Everyone reading this must have at least one friend who has tried to get their cat, dog or even horse stoned by blowing smoke straight into their face. The effects may or may not have been amusing for the animal however much it may have made intoxicated humans crack up with laughter. There must also be millions of animals who consume cannabis passively in enclosed spaces where it is smoked, such as bedrooms and living-rooms.

Apart from getting them high can Cannabis actually benefit my pet?

The question we are going to look at here is not whether our pets might enjoy getting high with us but whether our pets might benefit from the cannabinoid known as CBD. Since there are already a number of CBD productson the market, we will focus on CBD oil in particular as it is very simple and easy to administer – you just add the required number of drops to your pet’s food.

The Cannabis plant contains around 100 cannabinoids and over 300 other chemical compounds. The two best known cannabinoids are THC – which is psycho-active (it gets you high) and CBD. Although CBD will not get you high, it is full of properties that are extremely beneficial for one’s health. CBD is all of the following and more: an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-psychotic, neuro-protective, anti-tumoral. CBD also has minimal to zero side-effects! Compare this to traditional veterinary medicine which hands out pharmaceutical drugs with a long list of side-effects and painful price-tags.

Photo Courtney by Flame

Let’s get one thing straight – dogs and cats, along with many other mammals, reptiles and even fish, all have some cannabinoid receptors present in their system. This essentially means that our pets’ bodies interact naturally with cannabinoids in a manner that is wholesome and harmonious. Consequently, there is the strong likelihood that a product like CBD oil for dogs and cats will support and enhance your pet’s overall health. In humans, CBD oil is commonly used to alleviate conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety. Why should it be substantially different for animals?

OK, what else can CBD oil do for my pet?

That’s precisely the point of this post! Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of CBD oil from the point of view of our furry friends shall we?

Depression and anxiety are states that affect animals acutely. There are many rescued pets out there and their humans will be well aware of how a sudden noise or a particular animal or stranger can send them into a state of fear or panic. Many rescued animals suffer from depression as a result of how they were treated previously and may exhibit symptoms of acute social anxiety. CBD works with the serotonin receptors in the animal’s brain – just as with humans – and has a calming, relaxing effect on the mind and body. Pet CBD oil can help alleviate many of the symptoms and manifestations of pet-anxiety – for example, incessant barking due to abandonment anxiety – thereby making everyone’s life easier.

You might use dog CBD oil if, for example, you have an older dog with arthritis who suffers from joint pain (no pun intended 🙂 ) where inflammation makes going for walks painful and difficult. CBD oil naturally possesses anti-inflammatory properties and you can find online discussions where humans share how much CBD oil has helped their pet deal with this kind of pain.

You might consider using cat CBD oil to keep your feline’s coat healthy and shiny! The omega-3 and omega-6 present in CBD oil help with uncomfortable conditions such as dry or itchy skin.

There are other benefits of CBD oil for pets, including promoting digestive health and the overall well-being of the animal. Research is ongoing in this relatively new area but results so far have been positive.

How much CBD oil should I give my pet?

This is something you will need to research and decide upon yourself. You can find charts on the internet which are specific to the type of pet you have and there are guideline indications on strength of CBD dose based on such factors as the weight of the animal.

Since CBD itself has no negative side-effects, there is a certain freedom to experiment and observe the improvement in your pet’s condition over time. It is recommended to be patient and consistent. This may mean, for example, administering the chosen dose of CBD oil for an entire month, perhaps making notes along the way to compare how your pet is currently experiencing pain or discomfort relative to how they were before starting on CBD oil. Effects are subtle and often imperceptible to start with but become more and more visible as time goes by.