What’s the best dosage of CBD for pets?
Have you tried giving your pet CBD oil and saw no effects whatsoever? It’s most likely that your pet did not get the correct dosage, causing a total lack of CBD effectiveness. Just like humans have unique body chemistries, pets can vary by individual breed and degree of stressors . Each pet can need a different, highly specific dose to work properly.
CBD is a natural chemical that needs a delivery vehicle to consume. Most CBD products use oil as that vehicle. CBD products for humans use a lot of oil (often to create a certain flavor profile). Unfortunately, these low-concentration, high-oil CBD extracts aren’t the best for our furry friends. Their digestive tracts are much more sensitive than ours. And each animal has a certain amount of oil they can tolerate. We’ll call this amount their metabolic dose.
That’s where high-concentrate, low-oil CBD comes in. Highly-concentrated extracts deliver the same dose of CBD with far less oil. This in turn makes it easy to find your pet’s ideal metabolic dose.
Pet CBD and the Metabolic Dose
Each pet has an ideal metabolic dose that works best with its system. CBDs with added oils when you try to increase the dose, it can cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, or other negative side effects. These side effects add more stress. And they decrease the chances your pet will achieve a relaxation response (their typically happy or calm disposition that you’re looking for).
There are some key factors to consider here. If your pet suffers from ongoing trauma or long-term anxiety, they may need a higher dosage compared to other pets. Unfortunately, there’s no baseline recommendation that universally works across all weights, breeds, and issues. This is where many CBD brands fail. They offer a simplistic dosing guide that doesn’t take these factors into account. But, a look at the research can give us some hints.
Dosage and CBD effectiveness for pets
A 2018 study on pet CBD effectiveness in osteoarthritic dogs showed results in dogs treated with 2 mg/kg CBD oil. They showed significant decreases in pain and increases in activity levels. There were no side effects reported by owners at this dosage. Most pet CBD on the market have a fraction of the amount of CBD in them compared to what studies are showing helps pets feel better.
This is promising news. But like tolerance levels for humans, pets have their own individualized metabolic dose when it comes to CBD. A CBD dog and cat study showed remarkable differences in pet CBD tolerance between cats and dogs.
The 2 mg/kg twice daily dosing was used on both dogs and cats with no health risks. But the study did show that dogs absorb CBD better than cats. Further proving that some CBD companies simple dosing systems can do a lot better.
What is my pet’s ideal metabolic dose?
So how do you find the perfect metabolic dose? The first step is trying to spot that relaxation response (a calm, relaxed disposition). No matter what form of CBD you’re using, start “low and slow” – use a low dose and wait to spot the relaxation response. Repeat as needed for your furry friend’s unique pet CBD tolerance.
You know your pet best! That makes you the person best equipped to figure this out. Take your time and observe to spot when they are free from those aches, pains, or moments of stress.
Explaining low CBD oil. I played with talking about concentration in high vs. low oil. But I think this is more succinct and teaches all the reader needs to know at this point.
How long does it take CBD for pets to work?
CBD’s activation time depends on the form given. Edibles like treats kick in at about 30 minutes to 1 hour later. Tinctures that are absorbed sublingually (more quickly through the tongue and gums) will start to work anywhere from 15 to 30-minutes later.
But, if you’re using CBD to help change a behavior (such as not being afraid of visitors) it may take time to see the results you’re looking for. CBD will help reduce anxiety and panic, but your pet’s old habits may remain until they’ve had enough exposure along with a proper relaxation response.
What happens if my pet CBD product doesn’t work?
Just like in CBD for humans, it may take some trial-and-error to find both the form and dosage of CBD that works best for your pet. You may need to try a few varieties and/or slowly increase the serving size until you find your pet’s ideal metabolic dose.
What is the best form of CBD for pets?
There are three types of CBD, isolates, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. The best and most effective form of CBD is the full spectrum variety.
Full spectrum CBD is the most complete extraction of the hemp plant. It keeps all of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes intact. Compounds such as cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and even tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) work together create an “entourage effect” that more effectively works on your pet’s endocannabinoid system.
Whenever using CBD it is best to isolate the CBD and natural cannabinoids mentioned above. Don’t fall for gimmicky additions like chamomile or melatonin. CBD with these additives sound nice in theory, but they don’t necessarily add any benefits to the product. These additives usually aren’t added in a dosage that would actually make any difference at all. While this looks great on a shiny label, it’s not as beneficial as obtaining a high-quality, standalone CBD product.
The purest, most natural form of CBD is what’s going to be best for your pet – in this case, that’s full spectrum!
Are pets sensitive to THC?
THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Just like humans, dogs have cannabinoid receptors that interact with THC and CBD. They’re called CB1 receptors.
Cannabis research for pets shows that dogs have more CB1 receptors in their brains. So, THC affects them far more than humans. Dogs are more sensitive to THC than humans with some side effects actually posing a risk to their health.
THC can also be lethal in high doses, estimated at three grams per kg of a dog’s weight. But rest assured that this dose is virtually impossible to achieve with any CBD product out there. For example, a powerful, 1500-mg bottle of full spectrum CBD contains about 9 mg of THC. A 50-pound dog would need to consume nearly 2-and-a-half entire bottles very quickly to reach a toxic level.
Much more likely, too much THC would have side effects such as dilated pupils, tiredness, urinary incontinence, or an upset stomach. So you want to make sure that you’re using a CBD that doesn’t have a high level of THC.
Using a CBD that has less than 0.3% THC is the best way to help your pet feel better (rather than introducing potential side effects). Keeping the THC percentages below this level ensures that there are no psychoactive effects on your pet. You definitely want to reap the entourage effect that THC offers while minimizing negative effects. And this low concentration of THC will get the job done while keeping your furry family safe.
Do pets have other sensitivities to worry about with CBD?
Excessive oils dangers
CBD is always suspended in some form of oil, usually olive or coconut (sometimes called MCT oil). Unfortunately, animals are often highly sensitive to these oils and can experience some unpleasant side effects. Exposure to too much oil can cause indigestion or vomiting.
Try to look for highly-concentrated CBD extract for your pet instead. Using a highly concentrated CBD product with little oil minimizes the risk of these side effects.
Hemp oil benefits
Choosing a CBD product that is suspended in hemp oil also has some benefits. Olive and coconut oils carry the risk of digestive side effects without hemp oil’s benefits.
Hemp oil is derived from the seed part of the hemp plant. The seeds have a slightly lower level of cannabinoids and terpenes than the plant parts. But, hemp seeds also contain helpful phytochemicals that you wouldn’t find in the other oils.
For this reason, the use of hemp seed oil for CBD boosts the entourage effect too. Combining the different compounds of the plant allows them to work together harmoniously in a way that isn’t possible when separated. Hemp oil aids in the full spectrum advantage of the product as a whole and actually .
What’s the most effective way to give CBD to a pet?
Another reason why you may not have seen results is a poor application of CBD. Most CBD oils are not highly concentrated, resulting in your pet not ingesting the correct, effective amount. If your pet is stubborn when it comes to taking medication, it will be stubborn with CBD too. A low-concentration CBD means more oil. And a lot of oil makes it nearly impossible to administer effectively to a rebellious pet.
High-concentration CBD for pets
Spilled oil isn’t only a waste of money, it won’t give your pet the dose you planned, nor the relaxation response they are desperately in need of. You may find yourself in situations where your pet’s favorite treat is just not absorbing the correct dosage. Your medicated treat might end up a practically plain one instead (and leave you with a mess to clean up). Or, a high-oil CBD extract may be too much to place fully on one treat, leading to overfeeding. If this sounds like your furry friend, a CBD product that offers a highly-concentrated, low-oil extract is best.
Yet another handy feature of this high-concentration, low-oil CBD is the ability to apply one drop of oil massaged into our feline friends upper inside tips of the ear, should they give you too much trouble ingesting it orally. You can also place a drop on your finger and gently rub the extract along your pet’s gums. This sublingual absorption style is both bio-effective and fast-acting. And it simply isn’t possible with low-concentration, high-oil extracts.
Avoiding traditional droppers
You may also want to avoid traditional droppers. Most pets don’t enjoy the sensation of being force fed. And some droppers can be made from glass or plastic that can break in your pet’s mouth. Not to mention every time you stick the dropper into your fur baby’s mouth and back into the bottle, you’re exposing the product to contaminating bacteria that can cause your CBD to lose effectiveness.
Instead, look for a dropper with an inside downstream that avoids these dangers while reliably dosing. With this bottle design, you can simply dispense the oil directly onto your pets’ gums or their favorite treat, or into their food bowl safely and easily.
Learn more about caring for your furry family
When our furry family isn’t feeling well, you’d anything necessary to help. That’s why you have to make sure you’re giving them the only best in CBD. Pet CBD may be the answer to so many of your animal’s ailments, but only if it’s the right kind and given in the right way.
- Limit the amount of THC your pet gets (aim for under .3% THC)
- Look for compounds that induce the entourage effect (THC, CBN, CBG, etc.)
- Make sure you’re using a full spectrum extract, preferably suspended in hemp oil
- Buy a high-concentration, low-oil CBD extract for easy customizable dosing
- Follow our tips when giving CBD to your pets to ensure all of it gets absorbed and your dosing is accurate
- Be patient, increase the dosage low-and-slow, and look for the relaxation response
If you feel like your pet has not been getting the most out of their CBD regimen click below to learn even more about what you should be looking for in high-quality, CBD pet products.
- Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Gamble et al. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065210/
- Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats. Deabold et al. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826847/
- Cannabis is NOT a dog’s best friend. Borealis. https://blog.scienceborealis.ca/cannabis-is-not-a-dogs-best-friend/