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CBD And Cats: What You Need To Know

Cat health and CBD

Tabby Jane
Photo credit: Mysixcats of Instagram

The New Trend:  Using CBD With Pets

When I recently went to Las Vegas for an industry trade show I noticed a new trend:  CBD products for pets.  In case you haven’t noticed the hemp industry is regaining popularity and medical marijuana has become mainstream.  Dispensaries for both medical and recreational use are now as common as convenient stores in states like Colorado.  They are just part of the landscape.  With so many studies proving the many benefits of marijuana and hemp products on human health it was only a matter of time before the pet market would be next.  When the traditional veterinary model isn’t working cat guardians start looking outside the box at alternatives, and one of the first things they’re asking about is CBD and cats.

What is CBD?

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant.  There are many types and strains of cannabis; some are used to make industrial hemp and therapeutic products and others are used to make marijuana.  Dr. Angie Krause, DVM, clarifies further:

It is important to understand that the cannabis plant that makes industrial hemp is different than the plant that makes medicinal hemp. In general, cannabis plants contain both CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). These are both medicinal compounds. CBD cannot cause a ‘high’ and THC is the psychoactive component that will cause a ‘high’. Products made with less than 0.3% THC are legal in all 50 states. These are the products I use in my practice with excellent results.

Just like humans, pets also have an endocannabinoid system in the central nervous system that regulates things like sleep, digestion, inflammation, mood, and pain.  Both humans’ and pets’ bodies naturally produce their own cannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors in both the central and peripheral nervous system. 

Dr. Krause’s article also goes on to point out that “cannabis contains other medicinal constituents like terpenes and flavanoids. Terpenes are the aromatic oils in the plant. These enhance the medicinal effects of both CBD and THC. Flavanoids are chemical compounds found in plants. These compounds also have medicinal effects such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-anxiety.”

CBD and cats

Common concerns using a CBD product

Because CBD products are misunderstood it’s not surprising there are a number of concerns cat parents have.  Here are the most common:

  • Will my cat get “high” or get “stoned” from taking CBD?  No.  The CBD products are non-psychoactive and your cat will not get high in any way.
  • Are there any negative side effects?  No.  CBD products are completely safe with no negative side effects.
  • Is it legal to purchase CBD products?  Yes.  CBD products are made using legally produced hemp products.
  • Can my cat overdose with this product?  No.  CBD products are non-toxic and it’s virtually impossible to overdose.  

What about THC?

THC is the psychoactive component of a cannabis plant; it produces the “high” when using marijuana.  There’s a general lack of understanding and education concerning its properties and use.  Common questions people have surrounding it concerning animals include:

  • Is THC safe to use in pets?  
  • Is it necessary for CBD to work?  
  • Is THC an important medicinal cannabinoid?

In the literature I’ve read about this subject THC is NOT recommended to use with animals.  The good news is that CBD can be quite effective by itself and doesn’t require THC in order to work.  While THC does have clinical value with regards to how it helps with severe pain and cancer treatment, full spectrum hemp extracts have plenty of other cannabinoids and terpenes that make them more than adequate to address most clinical conditions.  

 
CBD products for pets

Tabby Jane
Photo credit: mysixcats of Instagram

CBD and cats:  what conditions can it help?

According to Dr. Krause, there are a many conditions that a CBD product can help in cats.  CBD is high in omega 3 and 6 oils, making it a natural anti-inflammatory.  It also has antioxidant properties.  Some of the diseases and conditions it’s used for include:

  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease):  it reduces inflammation which in turn reduces symptoms
  • Pancreatitis:  it reduces inflammation in the pancreas which reduces pain and flare ups 
  • Arthritis: it reduces inflammation and pain in joints
  • Cancer:  it’s widely used in treatment for cancer and extending survival times
  • Asthma:  it reduces inflammation in the lungs thereby reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks
  • Chronic Upper Respiratory Infections:  kitties with chronic, life long viral infections have experienced significant relief
  • Seizures:  kitties that suffer from seizures have shown significant relief

Dr. Krause points out that it’s important to work with your vet in establishing CBD use in conjunction with other medications your cat may already by using.  

My friend, Crystal, of mysixcats on Instagram, reached out to me this week asking about a CBD product for her cat, Tabby Jane.  She’s developed arthritis and has trouble jumping up on her bed at night.  It breaks Crystal’s heart to see her struggle, and she is interested in trying a CBD product to see if it would help.  After lots of digging and weeding through numerous brands, I found a couple and passed them along.  Not every product works for every cat; therefore, I used muscle testing to determine which options were best for her body.  Austin and Kat CBD Hemp Oil and HolistaPet CBD Pet Tincture came out on top.  These products are made of 100% natural, high quality ingredients, free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.  

What to look for in a CBD product for cats

There are several things to consider when choosing the right CBD product for your kitty.  You must start by reading the label!  You may even want to check out the brand’s website to get more insight into their ingredients and manufacturing process.  Here are a few things to look for:

  • Organic hemp, grown and harvested without pesticides 
  • Non-GMO
  • No preservatives like propylene glycol
  • No soy products or vegetable oils
  • No sugars or additives
  • The CBD oil is extracted using a chemical-free, non-toxic process
  • Check the guaranteed analysis; pick a product that includes the terpene and flavanoid profiles.

What dose does your cat need?

Dr. Robert J. Silver, DVM, who pioneered using CBD with pets, recommends the following: 

Range of dosing: 0.05 mg per lb twice daily to 0.25 mg per lb twice daily

Tier 1: 0.05 mg per lb of bodyweight is the low end

Tier 2: 0.125 mg per lb of bodyweight is the middle ground

Tier 3: 0.25 mg per lb of bodyweight is the high end

Dr. Silver advises pet parents to start at Tier 1 twice daily and observe over a week. It may not be necessary to go to tier 2.  If necessary, go on to Tier 2 twice daily and observe for a week.  And again, if necessary to go higher, go up to Tier 3 twice daily.

Example:  If your cat weighs 10 pounds you would start with .5 mg  twice a day.

As more and more people are learning about the benefits, hemp and CBD products will continue to gain popularity.  If you’re tired of using toxic drugs to treat your cat’s condition and are ready to explore alternative options, consider trying CBD.  If your vet is close-minded to the idea seek out an integrative or holistic vet.  

Have you used a CBD product for your cat’s health condition? If so, share in the comments!  Thank you for sharing this article on your favorite social platforms!  You can sign up here to follow all our posts.

 



2 responses to “CBD And Cats: What You Need To Know”

  1. I’m using cbd on my cat with arthritis (among others) and my cat with anxiety and it is helping them both a great deal. CBD Isolate has no taste if you have a really picky kitty. I’m using full spectrum CBDistillery as it is the one with the mildest taste so they take it easily. I’ve tried others but they have that bitter grass (think arugula) taste and they turn their noses up at treats with it and foam at the mouth if I dose directly

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