CBD vs. THC for Dogs: What's the Difference?

CBD is growing in popularity due to decreased regulation and increased knowledge. This cannabis compound comes from hemp or marijuana and is associated with a wide range of health benefits. Not only can it help humans, but it’s great for pets - like dogs!


Cannabis plants contain a compound called THC. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive compound often used for recreational purposes. You can find CBD with or without THC. Here at Dope Dog, all of our CBD dog products are THC-free to soothe your dogs while keeping them comfortable. 


With that in mind, we’ll walk you through the difference between CBD and THC so you can stay informed about the dog products you buy.



Introduction to CBD and THC

THC and CBD are both compounds found in cannabis plants. Although they share the same chemical structures, they have different properties. THC is psychoactive, meaning it can produce a high. The euphoric feeling that THC creates makes it ideal for recreational rather than medicinal purposes.


On the other hand, CBD boasts an excellent safety profile because it is not psychoactive. While it does not produce a euphoric effect, the potent compound has proven to be effective in treating physical health complications and other mental health issues.


Related: 3 Things to Look for When Shopping for CBD Oil


Health Benefits of CBD for Dogs

Just like us, our dogs suffer from various health complications and pain issues. That means you can use CBD oil to treat these health issues and help minimize their discomfort. Research studies show that your pet can feel amazingly good after using CBD products. Common health benefits of CBD oil for dogs include:

Treating Anxiety

Dogs can suffer from anxiety due to separation. Loud and unexpected noises like fireworks and thunderstorms can also trigger this emotional condition. Evidence suggests that using CBD can help treat anxiety because of its soothing properties. Therefore, you can calm your four-legged friend and reduce the severity of a panic attack with CBD products.


Treating Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the most common health issues that dogs suffer from. Epilepsy is characterized by overexcitation of the brain signals, which can result in a seizure. The frequency and severity of this condition varies depending on the form of epilepsy. While conventional drugs can minimize the effects of an epilepsy attack, CBD seems to be an excellent preventative measure. It helps to significantly reduce the severity of epileptic episodes in dogs and soothe them before it happens.


Related: A CBD Success Story - Epilepsy


Easing Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome

Several animal studies show that dogs also suffer from IBS. They have a digestive system that sometimes gets inflamed. However, CBD has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It can effectively reduce the symptoms of IBS and help to restore the normal healthy motility of the gut. Its antibiotic properties also make it an effective remedy for bacterial infections.


Managing Pain

Both young and old dogs can suffer from various forms of pain. Physical discomfort can result from injuries, old age, or as a side effect from more serious health conditions. Research shows that cannabinoids are effective pain relievers. Ongoing studies aim to establish the full effectiveness of CBD oil for pain; if successful, these studies can prove that this compound is a valid form of painkillers. If your pet is suffering from the following painful conditions, use CBD to ease them.


  •   Neuropathy
  •   Oxidative stress which leads to muscle degeneration
  •   Nerve-related form of pain
  •   Pain caused by premature aging
  •   Pain caused by general inflammation


Protecting the Nervous System

CBD can help to manage neurodegenerative diseases because of its neuroprotective properties. This means that you can use it to treat nerve and spine issues in dogs. Its ability to effectively minimize the chances of toxicity in brain cells makes it one of the best remedies. It’s a fantastic option for senior dogs because it promotes brain cell regeneration.



Reducing the Effects of Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, also affect dogs. However, the cannabis compound can come in handy thanks to the full range of medicinal properties. First, the compound helps to minimize the production of inflammatory cytokines, which normally cause allergies and inflammation. In addition, CBD can also reduce the levels of autoantibodies that are generally found in autoimmune disease. Lastly, it has amazing antioxidant properties that can destroy free radicals. The combined effect of all these properties make it an effective remedy for autoimmune diseases.


Note: CBD helps to ease symptoms from various issues because it tackles them from the root cause, not just the symptoms. 

 

Can You Give Your Dog THC Products?


It’s clear that THC is psychoactive, but can you give it to your dog? Generally, vets recommend THC-free CBD products for dogs. While this compound is associated with euphoria in humans, its side effects in dogs can be significantly extreme. Some of these effects include:


  •   Tense muscles.
  •   Nausea.
  •   Increased hunger pangs.
  •   Drooling.
  •   Drowsiness
  •   Poor coordination
  •   Staggering and difficulty in walking.

Extreme intake of THC products can cause harsh side effects which include:

  • Vomiting
  •   Increased heart rate
  •   Lethargy

Note that THC can also have health benefits. It can help to provide:

  •   Pain relief: THC is a compound with strong analgesic effects. In dogs, it can help to treat neuropathic as well as nociceptive pain.
  •   Neuroprotectant: just like CBD, this compound can also provide neuroprotectants. It can protect and nourish brain cells.
  •   Antiemetic properties: this makes it a better remedy for pets suffering from vomiting or nausea.
  •   Stimulating appetite: THC can stimulate the metabolic system and increase the appetite, which is excellent for pets with problem eating.

Note: although THC also has excellent health benefits, do not give it to your pet without consulting the vet. Due to its psychoactive properties, THC can be riskier for dogs to take than CBD.


Related: Why Do Dogs Pant?



The Best CBD Products for Dogs

There are several CBD products that are designed for dogs. The best ones usually come from industrial hemp. This is because they contain less than 0.3 percent THC; therefore, they are safe for dogs. These products include:


  •   Tinctures: they are for sublingual use. You need to place a few drops of the CBD oil under the dog’s tongue. Tinctures are great for dogs suffering from chronic conditions. This is because they allow you to administer the right dosage with the oil drop. They also provide an instant effect because they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

  •   Treats: they provide the easiest way to giving your dog CBD without the hassle. Treats come in various flavors and are available in multiple dosages and size. This means that you can choose an edible that matches your dog’s medical needs and taste preferences.

  •   Topical creams: they are specifically designed for external use. Therefore, they are useful for treating dogs suffering from a variety of skin conditions. Plus, you can use it to manage muscle ashes, including autoimmune diseases like arthritis.

  •   Capsules: This is another excellent alternative edibles. You can give your dog capsules just the way you would normally do with other drugs. You can place the capsule inside a treat, snack, or food.


Note: the best mode of delivery depends on the effect you want to attain. For example, if your dog is suffering from severe conditions such as epilepsy and gastrointestinal issues, then an oral product is the best.



Factors that Influence CBD Dosage for Dogs


It’s not easy to determine the right dosage for your dog. This is because the FDA doesn’t regulate the selling of CBD products. As a result, there is no universal recommended dosage. Ask your vet just to be sure, but here are some of the elements that generally influence CBD dosage.


  •   Type of product: Keep in mind that dosage varies significantly depending on the type of product. For instance, two CBD treats may have the same amount of CBD as a capsule. If you are using capsules, you will need more drops to attain the same amount.

  •   Your pet’s size: the size of the dog, especially the weight, can be significantly influenced. What this means is that bigger dogs will need more CBD, while smaller dogs will require a lower dosage.

  •   Severity of the medical condition: generally, mild conditions require moderate dosage, but severe or chronic condition need a high concentration of CBD content.



The Safety of CBD Products for Dogs

It’s clear that cannabidiol has a positive impact on dogs. It helps to enhance the mobility of dogs suffering from arthritis. Its ability to treat underlying medical conditions and sooth the body makes it an effective remedy for sleep disorders and many others. Despite all the health benefits, CBD still has side effects that can happen. These side effects include:


  •   Vomiting
  •   Excessive panting
  •   Poor body balance
  •   Poor motor coordination
  •   Incontinence


The Bottom Line

Both CBD and THC are compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. However, if you want a quality CBD product, you need to ensure that it has less than 0.3 percent of THC. THC is a psychoactive compound that can result in harsh health effects. On the other hand, CBD oil helps to improve the general health of the pet due to its multifaceted properties. With antioxidants, neuroprotectivity, anti-anxiety, and anti-inflammatory and antidepressant properties, it’s a great way to soothe your pets. 


 With that in mind, if you have an anxious or sick dog, feel free to check out some CBD edibles, oils, and shampoo.


Related: 10 High Fiber Foods For Your Dog

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