Hemp may just be the new cannabis. What does that have to do with treating, supporting and preventing ailments in your dog? There are a lot of myths and misnomers associated with the use of hemp for pets and it is an issue being debated by veterinarians all over the world.
Let’s start with the million dollar question. Is hemp marijuana? No, hemp is not marijuana. To better understand the difference, we need to get botanical. Hemp and marijuana are different varieties of the same plant species Cannabis Sativa L. It’s like how dogs and wolves are different breeds of Canis Lupis. They are related but differ in scientific make-up and how they are bred or cultivated.
The cannabis plant has over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBDs are therapeutic cannabinoids, while THC is the compound that gets you high. Marijuana’s THC content is usually between 10 and 15 percent, but hemp must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less. At this level, cannabis has no intoxicating effect for people or dogs. Hemp is much higher in CBD, the substance that provides therapeutic effects.
So how does CBD work? Hemp contains a number of different chemical compounds, including CBD, phytocannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids. Humans and other mammals have cannabinoid receptor sites. These sites are primarily in the brain and central nervous system, and in peripheral organs, especially in immune cells. They make up the endocannabinoid system. Studies have shown that many cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects, can help with pain, tumors, seizures, muscle spasms, skin conditions, appetite stimulation, aggression, anxiety and neurological disorders.
CBD hemp can help with both chronic and acute disease. Among chronic conditions, it can help with arthritis, compromised immune systems, stress responses, aggression and digestive issues. There are also studies into CBD’s effects on organ diseases and cancer. Veterinarians are also finding CBD hemp can be useful in treating acute ailments like sprains and strains, torn ligaments, bone breaks and during post-operative care to reduce swelling, pain and stiffness.
If your dog’s taking conventional drugs for any of these conditions, CBD hemp may make it possible to use lower doses of the drugs to achieve therapeutic effects, since conventional medicines do have side effects; this is a useful benefit of CBD. As with any therapy, we suggest involving your veterinarian in any decision to reduce your dog’s prescribed medication and about potential drug interactions.
Does CBD hemp therapy work fast? As with any herbal medicine, for most ailments you may not see an immediate effect. You’ll need to be patient. Your dog may feel some pain or anxiety relief in a short period of time but other symptoms like inflammation may take a few days to show improvement. Customers who have been using and testing the CBD hemp products from Healthy Hemp Pet Company and Steve’s Real Food Enhance that we carry at the Moab BARKery have reported that relief has been noticeable in a short period of time and has continued to improve their dog’s ailments over an extended period of use.
Most dog owners concerns in using CBD hemp therapy is safety, mainly is it going to get their dog high and is it legal? First of all because of the low THC, CBD hemp therapy will not make you or your dog high and yes it is legal. The most common side effect of CBD hemp therapy is that your dog may get a little drowsy. On rare occasions, dogs on CBD hemp therapy have been reported to develop itchiness or mild vomiting but these symptoms are rare. If your dog reacts with these symptoms, you should stop giving them CBD hemp therapy.
The safest way to use CBD hemp therapy for your dog is to use a product that is formulated for pets. There are several companies producing CBD hemp for dogs, some of these are in oil or tincture form, while others actually make treats with CBD.
At the Moab BARKery we carry two companies that are doing CBD hemp therapy products for dogs. Healthy Hemp Pet Company makes their products from non-gmo, CBD rich hemp grown in Colorado. Their products include CBD hemp oil tinctures, CBD hemp oil sprays and CBD hemp biscuits. Healthy Hemp Pet Company also makes a product called Cannabalm for pets that you can apply topically to help with achy muscles, swollen joints, skin rashes and wounds. Customers that have used the product have reported success in using on their dogs to soothe rashes, help wounds heal faster and ease the pain and discomfort of dysplasia, arthritis and aging.
Steve’s Real Food Enhance Cannagurt is a freeze dried raw goat milk yogurt infused with CBD rich hemp oil. Cannagurt is a simple solution for adding probiotics, enzymes and other superfood nutrients to your dog’s food, no matter what type of diet you feed. Customers who have used Cannagurt have reported it to be effective with anxiety, seizures, pain management, cognitive disorders and even cancer.
When dosing CBD hemp therapy, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s directions for their product. Be sure to observe your dog’s response. The key is to find the dose where you do not see side effects but you do see results. With continued use, you may need to increase the dose a little over time to achieve the therapeutic results. If you are interested in CBD hemp therapy with your dog we suggest starting the conversation with your veterinarian or finding a holistic vet that specializes in alternative therapies.
**This article is not about marijuana, but this is important information. With the legalization of marijuana in many places, poison control centers are hearing more about pets getting into their owners pot stash. It may be hard to tell if your dog has the munchies but other side effects can be quite severe, including lethargy, dilated pupils, drooling, being off balance, muscle twitching, vomiting and even unconsciousness. If it happens to your dog, take them to the vet immediately, they will need palliative support until the effects wear off.