CBD: Can It Ease Your Dog's Joint Pain?

If you're a parent of an older dog, you're likely noticing he or she isn't as spry as in earlier days, or perhaps your furry friend has had difficulty jumping up on the couch with you. Pain due to arthritis in the joints is common in aging dogs. But just because it's a natural part of the aging process doesn't mean your furry friend has to be in pain every day.

One remedy that's becoming increasingly popular is CBD oil. Although there have been few research studies done yet, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that indicates CBD can ease your dog's pain. So what exactly is this substance that is showing so much promise in human medicine, and can it also be safely used in veterinary medicine?

What Is CBD?

CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. As opposed to the other familiar cannabinoid present in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties, so it won't make your dog high. Although both CBD and THC have been shown to have therapeutic properties, there has been little scientific research due to their legal status. That is changing now that CBD is legal in all 50 states.

How Does CBD Work?

Humans and animals have cannabinoid receptors throughout their bodies on various cell surfaces. Cannabinoids, including both THC and CBD, bind with these receptors and send messages to the body to do certain things. These messages help regulate functions such as sleep, appetite, motor functions, immune responses, temperature, and inflammation. The anti-inflammatory function makes them useful for treating your dog's arthritic pain. However, when you are treating your dog, you don't want the psychoactive effects, so you'll want a pure CBD product.

Which CBD Product Is Best?

The CBD is distilled and extracted from the cannabis plant and made into several different types of products. It can be made into dog treats, salves, and tinctures or oils. Salves are less effective and difficult to administer because of an animal's fur. Treats may work if your pup enjoys them. However, CBD tinctures are easier to regulate the dosage and are readily absorbed. They can be added to your furry friend's food or given through a medicine dropper.

There are few known side-effects, but if your dog is on other medications, it's wise to consult your veterinarian first. For proper dosing, consult with a knowledgeable medical cannabis or CBD dispensary for guidance.