What Is CBD Oil for Dogs? What Does It Do? (2024)

Amber bottle and dropper of CBD oil.

Hemp oil and CBD oil have become increasingly popular both for human and canine medicine, despite confusion about the legal use of cannabis products.

CBD oil may be useful for your dog, but there are some risks to using it at this time.

What is CBD oil for dogs? What does it do? Hemp-derived CBD oil for dogs is processed from the Cannabis sativa plant, but has much lower levels of THC than marijuana. CBD is believed to have a range of benefits for dogs, including pain relief, reductions in seizures, and improved anxiety.

Wondering whether you should try CBD oil for your dog or not? Here is the information that you need to help you make an informed decision.

Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

You probably know that it’s not good for your dog to eat marijuana.

Marijuana toxicity in dogs results in lethargy and lack of coordination. Heart rates may slow, and there is sometimes urinary incontinence. 

A characteristic symptom is a dog starting to fall over and then regaining his balance at the last second.

Marijuana toxicity is extremely unpleasant for your dog. It may also be very dangerous, depending on the dosage and your dog.

Hemp and marijuana are not the same thing.

Both hemp and marijuana are derived from the same plant species known as Cannabis sativa and are used to produce CBD, but they differ in both appearance and chemical makeup.

In the United States, hemp plants, by law, must contain 0.3% THC or less. Hemp plants are typically thin and lack lush foliage.

By contrast, marijuana plants are usually full and thickly leafed, and they contain THC content greater than 0.3%.

Since THC is considered to be the psychoactive element in marijuana, hemp is typically not considered capable a producing psychoactive effects.

For this reason, it may not have the same negative consequences as marijuana for your dog.

What About CBD Oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol and can be derived from either hemp or marijuana plants.

Hemp-derived CBD contains the same beneficial properties that marijuana-derived CBD does, but it contains much lower amounts of THC.

For this reason, hemp-derived CBD oil is the safer choice (and the only legal one in some states) for your dog.

Difference Between Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Oil

Hemp seed oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant and contains little to no CBD.

Hemp oil does, however, contain healthy fatty acids, such as omega-6 and omega-3, as well as protein, vitamin E, and minerals.

If you’re looking for a high-quality nutritional supplement, try AFXMATE Hemp Oil.

CBD oil is derived from the seeds and flowers of the hemp plant and contains CBD compounds in varying degrees, depending on the source.

CBD is frequently used to aid issues such as pain, nausea, inflammation, and anxiety.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

There have been few peer-reviewed studies on cannabis products for dogs. Therefore, the reports of success with CBD are entirely anecdotal at this time.

Until more studies are conducted, it is up to each owner to decide whether experimenting with hemp oil or CBD is a good idea for their pet.

Anecdotally, pet owners describe significant benefits for their pets. Research on CBD for humans has found a number of potential advantages of the treatment. 

General Pain Treatment

CBD appears to be effective for treating all kinds of pain, both when used topically and when taken orally.

Pain caused by inflammation and nerve-related pain, as well as inflammation and pain of the intestines caused by chronic digestive upset, can all be alleviated by CBD in people.

Many owners find that dogs seem to have better mobility and improved mood that would indicate reduced pain when they take CBD.

Reduced Seizures

Seizures are unfortunately common in dogs, and some breeds are much more likely to be affected than others.

Drugs like potassium bromide and phenobarbital are often used to manage seizures. They can be effective, but they can have significant side effects including organ damage. 

CBD found may be a safer way to reduce seizures in dogs. In humans, CBD oil has been found to be highly effective for the reduction of some types of seizures.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, as many as 84% of children that had epilepsy previously resistant to drugs found a reduced frequency of seizures when they took CBD oil. 

As many as seven to eight patients in another study saw improvement in four to five months.

While sufficient studies have not yet been conducted to find whether CBD is equally helpful in dogs, there’s reason to believe that it may be effective for reducing seizures in your canine friend as well.

Lowered Anxiety

In people, CBD oil can reduce anxiety caused by a number of situations.

CBD improved anxiety caused by anxiety disorders, stressful situations like public speaking, panic disorders, and PTSD.

Anecdotal evidence indicates that CBD oil is also useful for dogs in reducing anxiety in similar situations.

Some people have found it to be effective in reducing their dog’s thunderstorm anxiety, reducing reactivity in fear-aggressive dogs, and improving generalized anxiety in nervous dogs.

Increased Appetite

Many of us find that our dogs eat more than enough, but if you’re trying to increase your dog’s appetite in old age or through an illness, it can be challenging to find things tempting enough to get them to eat. 

CBD has been found in people to increase appetite even when people are suffering from toxins and drugs.

If your dog is suffering nausea due to natural causes, drugs, or chemotherapy, CBD could be helpful.

Improvements in Cognitive Function

CBD can improve your dog’s brain function and may be a preventative against dementia.

It may relieve anxiety and stress related to cognitive function disorders, such as dementia.

Dogs who aren’t sleeping through the night and have a hard time settling down may move into more natural rhythms with the aid of CBD. 

Risks of CBD Oil for Dogs

Without sufficient studies, it can be hard to determine exactly what risks exist in taking CBD products, even if the CBD content is consistent.

The lack of regulation suggests some potential problems aside from consistency:

  • Toxic agents in the plant.
  • Allergic reactions to the plant.
  • Medication interactions.
  • Misidentified plants.
  • Pesticide toxicity.
  • Contamination with non-declared additives.
  • Varying levels of THC which can result in marijuana toxicity.

Why Aren’t There More Studies on CBD for Dogs?

Cannabis restrictions have prevented research into the medical uses of marijuana and hemp.

Recently some of these restrictions have been loosened, but enough time has not passed for significant clinical research.

Furthermore, because of ongoing federal restrictions, investors are often reluctant to get involved with funding cannabis-research projects.

For large-scale hemp research to be conducted, federal restrictions would need to be lifted. 

Is It Legal to Give Your Dog CBD?

Laws regarding cannabis products vary from country to country.

In the United States, marijuana-derived CBD is only legal in states that allow recreational or medicinal marijuana use, but remember that this form can be dangerous for canines.

The recommended hemp-derived CBD shouldn’t pose any legal issues, but double check your state’s laws first.

What Should You Look for in CBD Products for Your Dog?

CBD products have few controls or oversights, so you will need to rely on the legitimacy of the company to provide a safe product for your dog.

There is always a risk in purchasing a largely unregulated product.

That said, the benefits of CBD may tempt many owners, especially when other treatments aren’t working. 

If you want to try CBD for your dog, talk to your veterinarian first, and see if they have a brand recommendation or special concerns for your dog.

Here are some things that you should look for in a maker of quality hemp oil for your pup:

  • Experience. You want to find a manufacturer who has been in the business for some time and is committed to continuing to make quality CBD oil in the future. 
  • Good reviews. There should be a lot of reviews on objective sites, both positive and negative, but many should be positive and specific. 
  • Higher prices. There are a lot of businesses trying to make a quick buck by undercutting quality products. Prepare to pay higher prices for quality products.

Should You Try Hemp Oil for Your Dog?

Only you can decide what the right medical and supplement plan for your dog is.

Many people swear by CBD, while others believe it is too unregulated and untested to be safe. 

Do your research and talk to people who have used it on their pet before deciding whether CBD oil is right for your dog.