DENVER, 21 April 2015—CBD is not just for humans. In animals, pet owners increasingly report that cannabidiol appears to support the nervous system, extend lifespan, reduce anxiety, give pain relief, and enhance well-being. Dog owners have reported some amazing changes when treating aggression disorders, dementia, and anxiety.
Australian Sheepdog owner, Alyson Kirby has been experimenting for several years, trying to help her dog “Mate,” overcome extreme anxiety. Mate, a shelter dog who suffered abuse, is extremely noise sensitive, even urinating with terror over fireworks and other anxiety triggers. “He cringed and growled every time he saw a man with a beard,” Kirby said, discussing Mate’s first year with her. “Our first July Fourth was a nightmare, one of the worst days of my life.”
A battery of loud fireworks went off near the Kirby home that evening in 2011. “Mate had convulsions and I rushed him to the vet, unconscious,” Kirby said in an interview with Potcha‘s Mark Hudson in April. “He’d had a mild stroke. After that I knew he was on borrowed time if I could not treat his fearfulness.”
Kirby discovered the “Thunder Shirt,” which Mate wears whenever he is in a potentially stressful situation. “It helped him more than anything I had tried before and I highly recommend it.” But the breakthrough for Mate came with a CBD oil-infused dog biscuit Kirby made herself in desperation. “I couldn’t believe the difference. He calmed right down. No more fear urination. No more growling at my brother who has a beard. They’re best buddies now.”
Kirby’s experience is not unusual. An increasing number of pet guardians cautiously using CBD products for their animals are reporting noticeable benefits. In the ever-expanding edibles marketplace, high quality CBD oil-infused dog treats are now available from several companies.
Based in Arvada, Colorado, Your CBS Source makes Benny’s Hand-Crafted Treats which promise to “pamper your pet with a multitude of medicinal benefits.” Manager Frank Registrato says the treats are “infused with a full-spectrum hemp oil extract containing everything that is naturally occurring in the original plant.” Registrato’s company also makes an all purpose cannabidiol-infused healing spray that may help skin conditions in some pets.
Auntie Dolores, a San Francisco edibles manufacturer, launched a pet-focused line Treatibles in 2014. Brand manager Matthew J.Cote says most people are only aware of cannabis as a euphoric drug and are not aware of the CBD content in plants, ” which is non-psychoactive.” Auntie Dolores decided to infuse dog biscuits with the beneficial oil in response to Israeli researching showing CBD can be used to treat epilepsy, inflammation and pain. “Animals suffer from some of those same ailments,” said Cote.”What we’ve seen is that some of these dogs respond very rapidly. One woman from Fort Bragg was ready to put down her dog due to how sick and in pain he was, but the day before he was scheduled to go under, she administered our treats and just like that the dog was up, walking around and acting normally again.”
Treatibles contain 1 milligram of CBD per treat. The recommended dose is 1 milligram per 20-pound animal.
Licensed veterinarian Dr. Sarah Brandon, developed a pet product after a decade of trials and formula refinements tested on her own pets and strays. Her company Washington-based Canna Companion, makes pet capsules that combine strains of dried, powdered hemp. Comments on the company’s Facebook page suggest the supplement is also very helpful for cats.
Yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent Dr. Brandon a notice last month, warning that the capsules were an unapproved new animal drug and her marketing of it violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Veterinarians can’t prescribe cannabis products to pets, even in states where medical marijuana is legal. Companies making hemp-based treats and capsules must also use full legal disclaimers when advertising purported benefits.
At present, there is insufficient research on cannabis products for pets in the U.S. and pet welfare organizations have witnessed numerous tragedies over the years when animals have consumed cannabis accidentally, or even been fed dangerous quantities by ignorant or abusive owners. Cats seem drawn to weed, rather like catnip, so it’s important to secure your stash so they cannot tamper with it. Depending on the amount and potency, THC can be dangerous for dogs, causing disorientation, agitation and dehydration. If your dog ingests cannabis, they may need to be put on fluids and have their heart rate monitored by a vet.