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Are You a Bad Pet Owner If You're Not Giving CBD to Your Dog?

Weighing the benefits of cannabis for canines.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis.net

The endocannabinoid system is not only present in humans, but in dogs too.

Tara Moore | Getty Images

In our furry companions, the endocannabinoid system also helps to regulate many important bodily functions including appetite, pain, immunity, anxiety, sleep, seizures, and much more. This is why our furry companions can also benefit from cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that has been proven time and again to have powerful health benefits.

CBD is an excellent natural medicine for many of the common ailments afflicting dogs. Of course, we never want to see them suffering or in pain, and we only want the best and safest for them.

There is a growing body of research showing the efficacy of CBD for treating many diseases. Here's a look at some of them.

RELATED: A Majority of Pet CBD Products Are Mislabled

Canine osteoarthritis

Canine osteoarthritis is one of the conditions that CBD can treat. This disease leaves dogs feeling stiff and pain, and no longer able to enjoy the pleasures of running and playing due to the loss of mobility. According to research, around 20% of dogs aged one year old and up have a high risk of developing osteoarthritis.

For the trial, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine together with Medterra CBD products conducted a double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled study over the course of 4 weeks. The participants involved 20 large-breed dogs with osteoarthritis; they were randomly given either one of 3 CBD products or a placebo, after which they were evaluated by both their owners and veterinarians to assess pain and mobility. However, neither veterinarians nor owners were given information on CBD to prevent biases in their evaluations, reports Forbes.

The study revealed that the dogs who were given liposomal CBD and higher doses of CBD saw great improvements in quality of life as well as mobility. Those in the placebo and lower dose groups did not see much improvements.

RELATED: Why Are Some CBD Products So Expensive and Others So Cheap?

Canine seizures and epilepsy

In 2019, Dr. Stephanie McGrath of Colorado State University set out on a pilot study to analyze the short-term impact of CBD on dogs with epilepsy. The study, led by McGrath who is a neurologist at the James L Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital of Colorado State University, involved 16 dogs. She discovered that 89% of canines who were given CBD during the trial saw a reduction in seizure frequency; 9 dogs were given CBD while 7 in the control group were given a placebo.

On top of the seizure frequency reduction, McGrath also noted that there was a close correlation between seizure reduction and how much CBD was in the dog's blood. "We saw a correlation between how high the levels of CBD oil were in these dogs with how great the seizure reduction was," she explains.

Other benefits

Many dog owners are seeing great results using CBD for treating other things. Even canine aggression; the owner of any unpredictable dog can tell you how stressful it is not knowing when your dog may hurt another dog, animal, or person. However, this isn't enough to put your dog down, but CBD has been shown to help.

CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties and can be given to dogs who bite out of anxiety or fear. It's a natural sedative, which you can give your pooch before potentially stressful events such as a trip to the dog park, New Year's Eve, bringing a new family member home, going to the vet, and much more. When dogs are calmer, it enables them to socialize with ease and this relaxed state of mind makes training and behavior modification even better.

It can also help improve quality of life for dogs with cancer. Unfortunately, some 50% of adult dogs will succumb to cancer, which is painful to watch. They may need to undergo radiation or chemotherapy but their quality of life will suffer greatly. CBD has been widely studied for helping humans deal with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, while suppressing the growth of new cancer cells.

Furthermore, dogs suffering from any kind of pain can benefit from CBD. Dogs can suffer from pain just like humans because of so many things: arthritis, dental diseases, bone problems, hip dysplasia, skin disease, cancer, surgery, and much more.

Shopping for the best CBD for dogs

There are some things to keep in mind when shopping for dog-friendly CBD products. First and foremost, only buy hemp-derived CBD products that have been designed specifically for dogs. Some human-grade CBD medications may contain THC, which can be toxic for dogs. Hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC and higher CBD levels to ensure that your dog won't get high.

Second, look for products that have a certificate of analysis (COA), which is also what you should be looking for when buying premium CBD or THC products for yourself. A COA is a verification from third-party laboratories that ensure the safety of each product as well as the accuracy of ingredients used in each of it. Because the CBD industry is not regulated, there are many products out there that don't contain exactly what they say.

You may also want to use organic CBD products for your dog. Doing so reduces the risk of further illness because no pesticides and harmful chemicals were used to cultivate the hemp where the CBD came from. Reducing the exposure of your dog from toxins is critical especially if they are seriously ill.

CBD products for dogs come in a wide range of choices, so if you see your furry family member struggling, remember that there's hope now.