CBD (Cannabidiol) products have quickly found their way into the U.S. marketplace over the past few years. If you dig into pet information for various health concerns, you’ll likely come across recommendations for the use of CBD in pets. Recent and current research is finding more potential benefits for the use of CBD for dogs and cats, so much so that at Carolina Value Pet Care, we’ve started carrying 2 different versions of CBD products.
CBD vs MARIJUANA
Since there is much confusion around CBD, and what it is, here’s a very short course on CBD: First, let’s look at the difference between marijuana and hemp:
- They are 2 varieties of the same basic plant (Cannabis sativa)
- They look different
- They have different uses and benefits
- Most crucially, they have different chemical compositions
A marijuana plant contains more than 125 known compounds (also known as cannabinoids). Marijuana typically contains high levels of THC (TetraHydroCannabinol), which is the mind-altering part of marijuana, and low levels of CBD (which is NOT mind-altering or psycho-active). Hemp, on the other hand, typically contains low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Marijuana is usually grown for its flowering buds, which are rich in THC.
Hemp is most often grown for industrial purposes (making textiles, paper, and building materials) as well as for CBD extraction. In the U.S., hemp is legally defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC content. Marijuana is cannabis with more than 0.3% THC.
When choosing a CBD product, it is imperative that you choose a full-spectrum CBD!
Potential Health Benefits of CBD for Your Pet(s)
Loads of research is emerging for the use of CBD in pets. The primary health concerns where there are potential benefits are for:
- Anxiety and behavior issues
- Joint discomfort and arthritis
- Old dog “cognitive decline” (think of Alzheimers-like conditions in old dogs)
- Itching and Chewing (this holds particular interest for me).
- Current research is looking into the use of CBD for management of seizures / epilepsy.
We have numerous clients telling us how stressed their dogs are, but only during certain situations. There can be a variety of triggers for this “panic” behavior:
- Car rides
- Boarding visits
- Veterinary visits
- Visits to a groomer
- Door bell ringing
- Repairmen coming into the home
- boisterous children, etc.
You get the idea. For those pets where there are specific conditions that trigger their anxiety or mis-behavior, we now have ElleVet Calm and Comfort Max Strength Chews. These are the perfect choice if you need to transport your pet (vet visit, grooming appointment, boarding visit, etc) or during 4th of July and New Years fireworks episodes or whatever event results in severe anxiety for your dog.
General, On-Going Anxiety, Mobility and Joint Pain
For those dogs that suffer from anxiety on an on-going basis (my wife and I have had one of those dogs), I highly recommend the ongoing use of CannaChews, a chewable treat that can be given on a regular basis to dial back the stress levels of your dog. While there is a recommended dose, I suggest experimenting with the product to find the right balance to help turn down your pet’s alarms when stress seems to be present. We are also hearing great feedback for users of CannaChews for the benefits of joint mobility and cognitive / mental alertness in older dogs.
Moderate to Severe Anxiety and Joint Pain
We also carry ElleVet CBD + CBDA, a more potent version of CBD than CannaChews for regular, daily use. ElleVet has published multiple research papers for the use of their products and their potential benefits. Ellevet has discovered that many dogs do not respond to CBD, but do respond very well to CBDA. Their product has equal amounts of both. CBDA improves the body’s absorption of CBD, and it is a potent anti-inflammatory medication, which is especially useful for dogs with joint pain. In the world of veterinary medicine, we have a wide range of medications for arthritis and anxiety / behavior issues for both dogs and cats. Unfortunately, many of these products coming with potentially significant side-effects.
Since the side-effects of CBD products are virtually non-existent, I highly recommend them as my first go-to choice for these potential medical benefits.