Dog owners are starting to use cannabidiol, or CBD, oil to help their animals with various illnesses ranging from arthritis to anxiety and even cancer. While people often think of marijuana and CBD as being one and the same, there is a difference. Cannabis oil comes from the marijuana plant, but this doesn’t mean that people are making their animals high. Instead, they’re giving their pets the plant’s helpful properties.

What is CBD?

Cannabis oil is a liquid taken from marijuana plants. Dr. Tim Shu, the CEO and founder of VETCBD, a California pet cannabis company, spoke about it to PetMD. He said, “The marijuana flower contains trichomes, which are glands that have essential oils. Once the glands are separated from the plant, they can be formulated to find the ideal ratio of cannabinoids.” The plants contain 80 different kinds of cannabinoids including THC and CBD.

When different cannabinoids are used together, it works better than when they’re used separately. Shu refers to it as the “entourage effect.” When hemp products are produced separately, they have less than 0.3 percent THC. The owner and medical director of the California Montclair Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Gary Richter, confirmed that CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects on animals as long as the product is dosed correctly. He said, “Depending on the nature of the product, if it contains little or no THC, then the dog is not going to get high.”

A Common Condition

Canine arthritis is a very common condition in large breed dogs. In fact, statistics show that it affects as many as one in four dogs. Since there are more than 89 million dogs residing in households in the United States, there are somewhere around 22 million dogs suffering from arthritis in the U.S. everyday. Despite the condition’s common occurrence, veterinarians still don’t completely understand joint pain and arthritis.

The term “arthritis” is basically an umbrella term that is used to describe a group of more than 100 diseases that cause joints to degenerate and bring on joint pain. All types of arthritis cause animals to experience chronic joint inflammation, which results in stiffness and pain in the afflicted areas.

How Does CBD Treat Arthritis in Large Breed Dogs?

CBD can offer relief from joint pain and the symptoms of arthritis. According to studies, CBD may relieve inflammation, and animals often handle it better than they do other standard medicines. When a pet owner gives his or her animal CBD, it starts working with the endocannabinoid system. Every mammal has this system in their body.

The endocannabinoid system is mainly formed from two types of cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2. These receptors are in the brain and in other places inside the body. When CBD interacts with the CB1 and the CB2 receptors, the substance produces helpful effects.

Arthritis pain can cause a dog to stop eating. Since CBD can decrease the pain, an arthritic dog may regain his or her appetite, and this can improve the animal’s overall quality of life.

Are There Negative Side Effects?

The only side effect reported is that some dogs may feel more tired than usual, but this is rare, and most pet owners would prefer a sleepy dog than one that’s experiencing a great deal of pain. Dogs, cats and humans have the same endocannabinoid system, which means that animals respond to CBD in the same way. However, dogs are more sensitive to the effects of CBD, so they require a smaller dose than humans do.

CBD for Arthritis

Large breed dog owners who are considering giving their furry arthritic family member CBD should make sure that they’re giving their pet the right amount. CBD is nontoxic, which means that it’s not possible to overdose on the substance but using the proper dose will make it more effective. With the availability of CBD, there’s no reason for dogs to be in pain.