To relieve stress, anxiety and pain in their pet, many dog owners rely on CBD oils. But before you give your dog CBD, you should know exactly what is really in the oil and how safe it is for the dog.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is obtained from the female hemp plant, but differs from the more well-known and in Germany illegal active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) due to its chemical composition and mode of action in the body.
CBD oil is used in human and veterinary medicine. In the pet sector, oils and treats containing the active ingredient CBD are sold, which can help dogs with pain, anxiety disorders and various diseases, among other things.
However, the dog does not get “high” from CBD, as Martin Möhrke, managing director of the Dutch company OptimaFormula explains.
This is also confirmed by the veterinarian and editor-in-chief at veterinary portal Pascale Huber: “In this country, CBD oils must not exceed a THC content of 0.2% – otherwise they would fall under the Narcotics Act.”
Both CBD and hemp oil are extracted from the hemp plant, but from different parts.
CBD is made from flowers and leaves that still contain the cannabinoids and is an extract that is mixed with a carrier oil. It is used to relieve various symptoms of the disease.
Hemp oil, on the other hand, is obtained from the seeds of plants, cannabinoids are only found there in small traces. Hemp oil is mainly used in the kitchen, as it contains many essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. Hemp oil is also widely used in cosmetics due to its high vitamin E content.
CBD comes from the hemp plant. © stock.adobe.com/EKKAPON
CBD oils can be used for various areas of application in keeping dogs. Dog owners rely on CBD in a variety of situations. These include the following complaints:
A study by Baylor College of Medicine found that CBD treatment can help dogs with arthritis. Ten test dogs were treated with CBD for four weeks. Nine of them moved much better after this time and appeared to be in less pain.
Martin Möhrke from OptimaFormula explains this with the fact that CBD can reduce cell swelling. CBD is also said to have an analgesic effect, which is particularly beneficial for dogs with arthritis – they often move less because of the pain.
CBD oil is particularly widely used in dogs with anxiety. “We have made the experience that changes quickly become noticeable when there is restlessness and fear,” explains Johannes Janssen from HempMate.
Veterinarian Pascale Huber points out that research does not yet have clear evidence of the effects of CBD in dogs. “This will certainly require further scientific research,” she says.
CBD is said to calm the dog down and relieve pain. © stock.adobe.com/kerkezz
After the dog has ingested the CBD as an oil or treat, it works at different rates. “For example, some describe an effect after 15 minutes, others speak of several weeks,” says veterinarian Pascale Huber.
Martin Möhrke from OptimaFormula admits that it takes longer for the CBD to take effect if the symptoms are more severe. In scared dogs, CBD usually works particularly quickly, often within minutes.
Johannes Janssen from the HempMate network explains that the so-called endocannabinoid system (ECS) is part of the nervous system in both dogs and humans. The ECS regulates various body processes. CBD docks to the receptors of the ECS, which are responsible for pain regulation, stress management and sleep regulation. This is intended to alleviate the corresponding complaints.
Theoretically, CBD should have a positive effect on the organism. But veterinarian Pascale Huber explains that it has not yet been clearly scientifically confirmed that CBD oils are actually effective.
The effectiveness of CBD has not yet been confirmed. © stock.adobe.com/Tinnakorn
According to Johannes Janssen from the HempMate network, side effects rarely occur. In such cases, diarrhea or vomiting occurs. “According to the WHO, CBD is generally considered safe,” says Janssen.
He emphasizes that the consumption of CBD should always be discussed with the veterinarian beforehand. In this way, interactions with other drugs could also be ruled out.
As in human medicine, the individual dosage is also important for dogs. Every dog is different.
A visit to the vet is also essential when giving CBD oil in order to rule out possible interactions with other drugs.