The use of CBD for pets has gone mainstream—and it’s a huge business. Grandview Research estimates the 2022 global CBD pet market size at $195.98 million USD. But does CBD do all it is purported to do? There’s a growing body of research looking specifically at CBD and canines, and the results are encouraging, especially for arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer.
Several studies have looked at CBD’s effectiveness against arthritic pain, all with positive results. One of the first CBD studies was done at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. It showed that CBD decidedly helped with pain management in many dogs. In the study, more than 80 percent of the dogs with osteoarthritis experienced a decrease in pain, allowing them to be more comfortable and active. The Cornell study found dogs given 4.4 mg of CBD per pound twice daily for a month showed significant pain relief and improvement in quality of life. Lead researcher Joe Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, noted that pre-study, some of the participating dogs were so crippled by joint pain that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after mere days on CBD they were up and walking around and even climbing stairs. A Baylor University study found similar results.
CBD for combatting anxiety in dogs has promising studies to back up its usage as well. In another Cornell study in which dogs were given CBD chews prior to a stressful event, 83 percent showed a decrease in anxiety-related behaviours.
CBD has also shown promise in treating itchiness. A study by the Australian animal therapeutics company CannPal tested a CBD product for its potential to help with dogs with atopy (a dermatologic allergy resulting in itching and chewing). In the double-blind trial, dogs were randomly given a CBD product or a placebo for four weeks. The results were encouraging—65 percent of the dogs given CBD had at least a 50 percent decrease in itching and chewing. Of those dogs, half recovered from all signs of itchiness while being treated.
Perhaps most exciting is CBD’s potential in fighting cancer. Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. A Cornell University study of CBD, dogs, and cancer found CBD along with a standard chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone.
*Never give your dog CBD without your veterinarian’s knowledge if your dog is taking other drugs. CBD may affect how drugs are metabolized, changing how the medications perform and possibly affecting the recommended dosage.
Choosing a CBD Product
✓ Was the hemp grown organically? ✓Independent analysis should confirm a lack of heavy-metal contamination and minimal THC levels (no more than 0.3%)
Treats and tinctures formulated especially for dogs
Soothe your anxious pupwith Okoa Pet’s “Hush, Puppy”, all-natural CBD-infused calming dog treats. These high-quality chews are made with broad-spectrum hemp extract, tryptophan, and choline to calm your dog, along with all-natural ingredients like peanut butter, coconut oil, and sweet potato. (from $25, okoapet.com)
Ease Discomfort Treatible’s Sweet Potato Extra Strength Hard Chews combines 10 mg of organic, full-spectrum hemp CBD extract with turmeric and MCT coconut oil to ease discomfort of any size of dog while supporting joints and digestion. (from $10, treatibles.com)
Severe Anxiety & Seizures Specifically formulated for severe anxiety and seizures, the Health Drops Severe Symptoms from Healthier Pet combines 1500 mg of CBD with organic hemp, fish, and coconut oils in a high-efficacy Health Canada lab-tested formula. ($140, healthierpet.org)
Sore Muscles & Joints
The Canine HempFlavin Tincture from Canine Hemp Solutions is a unique formulation of hemp flavonoid extracts. Containing zero THC and zero cannabinoids, it relieves discomfort, stiffness, and sore muscles and joints thanks to natural antioxidative effects. ($45, caninehempsolutions.com)