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cannabis for dogs

The recent study, published in the journal PAIN, looked at whether different doses and formulations of CBD might help dogs suffering from osteoarthritis – and the results suggested that it could.

Elizabeth Mironchik-Frankenberg, a veterinarian and founder of Veterinary Cannabis Consultants, also adds that “CBD can interfere with the metabolism of other drugs, so this needs to be taken into consideration.”

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Halpert, who designed the experiment, explains that in the placebo and lower dose groups, the owners reported their dogs to be “just as miserable as before” and veterinarians didn’t see any improvement in the dog’s mobility. But in the two higher dose groups “almost every dog saw significant improvement in their conditions, in regards to reduced pain and increased ability to move around. And the dogs seemed happier and were able to do more.”

Still, other experts disagree. Stephen Cital, a veterinary anesthesia & pain management specialist points out this study didn’t test the CBD levels in the blood after dogs ingested these two CBD options. They just looked at the outcomes in the dogs’ behavior. He’s not convinced liposomes make a difference.

Even two weeks after the dogs stopped taking the CBD, those in the higher dose groups were still showing improvement. “This would tell us that the CBD was in fact addressing the underlying inflammatory issues” Halpert explains. “It wasn’t just masking the pain”

In the 2016 survey, nearly half of 282 respondents said hemp products helped ease anxiety in some way. Even more anecdotally, Jeffrey Powers, DVM, told Consumer Reports that CBD helps calm his Saint Bernard's noise anxiety. However, a 2020 study on CBD's effects on firework-related anxiety wasn't as promising.

CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from cannabis plants. However, unlike marijuana, it doesn't contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC. That's what's responsible for marijuana's high.

Usually, they'll wait until the very end of the consultation to bring it up, and Sinn knows what's coming. After all, the CBD pet market is primed to grow massively over the next several years as it catches up with human CBD use.  

Anxiety

Another complicating factor: CBD products fall under the laws of wherever you live. In some areas, your veterinarian might not even be allowed legally to talk with you about a CBD product. They aren't prescribed, so in most cases dog owners are on their own looking for a CBD product.

"You're going to ask me about CBD, aren't you?" Sinn said in a lecture she gave last year. 

"Accessing the product is not as much of a hurdle as knowing what's in it," Robinson tells Daily Paws. The largely unregulated market means it's difficult to guarantee how much CBD is in a product, and what other additives might be part of the makeup. (More on that later.)

Maybe! This is where limited research and anecdotal evidence converge, so it's best to approach your vet about this. Keep in mind that there are many variables at play here: the dog, the dog's medication, and the specific CBD product, for instance.