Recently, you may have seen news articles or social media posts about CBD oil as a natural remedy for a broad range of ailments for both humans and their furry friends. Before you consider giving your cat or dog CBD oil, however, it's important to understand what it is and what its limitations are.
A Crash Course in Cannabis
The first and most important thing to understand about CBD oil is that, while it is a part of the cannabis plant, it does not get you or your pet high. Anything related to marijuana plants tends to be heavily stigmatized, so it's crucial to understand more about the cannabis plant and how it can help.
CBD is an abbreviation for a specific chemical compound found in cannabis plants called cannabidiol. It's one of over 100 compounds present in the plant.
The other compound that is most commonly associated with cannabis is THC, which is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. While both THC and CBD are considered medicinal, THC is the one that is federally illegal and considered a psychotropic drug.
There are many potential therapeutic uses for CBD oil. However, scientific research on the topic is unfortunately slow due to the strict regulations in place regarding cannabis testing. Much of what vets know about the benefits of CBD oil for dogs and cats is extrapolated from its effects on humans or anecdotal reports from pet owners. Despite the fact that there are few official studies regarding CBD effects on felines, many veterinarians are in agreement that it's worth trying for certain kitty ailments.
How Your Cat Can Benefit from CBD Oil
Often, pet owners turn to CBD because their cats have debilitating illnesses such as seizures, asthma, anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and cancer. Pet owners whose feline friends have been prescribed medications are well-acquainted with the numerous potential risks and side effects of pharmaceuticals. In many cases, adding the right dose of CBD can improve certain conditions and reduce or eliminate the need for some medications.
Veterinarians have recommended CBD oil for all of the following conditions:
- Anxiety - Arthritis - Chronic pain - Asthma - Autoimmune disorders - Loss of appetite - Certain forms of cancer
In the majority of these cases, CBD oil is given to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms or improve the remaining quality of life of these pets. It is not ever given as a curative treatment for any illness, and it should not be treated as a cure for any ailment.
Is CBD Oil Safe For My Cat?
While there is a very limited amount of proven research on the topic of CBD and pets, most vets, especially holistic practitioners, believe that it is a safe alternative therapy for some cats.
In general, holistic veterinarians say that, while CBD oil is a generally safe substance, pet owners should be on the lookout for the potential side effects, such as stomach upset, mild sedation or sluggishness.
The most frequently debated aspect of dosing your cat with CBD oil is the fact that it can be difficult to know the correct amount to give. Because CBD products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, consumers must be hypervigilant when it comes to researching trustworthy brands and product information. This will ensure that you don't accidentally give your cat too much CBD, which can be counterproductive.
Cat owners should also keep in mind that it is not okay for cats to share their medical marijuana or nibble on any part of a cannabis plant. Cannabis plants as a whole are very toxic to felines, and medical marijuana contains THC, which can have unpleasant effects on your cat's state of mind.
Ultimately, you and your vet should discuss the pros and cons of introducing CBD into your cat's regimen before you make any decisions. CBD oil can be an excellent therapeutic supplement when used under proper guidance and supervision.