Contrary to what may appear humorous to some people, animals don’t enjoy getting “stoned.” Most species have a higher sensitivity to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC than humans do. That is the element in marijuana creating the intoxicating sensation. For most pets this can prove toxic which is why the recommendation to keep all products up away from where an animal can have access.
Hemp on the other hand is a different strain than marijuana offering very low levels to trace amounts of THC and alternately high cannabinoids or cannabidiol (CBD). The cannabis plant, so to speak, is the “umbrella” for the hemp and marijuana strains. For legality, hemp substances must remain with a less than THC level of .3%, but marijuana options are allowable over that cap. Click for guidance as to the safety of cannabidiol for animals.
How Cannabidiol Works In The Pet’s System
Cannabinoids like CBD and THC react with the various receptors in an animal’s body to create a broad spectrum of effects, particularly decreases in inflammation, relaxed anxieties, and encouraged healing.
The therapeutic benefits are due to the interaction between CBD and the various mammal species’ endocannabinoid systems, which comprise cannabinoid receptors like CB1/CB2 within the body. If there is a deficiency in the natural production of cannabinoid levels in the system, there can be negative health results.
The addition of CBD helps to stabilize functionality and regain balance in the body. Find out what’s happening currently with CBD here https://todaysveterinarynurse.com/articles/cbd-for-dogs-and-cats-whats-new/ .
There is a wide variation in cannabis strains offering different compositions of terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids as well as other components. The elements come together to “synergistically” produce varying levels of characteristics, benefits, and potential side effects.
- The Terpenes: Like CBD or THC, the same glands secrete the terpenes. They are described as “aromatic oils” allowing for distinctive flavors with products. There has been identification of well over 100 varieties in the plant, each offering its own unique effect.
Some lean more towards the relaxing side of the spectrum while others promote focus. The suggestion is that these might provide medicinal benefit when incorporated with the therapeutic cannabinoids’ interaction with the body.
- Flavonoids: These are not merely restricted to cannabis but rather can be identified in a variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Some, though, are limited to only the cannabis plant with the designation “cannaflavins.” The qualities that flavonoids and terpenes share ‘synergistically’ together allow for the flavor and odor of the plant.
- Full Spectrum CBD Oil: Full spectrum refers to hemp options that contain other molecules of the plant in addition to the cannabidiol. The oil allows most of the terpenes and cannabinoids to remain intact within the product with little refinement. These products are recommended for animals in order that they can get the full benefit of the various therapeutic elements. These have been found to be exceptional over the isolate particularly with instances of inflammatory disorders.
Potential For Side Effects With CBD Use In Pets
There has been no scientific evidence regarding side effects as it relates to pets of most species, but most are basing the potential on how the compound affects people.
- Increased thirst/dry mouth: There is the potential for a decrease in saliva production, which will result in an increase in thirst for animals.
- Blood pressure lowered: In higher doses, there notes to be a reduction in blood pressure, temporarily, with CBD consumption. Claims suggest the drop is minimal but can induce dizziness.
- Drowsiness: For pets ingesting higher doses, there is the potential for a light drowsy sensation. Pet parents providing the substance for animals with anxiety who consumed elevated levels noted the effect.
It’s important to try to dose the animal at a level that won’t instill undesirable effects. If you notice these types of symptoms, you should decrease the dose. Always refer to the brands packaging for directives. Reputable brands, like Pet Hemp Co, will offer recommendations regarding how to administer and appropriate dosing. The “rule of thumb” is to always start with the smallest amount for your pet’s situation and bump up gradually.
A vet following the pet is vital for the overall safety and well-being of the animal. You should never allow an animal to consume any substance or begin any new program without the express knowledge and monitoring of a reputable medical provider. The expertise and skill these professionals bring to our companions is meant to delay disease, provide care when there are problems, and extend for them, as long as possible, a good quality lifespan.