments by bookmarking a few reliable websites. If your vet is open to discussing it—for legal and licensing reasons, not all are—we strongly advise starting there.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 60 known plant-based cannabinoids, naturally occurring active chemical compounds that act on the brain and body. It’s derived from cannabis, a complex plant in the Cannabaceae family, and has no psychoactive effects —it provides “the benefits without the buzz,” as one writer put it.

CBD is the plant’s second most abundant cannabinoid; first place goes to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which generates marijuana’s distinctive high. It’s extracted and processed as either an isolate (on its own) or as a full-spectrum oil, one of a group of related cannabinoids that often includes cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidivarin (CBDV), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), terpenes and flavonoids.

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Over millennia, humans have domesticated, developed and cultivated multiple strains of cannabis and used them for a variety of purposes. Today, generally speaking, the two you’ll hear the most about are hemp, which is legally defined as cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% of the psychoactive THC, and marijuana (strictly speaking, a product rather than a plant type), which has more than 0.3% THC. Many CBD products for dogs are sourced from hemp.

The Science Behind CBD

Every animal with a spinal column has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which scientists estimate evolved more than 600 million years ago and has been carried forward across the millennia. This ancient system—discovered through the work of several researchers between roughly 1965 and 1995—is named for Cannabis sativa L., the plant species that most dramatically affects it. Its basic functions have been summarized as to “relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect.”

To do this, the ECS maintains the body’s internal balance through a network of activators and receptors that most notably affect the central nervous system and the immune system. Cannabinoids are the ECS’s messengers, and their effects depend on the receptors to which they bind.

This is a very specific process; a receptor will only accept the particular compound for which it exists, and is unaffected by others. Research shows that cannabinoid receptors are similar across species, functioning much the same way in dogs as they do in people, although dogs have far more receptors in their brains than any other animal tested (including humans).

Robert J. Silver, DVM and veterinary herbalist of Boulder, Colo., suggested another way to understand this system: “Receptors are like locks, and cannabinoids are like keys. They fit together perfectly. Once the cannabinoid connects to the receptor and turns that lock, a series of actions occur in the cell membrane; these actions are responsible for some of the cannabinoid’s effects.”

Full-Spectrum CBD Extracts

Whole-plant or full-spectrum extracts are considered to be the most therapeutically effective. In this form, CBD works in conjunction with other cannabinoids to produce what’s called the entourage effect: the result of numerous types of cannabinoids, each with a specific function, working together. You’ll sometimes see THC in the mix as well; aside from its recreational aspects, it has its own set of medicinal properties and can be particularly effective against severe pain.

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Is CBD safe for Dogs? Does it work? How does it work?

These are just a few of the questions that can only be reliably answered by evidence-based scientific research, which is now taking place in the U.S. and around the world, and is the best way to separate fact from fiction.

More work has been done to discover CBD’s effects on people than on animals—for example, at least 132 original studies have focused on CBD’s human-safety profile—but that tide seems to be turning. Take, for example, the following:

• In 2016, Dr. Stephanie McGrath, neurologist and assistant professor at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, completed a preliminary pharmacokinetic (what happens to a drug in the body) and safety study on CBD. Following this study, Dr. McGrath began two pilot studies involving owner-enrolled dogs with poorly controlled epilepsy and painful osteoarthritis. These have now ended and results on the epilepsy study are scheduled for publication in the Canadian Veterinary Journal later this year. One of its big-picture findings: 89 percent of dogs who received CBD had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. (McGrath and her team are now starting work on a larger epilepsy-focused project.)

• The results of a study led by Dr. Joe Wakshlag, associate professor and section chief of nutrition at Cornell, currently under review for publication, also contribute to the knowledge bank. According to the abstract, its objectives were to “determine the basic oral pharmacokinetics, determine safety and assess efficacy of CBD oil in managing pain in dogs with osteoarthritis.” The Canine Brief Pain Inventory and Hudson activity scores reportedly showed a clinically significant reduction in pain and an increase in activity with CBD treatment.

• Dr. Dawn Boothe, director of clinical pharmacology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, is studying CBD as a treatment for epilepsy in dogs and is also developing an assay to measure cannabinoid toxicity and efficacy.

• Dr. Jamie Peyton, chief of small animal integrative medicine at University of California, Davis, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, led a late 2017/early 2018 study on the current use of cannabis with companion animals. By anonymously filling out an online questionnaire, participants provided the study with data that can be used to inform future research (the study is now closed).

A Research Roadblock

CBD could prove to be a life-improving medication for dogs, but without the backing of clinical research to establish its effectiveness and dosing, it’s hard to know for sure. That research is hindered by cannabis’s federal Schedule 1 drug classification, which puts traditional academic research institutions in a legally ambiguous position. It also makes funding harder to come by; much of the work currently underway is sponsored by companies who produce CBD products.

In the future, we’ll look into questions of CBD and the law, delve into the role veterinarians can play in your decisions and provide a glossary of terms to help guide you through this evolving landscape. For now, check out The Bark’s informative CBD & Dogs section.

A Eureka Moment

As described in an article on Labroots, “Scientists discovered the brain’s opiate receptor in 1973, but it was not until 1988 in a government-funded study at the St. Louis University School of Medicine that Allyn Howlett and William Devane determined that the mammalian brain has receptor sites that respond to compounds found in cannabis. These receptors … turned out to be the most abundant type of neurotransmitter receptor in the brain.”

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Travel Essentials: 10 Best CBD Oils For Dogs

According to the latest report commissioned by the veterinary charity PDSA, 26% of UK adults own a dog and one quarter of those owners take their dogs on holiday with them. Another UK survey showed that 56% of dog owners said that they choose to travel with their dog as they enjoy their holiday more. In the United States, the latest surveys of pet owners, by the American Pet Products Association, revealed that over 63 million households own a dog, with nearly 50% taking their dogs on vacation by car, plane or train.

A dog with its flight ticket on a Japan Airlines plane in Chiba, Japan (Photo by Richard Atrero de . [+] Guzman/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Most airlines allow small pets in the cabin for a small additional fee if it’s organised in advance. Trains in Europe and Amtrak in the US are happy for dogs to accompany owners too. But this doesn’t mean travelling with one’s pet is smooth sailing, especially at an airport where passing through security is essential. This can be stressful for both dogs and their owners so an effective means of calming an animal is appealing. Likewise, owners look for ways to make a journey with dogs, who get agitated in a car or train, more relaxing. Using a CBD supplement made especially for dogs could relieve some of that tension. The American Kennel Club says that while there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s good anecdotal evidence from dog owners on its anti-anxiety impact. CBD (cannabidiol), a compound found in cannabis and hemp, is also touted for its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects and appetite stimulation. With this in mind, here are ten companies that produce some of the best CBD oils and treats for dogs.

CBD infused dog treats from Verma Farms

1.Verma Farms (oils, treats)

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Hawaii-based Verma Farms sells some of the world’s bestselling CBD oil for dogs. Their CBD dog edibles are also top notch. The highly praised, tasty, CBD-infused steak bites ($59.99 for eighteen 100 mg treats), suitable for mature dogs or pups, are THC free. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties, is to be avoided unless prescribed by a vet. Verma Farms’ CBD is sourced from Hawaiian-grown, pesticide-free Cannabis sativa plants that are rich in nutrients and freshness. While their real beef treats are justifiably popular, Verma Farms also recommends buying CBD for dogs as a liquid so dosage can be adjusted drop by drop and administered in small doses by mixing it into food or treats. Verma Farms’ products are at a premium price for good reason: not all CBD oils are equal. For highest effectiveness, the oil should be organic and THC and additive free. Look at the manufacturer’s certificate. Cheaper options could contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals.

2.King Kanine (oils, balms)

King Kanine’s most popular CBD oil is King Kalm, with 600 mg of CBD made with Copaiba, Krill Oil and their broad spectrum CBD oil. Priced at $109.99, this product isn’t cheap but everything is organic, pesticide and solvent-free. Each product goes through a rigorous manufacturing and quality-testing process in the United States and is approved by a third-party lab to ensure purity, potency and overall quality.

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The newly-expanded pet line from Charlotte’s Web includes botanical blends, unflavored or chicken-flavored oils and topical balm. The oils are available in two sizes,100 ml or 30 ml bottles with a graduated dropper. Also on offer are reasonably priced packages of 30 chicken-flavored chews for $19.99 and hemp-infused balm for sensitive skin at $24.99.

Green Roads is one of the most established CBD companies in the United States. Their CBD range is currently sold in over 10,000 retail locations. Their products for pets are formulated taking the weight of the animal into account as that’s so important for dosage. Green Roads’ CBD pet drops are available in a range of strengths, suitable for small, medium or large dogs.

5. Innovet (oil, capsules, chews)

Innovet’s keenly priced selection includes oil, capsules, chews and even peanut butter for fussy dogs who won’t eat the other products. The oil used in all products is 100% organic, hemp-based phytocannabinoid (CBD) sourced from Oregon and Colorado. Some products are almost half the price of their competitors and the founders explain that this is due to manufacturing all their CBD products in house.

6. Medipets (oils, sprays, treats)

MediPets CBD products are free of THC, easy to use and 100% natural. All MediPets products are pharmacist-formulated, third-party lab tested and made in the USA from industrial hemp oil extracted from organically-grown hemp. After the essential oils are extracted from hemp, the raw extract goes through a filtration, distillation, and refinement process to produce 99 percent pure CBD. Medipets sells CBD beef or bacon and cheese treats and CBD Pet Spray that can be sprayed directly into a pet’s mouth for a quick and easy application.

7.Just CBD (oils, treats)

Available in easy-to-administer tinctures, the oils from Just CBD come in five appealing flavors: beef, bacon, chicken, salmon and tuna. These tinctures are made with pure hemp extract oil and come in three dosages of 100 mg, 250 mg and 500 mg, so that dosage can be adjusted based on dog size and needs. Just CBD also sells steak bites for dogs who are reluctant to consume tinctures.

8. Canna-Pets (oils, treats)

Canna-Pets offer CBD capsules and oil but their organic biscuits are a unique product in this crowded market. The crunchy biscuits, with cannabinoids derived from enriched oil extracts of organic hemp, are available in tasty flavors including turkey, maple bacon or peanut, banana and apple (vegan). Each 227g bag is $16.99 and contains 37-40 biscuits.

9. Paw CBD (oils, chews and treats)

Add natural or peanut butter flavored Paw CBD oil to your dog’s food or use the tincture dropper to administer it orally to your pup. The oils are available in 30 ml bottles in five strengths, ranging from 150 to 3000 mg. Also available are CBD oil crunchy hard treats, great for a dog’s teeth and soft chews in cheese, peanut butter or turkey flavors. All products are considered THC-free, lab tested and made from non-GMO hemp grown using organic farming methods in the United States. Paw CBD offers a 30-day money back guarantee and free shipping within the United States.

10. PureKana (oils and treats)

Offering CBD oil drops in bacon flavor, PureKana also has a popular range of organic dog treats with imaginative flavors like steak and sweet potato, peanut butter and pumpkin and Blueberry and Chicken. The prices are reasonable at $34.99 for 25 treats. Aimed at active and energetic dogs, there are two versions of the treats, one for small dogs, the other for large dogs.