CBD Oil for Cats: What You Need to Know
As cat owners look for ways to keep their kitties happy and healthy, they’re starting to explore alternative treatments not previously considered by Western medicine. Among these alternative treatments is cannabis oil.
This isn’t much of a surprise, considering that more people are turning to cannabis as a natural treatment for their health issues and research studies have consistently shown the plant’s positive impact on inflammation and other ailments. However, as studied as cannabis’s effect on humans may be, there have been no official major scientific studies into its impact on pets.
So, is cannabis safe for cats? And what sorts of ailments might it treat?
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabis plants contain more than 100 active compounds, but the one most often used for medicinal purposes is cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD differs from cannabis’s major active compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in that it does not have a psychoactive affect, meaning it will not get users “high.” CBD oils contain a high concentration of CBD and can be used for therapeutic purposes.
“There are not many classical medical studies that explore the effects of CBD oil in cats,” says Dr. Daniel Inman, a veterinarian at Burlington Emergency Veterinary Specialists in Williston, Vermont. “While we don’t recommend CBD oil for our patients, holistic veterinarians are using it to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation, anxiety and pain.”
Inman is careful to specify that CBD oil is often used to subjectively increase comfort and improve quality of life in pets, not necessarily cure ailments. This type of treatment should be advised by your veterinarian and not initiated without their consent.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
Although there have been no scientific studies that specifically investigate the impact of cannabis on pets, Dr. Gary Richter, a holistic veterinarian and owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California, says that CBD oil is generally safe for cats. However, there can be some adverse effects to giving your cat CBD oil, including gastrointestinal upset and some sedation, both of which can be relieved by discontinuing the use of the oil.
“I think the bigger issue, from a medical perspective, is making sure that animals are dosed appropriately. This means that the CBD oil is having the affect you want it to have, and that you’re not accidentally overdosing,” he says.
Dr. Liza Guess, a clinical assistant professor at the Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, says that the lack of official, documented research into the affects of cannabis products for cats would make her hesitant to recommend them.
“I have heard that, in humans, marijuana products can be used for neuropathic pain, intractable seizures, anxiety, and appetite stimulation. I have plenty of medications in each of those categories [that are not cannabis] that have been safely used in cats for years that I am very comfortable using and understand well,” she says. “These medications have gone through rigorous studies and are approved by the FDA. Why would I want to use a poorly understood treatment that I can’t guarantee is safe or even effective?”
She adds that the FDA does not regulate the CBD products that are available on the market, so consumers can’t be sure that they’re giving their pets the dosage that they think they are.
“Pet owners looking to give their animals CBD oil should do their due diligence before purchasing anything online,” Richter says. “The marketplace is very much a ‘buyer beware’ environment, and people should be sure that the product they’re buying has been laboratory tested for both content, as well as contaminants like bacteria, fungus, and heavy metals.”
Also, it’s worth nothing that while CBD oil is typically quite safe for cats and dogs, cannabis plants are not. “There is plenty of documentation of marijuana toxicity in cats, for those that nibble on the plants,” Guess says.
Inman adds that as an ER veterinarian, he often sees marijuana toxicity in the animals that come into his practice. “You can usually tell if a pet has gotten into someone’s marijuana. And, in more severe instances, I have had to hospitalize animals until the affects have worn off.”
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Regardless of how well CBD products work for cats, there is also the issue of legality. If a cannabis product contains less than 0.3 percent THC, it’s classified as “hemp,” which is not a restricted substance. Most, if not all, CBD oil fits this description. The bigger issue is discussing this course of treatment with your veterinarian.
“In a perfect world, your veterinarian would be able to discuss this treatment as an option for your pet, but depending on where you live, your veterinarian may or may not be legally at liberty to have this conversation with you,” Richter says. “Even if you live in a state where cannabis is legal, it can be illegal for a veterinarian to tell a pet owner how to appropriately use these products.”
There are activists looking to change these laws, Richter among them.
“For example, there’s a bill being brought to the California State Legislature to debate the use of medical cannabis for animals and veterinarian involvement,” he says. “There’s a very robust conversation going on right now about it whether or not veterinarians should be able to discuss and recommend cannabis for their patients, and, if so, exactly what that looks like.”
Being able to discuss all types of treatments with your veterinarian is key, and Richter advises checking in with your vet before giving your pet any sort of cannabis. “There’s no reason to ever start giving any kind of medication or supplement without having a conversation with your veterinarian first,” he says.
Can Humans Use Pet CBD Oil?
CBD oil has recently made headlines in newspapers, magazines, and social media athlete pages. It is repeatedly touted as a versatile supplement that could help improve the quality of your (and your pets) life both immediately and long term.
CBD is an increasingly popular ingredient in many health and wellness circles. There has been a lot of buzz about CBD oil in the last few years, but what exactly is CBD oil?
What is CBD Oil?
First, the acronym ‘CBD’ stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant.
Hemp oil is NOT marijuana, but it’s one of many cannabis plants. It is a close cousin of cannabis, but hemp does not contain THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the chemical compound in cannabis that causes you to feel high.
CBD oil is made by isolating the individual CBD compounds through extraction and then distilling them in alcohol to remove impurities. They’re usually then suspended in a carrier oil. Plants have been used by humans throughout history to improve physical and mental health and to mitigate the damage to our bodies by disease.
Specific plants have long been used in medicine, magic, and folklore, and many sets of prehistoric remains have been found with ritualistically-carried herb and plant matter on their bodies and in their camps.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) provided solid biologically-backed evidence of what humans have known since we were barely human: that plants have a profound ability to control, enhance, and heal our bodies and our minds.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an incredibly important role in creating memories, stabilizing mood, and regulating hormone production. It can help your brain and body learn to adapt to stress, both chronic (like work deadlines and traffic) and acute stress (particularly helpful in survival situations).
It can control the ability (or inability) to reproduce. It can affect all our body’s primary functions including depth and quality of sleep, digestion and proper absorption of nutrients, and the way our immune system protects us from illness.
An insensitivity to CBD could play a role in chronic illness and may point to how and why our bodies suddenly develop diseases like cancer.
When taking CBD oil, the CBD oils essentially encourages our bodies to work with our endocannabinoid system to maintain internal homeostasis, which is the balance across all our major regulatory systems (the nervous system, for example, or circulatory system).
It helps our body synchronize the chemicals and hormones we produce and use every day, can help manage many medical conditions (including anxiety, depression, epilepsy, cancer, and chronic pain and inflammation), and improves overall health and well-being.
Many people say they feel better, younger, and in better general health when regularly using quality top-tier CBD oil.
CBD is safe, effective, and easily metabolized by everyone. It is virtually impossible to take too high of a dosage with pet CBD oil or human CBD oil. There is no risk of becoming chemically dependent on (or addicted to) CBD oil. No serious side effects have been reported. On rare occasions mild diarrhea or slight drowsiness has been linked to high dosages.
How Do You Use CBD Oil?
The CBD oil that consumers can purchase in stores and online come in many forms: tinctures, capsules, and edibles.
Tinctures are often used sublingually, which means they are placed under the tongue for 60 seconds and then swallowed, and can be absorbed into the body significantly faster than capsules or edibles.
Sublingual CBD oil can provide by far the most efficient relief : you could start feeling the effects of a CBD oil tincture in as little as 10 or 15 minutes versus the 30 to 45 minutes, on average, for other methods, particularly those that require digestion.
The average dosage of CBD depends on what you need it for. For example, pet owners and their dogs won’t require the same dosage of CBD. CBD dosage will be lower for a dog compared to human consumption. Human grade CBD and high quality CBD yields many benefits when the proper dosage is administered.
The dosage for pets will be based on the pounds of body weight. With a dogs or cats, the difference between CBD oil for pets and humans will differ. CBD products will tell you how big your dosage should be. A heavier pet will require a high dose of quality CBD compared to a smaller-sized pet, which will require a lower dose.
Even 10 pounds of body weight can make a major difference in how much CBD to take. A good idea is to look at the labels on pet products to better understand the right dose.
For example, before you give CBD to your dog, check with your vet. The veterinarian your dog sees on a regular basis can give you better information than the label on a CBD bottle. Ask your vet is it’s safe for your dog to take CBD before giving it to your pup!
Remember that CBD is not intended to diagnose treat cure health related problems or prevent any disease. Instead, it’s used as one of many dietary supplements that minimize the pain caused by related symptoms.
CBD oil for pets comes in a various forms. There are two types of CBD oil available for pets: CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD oil.
THC is the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. THC is illegal in a number of places and THC is incredibly toxic to animals. It absolutely should not be present, in any amount, in pet-friendly products. Only buy THC-free CBD oil for pets!
Of course, the most popular (and most widely available) CBD products right now are the oil tinctures and capsules or pills. These provide an easy, effective way of getting CBD oil into your body, they’re easy to fit into your day, and they make dosing simple. Many times you can find a pill with the exact dosage you need so there is no measuring or math needed!
**Remember to check the ingredients list and the label for any other information before using your oil.**
Can Humans Take Pet CBD Oil or Not?
Have you ever asked yourself, “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” It’s a reasonable question! In short, the answer to “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” is yes! Human CBD oil and pet CBD oil are virtually interchangeable. Dogs, humans and pets can all take CBD oil.
So, what CBD oil can humans take?
Let’s answer the question of what CBD oil can humans take!
When thinking about the answer to the question, “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” it helps to remember what CBD is used for. Animals can suffer from the same medical conditions that humans can and the symptoms can be treated with high quality CBD oil. So if anyone ever asks you, “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” you’ll know what to say!
Arthritis, lack of appetite, anxiety, cancer affect pets and humans. Pet CBD can be just as safe and effective for your pets as it is for you! There’s not much difference between CBD oil for pets vs humans CBD.
CBD affects everyone very similarly. Even the most primitive animals have cannabinoid receptors! In humans and pets, cannabinoid receptors make it possible for them to consume CBD products and reap the benefits of CBD. It’s like a digestive system for CBD.
Most CBD oil products are safe for both humans and pets. However, you might be confused about which oil can humans take because of pet CBD labels. CBD oil for dogs will explicitly say it’s CBD oil for dogs because of marketing. Likewise, human CBD oil is marketed for human consumption, so CBD oil for humans will be clearly marked. Human CBD is subjected to more stringent regulations than pet CBD oil and pet CBD products.
Even so, CBD products are for everyone. Humans can take pet CBD oil or human grade oils, and pets can take CBD oil for humans. Like all substances, CBD products for pets must adhere to more rigorous testing procedures as evaluated by the FDA or Federal Drug Administration. CBD oil products are subjected to stricter labeling guidelines by the FDA as well. If a product is not approved by the FDA then you shouldn’t buy it. The FDA has these guidelines in place for a reason!
Check with your doctor or veterinarian to see if you and your pet are candidates for cannabidiol use. It could be the invigorating, revitalizing, life-changing solution modern humans and pets need to function at their peak!