CBD For Your Pet: A Comprehensive Guide
CBD: The Basics
If you’ve read some of our other blog posts, you already know how great CBD is for you and your health. The plant molecule works powerfully via the endocannabinoid system to regulate mood, energy balance, and metabolism.
With this rebalancing comes relief from many common diseases. Take CBD consistently and you’ll probably notice reductions in everything from arthritis to anxiety, from autoimmune diseases to cancer.
That is, if you have any of those ailments. But keep in mind that CBD's not just for people. Even if you're totally healthy, there's a big possibility that your pet has something that would respond well to the plant compound.
Why? As it turns out, CBD's just as good for pets as it is for people. Many of us humans struggle with disease because we subject ourselves to a lifestyle at odds with our ideal environment. Your pet’s health status is no different. Today, our pets are more likely than ever to suffer from anxiety, obesity, and even mental health disorders. Not good!
Endocannabinoid Health for You and Your Pet
CBD could be the solution. After all, your pet has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that reacts to CBD just like yours does. And while their ECS might be slightly different than yours — concentrated more in the brain than in the surrounding nervous system — it still functions to maintain homeostasis, or balance, within their body.
This biological reality has big implications for your pet's health. Just like you, the stressors of modern life can leave your pet prone to low endocannabinoid levels, something that's clinically called CECDS, or clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome.
Because eCB's are critical cellular signalers, being deficient in them is arguably worse than being deficient in vitamin C or vitamin D. The endocannabinoid system, after all, is what actually controls the enzymatic reactions that most vitamins and cofactors 'feed'.
That's how it works on a technical level, at least. Back to the basics: if your pet is anxious, hyperactive, or in chronic pain, they could be low in internal cannabinoids, cannabinoids that would otherwise be playing a vital role in maintaining health. Other symptoms possibly pointing to endocannabinoid deficiency include:
- Frequent nausea/stomach issues
- Swelling and inflammation
- Autoimmune disease
These conditions are growing increasingly common in our pets — but they may not have to be. Nature’s given us 2 types of cannabinoids to help maintain health: the eCB's we've been talking about, and phytocannabinoids from plants. If your pet is deficient in one type, the best thing they can do is supplement with the other.
CBD + ECS = Happy Pets
The primary cannabinoid in the hemp plant is — you guessed it — CBD. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a fat-soluble organic molecule in the terpene family. If you’ve ever used essential oils, you’ve taken something similar. CBD can be thought of almost like the ‘essential oil’ of hemp.
But it’s even more diverse than conventional EO’s; most CBD products contain a huge spectrum of over a hundred active compounds. These compounds synergize and make CBD’s health benefits even more powerful. These products are generally referred to as “full spectrum” CBD — that’s the kind to look for.
The compounds in hemp are there for a reason. When taken consistently, they’re able to boost the endocannabinoid system. And a healthy ECS helps regulate and rebalance pretty much everything. Remember the list of CECDS symptoms we listed? As you might expect, CBD’s qualities are virtually the opposite. Cannabidiol is:
- Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
- Mood stabilizing
Thankfully, the CBD industry has caught on to this concept, and it’s now easier than ever to find premium CBD products for your pet. Our hope is that the remainder of this guide will give you the confidence and understanding you need to select the perfect pet product.
Finding the Right Product
As we said earlier, “full spectrum” hemp products, which contain as many of hemp’s active ingredients as possible, are usually best. In an ideal world, you’d get your vitamin C from broccoli, not a capsule...right? Same idea here. But don’t worry if you’re not finding a full spectrum product; even less advanced CBD isolate products are powerful.
There are many different ways your pet can take their CBD, too. Pets with IBS or other gut health issues may prefer CBD-infused edibles, which deliver the compound directly to the problem area intact. Pets with more generalized conditions, on the other hand, will probably do best on CBD oil, which is more bioavailable.
The most important thing is that your pet takes CBD consistently — so feel free to select whatever delivery method makes this easiest!
Other things to look for in a product include:
- A label that clearly states cannabinoid content and is easy to read
- A healthy carrier oil (not grapeseed oil, which can be toxic to pets)
- 3rd party lab testing verification
Dialing in Dosing
At King CBD Company, we carefully vet (no pun intended) every product carried in our store. So, now that you’ve found a quality product, the next thing to do is figure out your pet’s optimal dosing! In general, start low and go slow is an excellent rule of thumb for hemp.
You might start off giving your pet ~1 milligram of CBD per 10 pounds of bodyweight, and slowly ramping things up from there. If you want to get even more advanced, consider starting a dosing journal to keep track of your pet’s progress.
It’s not uncommon to increase dose by a few milligrams of CBD per week; a higher dose might actually be needed in some cases. In general, the more your pet is struggling, the more CBD they’ll need to fully overcome their health challenges. Use your best judgment, but don’t be afraid of giving your pet too much — CBD is virtually impossible to overdose on.
Modern science has confirmed what we as pet owners & lovers have already known for years: having a companion animal is good for one’s health. We benefit from the pets in our lives in so many ways — emotionally, physically, even spiritually. Why not put effort and intention into benefiting them?
Though your pet can’t speak to CBD’s health benefits for themselves, it’s clear what the research is saying. If you do decide to get your furry friend onto this amazing plant compound, its healing properties will be clear to you, too!