Whether you’re a new dog owner or have shared many years with your beloved pet, you’ve probably heard about CBD oil. Maybe an acquaintance on your daily walking route has tried it for their dog – or for themselves!
It can be hard to separate facts about CBD from marketing ploys in the overwhelming amount of information available online. Can dogs have CBD oil in the first place? What can CBD do for your dog, and what are the risks? You’ll find answers to these questions and more in the comprehensive guide below.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 80 natural compounds in the “cannabinoid” family. Plants in the family Cannabis, including cannabis and hemp, produce CBD in varying amounts.
Unlike its chemical cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive. In other words, it does not produce a “high.” CBD oil and other products are generally derived from hemp plants. They include little to no THC as a result. In fact, hemp grown in the United States must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight by law (1,2).
In the body, CBD interacts with a complex signaling network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Cannabinoids from plants interact with the ECS because they are chemically similar to the system’s natural messengers, called endocannabinoids.
People, dogs, and other pets all have an endocannabinoid system. The ECS handles many chemical balancing acts that keep the body stable and healthy, a state called “homeostasis.” Sleep, mood, hunger, and inflammation are body processes managed in part by the ECS (3).
Is CBD Legal?
It is legal to purchase and sell CBD in the United States, thanks to the 2018 “Farm Bill” (2).
However, CBD is not a prescription medication. It has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat any disease in pets.