Do not give dogs straight marijuana or any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. There is simply not enough research to justify the use.
Overall, life-threatening risks for dogs from cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Dr. Richter says. There is no documented lethal dose for THC in dogs. In fact, a dose of THC 1,000 times greater than the dose needed for a dog to feel “high” is still not lethal.
Why Use CBD for Dogs?
Because there is a theoretical risk of drug interaction, as with any medication, you should consult your veterinarian first before treating your dog with CBD.
Overall, CBD itself seems to be incredibly safe in dogs and cats. However, numerous scientific papers have found that when given at the recommended doses, CBD does cause an elevation in an important liver value on bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
Seizures are probably the most-studied application of CBD in people, but limited research exists for pets. In dogs, seizures can be caused by a vast number of underlying conditions.
CBD comes from a hemp plant, which is part of the cannabis plant family. However, hemp is not the same as the cannabis everyone assumes it is. While cannabis can get you high, a hemp plant is different because it doesn’t have enough THC to cause those psychotropic side effects. Instead, hemp can be used to treat pain from a head injury, offer relief from pain, and provide you with a way to manage your dog’s symptoms from seizures in dogs.
Basically, these receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is similar to the nervous system. However, the main difference is the purpose that these systems are designed for, with the endocannabinoid receptor being responsible for breaking down CBD and the nervous system existing for the purpose of regulating your dog’s homeostasis.
The Many Treatment Options for Dogs with Epilepsy
Luckily, CBD doesn’t have that impact on the brain, but it still has many of the same medicinal uses as marijuana. Dogs, however, cannot have tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s toxic for them, so you should avoid THC products. High quality CBD, however, is safe for them. So far, there have been no documented ill-effects from the use of CBD for dogs, or humans for that matter.
Speaking of Colorado, many studies have been conducted regarding CBD for dogs at Colorado State University. Awhile back, researchers at Colorado State University, including Dr. Stephanie McGrath, started looking into the effects of CBD on canine seizures in dogs. Currently, researchers are continuing to conduct research in an attempt to better understand how CBD is absorbed by the bodies of cats and dogs.
In terms of the effects that CBD oil has on a dog, it has been shown in more than one CBD clinical trial that CBD oil has been used as a pain reliever and seizure reducing supplement when given to dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Many owners report that it has lessened the severity and frequency of dog seizures. Many times, there is pain that follows seizures because of the intense cramping of muscles during seizures. CBD can also help manage this pain.