CBD and Pets: Early Research and What You Need to Know

We’d do anything for our pets. When a new pet product is released, especially one that can be consumed, we do our research. Such may be the case for cannabidiol (CBD), a compound of cannabis. CBD pet products are growing in popularity and, as a pet owner, you may be interested in the efficacy and safety of a cannabis-derived pet product. 

Through research and testimonials, we’ve discovered the potential of CBD as an anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory. CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, of numerous physiological functions. Recently, it was discovered that most vertebrates have an endocannabinoid system, prompting the question: can pets benefit from CBD, too? 

First and foremost, we are discussing CBD pet products derived from hemp, not marijuana. Hemp is a low-THC plant and hemp-derived products must contain less than 0.3% THC. This is a trace amount which will not get your pet high. Hemp-derived CBD pet products are safe and legal to administer to pets. 


Research on CBD and Pets

Based on testimonials, CBD is commonly given to pets to help with anxiety, joint pain, and seizures. Although limited, research is beginning to support these claims. There are a few studies on CBD and pets currently underway. 

At Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Dr. Stephanie McGrath is overseeing clinical trials using CBD to treat dogs with epilepsy and osteoarthritis. McGrath, a neurologist, released the initial findings of the epilepsy study in July. McGrath found 89 percent of dogs who received CBD had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. 

“Overall, what we found seems very promising,” she said. 

Dr. Dawn Boothe, director of clinical pharmacology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, is also studying CBD as a treatment for epilepsy in dogs. Results are not yet available. 

Although cannabidiol is not considered marijuana and can be used for research purposes under the 2014 Farm Bill, access to support and funding is limited. As laws change, we expect to see an increase in research regarding CBD and pets. In the meantime, there are many positive testimonials about CBD and pets to refer to. 


Giving Your Pet CBD: What You Need to Know 

While veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe cannabis products, it is important to discuss CBD with your veterinarian before administering it to your pet. This will reduce the risk of potential side effects and drug interactions. 

As with CBD products for human consumption, we always recommend performing thorough research on a product before purchasing. 

First, determine the source of the hemp. Most reputable brands source from farms in Europe and the United States, as they have a high standard for growing hemp. Second, confirm the manufacturer uses the CO2 method of extraction: the highest standard of extraction and the safest and cleanest method. 

A certificate of analysis (COA) will confirm the levels of cannabinoids such as CBD and THC and trace compounds in a product. Ask the retailer for a COA if they do not provide it readily. 

Finally, the CBD product you choose should be formulated for your pet. CBD products for humans could contain ingredients that cause digestive upset in pets. There are several CBD products specifically formulated for pets and contain ingredients that are both safe and beneficial to your pet’s system. 


We want the best for our pets and CBD is a safe alternative for our best companions. Do you have any additional questions about CBD and pets? Have you found success giving your pet CBD? Leave a comment below!

Leave a Comment