While CBD oil is steadily increasing in use with human consumers, it comes as no surprise that pet owners are also wondering - Is CBD oil beneficial for dogs? It's a good question, and it's considerably more complicated to answer than when it pertains to human use.
We can't ask our pets how CBD makes them feel, so it's benefits and uses all boil down to scientific study and testing. The problem? There isn't yet confirmed data on use and dosage for CBD and animals. This lack of study can make owners and veterinarians wary about using CBD - what effects humans one way can have a very different impact on dogs.
There is hope in the area of research, however. In 2017, the Canine Health Foundation announced that it had collected funding of more than $2 million to support research into CBD oil and how it may help dogs who have epilepsy. The veterinary neurologist, Dr.Stephanie McGrath, who is leading the study has high-hopes, saying, "The timeliness and importance of research into the role of Cannabis in veterinary medicine cannot be emphasized enough. With the changing public perception of Cannabis, it is time that we put science behind the stories and claims. We need to know if the drug is safe and if it works. If CBD is effective for treating epilepsy, it has the potential to save the lives of dogs around the world."
In 2018, there was also a systematic review of 35 canine arthritis sufferers conducted by researchers at Cornell University. In the review, it was noted that when CBD oil was given twice a day it could improve the dog's comfort and activity levels.
Currently, some veterinarians seem to be cautiously optimistic. CNN interviewed a veterinarian, Dr.Klein, in their report What you need to know about CBD oil and your pets. When asked what the long-term side effects could be on dogs, he stated, "We don't know. The time frame hasn't been there long enough. And no studies have been done. We do know there are some changes in blood pressure, dry mouth, but those are just preliminary studies." Dr.Klein went on to further explain his hopes for the product "I don't want to be a naysayer because I think there's potential here for real possible benefits. It may be a wonderful product in the future if it's regulated and we have data."
Other veterinarians, such as Dr.Francisco DiPolo, are already prescribing CBD products to some of their patients. In speaking with CNBC, the veterinarian said "I don't think people should think of this as a panacea and start giving CBD to their pets for every ailment. I think it's powerful and we need to learn more about it."
Many dog owners are already swearing by CBD's uses for their beloved pets. This statement is undoubtedly reflected in the expectation of the CBD pet product industry to expand to $1.16 billion by 2022.
Common ways in which dog owners are using CBD oil include:
Just as with any form of treatment, there's a risk of side-effects. According to the AKC, there are not yet data on the side-effects of CBD usage on dogs, and they recommend owners start with low doses at first so they can gauge its effects on their pups. It's also recommended that veterinarians are always consulted first before beginning a CBD regimen.
The world of CBD oil is fresh and promising. While there is definitely a long way to go with study and research, many dog owners are already reporting life-changing and positive results with the use of CBD oil. Carefully consider the information presented when making your decision, and never stop current medical treatments without speaking to your dog's veterinarian first.