Month: May 2019

Heidi and CBD (Part Two)

 Is it legal to give your dog CBD oil?

A 2018 farm bill made the widespread farming of hemp legal, in turn making hemp-derived CBD legal nearly everywhere in the US (not to be confused with marijuana-derived CBD, which is much more of a murky subject and depends on your state’s medical marijuana stance)

 That said, the 2018 farm bill that legalized hemp did not legalize veterinarians prescribing CBD to pets. They can recommend it, but no official prescriptions can be written.

Pet owners aren’t discouraged by the lack of guidance, though:  According to an online survey done across the Veterinary Information Network, two-thirds of participating vets said that patients ask them about cannabis for their pets at least once a month.

If you see a site that sells oil for people and animals, you may be wondering what the difference is. Trick question: There’s typically no difference. Flavoring, added ingredients like fish oil or different dosage suggestions may set the pet oil apart from the regular oil, but the base product is generally identical.

How much CBD should dogs have? There are no FDA-regulated dosages for dogs taking CB, but no adverse effects of giving a dog “too much” CBD have been found.

The general belief is that orally is the quickest method for dogs. For animals with strict diets, who will notice something extra being put in their food, oil can also be absorbed through the dog’s inner ear or the gums. Dogs can also lick oil right from the dropper itself, or right off of your hand.  

Weight is currently the main deciding factor when determining how much CBD a dog should have Recommendations vary by who you talk to, but the general idea seems to be 1-5 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.

 Min Lee, the president of brand development at Honest Paws says a 75-pound German shepherd suffering from severe hip dysplasia would typically require a more concentrated delivery method (ie high-potency oil) than a 10-pound poodle who has anxiety. In the poodle example, edible CBD treats should be enough. Of course, small dogs could have a list of serious problems and big dogs could have a single mild one — the rule is simply to start small and note the dosage where you see changes in behavior.

CBD isn’t a fix-all for your dog’s pain or anxiety and doesn’t eliminate the need for vet visits, but it’s exciting to see customers gushing about it helping their dog.

Here’s what to keep in mind while you shop: Choose a site that sells a variety of dosages

This will make it easy to test out what works for your dog, and will be especially helpful if you’re buying for dogs of different sizes.

Some pet oil will be flavored and some won’t be. If your dog is picky reviews can tell you if other people’s pets liked the oil.

 To ensure that you’re buying a quality hemp product with less than 3 percent THC, the site should have ingredients and third-party lab results posted (or at the least, offer QR codes on each product) Bonus if you see CO2 extraction listed — that’s the gold standard purification process. Bigger dogs will likely require higher daily dosages than smaller dogs, and higher-potency oils are more expensive.

Have you given CBD to your pets?  I’d like to know.  How have they reacted? Please leave a comment below.

Heidi and CBD

My six year old basset hound Heidi has separation anxiety. Five months ago she also hurt her back.  Our vet prescribed Rimadal for inflammation and pain.  Yes, it worked, but I didn’t want to keep Heidi on the drug indefinitely. I decided to do some research into CBD. Heidi has been taking the CBD oil now for three months. She takes it easily from the eye dropper that came with the oil.  The CBD has done wonders for her back….no more Rimadal, and her separation anxiety has improved also. I also plan to use it for the upcoming 4th of July festivities.

 First of all…THC/CBD edibles and additives are not necessarily FDA-approved Despite the fact that CBD is suddenly everywhere, the knowledge gap still isn’t closing as fast as new products are coming to the market.

Dogs can freak out— fireworks, thunderstorms, and even their vet can all trigger episodes.  And if it’s a rescue dog or a puppy, then it’s probably all of these things. It’s a fur baby fact. Or perhaps your dog is actually a very brave soul, but has been slowed down by an illness, arthritis, or simply from being 100 years old in people years.

Regardless of the problem, watching your dog get anxious, scared, or be in pain is nothing short of heartbreaking. Folks like me, looking for alternatives and are turning to things like CBD oil. Owners of dogs, cats, horses, and even bunnies have written positively about the effects of CBD on their furry families.

There hasn’t been much peer-reviewed research done about the effects of CBD on dogs. Numerous studies are currently underway, but for now, most of what we have to go on are other people’s experiences. Luckily, there’s no shortage of obsessive dog moms and dads raving to the internet about CBD.

 Mashable surveyed more than 2,000 US consumers via Google Surveys in January and found 17 percent said they give their dog CBD, while 19 percent of people have tried CBD for themselves, and 40 percent of people would only give it to their dog if the vet recommended it.

A 2016 survey done by the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found that a majority of customers who have given hemp products to their dog marked that the products were “moderately or very helpful” (as per the wording of questions in the study) in areas including pain relief, sleep help, and reduction in anxiety.

 But where did those people get hemp products for a dog? How did they know how much to give them? Is this stuff even safe for animals?

In 2016, Dr Stephanie McGrath lead a study on CBD for dogs with epilepsy and found that 89 percent of dogs who receiving CBD during the clinical trial had a reduction in frequency of seizures.

Another study at Cornell University in 2018, found that 2 mg of CBD per kilogram of dog twice a day can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.

 Experts acknowledge that only a fraction of the possibilities have been clinically tested, but as of right now, there are no known adverse side effects for dogs taking CBD. If your dog is on other medications, it’s still smart to keep an eye on your dog to ensure that there are no wonky interactions between CBD and those meds. (Check with your vet)

An important distinction: Giving CBD oil to your dog is not the same as giving marijuana to your dog.  Getting your dog stoned is bad. You’d think this would be obvious, but since emergency pet marijuana calls have increased a disturbing amount in the past year, I guess it isn’t.

“At certain dosages, THC can be toxic for dogs,” says Dr Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University’s James L Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital  “But it [CBD given to dogs] should be coming from the hemp plant, which has THC levels of 3 percent or under.

 Though we’re still waiting for official studies on dogs with anxiety or arthritis, the pet owners who have tried it seem to swear by it in the form of anecdotal reports and customer reviews.

(Part Two coming next week)