With legalization comes new information every day about cannabis. One area that hasn’t been looked at enough, is how animals and more specifically our pets can benefit from cannabis.  Thousands of pet owners have to make the difficult choice to treat their pets’ pain with either pharmaceuticals, or homeopathic (natural) remedies. However, new studies show promise for CBD as a treatment option for inflammation and pain in animals.

What we know so far

Research pertaining specifically to animals has been scarce so far, but one clinical study conducted in July 2018 is very encouraging. That study, “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs,” led by Dr. Joseph Wakshlag of Cornell University. Wakshlag and colleagues measured the effects of a specific hemp-based cannabidiol product (ElleVet Sciences’ proprietary hemp oil blend) on arthritic and inflammatory pain in a small sample of dogs. The results were extremely promising: Over 80% of the animals studied showed significant improvements in mobility and reduction of pain.

Hemp derived vs Cannabis derived

Wakshlag conducted his previously mentioned study with a specific dose of a particular cbd-only product. The results can be entirely different if THC is brought into the mix. In fact, many vets and researchers recommend against giving pets any amount of THC at all, for good reason. For dogs in particular, THC is a toxic compound, and until further research is done in that regard, you should try to avoid THC entirely. The best way to achieve that is to make sure that the CBD product that you try for your animal is hemp derived, or comes with a lab test showing that it has no THC.

Conclusions – is it safe?

CBD alone is safe for your animal to take and may be a viable replacement for pharmaceutical medications, just be sure to know what dose is good for your pet. Many owners do not want to see their pet behave differently on prescription pain killers, or have to deal with the change in behavior and consequences, and CBD is a good safe option to try for your pet. Veterinary advice should always be considered first and foremost when dealing with anything relating to your pets, and having an informed discussion with them about CBD could lead to a wonderful treatment plan for your beloved pet.