Pet parents may approve, but the FDA has not yet signed off on CBD safety.
Pet owners everywhere are starting to see a new ingredient on the labels of so many of their favorite dog treat brands. Dog treats with cannabinoids may have once sounded preposterous, but today, are an incredibly popular product. It’s important to understand the difference between dogs treats with cannabis oil and those with CBD oil. The latter have no THC and are not dangerous to your pet. Different countries have different terminology. In Canada, for example CBD oil means cannabis oil with high CBD content. Check ingredients to make sure your pet is getting hemp-based CBD.
At the dog park and the pet store, owners are talking about the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for common conditions experienced by their furry friends.
What are the Potential Benefits of Dog Treats With CBD Oil?
Analysts expect pet owners to buy $1.6 billion worth of CBD-infused pet products annually by 2022. Why? Because everyone is banking on the hope that the same benefits they experience from CBD could translate to benefits for dogs.
True, most research on CBD published today has been using animal models, but there has been little work done on the benefits of CBD specifically for dogs. Studies on CBD for animals have almost exclusively been seeking answers for human applications and the research has been completed on rodents.
Is there scientific backing of CBD for veterinary uses? Scientific investigation of dog treats with CBD oil is still in the very early stages of development. This is what we know so far.
According to the author of a 2015 study in Creature Companion, “There is no available data on CBD and anxiety or inflammatory skin disease in dogs.” Despite the lack of research, pet owners frequently rely on CBD for its supposed anti-anxiety benefits, as reported by a survey published in 2016 titled “Consumers’ perceptions of hemp products for Animals.” Verhulst, K. R., Karion, A., Kim, J., Salameh, P. K., Keeling, R. F., Newman, S., … Miller, C. E. (2017). Carbon dioxide and methane measurements from the Los Angeles Megacity Carbon Project … Continue reading As per this survey, “Dog owners reported that the hemp products were moderately or very helpful in numerous areas,“ including 49.3 percent who reported it was “helping moderately or a great deal” for anxiety.
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2019 Mcgrath, Stephanie, et al. “Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure … Continue reading detailed the results of a small trial on the clinical effectiveness of CBD for canine seizures. This small but placebo-controlled study explored CBD for twelve dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy.
After a twelve-week course of treatment, “Dogs in the CBD group had a significant (median change, 33 percent) reduction in seizure frequency, compared with the placebo group.” The results were promising, but the authors did call for better, more extensive studies, including “to determine whether a higher dosage of CBD would be effective in reducing seizure activity.”
Pain and Inflammation
In 2018, a team of researchers working out of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in New York published “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” The studyGamble, Lauri-Jo, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science, vol. 5, 2018, … Continue readingaimed to determine the “analgesic efficacy of a cannabidiol” on dogs with the painful inflammatory disease.
In the “randomized placebo-controlled, veterinarian, and owner blinded, cross-over study,” the authors used a variety of methods to test the safety and efficacy of several doses of CBD oil. Their results first confirmed no noticeable side effects, and secondly, a significant decrease in pain. Owners also reported increased activity. It seems likely based on these results that CBD does have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving characteristics.
Do Vets Support CBD for Dogs?
Legally, in the U.S. and elsewhere veterinarians cannot openly discuss the therapeutic benefits of CBD with their clients. Dr. Dawn M. Boothe, professor of physiology and pharmacology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, went into more detail on the veterinary concerns for DVM360 in 2019.
As per Boothe, while industrial hemp is now legal across most of the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved it for consumption, including for use a supplement. Therefore, any discussion of dog treats with cannabis is legally unwise. If dog treats with cannabis are marketed as canine supplements,“the FDA may perceive such products to be adulterated drugs, particularly if the product label includes treatment or prevention indications.”
Thus far, few if any state medical cannabis programs include veterinary medicinal reform. No national regulatory body has officially endorsed the medical effectiveness of CBD for pets, but, unofficially, there are many veterinarians cautiously talking about it.
How to Make Dog Treats With CBD Oil at Home
Research on dog treats with hemp is frantically trying to catch up with popular opinion and pet-owner usage. With millions of dollars spent in 2018 on CBD-infused pet products, it’s clear pet owners are convinced about the benefits.
But instead of shelling out on expensive CBD treats for your pooch, why not take the DIY route? If you are familiar with making cannabis edibles, it’s just as simple to make dog treats with cannabis oil at home.
Important Reminder: THC is toxic to dogs. Therefore it is imperative to stick with only high-quality hemp-derived CBD oils when making dog treats.
CBD Dog Biscuits
Adapted from a Recipe by Wendy Jacobson
2/3 cup steamed sweet potato
1/4 cup peanut butter
100 ml hemp CBD oil
3 cups oat flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix peanut butter and CBD oil until completely incorporated.
- Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sweet potato together until creamy, approximately two minutes. Add in peanut butter mixture and beat to combine for another one minute.
- Slowly add in flour, ¼ cup at a time until a dough forms. You may need to mix the remaining flour in by hand.
- Turn out the dough on a floured surface, and gently knead until soft and no longer sticky.
- Roll out until ¼ inch thick, and cut using small cookie cutters or into squares with a knife.
- Place on a lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, roughly 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
More Research Needed to Confirm Benefits Being Reported by Owners
Does the research confirm the benefits of dog treats with cannabis oil? Not yet. As with humans, the research on the medical benefits of cannabis for pups lags far behind its popularity and use.
The good news is that dogs have good tolerance to treats with cannabis (provided its CBD only. Furthermore, the early research reports minimal side effects and mild ones at that.
Given more time, the work on inflammation, pain, and epilepsy may get reaffirmed with more extensive study. There may even be peer-reviewed research into CBD for stress and anxiety. Until then, pet owners need a little patience while the research slowly builds a case for dog treats with cannabis.
|↑1||Verhulst, K. R., Karion, A., Kim, J., Salameh, P. K., Keeling, R. F., Newman, S., … Miller, C. E. (2017). Carbon dioxide and methane measurements from the Los Angeles Megacity Carbon Project – Part 1: calibration, urban enhancements, and uncertainty estimates. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 17, 10.5194/acp-17-8313-2017. doi:10.5194/acp-17-8313-2017|
|↑2||Mcgrath, Stephanie, et al. “Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, vol. 254, no. 11, 2019, pp. 1301–1308., doi:10.2460/javma.254.11.1301|
|↑3||Gamble, Lauri-Jo, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers in Veterinary Science, vol. 5, 2018, doi:10.3389/fvets.2018.00165.|