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Cannabis for Dogs and Cats: A Natural Solution to Chronic Health Conditions

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Along with research on human diseases and treatments, several researchers are working on the use of alternative medicine for the treatment of chronic conditions in dogs and cats. Research shows that cannabis oil can be beneficial for the treatment of pain, anxiety and seizures in pets.

With the laws on the growth and use of hemp becoming relaxed by the day, the chances of finding good hemp or cannabis-derived formulations for your furry friend has become a possibility.

What should you be looking for – hemp oil or CBD oil?

First things first – hemp oil is nutritious, and it comes from the hemp plant, but it is not the same as cannabis oil. Cannabis oil is rich in cannabinoids, and it comes from the leaves, buds and flowers of the cannabis or hemp plant. 

Hemp oil contains no cannabinoids, and it does not have the same pain-killing and anxiolytic properties that cannabis plants have. Although you might want to add hemp oil to your dog's food as a nutritional supplement, it will do little to soothe his anxieties, joint pains or seizures. If you are looking for pain management or seizure treatments, you should be looking at CBD rich cannabis oil.

What cannabis oil formulations work better for pets?

Using pure CBD isolates might not be as effective as using full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD products. These special medicinal MJ formulations elicit an entourage effect that increases the bioavailability of the active molecules and allows the specific receptors to bind to the CBD molecules present in the system. 

According to several veterinary doctors from across Australia, even the full spectrum CBD products don’t have enough THC to cause hallucinations in your furry friend. If you can find the proper dose for your pooch, there is a good chance that he or she will enjoy the painkiller or anti-seizure effects of it without experiencing any psychotropic effects of the compounds.

What health problems can cannabis oil treat in dogs?

While cannabis oil has many health benefits, the most common health issues it can treat in dogs include –
i.                    Arthritis
ii.                  Joint pain
iii.                Pain from old injuries
iv.                Gastrointestinal problems
v.                  Digestive issues
vi.                Lack of appetite
vii.              Anxiety
viii.            Seizures
ix.                 Pain from cancer
x.                   Discomfort from other medication/treatment

Should you be worried about giving your dog or cat cannabis oil?

One of the primary advantages of using CBD oil is the lack of side effects it can generate in the consumer. One of the significant side effects people are scared of is the psychoactive nature of THC in the mix. 

If you overdose your pooch, there is a good chance that instead of upsetting his or her digestive system or sending him or her into toxic shock, the excess THC will make him or her sleep soundly. Some dog owners report their dogs sleeping for a couple of hours, while others say that their dogs sleep the excess THC off for a couple of days.

The effects of CBD and THC are not long-lasting. Their half-lives in our canine friends are quite short. Therefore, there is always the possibility that the excess CBD or THC will wash out of their system even before you begin worrying about it. 

Most importantly, unlike conventional pain medications, and seizure medications, CBD oil has next to no side effects at all. Therefore, toxicity from CBD oil overdose in pets is exceedingly rare in the US as well as in Australia. However, if your dog consumes excessive marijuana in the form of marijuana chocolates or treats containing raisin or coffee, then it is a cause for concern.

If you suspect an overdose of THC or CBD, you should contact your veterinarian immediately instead of trying to administer household "cure" to your pooch. Both cats and dogs show significant tolerance for cannabis products. Therefore, using CBD oil as per the veterinarian's recommendations to treat your pet's health woes should give you great results within a short timeframe.

What is the right dose of CBD oil for your cat or dog?

The biggest challenge while administering cannabis oil is finding the right dose. Most human users try different doses or micro-dose to enjoy the optimum results of their cannabis formulations. 

However, since there is no way to quantify the anxiolytic or analgesic effects of CBD in canines or felines, pet owners have to be extremely observant and vigilant after administering the minimal dose the first time. 

If that does not show any improvement in gait or appetite (whatever is the health complaint), then he or she can think about increasing the bare minimum of the dose. That is one way to find the right dose for your pooch since no medicinal cannabis formulation comes with recommended doses. And even when they do, the doses can vary between brands depending on their CBD and THC content.

How to administer CBD oil to your pet?

Several cannabis oil formulations have light minty flavours. If your pooch is a fan of minty fresh flavours, then feeding him or her the desired doses will be no problem at all. However, most cats don’t like lemony or minty flavours. Colourless and odourless CBD formulations are the best for the picky eaters. You can administer the CBD oil with their daily food or after their meal. Disguising the oil in their treats also works for many pet-parents.

What should you remember about CBD treatment for pets?
Accomplished vets and researchers state that marijuana has very few contraindications, and it does not react with other medicines adversely. 

Therefore, if you are administering other traditional forms of medicine, you can continue to do so while your pet begins his or her cannabis oil treatment. Just make sure that you are buying the CBD products from the best sources for your pets. Sadly, the lack of standardization in the use of CBD for veterinary applications has resulted in low-quality products infiltrating the market. Many of them have sparse CBD content that has little to no positive effects on a pet's health.

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