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CBD for Your Dog, Cat or Other Furry Friends
There is no doubt, we all love our pets and want to make sure they are well treated. After all, our pets are part of our family and just like our family, we want to make sure our pets stay well and are happy.
You have probably heard a lot about CBD products, including CBD oil for pets, which include your dogs, cats and even horses. You may have even thought about adding CBD in your pet’s wellness routine. If so, please keep reading.
First, you should know what CBD is and what it is not. There are over 100 different cannabinoids and CBD, or cannabidiol, is just one. CBD is a cousin of marijuana as it is from the same plant family, but with a very big difference. CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not get you or your pet “high”
Thanks to the United States passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD produced from hemp is legal on a federal level when you follow their guidelines.
CBD is not marijuana. Marijuana will give you a “high” since it contains the chemical compound TCH or tetrahydrocannabinol. Marijuana is illegal under United States federal laws.
CBD shows great promise and is thought to have many therapeutic properties for both humans and pets. Today, you find CBD almost everywhere and there is much discussion regarding its usage.
Is CBD Safe?
Hemp has been around for centuries. Thomas Jefferson even had a hemp farm. During World War II, farmers were encouraged to grow hemp in the” Hemp for Victory” movement. So, what happened?
Confusion occurs because hemp is from the same plant family as marijuana. Due to this confusion, hemp was placed in the same category as marijuana and eventually made illegal. In 1937, The Marijuana Tax Act placed a tax on all cannabis sales that included hemp. Then in 1970, The Controlled Substances Act classified hemp as a Schedule I drug, making it illegal like marijuana.
That began to change with the passage of the United States 2018 Farm Bill. It now became legal to grow hemp as an agricultural product and, with certain restrictions, produce hemp-derived products like CBD. Hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as long as its products contain less than 0.3 (0.3%) percent THC. Also, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given the authority to regulate products containing hemp-derived products.
Recently, the FDA approved Epidiolex, which contains CBD for the treatment of human seizures. In addition, the FDA started issuing warnings when CBD products are sold with unsubstantiated therapeutic or medical claims. At the same time, the FDA does recognize the potential therapeutic opportunities CBD may offer.
In light of this confusion, how is it that CBD appears almost everywhere? This is where is becomes confusing. Under federal law, CBD is legal; however, that is recent. Most of the statements regarding CBD are from people who personally use CBD. If a vendor claims CBD has therapeutic benefits, the FDA becomes concerned since there is little in the way of research to substantiate these claims.
The outcome is companies are unable to make specific claims about CBD products due to the lack of sufficient testing or research. Testing is because until recently, CBD was not legal. Until further testing is done, CBD products are being sold based upon the consumers’ own experience; therefore, by word of mouth. The one item of clarity is neither you nor your pets will get high from using a CBD product.
Why Try CBD?
It is clear many pet owners are turning to CBD for a variety of reasons. Early research shows potential CBD health benefits for pets include managing pain, arthritis, seizures and other health issues. It has been reported, that CBD can assist with anxiety that could lead to a lessening of excessive barking.
A recent study by Cornell University, in New York, suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase the comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is studying CBD to treat drug resistant epilepsy. At the Colorado State Veterinary College, in 2016, dogs with epilepsy received CBD and some received placebos. Though this study was small, there was a reduction in the number of seizures and therefore, the study was enlarged to reexamine how CBD affects dogs.
Some pet owners swear by CBD, but more research is needed. The first step should be to discuss which is the best CBD products for your pet with your veterinarian. Especially if your pet is on other medications, there is always a concern about how CBD interacts with those medicines.
How to give CBD to your Pet
CBD may work for some pets and not for others; it depends on your four-legged friend. Like anything else, your pet is unique and so is its reactions. Results vary from one pet to another depending on their metabolism, size, age and condition. A good place to start is the information provided by the CBD store or manufacturer.
It is suggested to start with a small dose of CBD and monitor the results. If you do not notice any adverse effects, you may start increasing the dose, slowly over time, and until the desired effect is achieved.
If there is any adverse reaction, stop using the product and contact your veterinarian. Signs that your pet may be experiencing an adverse reaction might include: lethargy, heavy drooling, vomiting, changes in normal behavior, agitation, or similar changes.
Choose CBD Carefully
While there are a variety of CBD products available for cats, dogs and horses, from CBD oils to CBD pet treats, and CBD chews it is very important to know what is in that product. When you buy CBD, you only want to purchase high-quality CBD.
Whether you are purchasing in a CBD store or buying CBD online, make certain to look for the following:
- Avoid products claiming they can cure almost everything; no product will cure everything.
- Until additional testing is done on CBD products, the FDA does not allow specific claims regarding the health benefits of CBD.
- Buy products grown in the United States since they regulate CBD production via standards and testing.
- Look for a company that answers your questions and does not pressure you into buying their product.
- Buy from a company that use an independent third-party laboratory, to test their products. The preference is to use an ISO standard laboratory that follows set scientific standards.
- The label should provide how much CBD is in each dose that allows you to better regulate the amount of CBD.
- Organic is better so check the levels of pesticides, metals and chemicals in a product.
- Every company should provide you their Certificate of Analysis (COA), which proves, by batch, the testing on their products. Usually this COA available by a QR code, found on the product, and viewable on your phone.
- Do your own research and become educated.
A few other things
While CBD is legal in the United States on a federal level, it is not always legal on a local level. Please check your local regulations to determine if CBD is legal in your area. As of 2020, Idaho, Iowa and South Dakota have not legalized CBD.
Amazon does not allow the sale of CBD products. Meaning, if you find CBD for sale on Amazon, the product is most likely made from hemp oil that does not contain much CBD. Make certain to carefully review what ingredients are contained in a specific product.
Remember, CBD is very new consumer product and the market is constantly changing; so, stay tuned for more information.