Question: Can I give my pet CBD?
Answer: The short answer is yes, so long as it is specifically formulated for pets. However there are certain considerations to be aware of which we’ve explained in more detail below.
If you would like to order CBD for your pet or have further questions please call Kelley-Ross Pharmacy at (206) 324-6990.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol and it is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. It is different from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is known for causing psychoactive effects. CBD does not cause psychoactive effects, meaning it doesn’t produce a “high”. In the past several years, it has been increasingly studied for its medical properties. There is still a lot of unknown information about its use, but more data is slowly becoming available.
What can CBD do for pets?
Possible health benefits that have been reported include relieving pain, reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and treating epilepsy, along with others. So far, the FDA has approved CBD to be used to treat anorexia, lack of appetite, and epilepsy in humans. There are no FDA approved uses for CBD in animals.
Current studies are looking at CBD use in dogs for epilepsy, osteoarthritis, cancer, and postsurgical pain; in cats for pain, anxiety, and urinary tract disease; in horses for arthritis and laminitis; and in birds for proventricular dilatation disease. As more data comes out, we will get a better idea of what CBD can do. One study so far has shown that dogs with arthritis may get similar pain relief with CBD as with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Another study found that CBD, when added to anticonvulsant medications, did not help decrease seizures in epileptic dogs. Clearly, more data is needed so that we can get a more complete understanding of what all CBD can do.
Is CBD safe for pets?
So far, it appears that CBD is well tolerated in pets. In the studies that have been done, CBD oil and other products have shown to be safe and have few side effects. The most common side effects that have been seen are diarrhea and increased ALP (alkaline phosphate, a liver enzyme).
The primary safety concerns associated with CBD are the pet getting too high of a dose or using human products that have other ingredients in them that are unsafe in animals. It is important when giving CBD to your pet to only use pet-specific products, and to keep it out of reach from them so that they can’t get into it. Overdoses are usually caused if there is any THC in the product and the pet gets too much. Signs that you gave your pet too much include tiredness, clumsiness, dripping urine, and vomiting. If you think your pet has overdosed or may have ingested human CBD or other cannabis-related products, contact your vet immediately.
It is also important to note that the FDA does not regulate supplements in the same way that drugs are regulated, so there may be inconsistencies in manufacturing and packaging procedures. Some products have been found to have different amounts of CBD and THC in them than what is reported on the label. When purchasing supplements like CBD, it is best to look for products that claim to follow Good Manufacturing Practices, have a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), or have public access to the Certificate of Analysis so that the contents can be verified.
How should I use CBD if I want to try it for my pet?
We recommend contacting your veterinarian and discussing CBD before starting it in your pet, especially if your pet is on other medications. Because there is still limited data about the use of CBD, it is best for a veterinarian to discuss the risks and benefits of using these products with you.
There are no established dosing regimens for CBD use in pets, but most products have a recommended dose listed on the product label. When starting CBD in your pet, it is best to start on the lower end of a recommended dose (possibly even lower than recommended) and slowly titrating up, so that you don’t end up giving more than necessary.
Let’s look at a pet-specific CBD supplement called Ananda Pets Full Spectrum Hemp Extract. This product has been verified by a Certificate of Analysis to ensure the contents are of high quality. It also has bacon flavoring to help make it more appetizing to your pet. Below is a recommended dosing chart for your animal based on size for the specific product we carry:
Ananda Pets Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, 300 mg/30 mL
|Weight of Pet (lb)
|Number of Drops (for Ananda Pets Full Spectrum)
|Less than 5 lbs
|20 drops (approx. half dropper)
|35 drops (approx. full dropper)
For more information on CBD use in humans click here.
All of the Kelley-Ross Polyclinic employees are knowledgeable in the use of CBD. Please feel free to call us at 206-324-6990 to ask us any questions you have!
Prepared by Heather Kim PharmD Candidate 2021
- Hawn R. Trends in your inbox: The ABCs of CBD – what to know now, what to do, what comes next. AAHA Publications. 2020 Feb. https://www.aaha.org/publications/newstat/articles/2020-02/the-abcs-of-cbd-what-to-know-now-what-to-do-what-comes-next/
- McGrath S, Bartner LR, Rao S, Kogan LR, Hellyer PW. A report of adverse effects associated with the administration of cannabidiol in healthy dogs. AHVMA. 2018: 52. https://www.ahvma.org/wp-content/uploads/AHVMA-2018-V52-CannabisAdverseEffects.pdf
- McGrath S, Bartner LR, Rao S, Packer RA, Gustafson DL. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019 Jun 1; 254(11):1301-1308. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31067185/
- Gamble LJ, Boesch JM, Frye CW, Schwark WS, Mann S, Wolfe L, Brown H, Berthelsen ES, Wakshlag JJ. Pharmacokinetics, safety, and clinical efficacy of cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritis dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2018 Jul 23; 5:165. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full