Like for humans, CBD and hemp oils have long been used in traditional communities to treat pain in dogs resulting from a range of illnesses including cancer and muscular injuries.
By interacting with the dog’s endocannabinoid system, the CBD can help to effectively manage many different types of pain. For this reason, CBD is growing in popularity as a tool to improve the quality of life in dogs or as a dual treatment method with more traditional therapies.
For dogs with cancer, some studies have suggested that CBD can even lead to a process called cancer apoptosis, which is essentially the death of the cancer cells. It’s worth noting that CBD as a complete treatment method for cancer has not been proven and the research is in its very early days. Regardless, more traditional cancer treatment methods for dogs can be prohibitively expensive, costing anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 and can involve many of the same negative side effects as in humans, such as vomiting, and loss of appetite.
While more research is needed in this area to fully explore the potential of CBD to cure disease, it remains highly regarded as a form of pain relief.
Why Use CBD Oil for Dogs With Cancer?
Dogs with cancer often eat less food. Treatment, such as radiation or chemotherapy, play a significant role in decreasing their appetite. Fortunately, CBD boosts anandamide, which binds to the CB1 receptors and increases hunger.
Cancer can lead to chronic pain, especially if it's spreading. As the tumor gets larger, it can put pressure on the surrounding region. Some tumors can release chemicals that exacerbate pain in a specific area of the body.
Keep in mind that dogs can also feel pain from cancer treatments. Chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation can cause significant pain and loss of energy for your canine friend.
Luckily, CBD oil can help reduce pain by targeting specific receptors in the body, and it can alter the way the brain reacts to the pain.
Cancer in the bones can lead to joint pain. CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties, which is useful in soothing joint pain.
Dogs going through chemotherapy treatments will most likely experience the side effects of nausea. This is mainly because chemo destroys all the cells in the body, especially the cells that line the GI tract. Luckily, CBD can reduce both nausea and vomiting in dogs receiving chemo.
Are there any risks?
CBD use for dogs, like humans, poses minimal risk. The biggest risks that do exist stem from the lack of regulation surrounding CBD products. Due to the lack of regulation, there are some products on the market that have not undergone adequate testing and not only contain negligible quantities of CBD, also contain higher levels of THC than you may expect. Use of these products may lead to THC toxicity in your dog. Essentially, they may get “high”.
As vets legally cannot prescribe CBD as a treatment option for pain or illnesses in dogs, many owners are effectively going in blind when choosing to dose their animals. The most important thing when looking for a CBD product for your pet is to do your research. Look thoroughly at reviews and begin by testing a small amount to make sure the product is what it claims to be. Listed below are some possible side effects. Keep in mind that this would typically be a result of a very large dose of CBD, if at all.
Related: Should Your Pet Take CBD Oil Everyday?
Potential Side Effects of CBD
CBD reduces saliva production, so it's essential to have plenty of water available for your dog.
Since CBD has a calming effect, your dog might feel sleepy.
Lack of coordination
Since your dog might be drowsy after taking CBD, he or she may appear clumsy.
Lower blood pressure
CBD can cause lower blood pressure because of its parasympathetic effects, which may cause the dog to feel dizzy and lightheaded.