Cannabidiol (CBD) trend has rocked the health and beauty markets for humans. The pre-clinical CBD studies on animals promise great potential in treating:
Hence, many pet owners are looking for ways to incorporate CBD oil in the diet of their furry friends. CBD oil for dogs treats available online promise several health benefits for canines. In this article, we will dig deeper into how effective dog CBD treats are.
The cannabis plant has more than 100 cannabinoids that have already been identified. Two most popular of them are:
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and
These cannabinoids interact with the body’s neurotransmitter system called the ‘endocannabinoid system’ (ECS). The endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptor proteins. They, in turn, affect:
the central nervous system (including the brain), and
the peripheral nervous system
of the vertebrates.
ECS regulates several physiological and cognitive processes of the body such as:
Pre- and Postnatal Development, etc.
People have been using cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes for thousands of years. In the last century, cannabis became infamous because of its regular abuse. The THC in the cannabis plant induces a sense of relaxation and euphoria in people. This is the reason why people love to smoke pot or weed.
THC induces a ‘high’ which may actually heighten their sensory perception. Other mind-altering effects of THC include:
altered perception of time,
In some cases, THC may also cause people to experience:
Large doses of marijuana (cannabis containing more than 0.3% THC) can also experience acute psychosis along with hallucinations and delusions.
Smoking marijuana causes immediate effects while mixing it with foods and beverages may delay the effects of THC on the body.
CBD is a cannabinoid too, but it is completely safe. It can be inhaled, ingested or applied topically. It is non-psychoactive in nature. In fact, it can control the effects of THC on the body.
A 2016 study found that even very high doses of oral CBD did now show THC-like effects. It did not make a person intoxicated. It means that a person has full control over his or her:
cognitive functions, and
other physical effects associated with THC.
How Does CBD Affect Canines?
Not much is known about the veterinary use of cannabidiol (CBD). An online survey was recently conducted on views and experiences of the US veterinarians on the use of cannabinoids in the medical treatment of dogs. CBD was often discussed as a potential treatment for:
Most recommended CBD formulations for dogs’ health were:
CBD oil or extract, and
According to veterinarians, CBD was most helpful to dogs in:
decreasing the frequency and severity of seizures,
relieving anxiety, and
providing relief in acute and chronic pain conditions.
One side-effect that CBD dog treats might have is ‘sedation’.
Most participants agreed that more research was needed on the use of CBD treats in dogs.
Why Is CBD Pet Treats Popular?
CBD-infused pet treat industry is booming as a non-traditional therapeutic option for pet owners. Many pet owners buy CBD pet treats and CBD-infused dog biscuits even though little is known about their efficacy and safety in pets.
Five studies that support the view that cannabidiol is good for one’s canine friends are:
93% of pet owners recommended CBD treats
Only 7% of pet owners said that CBD treats did not perform ‘better’ than standard medications or therapies they used for their pets. 632 pet owners from Colorado, US were surveyed for this study. The study was based on the pet owners’ observations only. The short-term and long-term administration of CBD pet treats still needs to be researched in detail.
It is to be noted that in humans, hemp seed oil improves the oral bioavailability of individual cannabinoids. In canines, the oral bioavailability of CBD was found to be lower – around 13% to 19%. Intravenous administration of CBD in dogs was found to have better availability.
It means that there is a good chance that injecting CBD oil or CBD extract into dogs might give them greater benefits than giving those CBD treats.
CBD affects the way CB1 and CB2 receptors bind with other cannabinoids
The ECS has cannabinoid (CB) receptors that wait for specific neurotransmitters to bind to them. These CB receptors guard a variety of cell types and can impact:
The two main types of CB receptors found in the cannabinoid are:
CB1 receptors are most commonly found in the central nervous system, especially the brain. They bind to THC and manifest its psychoactive properties.
CB2 receptors are most commonly found in the immune system. They bind with cannabinoids to fight symptoms of overactive immunity system, such as:
The phytocannabinoid CBD doesn’t trigger any of these receptors directly but they modify their ability to bind to cannabinoids. CBD does not allow THC to affect any of these receptors.
Canines have both CB1 and CB2 receptors. Felines have CB1 receptors. While more animal studies on CBD pet treats are needed, there are high chances that dogs can benefit from CBD-infused dog treats.
Oral administration of CBD products is safe for rhesus monkeys, rats, and dogs
A study found that administering Δ9-THC and crude marijuana extract (CME) in animals orally did not show any toxic effects – even at high doses. However, no study explored the safety and efficacy of chronic use of CBD in pets.
CBD’s interaction with CB2 receptors suggests that CBD treats for dogs may have therapeutic benefits for autoimmune diseases they may have. More research is needed to confirm this as CBD is also known to have immunosuppressant effects.
However, it also said that all the dogs experienced diarrhea when they were given CBD in the form of:
CBD capsules, and
Hence, an extensive study was recommended to find how CBD treats affect the liver of dogs in the long term.
The researchers noted that the episodes of diarrhea in dogs might also be linked to change in the diet and living facility of the dogs. The dogs responded well to treatment with metronidazole though. Their weight also remained stable for the duration of the study.
CBD has strong anticonvulsant properties
CBD treats are known to control seizures. While CBD-infused dog treats may make a canine patient drowsy, they can help with the feeling of disorientation that happens due to seizures.
Do note that during a seizure attack, dogs may bite the owners’ hands. So, exercise caution when you approach their mouths. 2-4 drops of CBD oil placed under the tongue is the fastest way to provide relief from symptoms.
CBD Oil Vs CBD Oil for Dogs Treats
Dogs love CBD treats. CBD is good for them too. But do dogs’ treats infused with CBD oil actually impart the health benefits they are supposed to have?
CBD oils may or may not contain THC. The hemp-derived CBD oils do not contain THC and will not give your dog a ‘high’. CBD dog treats seem like an amazing natural supplement for your pets. Medical hemp researcher Ian Pedersen states:
The pet CBD industry is on the rise but many of the new products look good only on the shelf. The efficacy or sustainability of these products is not reliable. Many dog biscuits contain:
lower-quality ingredients, and
crude hemp oil
which are not good for the dogs’ health.
One thing that makes the health benefits of CBD treats questionable is that baking (and high heat) breaks down the CBD oil. Cooking can also degrade the bioavailability of CBD oil. It means that the cooking process can make it difficult for the body to absorb CBD oil.
High-quality CBD oils are graded as ‘gold’ oil. They are extracted using the CO2 extraction method. Also, they do not use flavor additives or preservatives.
Low-quality CBD oil treats for pets are not good for anyone. It is important for the pet owners to buy CBD pet treats from suppliers who are open about their manufacturing methods. The third-party lab testing results can also prove the ‘quality’ of dog treats you are buying.
Since the market for CBD dog treats is so unregulated, many people prefer to use regular dog treats and dip them in high-quality CBD oil to provide better benefits to their pets.
How To Choose The Best CBD Dog Treats For Your Pet?
Honest Paws is a well-known brand for dog treats. Its ‘Calming CBD Dog Treats’ claim to have 100% pure CBD oil and all-natural ingredients to help anxious pups. Then, it has ‘Pain Relief’ dog treats which claim to have fresh turmeric along with CBD oil to help dogs suffering from pain.
The ‘Restore’ dog treats by Honest Paws have both pure CBD oil and coconut oil for dogs with dry and itchy skin. Since the CBD is rich in Omega 6 and fatty acids, it is believed to be good for skincare – both in humans and in pets.
HolistaPet is another CBD pet treats brand which is quite popular with both dog and cat owners. Its dog biscuits claim to have other ingredients to help with specific problems your pet might have.
CBD pet industry is new – and so are these companies. All we have right now is to rely on the reviews posted by other pet owners.
When you choose CBD pet treats, be vigilant enough to read its ingredients list closely. Many hemp oil products or treats do not contain CBD. They might be rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) but cannot offer the benefits of the ‘cannabidiol’.
People choose CBD treats over regular treats to offer a better lifestyle to their dogs and cats. CBD-rich pet treats are also seen as an alternative treatment option for a pet. Here are some of the reasons why you might want to give a CBD treat to your dog:
Anxiety in dogs
Many dogs feel depressed and anxious in certain situations. Of course, they can’t express their feelings. For example, when an owner leaves, pets suffering from separation anxiety may indulge in destructive behaviors. They may chew and destroy objects around, keep pacing, or urinate more.
Like humans, dogs and pets can also suffer from epileptic seizures. These episodes can be painful for them and make them feel disoriented. They lose their sense of balance even after seizures cease.
A study in Japan found that CBD oil is effective in treating seizures in dogs. Epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disorder in dogs. In the study, CBD-containing hemp extract in organic coconut oil was given twice to three male dogs twice a day. The CBD oil was given on empty stomach for eight weeks.
The dog owners told researchers that the CBD treatment helped the dogs to sleep more and bark less. The dogs were also less aggressive when they had seizures.
CBD oil treats for pets also lessen the anxiety which in turn helps in preventing seizures.
Appetite loss in dogs
It is difficult to guess why your dog has stopped eating. Many times, the issue is related to pain, digestive issues, and nausea. CBD dog treats can alleviate these symptoms and boost the dogs’ appetite.
Arthritis in pets
Dog arthritis may result from:
trauma to a joint,
defects in the joint, or
immune system disorders.
It is quite painful. Inflammation in joints prevents healing. If it is left untreated, it reduces the movement of dogs and leads to weight gain.
THC is toxic to dogs, CBD isn’t. It can help relieve the pain and inflammation in dogs with arthritis.
Some of the signs that the dog is in pain include:
Excessive grooming: If a dog keeps licking a particular area of the point excessively, chances are that it has pain there. Licking joints indicate that it is suffering from pain in joints.
More barking than usual: Dogs can’t talk. So, they bark, whine or growl more to indicate they are in pain.
Stop eating: Loss of appetite is a big sign that your dog is not well. It might be suffering from:
liver or kidney problems,
dental problems, or
Growing aggression: Even docile and friendly dogs become aggressive when they are in pain. So, if you notice a change in your pet’s behavior, it is time to see a veterinarian.
Panting heavily: It is normal for a dog to pant after exercising. If he starts panting for no reason, the reason could be stress or pain.
Difficulty in moving: If your dog is having problems in running, jumping or climbing stairs, he might be suffering from arthritis. Hip problems may also cause your dog to limp.
Changing sleep patterns: Dogs in intense pay may not be able to sleep properly. Similarly, they may also start having accidents inside the house because it is difficult for them to move.
CBD hemp oil in dog biscuits targets aching joints. It relieves pain and soothes chronic inflammation in the body. CBD hemp oil is the oil derived from the hemp plant and does not contain THC.
Cancer in dogs and pets
Pet owners highly recommend CBD products to relieve pain and nausea in dogs undergoing chemotherapy. Many people recommend that small doses of CBD on a daily basis can prevent cancer. Some go on to claim that CBD kills cancer cells.
Scientific evidence to back these claims is not enough though.
Ticks or infections may cause your dog to scratch continuously. CBD treats relieve the pain that results from scratching too hard. In such cases, it is recommended to go for pet treats that contain hemp oil or hemp seed oil.
The hemp seed oil contains omega fatty acids and proteins that are good for a dog’s fur and skin. The hemp oil in CBD treats for pets offers several other benefits, such as:
Strengthens the dogs’ immune system,
Ensures healthy growth and development,
Keeps the organs healthy and functional.
Whenever you pick up a dog treat, make sure that it has:
CBD derived from hemp,
Uses hemp seed oil, and
Has zero THC.
WT Hemp CBD dog treats use the best-quality ingredients in the market. They also have excellent customer care service. If you are in the US, check them out.