It is important to state outright that there have been very few fully-funded, extensive medical studies on cannabis. This is mainly due to federal laws against cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. However, it is readily available in many places to law-abiding citizens due to loosening restrictions in 44 states. Discussing openly the potential use of the herb is more acceptable than ever. For pet owners, struggling to keep their animals free of pain or to maintain their health, there is potential in hemp oil. Some vets approve, some encourage and others warn strongly against using it for any reason. The owner themselves will need to determine if this is something they feel comfortable offering to their dog. If so, here is what they need to know.
Why choose hemp oil over cannabis oil?
Hemp oil, such as from CBD American Shaman, is considered a safer option for pets because it is free of the psychoactive substance THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Hemp oil contains high levels of CBD (Cannabidiol), the chemical that is believed to provide medicinal benefits. Giving pets THC-rich materials could lead to a mistaken marijuana overdose, cause stomach upset or be emotionally disturbing to a creature that will not understand what it happening to them. This is why caution is necessary when purchasing oil. A common product advertised for its medicinal properties is Rick Simpson Oil, also known as Phoenix Tears. This is a very concentrated cannabis oil that is known to be extremely high in CBD and THC. Instead, when shopping for dogs, look for a CBD terpene-rich hemp oil instead.
What type of medical problems is it known to help?
As stated earlier, there have been a limited amount of studies of the benefits of cannabis products. What is available are testimonials of people using the products for themselves or their pets and the experience of veterinarians that have personally cared for animals that were being offered the oil by their owners. It is believed that hemp oil could:
- Provide effective pain relief
- Help control seizures and treat other neurological disorders
- Improve skin conditions
- Slow cancer growth
- Stimulate the appetite
- Calm anxious pets
- Boost immune systems
- Assist in treating Type 1 Diabetes
- Control muscle spasms
Are there risks to giving hemp oil to dogs?
There are some potential side effects but they are minor. They include drowsiness, stomach upset and vomiting. The biggest risk is the potential for owners to rely on the oil too much by ending other medical treatments and using only the oil. Hemp oil is a supplement. It is important to be open about its use with the pet's veterinarian to ensure the oil will not interact with any of their other medication.
How is it administered to the dog?
The easiest and most common method of administration is by using a tincture. A tincture is a concentrated form of hemp oil that is specially prepared by heating and pressing hemp seeds. It is professionally prepared to avoid overheating the oil because this would eliminate the CBD and its benefits. A few drops of the oil are placed on a treat and fed to the dog or dropped directly into the dog's mouth. Most owners give pets a couple of drops 1-3 times a day. The amount will vary according to the size of the pet and what they are able to tolerate.
There are people that tout marijuana and hemp, both forms of cannabis, as miracle products that cure everything from cancer to eczema. There is little verifiable proof to back this up, but there are many people currently using the products themselves or for their children and reporting amazing results. It is for every individual to decide if this is something that they want to attempt for their pet. It is important to make certain the product is properly grown and pressed to ensure there are no toxic ingredients and it is what it claims to be. Purchase the highest quality CBD hemp oil available and start the dog out slowly. Monitor the pet during use and only continue or increase the dosage if there are no negative side effects noticed.