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CBD And Cats: What You Need To Know

CBD products for pets

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 becoming 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.  Surprisingly there are many types and strains of cannabis.   Some are used to make industrial hemp and therapeutic products while 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.  On the other hand, 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.  Not surprisingly there’s a general lack of understanding and education concerning its properties and use.  Consequently, many common questions people have 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.  In addition, THC does have clinical value with regards to how it helps with severe pain and cancer treatment.  Fortunately, full spectrum hemp extracts have plenty of other cannabinoids and terpenes that make them more than adequate to address most clinical conditions.  

Cat health and CBD

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.  Moreover, it also has antioxidant properties.  Some of the diseases and conditions it benefits 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

In addition, 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.  

Tabby Jane

My friend, Crystal, of mysixcats on Instagram, reached out to me this week asking about a CBD product for her cat, Tabby Jane.  Due to her age 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 open to 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.  

CBD products for cats

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.  Firstly, you must start by reading the label!  Secondly, 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
  • Free of soy products or vegetable oils
  • No sugars or additives
  • The CBD oil extraction process is chemical-free and non-toxic 
  • 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. If you notice improvement it may not be necessary to go to tier 2.  If not, 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.

In short, as more and more people are learning about the benefits, hemp and CBD products will continue to gain popularity.  Therefore, 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 not open to the idea I recommend seeking out an integrative or holistic vet.  

We now have CBD products in The Boutique for Cats!  Have you used a CBD product for your cat’s health condition? If so, share in the comments!  You can learn more about using CBD with cats here

Updated 5/4/19

Editors Note:  Tabby Jane is doing amazingly well on her CBD product and shows no signs of discomfort or pain!

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