Should Dogs Use Cannabis? 5 Surprising Ways Cannabis May Help Canines

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Cannabis has gained more and more attention for its potential health benefits in recent years. But it looks like humans aren't the only ones to get help from this popular plant. So should dogs use cannabis for health reasons, too? It looks like CBD just might boost your dog's well-being.

That doesn't mean you should serve Fido a bag of edibles right away, though. "Similar to human medicine, there is extremely limited data on the medical benefits and side effects of marijuana products in companion animals," according to the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). Although its initial outcomes may sound positive, the current info about dogs' reactions to cannabis are mostly anecdotal. In other words, it's important to take this info for what it is, and not to ignore the current lack of rigorous studies on the subject.

Plus, it's also important to get the terminology correct when it comes to pot and dogs. For starters, cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, and it's generally the part responsible for health and wellness uses, as noted by High Times. It does not get you (or your dog) high. So if you or your canine buddy uses a cannabis product with CBD, then the effect isn't the same as smoking a joint.

As far as the legal issues are concerned, CBD products can be sort of a loophole for places that aren't 420-friendly yet. For instance, my city has not legalized weed, but there is a CBD store, all decorated with mandalas and groovy colors, opening right around the block soon. You'll need to learn how the laws work in your particular area before getting CBD for your pup, though.

The distinction between weed and CBD is also important for your dog's health. Ingesting marijuana can cause breathing, balance, and blood pressure problems in dogs, as noted in Canine Journal. As far as CBD is concerned, though, it just might help your dog life his best life. If you're curious, ask your vet about whether this might be a good idea for your own best friend.

1General Pain Relief

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For dogs who face any number of health conditions, cannabis oil might offer some tremendous relief. "The cannabinoids interact with the receptors in the body and modulate things like pain, anxiety, and nausea," said Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of pet cannabis company VETCBD, in PetMD. Provided you use the proper dosage, there aren't any damaging side effects, either.

2Sprain & Strain Treatment

In addition to chronic pain conditions, CBD hemp may be used by vets to treat sprains, torn ligaments, and even broken bones, as explained in Dogs Naturally Magazine. It's used like any other medication to treat the pain and help reduce swelling.

3Anxiety Treatment

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Just like people, dogs can feel greatly affected by anxiety. And anecdotal evidence suggests CBD products can ease anxiety in dogs, including the stress caused by separation or travel, according to Preventive Vet. It just might help your canine find some peace of mind.

4Seizure & Epilepsy Treatment

Does your dog have epilepsy? CBD may help reduce the occurrence of seizures for those dealing with epilepsy, as early human and animal studies from the American Epilepsy Society found.

5Appetite Booster

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If your dog's appetite is waning for whatever reason, this just might do the trick. Appetite stimulation is another potential benefit of cannabis, as noted by the National Cancer Institute. Although more research is still needed, it looks like CBD can offer many benefits for your pup.