Best CBD Oil For Cats With Cancer

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This article covers CBD for cats with cancer, CBD safety for cats, signs of cancer, types of cancer, and the best CBD oil for cats with cancer. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in cats, but hopefuly, there are several steps you can take to improve their quality of life — like giving them CBD oil. Here we explain how CBD can help cats with cancer. What are the best CBD oils for cats suffering from cancer? We review the products, look at the scientific evidence, and explain how to best use CBD for cats.

CBD for Cats with Cancer

Cancer is a burden in our lives as well as our cats. Like humans, a cat with cancer can have a lower quality of life dealing with pain, sores, and lumps. Many medications are available for cats with cancer, but those come with many side effects. Natural alternatives such as CBD oil may help relieve the burden of cancer symptoms.

This article covers CBD for cats with cancer, CBD safety for cats, signs of cancer, types of cancer, and the best CBD oil for cats with cancer.

Table Of Contents

  • CBD oil for cats with cancer
  • Is CBD safe for cats with cancer?
  • Signs of cancer in cats
  • Types of Cancer in Cats
  • Best CBD oil for cats with cancer

CBD oil for cats with cancer

CBD for cats has several effects. The ability of CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system is what makes it work. CBD oil for cats may help with cancer treatments and the many symptoms that encompass cancer treatments. In studies, CBD has slowed down tumor growth.

CBD has shown powerful anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on a wide variety of cancer types in cultured cancer cell lines and mice tumor models, as evidenced by the research available. On the other hand, CBD has a softer effect on normal cells from the same tissue/organ. The anti-tumor mechanisms differ depending on the type of tumor, ranging from cell cycle arrest to autophagy to cell death or a combination of these processes.

Cannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), which does not have the psychoactive effects of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may have an antitumorigenic impact according to a growing body of research. These include anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic actions, which may disrupt several tumor-related activities in cancer growth. However, additional proof from cancer clinical studies is required.

Is CBD safe for cats with cancer?

Yes, CBD oil is safe for cancer-stricken cats. As with any other supplement, make sure you’re utilizing a high-quality CBD product and following the manufacturer’s dosage and frequency recommendations.

A Canadian study analyzed dose escalation of cannabis oils, including a CBD-predominant oil in cats, and found it was relatively safe beside the occasional mild side effects.

Signs of cancer in cats

There are some common signs of cancer in cats. Here is a list the Veterinary Cancer Society says cat owners should be aware of, and those are:

  • Anemia – Anemia is a condition in which the amount of circulating red blood cells (RBCs), hemoglobin (Hb), or both are diminished.
  • Bleeding or discharge – Bleeding can occur in places where cats are injured or have internal issues. Blood and discharge from the cat’s mouth or vagina, spotting of blood, rubbing of the hindquarters are signs of a problem.
  • Difficulty breathing – If your cat has never shown difficulty breathing, there may be a growth or obstruction in the airway. It is best to consult a vet and get a diagnosis.
  • Difficulty defecating – There is a good chance your cat may be constipated, but there may be an underlining health issue.
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing – Oral Dysphagia is often the culprit when a cat has a hard time eating or swallowing food. Signs may be struggling to open the mouth or hold food in the mouth, collecting food on the sides of the mouth, or throwing head backward to eat.
  • Difficulty urinating – Call your vet immediately if your cat has problems urinating. There are many reasons a cat can’t urinate, and cancer may be one.
  • Drinking large quantities of water – Your cat may be suffering from Polydipsia (unusually great thirst as a disease symptom) or a number of other causes. Unfortunately, cats drinking more water may signify that something is amiss internally.
  • Fever – A normal temperature for cats should fall within 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cat reaches 106 degrees, get to the vet as your cat’s vitals are at risk. Fever is a common sign of infections, illnesses, and cancers.
  • Lethargy – One of bone cancer’s symptoms is lethargy. A lethargic cat does not automatically mean cancer, but continued lethargy and reduced activity may be a sign of disease.
  • Loss of appetite – Decreased appetite is a sign of cancer in cats. The most common symptom of cat cancer is weight loss, which is generally a marker of a gastrointestinal tumor.
  • Offensive odor – Without any evidence of a tumor, cancers of the mouth, nose, or anal regions can cause your pet to create foul odors. Offensive odors are also a sign that a sore may not be healing and needs further inspection by a professional.
  • Pain – If your cat is in pain, it may have cancer. Pain can happen in many different ways. If the pain is persistent, go to the vet.
  • Persistent or continued swelling – Swelling is a sign of cancer—swelling signals the owner that something is wrong. If your cat has swelled, get it checked before the condition worsens.
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness – Older cats suffer more from lameness than younger cats due to arthritic conditions. However, it can represent a symptom of cancer as well.
  • Weight loss – As mentioned before, the most common symptom of cat cancer is weight loss, a marker of a gastrointestinal tumor. Cats, like other animals, are motivated by food. Therefore, if they refuse to eat those tasty CBD treats or wet food, something is wrong.

Types of Cancer in Cats

There are several types of cancer cats can get. Listed below are the five most common feline cancers.

  • Lymphoma – A cancer of the blood cells (lymphocytes) and lymphoid tissues usually found in cats form the ages of 2 to 6 years old.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) – FeLV was one of the most common lymphoma causes in cats pre vaccination. As of 2020, (FeLV) is the second-largest cause of death in cats, behind trauma, killing 70-85 percent of infected cats within three years post-diagnosis.
  • Mammary Cancer (Breast) – Mammary (breast) Cancer is a type of cancer that generally affects older female cats. Spaying assist in cats not getting breast cancer. Male cats with breast cancer are quite uncommon.
  • Skin Cancer – Skin cancer in cats can be caused by over exposure to the sun. It can look like bumps, lumps, redness, scratching and can occur in the hairless regions of a cat.
  • Fibrosarcoma – A malignant tumor that is in the tissues near the ends of cats’ bones.

Best CBD oil for cats with cancer

There’s a variety of diverse pet CBD products on the market. However, they’re not made the same, and several CBD oil products and CBD cat treats are not the same quality as others. The best CBD oil for cats with cancer is manufactured in a clean, controlled environment, 100% all-natural ingredients, and third-party lab-tested.

CBD and other phytocannabinoids may assist in reducing inflammation and have antioxidant properties. That is why we make broad-spectrum oils. Broad-spectrum oils have a wide complement of cannabinoids but contain no THC, the psychoactive part of the plant.

CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer: Top Products Reviews

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases, and although cats are less likely to suffer from it than dogs, it still affects many of our feline friends. Cats with cancer usually experience persistent sores, lumps that can grow or change shape, unexplained bleeding, loss of appetite, and lameness.

Although there’s no established cure for cancer, many medications are available to alleviate the clinical symptoms of feline tumors. However, conventional treatments also entail the risk of dangerous adverse reactions — not to mention harmful side effects that come with long-term use.

CBD has recently come sparked the attention of medical researchers due to CBD’s potential anti-cancer benefits. CBD is a naturally occurring, non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp plants.

A growing number of pet owners are using CBD-based products to ease pain, inflammation, and other conditions in their pets. Although there is no hard data on the efficacy of CBD for cats with cancer, there are studies that highlight its therapeutic potential and safety in small animals.

Today, we explore the potential benefits of CBD for cats with cancer, covering the current scientific literature and outlining the available forms of CBD for your feline friend.

CBD for Pets: A Brief Overview

A 2018 study showed promising results on the effects of hemp-derived CBD and terpenes on dogs with osteoarthritis. Most of the dogs that consumed CBD oil during the study experienced significantly reduced pain and better mobility in general.

The same study also showed that there were no side effects reported by the dog owners — and that the dogs could tolerate a dose of 2 mg of CBD oil per kilogram twice a day. These results may indicate that hemp-based phytonutrients are safe for animals.

A study on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has revealed that all mammals, except for some insects and protozoans, share the same ECS in their bodies. The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body and for regulating the functions of the brain, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems through a set of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

Since animals and humans have the same receptors, it means that cats can naturally interact with the cannabinoids present in CBD oil. This research on the ECS proves why the dogs in the aforementioned study didn’t experience any adverse effects after taking CBD oil for dogs.

See also  CBD Oil Scientific Research

CBD Products for Cats with Cancer

Before we elaborate on the benefits of CBD for cats with cancer, let’s take a look at different product types — and what purpose they serve best.

CBD Oils

CBD oil is the most popular form when it comes to giving CBD to cats with cancer. When people mention the best CBD oil for cats, they typically refer to using tinctures to alleviate certain symptoms.

CBD oil is administered with a dropper, which allows for an easy application in the mouth. You can choose from various flavors, from natural to pet-appealing flavors like bacon or cheese.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are a good alternative to use in cats because they provide a fixed amount of CBD in each serving. Each capsule can be administered once or twice a day, depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation.

CBD capsules contain between 5 and 20 mg of CBD, so make sure to consult your vet before application. You can mix these pills into your pet’s food to make them easier to consume.

CBD Treats

Similar to capsules, CBD pet treats contain a premeasured dose of CBD per piece. They come in appealing shapes and textures; you can choose from flavors like bacon, cheese, salmon, catmint, or peanut butter. Just keep in mind that the dosage in CBD treats and capsules may not be as accurate as with oils, so again, you should talk to a holistic veterinarian to estimate the proper dosage for your cat.

CBD Topicals

Topical formulations include products such as lotions, creams, balms, and ointments. They are used to address localized discomfort, such as pain, redness, swelling, and irritation. For cats with cancer, CBD topicals can provide pain relief from stiff and inflamed joints, as well as from abdominal issues. Topicals are often infused with other supportive ingredients that enhance the therapeutic properties of CBD (e.g. herbal extracts, fruit oils, plant-based oils, and butter).

Can CBD Oil Treat Cancer in Cats?

Several clinical trials have suggested that CBD can cause programmed death of cancer cells in cats and contribute to the inhibition of tumor growth. Here we elaborate on both of these properties.

CBD for Cancer Cell Death

In a 2011 study, researchers examined the effects of CBD on breast cancer cells. Although the study was conducted in vitro, meaning it used a sample dish or test tube instead of a living organism, the results were quite promising.

The authors found that CBD could help speed up programmed death on the cancer cells without damaging the healthy ones. The mechanism behind this action is relatively unclear, but the cannabinoid was able to destroy malignant cells, and cause apoptosis (the said programmed cell death).

Since cancer is triggered by the abnormal growth of malignant cells, their elimination proves that CBD is involved in regulating cell growth.

CBD for Tumor Growth

In the same year, the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment journal posted a similar study on breast cancer cells.

This time, the study was conducted on mice and found that CBD can inhibit the growth of breast cancer in the subjects. Moreover, researchers also learned that it could reduce metastasis — a scientific name for the development of secondary cancer growths.

In another study — this time from 2003 — the authors revealed that cannabinoid receptors exist in both healthy and cancerous skin cells of mice. The researchers found that by targeting these receptors with cannabinoids, the compounds induced cell death while slowing down the growth of skin cancer.

Several studies also link CBD with slowed angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process that spurs tumor growth by forming new blood vessels.

What Side Effects of Cancer May CBD Alleviate?

Although CBD hemp oil for cats isn’t an approved cancer treatment for cats, it is capable of providing relief from many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.

Three main options for treating cancer in cats include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Although these methods can effectively manage cancer cells in felines, they also have a lot of long-term side effects, such as vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, inflammation, pain, and insomnia.

Below we explain how CBD may help alleviate these symptoms in cats with cancer.

Chronic Pain

Cats with cancer experience mild to severe pain. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery, can also lead to problems with pain management.

Veterinarians usually prescribe Tramadol, which is a popular analgesic for cancer pain. However, its effectiveness in treating acute or traumatic pain is questionable, and its non-opioid mechanism may not provide relief for felines.

The aforementioned study on dogs with osteoarthritis showed that dogs given CBD oil products experience significantly less pain than their counterparts treated with conventional methods. On top of that, the dogs became more active after the study after using CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.

This clinical study also noted that CBD oil didn’t produce any side effects despite a relatively high dosage of 2 mg of CBD per kilo of body weight every 12 hours for one month.

Inflammation

Squamous cell carcinoma in cats begins as a small patch of sore skin and oral tumors, which, if not taken care of, could herald the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Inflammation is the most common contributor to the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma in cats.

A study conducted in 2000 revealed that whole-plant CBD extracts possess remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. The study also investigated the efficacy of cannabinoids on mice with collagen-induced arthritis and concluded that CBD was able to improve both conditions on these subjects.

A follow-up experiment from 2004 that used a novel synthetic cannabinoid acid on mice with arthritis yielded the same results. The compound was found to have suppressive effects on the immune cells while also producing pro-inflammatory mediators, an indicator that it’s a novel, anti-inflammatory molecule.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is a common side effect in cats that are treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy to control the growth of cancer. Such treatments affect the lining of the intestines and stomach, leading to nausea and vomiting.

The modulation of the ECS is associated with reduced nausea. A 2011 study showed that a wide range of animals can benefit from the anti-emetic properties of CBD. Additional evidence also points to CBD as a potential antiemetic agent for the side effects of chemotherapy.

Causes of Cancer in Cats

Several factors can trigger or speed up the growth of cancer in a cat, including:

Aging

Aging is inevitable for all animals; it’s also one of the main reasons behind cancers in many cats. Aging can speed up cancer growth for several reasons.

According to one theory, the mutations in aging cells accumulate over the years, which increases the chances of cancerous cell division. Degeneration of the cat’s body is another possible cause.

For example, chronic inflammation experienced by cats over the years may wreak havoc on their DNA and compromise the immune system. This, in turn, may lead to the uncontrolled growth of malignant cells.

Fibrosarcoma

Fibrosarcoma is a type of feline cancer that occurs in the cat’s soft tissue. It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although fibrosarcoma doesn’t have an identified specific cause, most cats with this cancer developed it at a prior injection site.

Intact Reproductive Organs

If your cat isn’t neutered or spayed, they are at a higher risk of developing cancer in their bodies. Unspayed female cats can develop breast and ovarian cancer, while unneutered males may suffer from prostate cancer.

Cats that have undergone spaying or neutering can also live longer and healthier lives.

Carcinogens

Carcinogens are the substances that cause cancer through mutations in the genes that eventually turn into cancerous cells in your cat’s body. Cats can be exposed to the same carcinogens as humans, including food additives, tobacco smoke, asbestos, radiation, benzene, and x-ray.

Is CBD Safe for Cats with Cancer?

Before you give CBD oil to your cat with cancer, you should be aware of the possible side effects.

CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated in both humans and animals — even in high doses administered over several weeks.

That being said, giving your cat too much CBD can result in:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diarrhea

CBD is also known to compromise the liver’s ability to metabolize pharmaceutical compounds in most medications. If your cat is on any medication, consult your veterinarian before incorporating CBD into their routine. Doing so will help you establish the right dosage and avoid potential negative interactions between CBD and your cat’s meds.

Key Takeaways on CBD and Cats with Cancer

While cancer isn’t as common in cats as it is in dogs, the symptoms of feline cancer can significantly worsen the quality of their life. Some of the cancer signs in cats include lumps, persistent sores, loss of appetite, unexplained bleeding, and lameness.

Conventional medications, while effective, can also bring undesired side effects, some of which can have a particularly negative outcome on your cat’s health.

CBD is a promising solution for cats with cancer. Studies have shown that it can induce apoptosis and slow down the growth of cancerous cells. Moreover, you can give your cat CBD oil to help them cope with the side effects of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery; these include pain, inflammation, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Although we still lack sufficient clinical evidence to support the use of CBD as monotherapy for cancer, current findings are very promising, to say the least.

Do you have any experience in using CBD oil in cats with cancer? Share your stories in the comment section!

References:

  1. Gamble, L. J., Boesch, J. M., Frye, C. W., Schwark, W. S., Mann, S., Wolfe, L., Brown, H., Berthelsen, E. S., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Frontiers in veterinary science, 5, 165. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165 [1]
  2. Shrivastava, A., Kuzontkoski, P. M., Groopman, J. E., & Prasad, A. (2011). Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 10(7), 1161–1172. https://doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-10-1100 [2]
  3. McAllister, S. D., Murase, R., Christian, R. T., Lau, D., Zielinski, A. J., Allison, J., Almanza, C., Pakdel, A., Lee, J., Limbad, C., Liu, Y., Debs, R. J., Moore, D. H., & Desprez, P. Y. (2011). Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. Breast cancer research and treatment, 129(1), 37–47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-010-1177-4 [3]
  4. Casanova, M. L., Blázquez, C., Martínez-Palacio, J., Villanueva, C., Fernández-Aceñero, M. J., Huffman, J. W., Jorcano, J. L., & Guzmán, M. (2003). Inhibition of skin tumor growth and angiogenesis in vivo by activation of cannabinoid receptors. The Journal of clinical investigation, 111(1), 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI16116
  5. Malfait, A. M., Gallily, R., Sumariwalla, P. F., Malik, A. S., Andreakos, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2000). The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(17), 9561–9566. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.160105897
  6. Sumariwalla, P. F., Gallily, R., Tchilibon, S., Fride, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2004). A novel synthetic, nonpsychoactive cannabinoid acid (HU-320) with antiinflammatory properties in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Arthritis and rheumatism, 50(3), 985–998. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.20050
  7. Parker, L. A., Rock, E. M., & Limebeer, C. L. (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1411–1422. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x [7]
  8. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0034 [8]
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Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

Best CBD Oil for Cats With Cancer: Reviews & Guide (July 2021)

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Early research suggests that CBD can alleviate some symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy, and even slow tumor growth.

Unfortunately, the CBD market is filled with thousands of products of varying quality. Many contain less CBD than advertised, while others carry pesticides or other contaminants.

That’s why we compared more than 30 pet CBD oils and treats based on their third-party lab test results, hemp quality, potency, formula, customer reviews, price, and other criteria.

Read on for our picks of the best CBD oil for cats with cancer, plus a science-based guide on using CBD for this debilitating condition.

Best CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer

CBD Terminology

  • Terpenes: aromatic plant compounds with a wide variety of beneficial properties (1).
  • Minor cannabinoids: CBN, CBG, and other beneficial cannabinoids found in smaller amounts than CBD. For hemp, THC also counts as a minor cannabinoid.
  • Hemp: non-intoxicating cannabis variety with high CBD and low THC levels (less than 0.3%).
  • Full-spectrum: whole-plant hemp extract containing multiple cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. This form of CBD is about 4 times more potent than pure CBD (2).
  • Broad-spectrum: whole-plant hemp extract similar to full-spectrum CBD, but with THC removed (may contain trace amounts).
  • CBD isolate: pure CBD with all other hemp compounds removed.

Receptra Naturals Pet Tincture (Best Overall)

Pros:

  • Two potencies
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Great price
  • Extensive third-party testing
  • Organic Colorado hemp source
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • No flavored options

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Our top pick is Receptra Naturals, a company recognized for its high quality. Its pet CBD oil is an excellent choice for cats with cancer.

This tincture is made with full-spectrum CBD, which means it contains multiple beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. Full-spectrum products are more effective than those containing a pure form of CBD (isolate).

It’s available in two strengths (16 mg/ml and 25 mg/ml) although we recommend the stronger version since cancer is a serious condition. This tincture provides a total of 480-750 mg of CBD in a 30 ml bottle.

Receptra Naturals grows its organic hemp on a small family farm in Colorado. Its products are comprehensively tested by a third-party lab.

Receptra’s full-spectrum pet CBD oil costs $0.09 per mg of CBD. As far as pet CBD tinctures go, this price is considered below-average.

Lazarus Naturals CBD Pet Tincture (Best Value)

Pros:

  • Exceptionally low price
  • Full-spectrum CBD and isolate versions
  • Extensive third-party testing
  • Multiple bottle sizes
  • Organic, high-quality Oregon hemp source

Cons:

  • Only one potency option

If you’re looking to get the best value, we recommend Lazarus Naturals.

This company is known for offering high-quality products at unbeatable prices. Its pet CBD oil costs only $0.03 per mg of CBD, which is far below the price of most competitor brands.

These third-party tested tinctures are made with full-spectrum CBD. You can choose the classic or salmon flavor.

Lazarus Naturals’ pet CBD tincture contains 300-2400 mg of CBD and has a potency of 20 mg/ml, which is fairly high for cats. It comes in multiple bottle sizes (30 ml, 60 ml, 120 ml) and has a salmon flavor.

Better yet, the CBD is derived from organic hemp grown in Oregon which comes from Lazarus Naturals’ own farm. An employee-owned company, Lazarus Naturals is known for its excellent quality, transparency, and commitment to low prices.

NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Pet CBD Oil (Strongest)

Pros:

  • Very high potency
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Great price
  • Extensive third-party testing
  • Organic Colorado hemp source
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • No flavored options

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Because cancer is such a serious condition, you may need to use a high-potency product to provide your feline friend with optimal relief. For these cases, we recommend the pet CBD oil from NuLeaf Naturals, an established brand known for its high quality.

Its pet tincture has a high potency of 60 mg/ml, which is ideal for serious conditions such as cancer. It comes with a total of 300-1800 mg of CBD in a 5–30 ml bottle.

This CBD oil is made with full-spectrum CBD, which means it contains multiple beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes. Full-spectrum products are more effective than those containing a pure form of CBD (isolate).

Like all NuLeaf products, this pet tincture is sourced from organic Colorado hemp. It also undergoes comprehensive third-party testing.

Nuleaf’s full-spectrum pet CBD oil has a per-mg price of $0.08–0.10, which is cheaper than average for pet tinctures.

Cannimal Eva’s Blend (Best Formula)

Pros:

  • Anti-cancer formula
  • Whole-plant hemp extract
  • Third-party tested
  • Organic Colorado hemp source
  • Free shipping

Cons:

  • Lacking third-party tests for contaminants

The Eva’s blend tincture from Cannimal is one of the only pet CBD products formulated specifically for cancer. Although it was inspired by a dog suffering from cancer, there’s no reason it can’t be used for cats.

This CBD oil contains dried turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor), which has been used in cancer treatment in Japan for decades. Research studies show that it can improve immune system function in cancer sufferers and may potentially suppress tumor growth (3, 4).

Cannimal’s 50 ml tincture is available in four strengths containing 150, 250, 1000, or 2000 mg of CBD derived from organic, Colorado-grown hemp. It’s made with broad-spectrum CBD, a type of hemp extract which contains multiple beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes but no THC.

Cannimal’s tincture comes with a gel pump to make it easier to administer to pets and a Miron glass bottle, which extends CBD’s shelf-life by protecting against sunlight.

It costs $0.08–0.27 per mg of CBD. That’s a fairly reasonable price for such a unique, cancer-focused product.

Holistapet CBD Cat Treats (Best Treats)

Pros:

  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Affordable price ($0.17 per mg)
  • Cat-friendly flavor
  • Third-party tested
  • Free shipping
  • Organic Colorado hemp source

Cons:

  • No third-party tests for contaminants

Although CBD oil tinctures are the ideal form of CBD for cancer, infused treats can be an effective addition. Our top pick for this category is Holistapet, a company dedicated to CBD products for pets.

The company’s CBD cat treats contain 2 mg of full-spectrum CBD each. By comparison, the vast majority of cat treats are made with CBD isolate, a pure form of CBD. Full-spectrum hemp extract is the ideal form of CBD for cancer because it offers stronger benefits than CBD isolate.

These edible treats have a pleasant salmon flavor and contain only natural ingredients. There are 75 pieces per bag, for a total of 150 mg of CBD, sourced from organic Colorado hemp.

Holistapet’s CBD cat treats cost $0.17 per mg of CBD. This price is similarly to most CBD-infused pet treats.

Buying Guide for CBD Oil Products for Cat Cancer

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the more than 100 cannabinoids present in cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the best-known cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t make you high.

CBD offers a wide variety of health benefits for both humans and pets, such as reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and alleviating pain and inflammation.

There’s also some evidence that it can help with cancer and other debilitating conditions. CBD is typically sourced from hemp, a legal type of cannabis with low (<0.3%) THC levels.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is the most popular type of CBD product. It consists of two major ingredients:

  1. CBD extract: cannabinoid-rich oil extracted from the flowers and other above-ground parts of hemp. Cannabidiol is the main active compound in this extract but it can also contain other cannabinoids and many other beneficial compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, and fatty acids.
  2. Carrier oil: a plant-based oil that helps the body absorb CBD and makes it easier to dose. Coconut-derived MCT oil is the most common carrier oil.

CBD oil can also contain flavoring and other active ingredients.

Keep in mind that CBD oil is not the same thing as hemp seed oil, which is cold-pressed from hemp seeds, not the plant. This oil does not contain any CBD or other cannabinoids.

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Benefits of CBD for Cat Cancer

CBD has many beneficial properties that can improve the lives of cats suffering from cancer. There’s evidence that:

  • CBD can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation
  • CBD can reduce pain associated with cancer and chemotherapy
  • CBD can alleviate nausea and vomiting caused by cancer and chemotherapy
  • CBD can also help with allergic reactions that may be caused by some chemotherapy drugs
  • CBD may even be able to directly slow cancer tumor growth

Let’s take a closer look at specific research studies highlighting these effects.

CBD and Cancer: The Research Evidence

There’s a growing volume of research demonstrating the benefits of CBD and other cannabinoids for cancer. For starters, there’s evidence that CBD has direct anti-cancer effects that can slow tumor growth: (5)

  • Several petri dish studies found that CBD had anticancer effects against leukemia cells (6, 7)
  • A 2006 study found that CBD suppressed breast cancer growth better than four other cannabinoids, while a 2018 study found that it promoted the death of breast cancer cells (8, 9)
  • A 2012 study reported that CBD reduced tumors and had other beneficial effects in mice with colon cancer (10)
  • According to a 2015 review paper, animal studies suggest that CBD may slow the progression of breast, lung, prostate, colon, and other types of cancer (11 )

Furthermore, there’s evidence that CBD can alleviate symptoms caused by cancer and chemotherapy, such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions:

  • One 2013 study reported that CBD reduced pain caused by Paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug (12 )
  • A 2010 clinical study found that the combination of THC and CBD relieved pain in cancer sufferers better than THC by itself (13)
  • A 2002 study found that CBD alleviate nausea in rats, leading the researchers to conclude that it “may have therapeutic value in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea” (14)
  • A 2019 study found that CBD reduced inflammation in mice with allergic asthma, suggesting that it may help ease allergic creations to chemotherapy drugs (15)

Although more research specifically looking at feline cancer is needed, the current evidence suggests that CBD can improve the quality of life of animals suffering from cancer and potentially even slow cancer tumor growth.

How Can CBD Oil Help Cats With Cancer

CBD produces most of its anti-cancer effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is about 600 million years old and present in humans, cats, dogs, and many other animals (16).

The ECS regulates major bodily processes such as pain, immunity, sleep, mood, digestion, cognition, and appetite to maintain an internal state of balance called hemostasis. It consists of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids (cannabinoids made by the body), and enzymes that help break and build these compounds.

Although the ECS in cats and other animals has not been studied extensively, we do know that it functions similar to how it works in humans.

Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system can help with cancer in many ways:

  • Cannabinoid receptors affect cell survival and other processes that hold the key to suppressing cancer (17)
  • The endocannabinoid anandamide has been shown to promote the destruction of cancer cells, reduce the migration of cancer cells, and prevent the formation of new blood vessels by tumors (18, 19)
  • Cannabinoid receptors can also stimulate the immune response against cancer (17 )
  • The endocannabinoid system’s regulatory effects mean that it can help with pain, inflammation, nausea, and other symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment

CBD helps support these and other functions of the endocannabinoid system by elevating the levels of endocannabinoids (20).

In addition, CBD has been demonstrated to help with symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy in other ways, such as:

  • Interacting with other parts of the body that regulate pain and inflammation, such as glycine receptors and adenosine (21, 22)
  • Interacting with serotonin receptors, which may explain CBD’s anti-nausea and anti-vomiting effects (23)

The bottom line: cats have an endocannabinoid system just like humans, and it can respond to CBD and produce beneficial effects.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

CBD is considered safe for cats and other animals. Although one study did mention increased licking and head shaking in some cats who were given CBD oil, there were no serious side effects reported (24).

Aside from that, numerous studies of CBD in dogs and mice have also found that it’s a generally safe substance with few side effects.

Additionally, CBD has been shown to have few and minor side effects in people, such as tiredness, dry mouth, and diarrhea, so it’s possible that similar effects may occur in cats and other animals (25).

The World Health Organization (WHO) concluded in its 2018 report that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile” (26).

Nonetheless, we recommend consulting your vet before giving your cat CBD. If available, a qualified vet is always the best source of knowledge.

Tips to Maximize The Benefits of CBD Oil in Cats

If you’re interested in trying out CBD oil to help your cat’s cancer, here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Opt for full-spectrum CBD products over pure CBD (isolate). Full-spectrum products offer greater benefits thanks to the entourage effect (1).
  • You may need to find pet CBD products with a higher potency than normal for optimal relief. Look for products with a potency of 4 mg/ml or higher.
  • Only buy from companies that provide third-party lab test results confirming the potency and safety of their CBD products.
  • Try to apply CBD oil directly under the tongue or at least the mouth rather than adding it to your cat’s food, as this will result in greater effects due to greater absorption.
  • CBD oil is far more effective than edible cat treats. Edible CBD products should only be used in addition to CBD oil.

CBD Oil Dosage for Feline Cancer

Just like with people, there’s no ideal dosage of CBD that will work for all cats with cancer. There are simply too many factors, such as the severity of the symptoms, the benefits you’re looking to achieve, the weight of your cat, and the type of product you’re using.

The best-case scenario is to talk with a veterinarian knowledgeable about CBD or cannabis to suggest the right dosage for your cat.

If that’s not possible, start with the dose recommended by your product. From there, you can assess how your cat responds and gradually increase the dosage over several days and weeks until you see the desired effects. Be patient and consistent as the effects of CBD can be subtle and build up over time.

As a general guideline, doses of 0.25–0.5 mg of CBD per lb of body weight are sufficient for cats. However, since cancer is a serious condition, you may need to use higher dosages.

How To Give Your Cat CBD Oil

Although CBD oil can be simply added to your cat’s food, we highly recommend using the sublingual (under-the-tongue) method, or at the very least applying it directly to the mouth.

While your cat is unlikely to cooperate, this method of administration has greater benefits because the CBD can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels in the mouth.

By comparison, oral products have notoriously low absorption because they have to pass through the digestive system.

CBD Oil vs. Edible Treats for Feline Cancer

Aside from tinctures, cat CBD products also come in other forms such as edible treats. Although such products are also beneficial, they are not nearly as effective as standard CBD oil due to low bioavailability (absorption).

Simply put, when CBD is ingested, much of it is lost in the digestive tract before reaching systemic circulation. In fact, research studies estimate that only about 6–19% of CBD that’s taken in an oral form reaches the blood (27, 28).

Due to this, it’s best to only use cat treats as an addition to CBD oil rather than a replacement.

CBD Oil vs. Standard Cat Cancer Treatments

Feline cancer is treated in a similar way to cancer in humans. Surgery is the most common option for cancer-related lumps or bumps and is the most likely to cure the disease.

Meanwhile, more aggressive types of cancer are typically treated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This includes lymphoma, the most common type of cancer in cats.

Unfortunately, the survival rate for cats undergoing these treatments is lower than with surgery, and treatment is focused primarily on improving quality of life rather than a cure. Additionally, the costs of all of these treatments are not cheap, and can easily cost upwards of $5000.

In that sense, CBD can be a cheaper alternative that can also be used alongside standard medical therapy. Still, we want to stress that while CBD is promising, there isn’t yet enough evidence to call it a reliable treatment for cat cancer.

Can I Give My Cat “Human” CBD Oil?

You absolutely can use regular CBD oil for your pet. After all, the two main ingredients, CBD extract and carrier oil, are the same in both pet and human products.

Having said that, regular “human” CBD oil is much more potent than tinctures designed for cats. Due to this, we recommend paying close attention to the potency of your oil and using small doses.

References

Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.

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