What Are the Side Effects of Cannabis Oil for Dogs?

By Anaƫlle Laurent. January 3, 2021
What Are the Side Effects of Cannabis Oil for Dogs?

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Cannabis oil for dogs can be a somewhat controversial topic as there's a lot of information floating around online. As your dog's caregiver, it's very important you learn more about this treatment and speak to your veterinarian before giving it to your dog as it isn't meant for all dogs.

This is why in this AnimalWised article we're going to explain the uses, benefits and side effects of cannabis oil for dogs. Keep reading to learn more about this pet wellness trend.

Is cannabis oil bad for dogs?

Although cannabis oil for dogs can have some side effects, studies on the application of cannabis oil in veterinary medicine have yielded positive results. It is a path of investigation that continues its course, but, for now, it has allowed the commercialization of different cannabis oils designed for dogs as cannbis oils can be beneficial for dogs with certain health problems.

However, why is this oil beneficial? Let's take a look at the science behind this oil. Hemp contains different phytocannabinoids that interact with the so-called endocannabinoid or SEC system that chordates possess and that involves a complex regulatory structure. It includes different receptors and enzymes. A pair of major receptors have been described that are present in multiple tissues, such as the central and peripheral nervous systems, the immune system, digestive systems, the liver, or the skin.

They have a direct impact on the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. SEC is part of various physiological processes that contribute to psychophysical well-being and the maintenance of homeostasis, that is, of the internal balance of the body. Regulates energy, appetite, mood, immune system, sleep, and pain. It is important to note that the oil that is extracted from Cannabis sativa is authorized for use in animal feed.

What Are the Side Effects of Cannabis Oil for Dogs? - Is cannabis oil bad for dogs?

What is cannabis oil for dogs used for?

Cannabis oil has shown effects as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, neuroprotective, antiepileptic, and analgesic. It is used as a nutraceutical, a name that refers to different food products with health benefits beyond nutrition. It can be used by dogs of all ages and sizes and in long-term treatments. However, it is mainly used for dogs suffering from cancer, arthritis and severe anxiety.

Benefits of cannabis oil for dogs

Cannabis oil is prescribed to dogs with different pathologies. In general, it helps to combat discomfort and imbalances, as well as to improve the condition of the dog during long-term treatments both organically and psychologically. It is important to know that cannabis oil will not cure the ill dog, but it does act as an adjuvant to improve their quality of life. Therefore, it should always be used together with the treatment established by the veterinarian and following their indications to avoid side effects, which we will look into in the section below. When it comes to the benefits of cannabis oil, this oil mostly stands out for its benefits in:

  • Skin irritations and allergies
  • Digestive disorders and loss of appetite
  • Bad appearance of the coat
  • Moderate or severe chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • The effect on chronic pain and inflammation make cannabis oil suitable for dogs with osteoarthritis and arthritis
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Cancer
  • Cannabis oil for anxious dogs can be used against separation anxiety and phobias
  • Control of seizures, including the use of cannabis oil for dogs with epilepsy

Side effects of CBD oil in dogs

The recreational use of cannabis oil causes many people to feel reluctant towards its therapeutic use, mainly due to the fear of its possible side effects. This is why it's important to allow you veterinarian to confirm whether or not CBD oil can help your dog's condition. With that being said, keep in mind that your dog may suffer from the following side effects:

  • Dry mouth/ increased thirst
  • Lowered blood sugar/ light headed-ness
  • Drowsiness (only in high dosages)

Can dogs overdose on cannabis oil?

Although rare, yes, a dog can suffer from a mild THC toxicity when given large dosages of CBD (as many times, CBD is given with a bit of THC). This is why it's very important to ask your veterinarian before introducing cannabis oil into your dog's treatment. This way, your dog will be able to take advantage of the benefits CBD can give them while remaining safe and continuing with the treatment indicated by their veterinarian.

Can dogs die from CBD overdose?

To this day, there have been very little accusations of dogs dying from CBD overdose. However, it should be stated that no toxicology report was carried out in these cases and CBD overdose was not specified as the cause of death. Therefore, although there have been accusations, there is no scientific proof or hard evidence to indicate that a dog can die from a CBD overdose.

Keep in mind that CBD is only one component (phytocannabinoid) found in the cannabis plant which cannot make your dog experience a high or psychoactive effect, it is only for medical reasons, as the ones previously mentioned. This is what makes it such an effective method for dogs with certain diseases.

Cannabis oil dosage for dogs

The appropriate dose of cannabis oil will depend on different factors, such as the presentation we choose, since we can find this oil in drops or tablets, or the weight of our dog. There is a range of dosages that are considered safe for them. The recommendation is to start with the lowest, especially in dogs with liver problems, and adjust it according to the dog's response until you find the amount that produces the positive effects you are looking for, without the negative ones. This process must be controlled by the veterinarian and it is always better to underdose than to overdo it.

How to give cannabis oil to a dog

The use of cannabis oil in liquid format is the most common since it is better dosed and it is considered that a good part is absorbed directly by the oral mucosa, which guarantees its effectiveness. For this reason, it can be administered simply by putting it in the dog's mouth through the dropper that some presentations include or with a syringe. It can also be mixed with food or water.

What Are the Side Effects of Cannabis Oil for Dogs? - Cannabis oil dosage for dogs

What CBD oil is best for dogs?

When browsing the market for CBD oil for dogs, you will find that you have a lot of options. To help you make the best decision, we are going to give you our tips on choosing the best cannabis oil for your dog:

  • Consult your veterinarian on which brand would be best for your dog's condition.
  • Look for organic cannabis oil that doesn't have any pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
  • Don't shop based on price, instead opt for the highest quality to ensure your dog's wellbeing.
  • Get the analysis from the manufacturer and have a look at it with your trusted veterinarian to determine if the percentage and quality is right for your dog's condition.
  • Try CBD oil in liquid form, this will make it easier for you to give it to your dog and also to get your money's worth as it has been shown to be the most effective.

We also encourage you to check out the videos below which talk about similar topics found in this article.

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are the Side Effects of Cannabis Oil for Dogs?, we recommend you visit our Home Remedies category.

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