CBD products for health and wellness have been on the market for a number of years now, with everything from CBD gummies to beauty products promising a whole host of benefits to help relax and chill you out. It makes sense that pets would be the next frontier considering that CBD products have flooded the wellness industry for us humans.
But what are the benefits of CBD in pet products and will your pet see a difference? Everyone’s tolerance and experience vary when it comes to using CBD and the same goes for pets. We’ll take a look at it at the science behind CBD for pets as well as the potential side effects of CBD products on our fluffy friends. Although CBD is deemed safe for pets to take, it’s important that you’re aware of the potential dangers should your pet experience any of these side effects.
What is CBD and how can it benefit pets?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and is typically extracted from the hemp plant. CBD is preferred over its sister tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as it is a psychoactive substance that doesn’t produce the “high” we experience from marijuana, which is attributed to THC. So don’t worry if you give your pet some CBD oil, they won’t get high!
Human studies have demonstrated that CBD can potentially help with reducing pain and inflammation as well as helping with seizures and other medical issues such as tumours. However, everything we consume could potentially be harmful if taken in large doses, so moderation is key not just for us but for our pets too. Small animals will be more sensitive to things like CBD, so here are some things to watch out for when you do give your cat or dog CBD products.
Negative side effects
Tremors – humans have reported feeling lightheaded when taking CBD products so the same can also be said for pets. A little dizziness can be normal as higher doses of CBD can potentially cause a drop in blood pressure and your pet may get the shakes after consuming CBD. However, this could potentially also be a precursor to seizures. Reduce the dosage and consult your vet if you see these signs as it might indicate something more serious.
Dry mouth – CBD can potentially decrease saliva production, but you can counter this by ensuring that a water bowl is always topped up and within reach of your pet as they’d potentially be very thirsty!
Drowsiness – if you go too high with a dosage, you might not only chill out your pet, but you might also send them off for a snooze. Some pet parents have reported that their pups seem sleepy on higher doses so if this is the case, we advise lowering the dose or stopping altogether and then reintroducing at a really low dose to build up tolerance.
Gastrointestinal issues – be wary if your pet has a sensitive tummy. Diarrhoea and vomiting at some of the most common side-effects of ingesting CBD for animals. Try a very small dose at first and monitor your pet to see how they get on.
On top of these common side-effects, also make sure to check for interactions with other medications if your pet takes prescription drugs as CBD may interfere with their liver’s ability to properly metabolise other medications. Although it’s quite hard to do, there is also the possibility of potential CBD overdose. Some signs to watch out for include depression or lethargy, vomiting, agitation or restlessness, tremors and odd behaviours such as staring into the distance and unusual aggression.
As with any products or medications, if you suspect that your pet is experiencing any unwanted side effects, cease usage and contact your vet immediately.