Written By: Sunil Alvarez
CBD oil for dogs has become an increasingly popular pet wellness trend over the past few months. As with any trend, a slew of information can be found online from both credible and not-so-credible sources. Naturally, you want the best for your canine companion, so let’s dive into what you need to know about CBD and CBD products for dogs.
What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis plants have many cannabinoids and at least 113 of them have been studied. We’re only going to focus on CBD but as a quick side note, CBD and THC (the psychoactive compound found in cannabis) are not the same. CBD does not get you, or your puppers “high.” CBD is best known for its medicinal properties, such as relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. As of 2018, CBD is considered federally legal and while some CBD products may contain THC, it’s a minuscule amount, 0.3% or less. If you’re interested in diving deeper, read our article, “Everything you need to know about CBD.” Now, let’s move on to the safety concerns with regards to our beloved furballs.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
The short answer is: we simply don’t know yet. There has not been enough research to dictate whether CBD is safe for dogs, and if it is, what dose should be administered. However, the needle is beginning to move in the right direction. Recently, there was a clinical study by Cornell University which was led by Joseph J. Wakshlag, DVM, PhD and the results were positive.
Their objective was to test the safety and effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) oil on dogs with osteoarthritis. And in case you’re worried, no dogs were harmed during this clinical trial. Phew! Okay, so now that we’ve confirmed the safety of the pups, we can breathe a little easier. Back to the study. There were 16 dogs involved, female and male, between the ages of 5 and 14, and their weight ranged from 37lbs to 110lbs. With regard to the selection process for the study, only dogs with radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis were considered.
Researchers concluded that there were no side effects recorded from the dogs that took part in the pharmacokinetic or osteoarthritis clinical study. The study did mention that some dogs had incidental rises in Alkaline Phosphatase, which is an enzyme that helps break down proteins, but they were unsure if it was related to the treatment. They also stated that more, longer-term studies with larger populations need to take place in order to identify potential long-term risks and side-effects of CBD rich hemp oil. However, the short term results seem to be positive. So is CBD safe for dogs? Again, it’s still too early to tell and more studies need to take place so I would definitely consult your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD.
CBD Benefits for Dogs
If you’ve spoken with your veterinarian and have decided to give it a go. You may be wondering, what benefits if any, can your dog expect to feel? Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has shown to provide humans with relief from many ailments, such as joint pain, and inflammation. But will your little rascal feel the same positive effects?
The aforementioned clinical study only focused on the treatment of osteoarthritis, and the dogs that participated were perceived to be more comfortable and active after a month of treatment. This leads one to think that, in this particular study, CBD oil helped reduce the swelling and joint pain caused by the deterioration of cartilage, a big positive. Especially for older dogs that commonly suffer from joint pain.
It’s still hard to say if there are any clear benefits. There isn’t a lot of research to reference, which is a pity. On the bright side, more and more veterinary professionals are looking to research CBD and its potential benefits and side effects. There’s a study titled “Cannabinoids to treat dogs and cats” scheduled to be published on October 1, 2019, by Dr. Lea Stogdale. We’ll make sure to provide an update once it’s released. Hopefully, we get some more good news!
CBD Dosage for Dogs
As to the amount of CBD that should be administered, we always encourage that you play it safe. Start with a small amount of CBD and work your way up if you’re not seeing any changes in your dog's activity level or mood. Let’s reference Cornell’s clinical study. The dogs involved received 2 mg/kg of CBD every 12 hours during a 4 week period, with a 2 week washout period. The washout period is common in cross-over clinical trials. In this case, both groups received the placebo and CBD oil for a continuous period of 2 weeks per treatment. So, 2 weeks of placebo oil, and 2 weeks of CBD oil per group.
Let’s do some basic math to get an idea of how much CBD to give your dog based on its weight. Again, we’ll reference the dose that was administered in Cornell’s study which was 2mg of CBD per every 1kg. If your dog weighs 25kg, or 55lbs, then you’re looking at a dose of 110mg of CBD, once every 12 hours for at least 2 weeks. In order to administer this amount of CBD over a 2 week period, you’re going to need a product that contains a total of about 1,500mg of CBD. Which is quite a bit and could put a dent in your wallet. For reference, our highest strength CBD oil contains 5,000mg of CBD in a 30mL tincture bottle, and it costs $240, or $192 if you’re a Maku monthly member. Not cheap, but it would last you a little over 6 weeks.
To reiterate, start with a small dose and slowly increase it over time until you’ve found a dose that works best for your dog. There is no one-size-fits-all dose and very little is still known, so tread on the side of caution.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs
Like many, you might ask yourself “what is the best CBD oil for dogs?” There are A LOT of companies out there selling CBD products for both humans and dogs. Picking the one that’s best for you and your dog isn’t an easy choice given the number of available options. Before making a purchase, we urge you to do your research and read all of the reviews you possibly can about the company. Of course, it’s best to consult your veterinarian and ask him or her to point you in the right direction before making any kind of decision.
With that said, we decided to put together a side-by-side comparison of some of the best CBD products for dogs. Here at Maku, we only sell CBD products for humans, and we’re also biased in thinking that our products are the best. And that’s because they are! However, we do not sell CBD products for pets due to the lack of research, but we have a few things in mind once more information becomes available. So stay tuned. Now, moving on to the CBD pet products that are available on the market. We’ve listed a few for you below.
As a quick note, we are in no way affiliated with any of the brands and products listed below, and we are not endorsing their products. This list is strictly for informational purposes. Please do your own research, and as always, seek consultation from your veterinarian.
750mg Broad Spectrum CBD Tincture (30mL) for $120
1000mg of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil with 300mg of active CBD (30mL) for $96.99
Make sure that the company you’re buying CBD from has 3rd-party lab tests available for all of their product batches. These lab tests ensure the quality and safety of the product. The last thing you want to do is to give your dog CBD that has not been tested for heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and microbials. If you’re curious about what a 3rd party lab test looks like for a CBD product, take a look at ours here: Maku’s 3rd Party Lab Tests.
Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, & CBD Isolate. What are the differences?
You’ll notice that when researching CBD products, for both humans and pets, they will include labels like Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and Isolate. What does this mean? Remember Cannabinoids? As a reminder, cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that are found in the cannabis plant, and grouped together, they are known as phytocannabinoids. Some of the most popular cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBN (cannabinol).
Full Spectrum CBD Oil
A full spectrum CBD oil, also commonly referred to as “whole-plant extract,” simply means that the product includes all cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids found in the cannabis plant. This is a popular option because a full spectrum CBD oil provides the benefits of what is known as the “entourage effect.” You can read more about that here.
Broad Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad spectrum CBD oil includes most of the cannabinoids found in cannabis, except THC. Still, you’ll find your terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids. This is a good option if you want to experience most of what the cannabis plant has to offer in terms of medicinal properties.
CBD Isolate is 99.9% CBD. It’s CBD in its purest form. During the extraction process, all of the cannabinoids found in cannabis, except for CBD of course, are removed. Also removed, are all of the terpenes, flavonoids, waxes etc. And what you’re left with is, well, just CBD.
Where to Buy CBD Oil for Dogs
Lastly, where can you buy CBD oil for dogs? You’re in luck, as there are many online and physical retail options available. Reference the product list that’s included above, you’ll find links to their product websites. When comparing prices, keep in mind that CBD oils that are labeled for pet use generally contain the same compounds as the CBD products that are sold for human consumption. However, the FDA does not allow brands to label their products for both human and pet use, but the quality of the oils should be the same. Also, CBD products for humans tend to have a much higher concentration of CBD oil than CBD products for pets, so dosing can become an issue. Just keep that in mind when price shopping to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
One distinction to keep an eye on when browsing for products is the label itself. Specifically, the words Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp seed oil is completely different from CBD hemp oil, and you’ll notice it’s a lot cheaper. For good reason. On Amazon, there are products that have 140,000mg, and even more, of hemp seed oil extract, which contains absolutely 0% CBD. Still, they claim that it has medicinal benefits like relief from inflammation, anxiety, pain and so on. Please do not waste your money on these products, unless you’re looking for hemp oil of course, and not CBD oil. If you have a few minutes to spare, watch our youtube video below which covers mislabeled hemp products sold on Amazon.
I hope that you’ve found this article on CBD oil for dogs informative and helpful. If you’re looking to try CBD oil for yourself before giving some to your pet, check out Maku’s CBD products. We take pride in offering the highest quality CBD, at the lowest price. And if you’re not sure which product to start with, check out our CBD starter pack which includes CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and a CBD tincture.