CBD and cannabis in pet care. This is a translated article, the original can be read from here .
Veterinary medicine has advanced significantly in recent years and thanks to the availability of more effective drugs, many pets are living longer than years before. With age, however, problems arise, such as rheumatism or other pain and inflammation conditions. The negative side effects of commonly used painkillers can damage the immune system , bowel functions, and kidneys and liver. In addition to these consequences, painkillers do not always work as we would like – both in humans and animals, the effectiveness varies from individual to individual. CBD and cannabis in the treatment of pets are becoming more common at a fast pace.
Of all the uses of cannabis in human and veterinary medicine, pain relief is the best documented. Studies have shown cannabis to be a significant pain reliever in various diseases. THC and CBD extracts have been shown in studies to give people relief from both cancer and nerve pain .
Studies evaluating the effectiveness of cannabis in the treatment of arthritis in dogs have been completed. A recent Cornell University study showed a decrease in pain levels in dogs with rheumatism in a test group that received CBD, compared to a placebo group. Pain levels decreased without negative side effects.
Many veterinarians and pet owners have seen firsthand the positive effects of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of arthritis and pain conditions. The research only confirms what many have found in practice.
Alternatives to CBD products for pets
Animal CBD products are usually liquid oil, tablets, capsules or in the form of treats. Liquids are better because the dosage can be precisely controlled, and because CBD is better absorbed through the tissues of the mouth than through the digestive tract.
Vaporized or smoked cannabis should never be used to medicate pets. This can damage the pet’s lungs and lead to a harmful overdose.
On the same principle, edible cannabis products intended for human consumption should not be given to pets. They are difficult to dose accurately and may contain ingredients that are toxic to animals (such as raisins, chocolate, etc.).
On the other hand, almost all natural CBD products are also directly suitable for domestic animals, as long as there is nothing extra in the product, such as e.g. preservatives and additives. In other words, CBD oil can also be used at home, as long as you remember that just two drops of 2% CBD oil can get you a suitable dosage of approx. For a 10 kg pet. For smaller pets, even less can be enough.
How to choose the right medicine?
CBD and cannabis can be a good option for treating pets. When considering cannabis as a medical option for treating pain or inflammation, it is important to understand how the different components of a cannabis product can affect your pet. The following important factors should be kept in mind :
The Entourage Effect: The overall synergistic benefit of cannabis is related to the amount and ratio of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. These factors influence the degree of biological activity and the extent of the product’s effects.
Finding the right ratio of THC and CBD, as well as the dosage, are critical to success.
Take into account parallel medications and possible drug interactions .
Always talk to your veterinarian before starting a new drug or nutritional supplement to treat your pet’s illness.
The THC:CBD ratio varies from a very high ratio such as 20:1, to a balanced ratio of 1:1 and 1:2.
Deciding which product or ratio to use for your pet’s pain and inflammation depends on the severity and origin of the pain. Below is a guide to choosing ratios to use for treating pain and inflammation in animals.
4:1 – 20:1 / CBD:THC (little or no THC )
Mild to moderate pain such as arthritis and back pain
A balanced relationship
Moderate pain such as arthritis and back pain.
High THC ratios
4:1 to 20:1 THC/CBD
Severe pain, such as cancer pain, nerve pain, and advanced arthritis.
When using cannabis as a medicine for pets, it must be remembered that significant side effects are unacceptable. The goal of cannabis treatment for pets is to relieve symptoms without other side effects. Pets’ normal behavior patterns should be unchanged after treatment.
The following are instructions for dosing THC and CBD for cats and dogs. Always talk to your veterinarian before starting to treat your pet’s illness with cannabis-based medicines.
Dosage of THC
THC is always a limiting factor in dosing .
0.2 to 0.6 mg of THC per 5 kg of body weight , twice a day.
Start with a small amount and slowly increase the dosage every 4-7 days.
Higher dosages may be possible/necessary on a case-by-case basis.
Keep a close eye on whether the pet shows any loss of balance or attention. Reduce the dose or stop the medication immediately if you notice significant side effects.
Dosage of CBD
0.5 to 5 mg of CBD per 5 kg of body weight , twice a day.
Start with a small amount and slowly increase the dosage every 4 to 7 days.
Often small doses are effective. Higher doses of CBD may be beneficial in certain conditions.
Medicinal cannabis can be of great benefit to animals in pain. The safe and effective use of cannabis requires an understanding of the milligram amounts of THC and CBD (or other cannabinoids ), the ratio of cannabinoids, and the appropriate dosing of the drug for animals.
Nothing is more important than your pet’s safety. So when it comes to the content or dosage of cannabis medicines, don’t leave anything to guesswork or make assumptions on your own.
The author of the original article, Gary Richter, one of the authors of projectcbd.org, is an Oakland-based veterinarian. You can read more about his work in the article CBD for pets .
You can read more about suitable dosing for animals here .
You can find the best CBD products in Finland in Hamppumaa’s online store .
Noora Peltola, hemp partner
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