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Health & Medicine

CBD for Pets and Its Legality

— August 24, 2020

Fortunately, giving CBD to our pets is overwhelmingly accepted in places like the U.S., England, and Canada, and becoming popular in many other places around the globe. 

Like many, you’ve probably heard CBD can help pets with a range of health issues such as anxiety, chronic pain, and epilepsy. But like many, you may have concerns about its legality, side effects, etc. due to its association with marijuana. When looking to give your pet CBD, it’s vital to understand the basics of this fascinating health aid, especially when it comes to its legality. Here’s what you need to know.

CBD oil laws for pets

CBD laws vary by country, individual states, provinces, and on. In the U.S., CBD derived from hemp containing no more than 0.3 THC — termed industrial hemp — is federally legal for sale in all 50 states under the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill. 

However, it’s vital to check your local laws as some states have loopholes. For example, some only allow CBD use for a limited number of health conditions. Then there’s South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho, which have pretty much banned CBD. If you’re in a state where CBD is only partially legal, it’s recommended you buy CBD online. 

CBD oil for pets

CBD can help with several health conditions because it interacts with a regulatory system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system promotes balance across other regulatory systems, such as the nervous and immune systems, helping them function properly, even if under heavy stress. All mammals have an ECS and appear to experience CBD in the same way. 

CBD Oil for dogs

CBD first gained popularity for use as an anti-epileptic drug, and its ability to help treat drug-resistant forms of epilepsy led its legalization across the world. In fact, if it wasn’t for this, CBD may largely still be illegal and misidentified as marijuana. 

What does this have to all do with dogs? Well, CBD first gained popularity among dog owners, and one big reason it did, is because dogs experience epilepsy at a higher rate than cats, horses, and other pets. And like people, a large minority of dogs suffer from drug-resistant forms of epilepsy. The other big reasons CBD saw attention by the dog community first were due to its ability to help with anxiety and mobility issues.

Does CBD oil work? 

The truth is CBD helps with some conditions more than others, namely epilepsy, pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Then, some find CBD doesn’t do much to help while others call it a lifesaver. 

Why is this? The science is still out, but it likely has to do with whether there’s an endocannabinoid deficiency. The ECS uses neurotransmitters to carry out its role but can suffer a deficiency of neurotransmitters. CBD can mimic these neurotransmitters and do their job. As well, it can increase their numbers, helping them build up in the body. CBD oil has been found to help with the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Appetite Control & Regulation 
  • Arthritis 
  • Cancer Treatments
  • Epilepsy 
  • Gastrointestinal Issues 
  • Inflammation 
  • Insomnia 
  • Pain
  • Preventative Health & Wellness 

Is CBD really safe for dogs?

CBD pet treats. Image by Sohini, via
CBD pet treats. Image by Sohini, via

CBD has mild side effects, with most seeing none whatsoever. When side effects do occur, nausea, gas, and diarrhea are the most common. The one concerning side effect is CBD can inhibit certain cytochrome enzymes, which help metabolize a number of drugs, including anti-epileptics and blood thinners. Certain foods such as grapefruit do this, too. As such, if your dog is on prescription medication, it’s recommended you talk to your veterinarian about CBD first. 

Can you use human CBD for pets?

Yes, you can give your pet your CBD. Make sure to be careful with the dosage to account for your larger size. As well, make sure it doesn’t include an additive that’s toxic to your pet or a significant amount of THC.

Is there a difference between pet CBD and human CBD?

There is no difference between the hemp CBD extract that goes into both human and pet CBD products. 

What is the difference between CBD oil and hemp for pets?

CBD oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, while hemp oil or hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds and contains no CBD. 

How long does CBD last in a dog’s system?

CBD’s effects typically last 4-6 hours, but this can slightly change in either direction, depending on the dosage size. 

Summing up

In 2020, it is certainly safer, across the spectrum, to use and give your pet CBD than it was just a few years ago. Laws affecting CBD’s legality have loosened considerably, but it is always smart to keep up with them. Fortunately, giving CBD to our pets is overwhelmingly accepted in places like the U.S., England, and Canada, and becoming popular in many other places around the globe. 

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