CBD and Pets, What Does Research Say?

CBD and Pets, What Does Research Say?


CBD For Dogs


As you would probably expect from an organic hemp farm, we love our pets. We know you do as well, and we all just want what is best for our loyal companions.CBD is now more mainstream than ever, with companies producing and promoting CBD with increasing frequency. But what about CBD for pets?

CBD for pets is a large market, and plenty of companies are infusing everything pet related to CBD. But what does the science say? Studies aimed at exploring CBD’s interaction with humans are also gaining momentum with promising results, but studies for pets don’t seem to receive the same attention. 

If you’re looking to incorporate CBD into your pet’s daily routine, or are interested in what CBD can do for your pet, read on. In this article, we’ll take a look at current studies and answer the question: CBD and pets- what does the research say?


The Research

Research into CBD and pets is thin on the ground, for a few reasons. The obvious issue is the sheer variety- for example, comparing your Chihuahua to a Doberman isn’t exactly fair, and trying to apply the same dosing principles to a cat as you would a guinea pig has its own set of problems. This means that limited research has been directed mainly at dogs, with interesting results.



Sadly, epilepsy is the most prevalent neurological disorder in dogs, which is further complicated by the poor reaction to treatments that some dogs experience. The American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation is currently funding a study to gauge the usefulness of CBD in epileptic dogs who are resistant to other treatments. 

“The timeliness and importance of research into the role of Cannabis in veterinary medicine cannot be emphasized enough,” stated Dr. McGrath, the study’s lead. “With the changing public perception of Cannabis, it is time that we put science behind the stories and claims. We need to know if this drug is safe and if it works. If CBD is effective for treating epilepsy, it has the potential to save the lives of dogs around the world.”

Dogs who experience chronic pain may benefit from CBD as well. A study by Cornell University involved administering CBD to dogs with osteoarthritis. Based on the Canine Brief Pain Inventory, the results indicated that the dogs who received the CBD supplements were in less pain than the dogs who received the placebo. Additionally, Forbes.com recently published an article based on Canines and CBD. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine worked in collaboration with the CBD brand Medterra on the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

The 4-week study included 20 large dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or one of three different CBD options. The dogs were evaluated before and after the regimen by both veterinarians and their owners on factors related to their mobility and pain. Details about the amount of CBD each dog was taking was kept from the owners and veterinarians so that it wouldn’t influence their evaluations. While the placebo group and the low CBD group showed no improvement, by the end of the one month period, the group of dogs who took higher doses of CBD or used CBD in a liposomal formulation saw significant improvement in their mobility and quality of life. 

Studies into humans using CBD for pain relief have already shown CBD’s potential to aid with chronic pains, as well as shorter-term discomfort. Many of these studies also took place on laboratory rats, so the data for CBD’s use in rats specifically is quite high in comparison to other pets. If you are a proud rat parent, there is a wealth of information available on CBD’s interaction with rats for you to read up on.


What do Vets say about pets and CBD?

Surprisingly, not a lot. But that’s not really their fault. The lack of concrete research specifically aimed at CBD’s interaction with animals means that in many states, Vets are unable to discuss or recommend any cannabis-based products, regardless of how they may feel personally. The American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Klein said in an interview: “I don’t want to be the naysayer because I think there’s potential here for real possible benefits. It may be a wonderful product in the future if it’s regulated and we have data.” He also emphatically stated that the studies are simply not yet conclusive: “We don’t know,” said Dr. Klein. “The time frame hasn’t been there long enough.”



In short, treating your pet with CBD has not had enough time or research to categorically state how your pet will react. It’s important to note that in cases of CBD, there have no reported significantly dangerous adverse effects in animals. That said, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that animals may experience similar side effects as humans do, including dry mouth, diarrhea, and drowsiness.


What issues should I give CBD to my pet for?

With the research ongoing, there is a wide range of issues where owners administer CBD to their pets. Most of the evidence for these is anecdotal, however, so it’s important to note that none have been proven to be effective yet. That said, common uses include:

  • Reducing seizures
  • Improving mood
  • Treating separation anxiety
  • Increasing appetite
  • Reducing muscle spasms
  • Treating inflammation and joint pain

This list is by no means conclusive evidence that CBD is good for your pet, or that it is bad. Many people are pleased with the perceived improvement they see in their pet’s life, and early studies are beginning to show that there may be something there, especially with pain management and alternative seizure medication. It may be frustrating to not have a black and white answer just yet, but this kind of methodical due diligence is the very least our pets deserve.


Will CBD get my pet high?


CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, meaning it doesn’t possess the ability to produce a high in humans. Thankfully the same is true for our pets as well- CBD will not get your pet high. What is important to note here is that this is based on the product you giving to your pet being free from any adulterants or nasties. 

When buying CBD, it is always important to make sure that the product you are buying is 100% legitimate. One of the best ways to do this is with a COA: an independent, 3rd party approved Certificate Of Analysis. This certifies your CBD is what it says in the bottle. 


The correct CBD dose for your pet


Much like humans, pets have their own needs when it comes to CBD. There are many factors at play, from the species, size, and weight of your pet to the nature of their ailments. There is no one size fits all, but there are a few useful ways to calculate a CBD dose for your pet.

The first is to use the power of the internet- there are many useful CBD dosage calculators available online, and many of these also have a pet section. Select the breed and weight of your pet to be provided with an approximate minimum and maximum dosage. This can also be tweaked over time, depending on your pet’s needs.

The second is to speak to your veterinarian. As mentioned earlier they may not always be at liberty to give you the clearest answer, depending on the laws regarding CBD where you live. If you reside in a pet CBD friendly area, however, the advice of a medical professional is always worth listening to.

Lastly, listen to your pet! If you have taken the steps above and calculated an accurate dose based on the information available to you, you’ll need to pay attention to how your dog responds. 


Final thoughts

CBD for pets has a lot of positive press, as well as a large amount of anecdotal evidence pointing towards CBD having a positive benefit in your pet’s life. However, the research isn’t quite there yet. It’s promising, but these things take time.

If you’re considering using CBD for your pet, make sure you keep yourself apprised of the most up to date information available. We love what we grow, and we hope ongoing studies will confirm that your pets can enjoy it too. 

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