CBD OIL FOR DOGS: WORTH THE HYPE?

If you do not don’t spend any time on the internet (which clearly isn’t the case since you’re, you know, here), you’ve probably seen plenty about CBD oil and its myriad miracles. CBD is sprouting up in supplements, food, and even as a $2 upgrade to your coffee order at a shop through town. And, as these things do, once an organic cbd oil for dogs ingredient will take off in human health, it trickles into pet health and starts popping up all over the place. That’s definitely what’s happened with CBD oil. I begun to wonder: Is it worth the hype?

So, as i do, I dug into the research.

Here’s where I disclaim a few things: I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a doctor or nurse or doctor tech or dietitian. I’m a journalist. This is for information purposes only. It’s my opinion based off the research I found and some anecdotal evidence from my well being and my dog. Also, at the trail end of this post, I share my recommendation for a CBD OIL FOR DOGS that we tried and have kept Cooper on. More on that below, but they did compensate me for sharing information about their brand.

FIRST, WHAT IS CBD OIL?
I’m starting here because this is the biggest source of confusion when it comes to CBD products. There’s a disbelief that CBD = pot. CBD (cannabidiol) is one remove from the cannabis plant; THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is another and this has the psychoactive properties.

In other words, CBD doesn’t make you “high. ” THC does. And CBD oil doesn’t contain THC. That’s also why CBD products are legal. Because they don’t contain THC, they’re not regulated by the FDA. (Here’s how Live Science breaks it down. )

In human health, CBD products gained grip in the past. CBD purportedly supports everything from arthritis to schizophrenia to chemo side effects to anxiety to epilepsy to sleeplessness to even acne. The biggest thing to note is that there aren’t a ton of expert reviewed studies, but they’re coming. Just check out how many studies on CBD and epilepsy have been published since 2014.

So, CBD won’t get you high but it might help alleviate or lessen a whole lot of symptoms of a whole lot of conditions. Having went through a few few more articles and abstracts, I think the science is coming, y’all. It seems legitimate and a completely new tool for taking care of our well-being. For now, though, keep in mind that most of what’s shared about CBD and its effects is anecdotal.

HOW IS CBD OIL USED FOR DOGS?
Now that we’re clear on the CBD oil is, the next question is how CBD oil is used for dogs. (I touch quickly on cats toward the end of the post. For today, let’s give attention to our pups. )

As with human health, there aren’t many published studies–yet. You can locate papers comparing how dogs, people, and rats metabolize cannabidiol; a few papers on pharmacokinetics–or, how it moves through the dog’s body; and one solid study on cannabidiol and osteoarthritic dogs. That last study is fascinating because it shows a reduction in pain, an increase in activity, and–the best part–no side effects for the pups. Check it out here.

I mention with my doctor, too, about CBD oil and he said two things: First, prior to the science is there, he doesn’t feel safe advocating it to patients. Second, he said that Cornell was doing great work in that area. Interestingly, that was the arthritis paper I mentioned above, but they also report on future studies and expansions:

The results appear to support anecdotal reports of CBD oil’s benefits. Veterinary assessment showed that CBD oil reduced pain (p < 0. 03), and the Canine Brief Pain Inventory and Hudson activity scores showed scientifically significant lowering of pain and an increase in activity with CBD treatment (p < 0. 001), the summary reports.
According to Doctor. Wakshlag, moreover study, his team is completing a pharmacokinetic and safety study in cats, and there are plans for additional studies on the efficacy of CBD oil in serious pain management, behavior management, feline pain and concurrent usage with chemotherapy in oncology patients—so keep tuned in.

DVM360 JOURNAL
OK, so with all that said, let’s circle back around to the question: How is CBD oil used for dogs?

Well, many of the same human health applications translate. For instance, the arthritis study. Also, many anecdotal articles and stories tell of anti-anxiety (more on that in a minute) and anti-inflammatory applications, plus minimizing the effects of other medical ailments or treatments. Lots of possibilities, so as that article concluded–stay tuned.

IS CBD OIL SAFE FOR DOGS?
You shouldn’t give your dog any medications or supplements without first consulting your doctor, but know your doctor might give you a solution like my own did. And that’s fair. You’ll likely be deciding this one for yourself. For us, I felt confident after doing all this research that it was worth a trial for House. I desired to see if it mitigated any of his anxiety and daily stress. I figured I’d read enough to give a few products a whirl and see what happened.

However. I located that decision on my own after a ton of research. Ultimately, I think this Dogtime article amounts it up perfectly:

“CBD oil is safe for most dogs in the right doses and with the right products. ”

IS CBD OIL EFFECTIVE FOR DOGS?
OK. Let’s dig into this one pretty thoroughly. Some of this might sound redundant–because it is to an extent–but it’s important.

Whenever you see an efficacy claim on a product, it’s because there’s been a lot of testing done, and those claims are viewed (or regulated depending on the industry, like in the case of medication) by all sorts of consumer affairs and advocacy groups. There’s nothing like that done for dogs and CBD oil. There’s just anecdotal evidence and lotsa marketing.

There are also a ton of different CBD products for dogs, including baked or chewy treats, creams, oil, and so on. The efficacy of each varies.

I will say, we tried one of the most popular baked CBD treats with House, and it did nothing. I actually doubted the hype after that experience. Then, at Global Pet Expo 2018, I received a press sample of a transdermal cream, which you apply inside your dog’s ear. It bumped him out. Completely zonked. In case of an urgent situation, I guess that has to be OK, but I desired something in between the treats (i. e. no effect) and the transdermal (i. e. zombie). I recently wanted to take his edge off a smidge but leave him HIM!

After a few more times of learning from mistakes, we were left with an oil that works perfectly. More on that in a minute, but as for the effectiveness question, the idea I want to transfuse is this: You need to find what works for your dog. That means the right product in the right amount.

OK, SO, THINK ABOUT CBD OIL FOR CATS?
The Cornell study mentioned above hasn’t come out yet. That said, many of the same uses for dogs are recommended for cats anecdotally, but careful dosing is very important. I haven’t researched the cats question (I can if anyone’s curious… let me know in the comments if you want me to dig into this) mostly because my girls aren’t facing anything where I thought it would be helpful or worthwhile. Here’s a PetMD article that addresses the basics.

Keeping that in mind, it’s worth noting that the oil we chose for House is designated for animals, so if i wanted to just try them on it to see what happened, I’d feel perfectly safe (at a super-duper small dose).

MY BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:
You know your dog. You know his typical behavior and you know when he’s “off. ” If you’ve been thinking about trying a CBD oil with your dog, my experience has been that the treats just don’t do it but the actual oil strikes the right balance. Even if your doctor can’t or won’t comment, it’s worth running it by him or her first just to be extra careful that there won’t be conflicts with any medications your pet currently takes. In all things health, always, always talk it over with your doctor before you take action.

We’re keeping the oil we’ve been using–in fact, this reminds me I must reorder! –and want to for as long as we see a positive effect in House.

THE OIL WE USE (PLUS A DISCOUNT TO TRY IT):
As i mentioned, we tried a few versions of CBD for House before purchasing one.

We’re using a tincture that we add to his food. It took us several days to find the right amount. For House, it’s dramatically reduced than the recommendation for his weight.

Following a couple days, though, both John and I noticed separately that she reacted and barked way less than usual. Plus, he appeared to settle easier, and on the Fourth he kept his head about him the whole night. That day, we actually divided his amount between his breakfast and his dinner and added a smidge extra to each serving, just to cover the spread and get him through the fireworks. And it did. He rested well!

We’ve been super pleased with the experience and don’t have any plans to change or take him off it anytime soon!

The brand we’re using is called Veritas Farms. He’s on the Full Array Pet Tincture in the tuna flavor (Coop can’t have chicken, but there is a bacon flavor if your dog’s not into fish). The bottle is small, but it lasts. For House, I started him on his current bottle on Mon, August 3. Today’s Friday, Come early july 19, and we’re almost out. A solid month and a half, so a little under $1 a day. Worth it for a calm, happy pupper!

The website has a ton of useful info, like the COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS page and the How you Grow page, which explains their commitment to sustainability–you know I love that!

BUT! If you’ve read this far, well, first of all THANKS! 🙂 Also, if you got here and are now super curious, I suggest the pet Tincture, and Veritas Farms was kind enough to give me a discount code to share with you (and, btw, it works for anything on their site, not just the pet product, if you’ve been wanting to try some CBD products for yourself).

Here’s how to get a discount: You can either go to the Veritas Farms main page and poke around the shop OR go directly to the pet tincture. Add whatever you want to purchase to your cart, then use code Maggie15 at checkout to get your discount!

WHEW! There you have it.

If you’ve still got questions, please leave ’em in the comments. If i don’t know the answer, I’ll certainly track it down! I’m also curious if any of You have tried CBD oil for your pups (or for yourself) and what your experience has been. Please share so we can all study from one another! Thanks for keeping me on this–such an important topic!

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