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Does CBD Work for Dogs?

Our canine companions are an endless source of affection, keeping us company and providing emotional support, so it is natural we feel compelled to support them too, in any way we can.
Man and his Dog

The calm, pain relief, and other benefits we experience using CBD can often feel life changing, and may become valued parts of our daily routine and lifestyle, but when it comes to bringing calm, joy, love and energy into our lives, there’s something CBD will never be able to surpass: Dogs.

Our canine companions are an endless source of affection, always committed to keeping us company and providing emotional support, so it is natural we feel compelled to support them too, in any way we can. This extends of course to food, treats, toys, walks, vet care, and belly rubs, but we can’t help our dogs with internal issues like arthritis, muscle pains, and stress any more than they can help us. What can help us–in addition to medical treatment–is CBD, but does the same apply for dogs?

As it turns out, yes. Not only do dogs benefit from using CBD, they benefit more than we do. CBD–a cannabinoid (a compound found in cannabis)–is absorbed by the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors. The calming and pain-relieving effects that result from this absorption are what makes CBD such an appealing treatment for such a variety of issues, and, because dogs have more endocannabinoid receptors than we do, they experience these effects to an even greater degree. Also, because CBD, mostly derived from hemp, does not cause a high or contain marijuana-derived THC (which dogs are sensitive to) there isn’t a risk of toxicity.

What are the benefits?

CBD has been shown to be radically effective in treating arthritis in dogs, even alleviating symptoms for dogs that had experienced severe and consistent enough pain to be under consideration for euthanasia. CBD is also very effective in reducing itchiness and inflammation. Because CBD can help prevent metastasis, it is known to be effective in reducing the rate of cancer cell development when used with Chemotherapy, compared to the use of Chemotherapy alone. CBD is also known to reduce aggression in dogs with aggressive tendencies and to calm dogs who experience severe anxiety during thunderstorms. Other benefits seen in other animals that have not been subject to dog-specific studies are improved bone healing, reduced nausea, and pain relief.


Though CBD does not cause toxicity in dogs, it does inhibit the chemical cytochrome P450, which is the dog’s primary drug metabolizer. This means that, while taking CBD, other drugs could be both less effective and less easily flushed from the system. You should consult a vet before trying CBD if your dog is on any other medications.

As for type and amount of dosage, broad-spectrum products are recommended over CBD isolates or full-spectrum products containing THC. These include terpenes and other cannabinoids, which are known to bolster the effect of CBD and help it to achieve the same effect with smaller doses that dogs have an easier time processing. The ideal dosage for CBD would be two doses of 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, administered orally every day. Keep in mind that CBD can be rendered ineffective with doses either too high or too low. All these factors considered, CBD presents a good treatment option for dogs that don’t see progress with more mainstream options, but for more information, consider asking a veterinarian if CBD is right for your dog. Though hemp derived CBD is legal to sell, vets were only recently approved to suggest CBD treatments for dogs, so many remain wary to do so unprompted, but most will gladly discuss it if you ask.

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