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Potential Side Effects Of CBD For Dogs And Cats

Potential Side Effects of CBD for Dogs and Cats

Whenever you decide to give your pet any new supplements or medicine, it’s always good to look into the potential of any side effects before applying it. CBD is relatively new and many people are using it for themselves and their pets. Most CBD is completely legal, but it does come from the same family of cannabis plants that people smoke to get “high”. So, you might be wondering, “Is CBD oil safe for dogs and cats?” Furthermore, are there any harmful side effects of CBD for dogs or cats?


The fact is that CBD is very safe, especially when comparing it to other products with similar benefits. Read on to find out the truth about CBD, safety, and the rare minutiae side effects that it may cause.


What Is CBD?

CBD, which is short for Cannabidiol, is a natural compound extract from the hemp plant. Cannabidiol is just one of 113 cannabinoids found in within the hemp plant. Of these 113 cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the most widely studied and used.


The THC and CBD compound are two of the most abundant cannabinoids found in modern plants. Reason being, through selective breeding, cultivators of hemp and marijuana have been able to alter certain strains in order to produce higher levels of these compounds in their crops.


Scientists refer to CBD as a phytocannabinoid. “Phyto” means plant. So, phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids from a plant, in this case, hemp.


CBD & The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids like CBD interact with what scientist call the endocannabinoid system (ECS). We all naturally have an ECS in each of our bodies. In fact, all mammals (including our dogs and cats) have an endocannabinoid system.


Furthermore, it’s believed most animals including, birds, fish, and even reptiles have an ECS. So whether we are talking about the ECS in dogs or the ECS in humans they generally work in the same manner and offer similar results.


Cannabinoids and the ECS work in unison together to actuate a wide range of reactions and therapeutic effects in the body.


CBD & Cannabinoid Receptors

Not everything about the ECS is fully understood by researchers, but one thing they know for sure is that the ECS is made up of a network of cannabinoid receptors (CB-1 and CB-2 receptors).


They know these receptors initiate specific reactions when interacting with phytocannabinoids (such as CBD). Similar reactions occur when the ECS interacts with the body’s naturally produced endocannabinoids (such as anandamide). “Endo” is a prefix meaning internal, or from within. Therefore, endocannabinoids are cannabinoids produced naturally from within the body.


The reason CBD is able to work seamlessly with the body’s natural ECS is that the cannabinoid receptors cannot differentiate between an endocannabinoid and a phytocannabinoid. This is a perfect example of human, animal, and natures connection.


Dog CBD receptors HolistaPet

ECS Helps Maintain Optimum Homeostasis

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is believed to be responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. Homeostasis is the natural, balanced condition that optimally supports life. When CBD interacts with the ECS, it further reinforces the proper balancing functions within the body and its major systems.


The ECS seems to play a major role in regulating and maintaining the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, nervous, endocrine, skeletal, and immune systems.


CBD From Hemp VS CBD From Marijuana

Because of CBD’s links with recreational cannabis, there is some controversy about its use as a therapeutic treatment. There is also a lot of confusion over whether it is safe to take and whether it will create a “high” or intoxicating effect.


Most CBD products come from hemp, but there are also CBD products that can come from the marijuana plant. Although, these are only legal in states where marijuana is legal recreationally or medicinally.


However, in this content, we mainly will be discussing CBD products from the hemp plant. Holistapet proudly uses only 100% natural, pure organic CBD from Colorado. Some of the purest and cleanest CBD in the world comes from Colorado.


Is CBD Oil Safe?

CBD from hemp is considered to be extremely safe and non-toxic.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” their findings also report “CBD appears not to exhibit THC-like discriminative stimulus effects”. It will not cause a “high” or “intoxicating” effect.


Additionally, the WHO adds “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications”.


Epidiolex is yet another example of CBD’s safety profile. According to the Department of Justice, “In June 2018, the FDA announced it approved Epidiolex for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy… the CBD in Epidiolex is extracted from the cannabis plant and is the first FDA-approved drug to contain a purified extract from the plant”.


With evidence mounting about CBD and the magnitude of its benefits and therapeutic uses, it seems that CBD will likely become a safe, natural alternative to medicine capable of treating multiple ailments. But, now, you might ask, “Is CBD oil safe for dogs and cats?”


Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs or Cats?

CBD oil is considered to be safe for dogs and cats. It has been extensively tested on both animals and humans in clinical trials and it is widely used as a therapeutic supplement. Although there is no official FDA ruling on CBD, there is no evidence that CBD is harmful to humans or dogs.


Remember when thinking about CBD side effects for dogs, that CBD is a natural cannabinoid. Your dog’s body already naturally produces its own cannabinoids to interact with it’s ECS.


Both CBD and a dog’s naturally produced endocannabinoids are both capable of interacting with and regulating the ECS. Regulation of the ECS will help maintain the optimum level of homeostasis in dogs.


The compound in cannabis that causes the “high sensation” is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Holistapet CBD Oil Products are 100% safe for dogs and cats, and contain no THC.


CBD Products Made Specifically For Dogs & Cats

CBD can be taken in many different forms. There are CBD oil drops, which can be added to food/water or directly in your pet’s mouth. CBD dog treats and CBD cat treats are already infused with CBD to make for a quick easy treat. Also, there are CBD capsules available for pets. The capsules are easy to travel with and perfect for fast accurate dosing.



What Are the Benefits of CBD for Dogs and Cats?

There has been a lot of research into the effects that CBD has on humans and animals. That research is still ongoing, but results to date suggest that CBD may provide a useful treatment for a wide range of ailments. Preliminary results of tests and the large numbers of anecdotal testimonials suggest that CBD may be useful for treating the following ailments:



One of the reasons that pet owners are choosing to use CBD to treat their dogs is that CBD is a totally natural product. Natural treatments are often seen as being preferable to the long-term use of synthetic drugs.


Can My Dog Overdose on CBD?

CBD is not psychoactive, so it won’t cause a high. There is no known toxic dose of CBD and there have been no reports of any people or animals overdosing on CBD. As with any supplement, there is a point at which administering additional CBD will have no further beneficial effect. It is always advisable, therefore, to give a dog small amounts of CBD first and then monitor the effects before increasing the dosage.


Potential Side Effects of Giving CBD to My Dog?

There have been many studies that have demonstrated the effectiveness of CBD. These studies have also reported that there are no serious side effects associated with the cannabinoid. The side effects of CBD for dogs and for humans are minor and are listed below:


•  Dry Mouth

Research has shown that CBD can affect the production of saliva. There have been reports of people experiencing a dry mouth after taking CBD. The side effect of CBD for dogs in this respect would manifest itself as an increase in thirst.


• Lowering of Blood Pressure

High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. The drop is small, but it may cause a temporary feeling of light-headedness.


• Drowsiness

CBD can be used to treat anxiety and panic in dogs. It has a calming effect. One of the side effects of CBD for dogs is that this same effect can cause slight drowsiness when high doses of CBD are administered.


• Increased Parkinson Disease Tremors

There are have been reports that high doses of CBD can increase worsen the tremors experienced by human sufferers of Parkinson’s disease.


• Inhibition of Drug Metabolism

High doses of CBD can inhibit the production of some liver enzymes. This could interfere with the metabolism of some drugs. This is one of the potential side effects of CBD for dogs and cats. It is advisable to talk to your vet before you give your dog CBD if your pet is currently being given any medication.


What Are CBD Dog Treats?Holistapet CBD Dog Treats

CBD dog treats are CBD infused edibles that can be fed to dogs. The concentration of CBD in CBD dog treats is lower than it is in CBD oil or tinctures. It also takes CBD a little bit longer to enter the bloodstream because it must pass through the digestive system first.


CBD dog treats, usually, biscuits can be purchased in a variety of different flavors. They provide an easy way to administer CBD to dogs, particularly for those dogs with an aversion to being given any medication.


Although CBD dog treats look like regular dog biscuits, it is important to remember that they are made with CBD oil. It’s very easy to give your dog too many CBD dog treats. While the side effects of CBD for dogs are little to none, it is still advisable not to give your dog any more CBD than it needs.



Can I Give My Dog Human CBD Oil?

Some human CBD products are perfectly safe for dogs to consume. However, the dosage levels for a dog will be much less. This is because CBD dosage is primarily given according to body weight, although the severity of the symptoms or ailment may need a stronger dose.


Humans are generally heavier than dogs so the CBD products made for humans are naturally more potent than that of pet products. The same goes vise verse, humans can take pet CBD oil but the pet CBD oil is weaker so a person would have to take a large dose.


The one human product to be wary about when giving your dog is CBD infused edibles. Some human CBD edibles contain an ingredient such as chocolate or raisins which are toxic for dogs. Some edibles have high levels of sugar, which may not be suitable for pets. The potency is much stronger in human CBD edibles than pet CBD, so risks of possible side effects could raise.


for more in-depth information about CBD dosing sizes for your pet read our content about CBD oil dosage for pets. You can also find ad use our handy dosing chart to quickly find your pets exact dosage.


Things To Look For When Buying CBD for your Pet

When you are buying CBD products for your dog, it’s advisable to consider the quality of the products and the ingredients the product contains. Here are some important factors to consider when buying CBD for your pet:


1) Where Did The CBD Come From?

You want to check into where the hemp in the product was grown. We always recommend going with a brand which uses only CBD from hemp grown in the U.S.A. Specifically, hemp from Colorado or Oregon is known to be amongst some of the highest quality in the world. HolistaPet only uses CBD from hemp grown in Colorado.


CBD from hemp grown outside of the U.S. are not held to the same standards. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and United States Department of Agriculture overlook the industry standards of hemp grown in the U.S.


Beware of hemp grown outside the U.S., although some hemp coming from Europe can be high quality.CBD from hemp grown outside the U.S. can have high amounts of pesticides or other toxins.


2) Is it Organic?organic

Organic CBD products will be safer for your dog because they won’t contain any artificial additives or chemical residues. Look for natural NON-GMO products or products with a label displaying it is organic. And remember, when it comes to HolistaPet products, don’t panic, we’re organic!


3) What Does the Lab Analysis Say?

The lab analysis of a product will tell you how much CBD is in the product. This information will be on the certificate of analysis (COA). You can see on the COA if there is any THC in the product along with other Cannabinoids that may be present. Other cannabinoids have certain benefits as well, although CBD is by far the most beneficial. THC is the only cannabinoid you don’t want in your CBD product.


CBD products that contain very little CBD will not have the desired effect. Be wary of products from companies that don’t have their certificates of analysis (COA’s).


4) Is the Price Too Cheap?

Usually with CBD products from a reputable brand, the higher the price, the higher the quality. That’s not always true though. Don’t just buy the cheapest products that you can find. Do your thorough research to find the most efficient CBD product for your pet. You can find premium quality CBD products for good prices, you just have to know what qualities to look for and then price compare some products.


When it comes to CBD get what you pay for. Most cheaper products are made from single molecule CBD isolate. These products are not as beneficial as the products made from full spectrum CBD oil. Holistapet uses only full spectrum CBD in its products. It’s more important that the CBD products are effective and are free from harmful additives.


Here is a great resource for you to use in determining where to find the best solution in purchasing CBD oil. It covers several of the most trusted brands and displays their pricing and dosage availability.



The debate continues over the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes. There are many people who have said that cannabis has therapeutic effects. The use of cannabis as a recreational drug, however, still dissuades many people from using anything that is derived from the plant.


Scientists now know that THC is the single compound in cannabis that causes the high. The related compound of CBD is not psychoactive at all. Furthermore, CBD is non-toxic and there are zero known cases of a human or an animal overdosing on CBD. Studies have also shown that CBD is the compound that is responsible for most of the therapeutic benefits of hemp and cannabis.


Research is still ongoing into the potential uses of CBD in medicine. Although, in June of 2018 the FDA approved Epidiolex, which is the first CBD drug approved.


Results of studies have shown that CBD has the potential to treat many different types of health conditions such as pain, inflammation, seizures, nausea, anxiety and much more.


As we’ve learned in this article, CBD oil is absolutely safe for dogs and cats. The few side effects that CBD can cause only occur at very high doses and they are not serious. The side effects of CBD for dogs, if any, will be minimal. If you do give CBD to your dog or cat, it is most likely that your pet will experience no side effects at all.


READ NEXT: CBD Oil Buyers Guide - Buying CBD for your Pet




Marcin Ossowski

Marcin Ossowski is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from UCLA in 2007 with a major in linguistics and a minor in biology. During his time there, he undertook original research in neurolinguistics and cognitive science, specifically focusing on language disorders and dementia. Over the past decade, he has worked as a writer and researcher for several political consulting firms, taught English abroad in Poland, and ghostwritten two books. In his downtime, Marcin spends a lot of time outdoors and actively pursuing his passion for writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and satire.

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