COVID-19 has undoubtedly made life unbearable, not only for us but for our pets too. Working from home has become one of the new normals occasioned by the coronavirus disease. That means we’re spending our entire day at home virtually.
For a pet that has grown up seeing you leave in the morning and return in the evening, this new routine change might come with serious stress and anxiety. Remember, our furry friends are creatures of habit and a slight change in their routines is all it takes to throw them off balance.
How Can CBD Help Your Pet?
As we’ve already indicated, you can use CBD to relieve COVID-19-induced stress and anxiety on your pet. Cannabidiol has been proven to relieve anxiety disorders, including Social Anxiety Disorder , Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder etc.
CBD can also help to relieve pain. This is particularly important for sickly pets, as you’ll unlikely be able to access regular veterinary services during the lockdown period. Cannabidiol can make a world of difference, whether your pet is suffering from neuropathic or nociceptive pain. Indeed, numerous studies conducted to investigate the analgesic properties of CBD have returned some positive findings.
Other conditions that CBD can help to treat, manage, or prevent in your pet include inflammatory conditions, allergic reactions and other skin conditions, seizures, poor appetite, and low energy.
However, before giving your pet CBD, there are a few caveats to take note of.
5 Reasons Why You Should Be Careful Before Giving CBD to Your Pet
1. Slight Variances in Body Chemistry
To know how your pet’s body chemistry works, you should first understand how CBD interacts with the animal’s system.
Essentially, cannabidiol interacts with your pet’s body by impacting its endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a system within the body of all animals that’s responsible for restoring normal homeostatic balance.
The ECS plays a significant role in alleviating anxiety, pain, inflammation, and various other medical conditions. It comprises endogenous cannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors (mostly CB1 and CB2 receptors), and a system of hormones.
When you give your pet a CBD product, the cannabinoids in the product enter the animal’s endocannabinoid system and bind to the receptors, particularly CB2 receptors. CBD changes the chemical structure of CB2 receptors, making it easier for the animal’s endogenous cannabinoids to bind to these receptors.
Now, our endocannabinoid system is slightly different from that of our pets. For instance, dogs contain more CB1 receptors in the cerebellum section of their brain compared to other animals.
Therefore, dogs are more sensitive to cannabinoids that activate CB1 receptors, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In essence, you should exercise due diligence when giving your dog a CBD product that also contains tetrahydrocannabinol.
2. Pets Strictly Need CBD for Therapeutic Purposes
If you walk into any online dispensary Canada, you’ll encounter numerous CBD products grouped based on the cannabinoids that each product is formulated with. CBD products fall into three major categories, depending on the cannabinoids they contain.
- CBD isolates – Products that contain only cannabidiol.
- Broad-spectrum CBD products – Products that are formulated to include CBD and other cannabinoids except the mind-altering tetrahydrocannabinol.
- Full-spectrum CBD – Products that contain CBD, THC, and different kinds of cannabinoids.
However, when it comes to pets, CBD is recommended exclusively for its medicinal properties. So, the convention is to either go for CBD isolates or broad-spectrum CBD products. If you must give your pet full-spectrum CBD, ensure it contains minimal concentration of THC.
With the excitement that CBD elicits, some pet parents may be tempted to use the substance along with their pets’ prescription drugs. Well, that’s not a great idea.
While CBD comes with minimal side effects, it doesn’t pair well with drugs that have narrow therapeutic windows. That’s because of its ability to inhibit some of the liver enzymes required to metabolize certain medications.
So, if your sickling pet is already on medications, now may not be the right time to introduce it to cannabidiol. If you must use CBD alongside other medications, ensure you contact your vet first. Several veterinary clinics still offer telemedicine services amidst the COVID-19 lockdown.
The following are the five popular ways to consume CBD;
- Administering CBD tinctures beneath your tongue
- Swallowing CBD pills and capsules
- Vaping CBD oil
- Eating CBD edibles
- Applying CBD ointments and salves topically
Seasoned CBD users have always been experimenting with newer and more creative methods of consumption, including smoking hemp flowers and subcutaneous injections. Choosing the right method to administer CBD to your pet is of paramount importance, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
First up, you should eliminate vaping CBD oil, smoking hemp flowers, and subcutaneous injections, however effective they are. The rest of the methods are fine, but giving your pet CBD edibles is more encouraged.
Though CBD edibles are slow-acting compared to tinctures, edibles present lower risks of contamination. Remember, tinctures would require that you insert a dropper inside your pet’s mouth, which increases the risks of contamination.
We already highlighted earlier on that CBD products differ in the kind of cannabinoids they contain, and that you should insist on products with trace amounts of THC. To make sure of that, go for hemp-derived as opposed to marijuana-based CBD products.
Lastly, check the ingredients list to ensure the product doesn’t contain any potentially toxic additives and preservatives. Chemicals like brine and nitrites, as well as condiments like onions and garlic are highly toxic to pets, and shouldn’t feature anywhere in a CBD edible.
CBD comes with numerous health benefits for your pets, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. However, you must proceed with caution when offering CBD to your furry friend, for the reasons we’ve highlighted in this post.
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