Obligatory disclaimer here – at this time, there is limited empirical evidence available about specific benefits of cannabis for our furry friends. And just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. After all, dogs are allergic to all kinds of things that wouldn’t harm a human – like chocolate. But dogs have an endocannabinoid system with receptors in their brains and nervous system, and cannabis is proving to be an effective pain reliever for canines.
Reducing Pain & Boosting Energy
CBD is known for its impressive pain-relieving properties, and there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that it works effectively on dogs. Properly prescribed, CBD can bring about immediate benefits:
- Increased energy in older dogs
- Increased appetite and weight gain in dogs battling cancer
- Reduced indications of pain
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced seizures
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Reduced symptoms of arthritis and back pain
One of the biggest benefits to CBD for pets is its lack of side effects. Traditional medications can address pain, but they’re often hard on the kidneys, liver, or the gastrointestinal tract. And the idea here isn’t to get your dog high. With CBD, there is no psychoactive effect – all you’re doing is addressing pain and stiffness.
Dosing is Critical
The most important consideration when it comes to cannabis and dogs is correct dosage. Like other medicines, overdosing could mean potential risks. Life-threatening risks are quite rare, but it is possible. The trouble is, research about proper dosing is sorely lacking. Your best bet is finding a veterinarian who has experience treating pets with cannabis oil for recommendations on dosing and the right products.
Fortunately, with continued legalization across the country, there are more and more options at your disposal. Reputable manufacturers are creating products specifically for pets, and knowledgeable budtenders may also be able to point you in the right direction of safe products.