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WHAT IS CBD?


Cannabidiol—CBD—is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make pets feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief from stress, anxiety, pain and nausia from cancer treatment.

CBD is derived from either hemp (the rope and fabric stuff) or cannabis (usually the recreational stuff). It can be easy to get, is purported to offer many health benefits for pets (and people), and comes in anything from pills and oils to specialty treats. Often, you will find CBD in the form of an oil that can be given orally, although there are other products like biscuits and capsules easily found online. Most importantly, it won’t get your dog high, which is good news for dogs because of their extreme sensitivity to THC.


Most vets will agree that you should not give your dog an intoxicating amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. There are plenty of reasons why, the quick and dirty version is that dogs will not enjoy THC the same way you might (or do), and it can actually be dangerous. So is CBD better? Maybe. And that’s about the best information you’ll get out of most vets.

Because of its cloudy classification and constantly-shifting political winds, CBD creates a legal quagmire for anybody who wants to study or recommend its effectiveness as a medicine for animals. To date, there have been no rigorous scientific studies published on marijuana, or even the non-psychoactive CBD, as a treatment for pets with arthritis, seizures, anxiety, or any other medical conditions. But that may soon (hopefully) be changing, as a few studies are either in the planning stages or underway.

In humans, THC and/or CBD have been reported to treat things such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Noise phobia
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation

It’s not hard to find stories of pet owners who report similar effects after giving their dogs CBD oil or treats. However, the lack of published double-blind study for animals makes it hard to pull out real facts from the purely anecdotal evidence.

As with other anecdotal evidence about CBD, you don’t have to look hard to find stories of dogs in extreme pain who purportedly found relief through CBD.

Many pet owners who praise the benefits of CBD will say that it helped reduce their dog’s pain and corresponding anxiety or immobility. These claims should not be discounted — nor believed blindly — on face value, but it’s one of the main reasons vets are so eager to study the possible medicinal uses of CBD (and marijuana in general) in pets.

It took years for vets to acknowledge the benefits of feeding a raw diet to pets.

North Coast Pets will follow the latest findings and keep our pet owners up to date.

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