With new studies coming out all the time, scientists and veterinarians are beginning to hone in on the conditions that CBD may be able to best help dogs with. From seizures to arthritis to anxiety, we’ll lay out the results of the latest studies on CBD for dogs.
Is CBD Oil for Dogs Safe?
First off, let’s tackle what is probably the most important question. Is CBD safe for dogs? While the research on CBD for dogs is in the early stages, we do have recent clinical research that addresses this issue.
Canopy Growth recently funded a safety study that took place in the autumn of 2019, investigating the long-term impact of daily CBD use and how it interacts in the canine body. (1) This randomized, placebo-controlled trial involved five groups of dogs given one of four doses of CBD (or placebo) over 28 days.
The dogs were assessed through daily health observations and veterinary examinations, and over the course of the 28-day trial, researchers found that CBD was well-tolerated by all dogs, with “no veterinary-reported clinically important abnormal findings or severe adverse events.”
“Both of the most recently completed studies are trailblazing in the field of veterinary CBD research,” said Robert Menardi, DVM, director of veterinary educational and technical services at Canopy Growth. “We are confident this and subsequent research will provide valuable knowledge for the veterinary community and consumers.”
It’s worth noting that the CBD oil in the study was a CBD isolate in MCT oil, so it did not contain any THC. While some veterinarians prefer full-spectrum CBD oils (which contain traces of THC) because of the additive benefits of minor cannabinoids and terpenes, THC can be an issue for dogs if they take too much. (2)
While the chances of your dog experiencing problems from a properly dosed full-spectrum CBD oil are low, some dog owners prefer to avoid the issue altogether by choosing THC-free CBD products.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?
- Joint Pain and Stiffness
So how might CBD help your dog? You’ve probably heard CBD touted as a cure-all for everything, but the research on CBD for dogs has focused on three main areas: seizures, joint pain, and anxiety. We do have clinical trials to look at but keep in mind that this research is still in the early stages.
Seizures are one of the most commonly reported neurological conditions in dogs, so if your dog suffers from them you are certainly not alone. (3) Whether this is a chronic condition, as with epilepsy, or an occasional occurrence, seizures can be scary – both for dogs and their owners.
There are a few clinical studies in the works at present, but right now the most recently published study was completed in 2019 by Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. (4) For this randomized, blinded, controlled study, 26 dogs were given either 2.5 mg/kg CBD or a placebo twice daily over 12 weeks.
The results were promising. Dogs in the CBD group had a significant reduction in seizure frequency, compared to the placebo group, and concentrations of CBD in the blood were correlated to reduced seizure frequency.
Joint Pain & Stiffness
CBD’s benefits for joint pain have been widely advertised, and for good reason. We have found good research that confirms CBD’s anti-inflammatory action, and it’s been a game-changer for lots of humans suffering from arthritis. (5,6)
But what about dogs? Two main clinical studies are worth checking out.
The first was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over trial completed by Cornell University Hospital for Animals. (7) Dogs in the study (who all had osteoarthritis) were given 2mg/kg of full-spectrum CBD for ten weeks. According to the authors, “This pharmacokinetic and clinical study suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA.”
The second and more recent study was also randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled and tested daily CBD use on dogs with arthritis. (8) The results were encouraging, according to researcher, Dr. Matthew Halpert. “I openly admit that I was surprised at how quickly we saw such large results. I would not have expected to see too much of anything in just one month.”
Of the ten dogs in the control group that were in the CBD group, nine showed significant benefits, which remained for two weeks after treatment stopped.
There is building evidence that CBD is an effective treatment for anxiety. There is evidence-based research that shows this both in lab animals and humans, but so far there’s not a lot of clinical evidence that it works for dogs.
So far, there isn’t much clinical research backing up those experiences.
The most recent study, which took place in Italy, investigated whether CBD could help calm aggressive behavior in shelter dogs. (10) The results did find differences between the CBD group and the placebo group, but upon analysis, those results were not deemed significant. Other studies are in the works, though, including one by Canopy Growth on situational anxiety in dogs, so it’s worth keeping your ear to the ground for future research
How much CBD oil should I give my dog?
Every dog is unique, so finding the best CBD dosage for dogs can be tricky. The safety study we reviewed above looked at the tolerability of various doses of CBD which ranged from 2-12 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of weight. At the higher dose (12 mg/kilo), researchers saw some minor gastrointestinal side effects (mostly increased salivation). But there were no serious adverse effects reported at any of those dosages. (1)
Veterinarian Dr. Angie Krause of the Boulder Holistic Vet suggests a dose of between .2 and .5 mg of CBD per kilogram of the animal’s weight, twice per day. Your pet may need more (several of the studies we’ve looked at used a dose of 2mg/kg), so pay attention to changes in symptoms. What you want to find is the lowest dose that gives your dog the relief they need.
Do vets recommend CBD for dogs?
There are many vets who actively recommend CBD for dogs, but whether or not your vet can discuss CBD with you really depends on where you live. Many state veterinary boards do not allow vets to discuss any cannabis products (including CBD).
There are exceptions though. The veterinary boards of Oregon and Colorado, for example, both allow vets to discuss cannabis with their clients. And California passed a law in 2018 allowing vets to discuss (but not prescribe) cannabis products for pets.
Legality aside, many vets simply do not feel qualified to discuss CBD for pets. That’s beginning to change, though, with more and more vets taking the time to educate themselves about the potential benefits of CBD for dogs and other pets. The more research that is completed, the more common this will be.
What is the Best CBD Oil for Dogs?
Shopping for the best CBD oil for dogs can be overwhelming. Everyone is claiming to be the #1 trusted brand (whatever that means), but how can a consumer know who is selling high-quality CBD products?
This is an important question. Generally speaking, we recommend that consumers look for these key indicators of quality:
● CBD that is grown from organically grown hemp is always safest.
● Clean extraction techniques like CO2 or ethanol are also important.
● Good companies should make third-party lab tests readily available.
Brands We Recommend
So what companies are actually selling the best CBD for dogs? We have some suggestions.
If you’re looking for CBD treats for dogs, you really can’t go wrong with Treatibles. This company is dedicated to creating high-quality CBD products for pets, and each batch is tested by a third-party lab for cannabinoid content, as well as toxins and contaminants.
Holistapet is another of the top CBD Pet brands. The company combines THC-free CBD oil with superfoods and botanicals to bolster your pet’s health. They offer CBD oil drops, chews, and their line of CBD treats for dogs come in three unique formulas and three flavors.
Nuleaf Naturals is the go-to CBD shop for those who get overwhelmed by choice. Pioneers of the CBD industry, the people at Nuleaf Naturals have been leading the industry by providing top-quality CBD for humans and animals for years. They offer a single, solid potency of full-spectrum CBD oil for pets at a reasonable price.
The information provided is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to treat or cure any health ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying any new product. We are not responsible for any adverse reaction(s) you may have to any of the products featured on this site. See our T & C for more information.