Many of us have experienced health benefits, and maybe even amazing results, from taking hemp oil as a dietary supplement. We want to recommend it to family members and friends when they experience health issues. These days, humans are not our only family, with pets of a diverse range of species often considered to be our “fur children”. So when our pets are ill, or may be experiencing suboptimal health, are hemp products safe for them – and can hemp oil extracts for pets be an effective solution to their ailments and promote general healthiness?
Hemp Oil Extracts For Pets
In order for the cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) in hemp extracts to work, they need an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Without this, there are no receptors able to respond to the cannabinoids. Besides humans, other mammals such as mice and dogs are known to possess an endocannabinoid system, as well as other vertebrate and invertebrate species as diverse as chickens, cats, turtles, fish and sea urchins1. However, there are some differences between species. For example, the highest concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in rodents (such as rats and mice) are in the basal ganglia and cerebellum of the brain, which control co-ordination and movement. In humans, cannabinoid receptors are present in lower concentrations in these areas. Therefore, conditions that may respond to hemp oil in human patients may not respond well in other animals, and vice versa, depending on how dosage affects results.
Research on animals, typically rats and mice, is commonly practised on substances such as cannabinoids before the clinical trial stage, but there have also been studies performed on the endocannabinoid system for veterinary use. One such study investigated the involvement of this system in epileptic dogs, as epilepsy is one of the most common neurological problems in dogs2. Epileptic dogs were found to have higher levels of endocannabinoids than healthy controls, particularly those with more severe seizures. Dogs with a longer history of epilepsy also had higher levels. This may be because the endocannabinoid system is attempting to control the seizures, or the seizures are causing dysfunction in the endocannabinoid system.
This has led to a market for dog treats containing cannabinoids. Citing studies showing anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure and pain relieving effects of CBD, some have since began lines of dog biscuits containing cannabinoids such as CBD3. Elixinol also produces CBD dog treats which are available in our store.
One business providing hemp oil extracts for pets received the following testimonial:
“Just want to say how much this product has helped my animals. Bug, [my] 18-year-old cat, is playing, sleeping next to me at night, being curious and exploring… her back pain is nearly gone. I can pet her all over and she purrs! She has NEVER, until being on hemp, enjoyed being petted.”
It was also reported to ABC News that another woman was planning to have her dog euthanised due to how sick and in pain he was, but CBD treatment had dramatically improved his symptoms. Another from the US, Bay Area claims to have observed significant improvements in her dog’s digestion after treatment with a low-THC extract4. However, none of these three reports have so far been accompanied by formal medical documentation. Reports of dogs being admitted to veterinary clinics after ingesting psychoactive edibles has led to recommendations against medicating animals with THC or allowing them to consume edibles made for humans. Dogs have a very low tolerance for THC, reacting badly to excess amounts. Conversely, CBD appears to be safe for dogs and is widely available in dog treats.
In conclusion, current scientific evidence and personal accounts suggest that hemp oil extracts for pets may be beneficial for pets such as dogs, but more research is required to determine correct dosages and indications.
If you would like to try CBD hemp oil for your pets, please visit our online store.