Medicinal Cannabis alternatives for the four-legged member of your family
by Gabriela Elizondo
The medical cannabis market has expanded their reach to include clients of the canine variety. Coupled with the recent wave of legalization and the changing perceptions of marijuana use, pet owners are embracing the therapeutic value that cannabis compounds can have for animals.
Hemp-based CBD products have become an attractive option for dog owners who want to lessen the aches and pains for their furry best friend. CBD edibles are used by dogs who suffer from illnesses that limit mobility, lower energy levels and cause overall discomfort. Products made with CBD extracts have opened up a whole new channel of holistic remedies for pet owners across the U.S.
What is CBD?
CBD is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Derived from both hemp and marijuana strains, CBD is a unique compound that provides the pain-relieving effects of cannabis without the psychoactive effects of THC. THC is the other cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that produces the “high” of recreational marijuana.
While marijuana and hemp both come from the same Cannabis Sativa plant family, the chemical makeup differs with regard to the levels of THC and CBD found in each particular strain. Hemp does not have the same intoxicating effects on animals or humans as marijuana does because it is primarily made up of CBD compounds with little-to-no THC present.
What are the Benefits of CBD?
Many people who use cannabis-based products for pain management know the benefits and are keen on sharing it with their pets.
CBD has been shown to alleviate various symptoms associated with illnesses, stress disorders, and chronic conditions. With old age comes achy bones, arthritis, limited mobility, and overall discomfort. CBD can offer relief for these symptoms and put a little more energy into their everyday activities.
The calming effects of cannabis work very well with high-strung dogs who struggle with separation anxiety, aggression, and phobias. People have given CBD dog treats to their pets during high-stress situations (i.e. thunderstorms or fireworks) to help them relax and get through the particular stressor. One of the most remarkable benefits gained from CBD is the effect is has on seizures. There have been numerous cases of cannabis helping manage, and over time reducing, the frequency of seizures in humans and animals suffering genetic disorders that result in seizures.
CBD can relieve symptoms that accompany cancer pains and treatment side effects. No owner wants to see their pet deal with the loss of appetite, nausea, and body pains that come with a cancer diagnosis. Pet parents are seeing great results with CBD treatments in helping make their pets feel more comfortable during these difficult times.
CBD products can provide both transdermal and internal relief. CBD products taken orally such as tinctures, edibles, or oils deliver potent aid with varying strength levels. While CBD topical creams and balms provide immediate localized relief for animals suffering from aching muscles, itchy skin allergies, or joint inflammation.
CBD Dog Treats
Many CBD manufacturers have begun marketing CBD dog treats to their local pet community. Using all natural ingredients, these brands have developed an efficient and potent pain-relieving agent that dogs actually enjoy eating.
Bark Avenue CEO and founder Jennifer Chiongbian, told SimpleWag in a recent interview that most of her customers seek out CBD products for pain management, saying that it helps “take a little bit of the edge off.”
When you see your dog suffering from cancer or aging pains, you just want to help them feel more comfortable. After treating hundreds of patients in her local Denver community, Jennifer has seen the difference these CBD dog treats can have on the overall health of their dogs. People who have used CBD products have expressed their deep appreciation for this new therapeutic alternative. A Bark Avenue customer noticed a change in her ten-year-old Dachshund with a leg disability, stating, “ I tried this product, and I noticed the difference in him being able to navigate the stairs much more easily and noticed a spring in his step.”
This is just one of the many testimonials and anecdotes being shared amongst pet owners. The positive customer sentiments have greatly contributed to CBD’s sudden increase in popularity.
Future of CBD?
CBD is a non-toxic alternative for pet parents seeking the therapeutic effects of medical marijuana. The stigma against cannabis-based products will persist until there is a greater understanding of the difference between CBD and THC. Pure cannabis with high THC levels is extremely dangerous for pets. It can cause seizures, stomach problems, respiratory issues and other problems if inhaled or eaten. It is one of the main reasons that veterinarians are hesitant to prescribe cannabis treatments to their patients. The additional pushback comes from the lack of proper scientific research on the benefits of CBD and the fact that cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug in the U.S.
Hemp-derived CBD products are gaining more popularity amongst pet parents because the hemp plant does not contain THC. Hemp can provide the holistic pain relief without the legal implications of marijuana. Based on the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015, hemp-based products are now considered a legal substance in the U.S.
Pet owners who have used CBD dog treats and CBD oil for dogs can see the significant remedial potential of CBD. Hopefully, with further research and changing perceptions, more pets will be able to experience the pain-relieving sensations of medical cannabis.