When we talk about CBD-based derivatives it’s often in relation to treating an array of chronic conditions. Now that the distinction between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has entered common understanding, CBD is at the fore of a vibrant new kind of health and wellness. Many of these conditions — chronic pain, anxiety disorder, acne, even severe epilepsy – whose sufferers relied on pharmaceuticals to treat, have in recent years received gotten considerable attention for being compatible with CBD treatments. So, should we use CBD for pets?
I recently visited my cousin, whose husband Jacob owns a large property in eastern Ontario. For more than ten years he and his father have bred champion Doberman Pinschers. It goes without saying that a Doberman is one of the most athletic breeds in the world, and the sought after dogs bred by Jacob’s family certainly turns heads on the street.
Like many breeds, Dobermans can suffer from canine hip dysplasia, which leads to painful arthritis and can inhibit movement. What shocked me was that a dog typically might grow up with dysphagia conditions and learn to tolerate the pain as it gets older. After mentioning this to Jacob it wasn’t long before we started discussing whether to use CBD to treat this and other conditions for animals.
Veterinary cannabis products can come in a lot of the same formats as they do for humans: there are chewables, tinctures and topicals just for pets available. And just like the products we use pet CBD products can have a wide range of effects on an animal’s body depending on how they’re used. A study released in 2018 found CBD lead to increased activity in dogs with osteodegenerative conditions. Another study released the following year concluded CBD may potentially reduce the number of seizures in epileptic dogs. For breeders like Jacob, this all sounds promising, but studies like these are still preliminary — both were relatively small despite having an optimistic outlook.