What To Know Before Giving Your Pet CBD

This article by Suzannah Weiss was originally published on Weedmaps, and appears here with permission.

Pets are family, and their humans want to do everything they can to help them. So, as more people find relief from various physical and mental ailments through cannabidiol (CBD), it’s only natural that they’d want to allow their pets the same healing.

A number of CBD brands, such as Elixinol, Extract Labs, and Nature’s Script are now offering pet CBD oil and edibles. Some companies, such as Pet Relief and MediPets are dedicated to CBD for animals.

One of the latter brands is VetCBD, a California-based company founded by veterinarian Dr. Tim Shu. A graduate of Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Shu practiced emergency, critical care, and general veterinary medicine before founding the company in 2015. We asked him what pet owners should know about animal CBD before giving it to their pets.

Q: Do cats and dogs have endocannabinoid systems? If so, how do they differ from humans?

A: Yes. In fact, all animals have endocannabinoid systems — mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles. There are species differences — for example, dogs have a higher concentration of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum portion of their brain compared with other species. This means they are more sensitive to cannabinoids that activate CB1 receptors, like THC. Dogs can still benefit from the therapeutic properties of THC, but in order to be utilized safely, it needs to be dosed and formulated with regards to their increased sensitivity.

Q: Are there any safety risks associated with giving pets CBD, or any animals it should not be given to?

A: CBD has been shown to be very safe across a number of species. In our experience, we’ve seen a number of species safely benefit from it, including dogs, cats, horses, pigs, rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, and rats. There can be a theoretical concern of combining CBD with medications that have narrow therapeutic windows, as CBD can inhibit some liver enzymes that are involved in metabolizing certain medications. This may cause the levels of some …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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