Cannabidiol used to ease pain and anxiety in pets
Kieren Anderson was looking for a way to relieve the anxiety his pet pooch, Lola, experienced every time they took her to the groomers, which was "quite often".
- A growing number of pet owners are using products containing cannabidiol or CBD to keep their pets calm and pain-free
- It has a wide variety of applications including for fur and skin, arthritis, anxiety, and even epilepsy and depression
- There is a push to make CBD products more freely available for both pets and humans by lifting legal restrictions
"She absolutely hates it and we have done a number of things to the point that the vet actually had to sort of sedate her to groom her," he said.
The northern Illawarra, NSW, resident then discovered cannabidiol — CBD as it is commonly known — and a few drops before the car journey seemed to do the trick.
"So now I just try to give her some CBD oil and that seems to calm her down a bit and that's my way of negating that issue," Mr Anderson said.
Mr Anderson now also sells the product to vets, so convinced is he that CBD can treat a wide range of ailments.
"CBD oil is an anti-inflammatory so it treats a number of things from arthritis, because that's obviously inflammation of the joints, to anxiety as it definitely has an effect on the mood," he said.
"I guess most people who are using it are people who are buying it for their older dogs that aren't as mobile anymore and you see a lot of people say that they have almost had a second lease on life for their dogs."
It was a familiar topic for veterinary products wholesaler Peter Brunskill who was pushing for a more educated approach with a new cannabidiol he had on the market.
He said CBD produced from hemp oil was legal for animals, while humans needed a doctor's prescription.
Mr Brunskill also said CBD had virtually no ability to make you or your pet high because it contained little or zero tetrahydrocannabinol — commonly known as THC.
"For some of these products to be sold in Australia it needs to have a maximum of 0.3 per cent of THC in it, so that means an animal or person would have to drink gallons of oil to have any hallucinogenic effects and that's not going to happen," he said.
"The oil that we sell is really rich in plant-based omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, vitamin E, and minerals."
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Australia behind other western countries
Mr Brunskill said it was only a matter of time before Australia went down the path of overseas countries, such as the USA, where regulations for CBD and THC use on humans had significantly eased.
"In the past 12 months it has absolutely ramped up. With President Trump signing the US Farm Bill, it has become more of a mainstream product and legalised," he said.
It was one of the reasons why the Commonwealth-funded Australia Centre for Cannabinoid Clinical and Research Excellence was stepping up its activities.
The centre with researchers based mainly in Newcastle and Wollongong looks into both CBD and medicinal cannabis containing THC.
Post-doctoral research fellow Jessica Mills said, because of growing and accumulating evidence about its benefits, the centre was in the process of planning a new trial for next year.
"At the moment the evidence in humans is relatively limited because there have been several trials done in epilepsy, some in anxiety, and there are studies in depression being conducted, but we need to do more in order to consolidate our understanding of it," Dr Mills said.
She said the regulatory environment in Australia would change, gradually making both CBD and THC products more readily available. But it would take time.
Dr Mills said the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) had recently flagged changes.
"The TGA put out a few weeks ago an interim decision to potentially down-schedule CBD to an over-the-counter medication from June of next year," she said.
"Because of the growing interest and because of the accumulating evidence, there is a movement towards making it a bit more accessible for people who need it."
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Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil for Pets
The cannabis plant has been used for a number of applications throughout history, stretching back to ancient times. In recent times it has made a comeback, due to it’s versatility in what it can be used for. Hemp fibre is used to make textiles, building materials and food. Marijuana is used to make medicines or to get high. Both of these come from the cannabis plant.
So what is CBD oil then?
CBD oil is typically extracted from the hemp plant. Firstly, CBD oil will not get you high! CBD oil is not psychoactive (psychoactive substances affect the way you think and feel, so they can affect the way you behave). THC (tetrahydocannabinol) is a psychoactive compound that comes from marijuana, which is where the confusion comes from. CBD oil is, in a nutshell, all of the goodness from the cannabis plant, without the THC. It has been vastly studied and researched in recent times. If you hear someone talking about therapeutic benefits of cannabis, chances are that they are talking about CBD oil.
What are the common uses of CBD oil for pets?
CBD oil is used with a number of animals, including cats, dogs, horses, sheep, cows and more.
CBD Oil Benefits for Animals
Animal owners have reported benefits such as reduced anxiety, apparent reduction of pain, relief from arthritis, reduced inflammation, prevention or recovery from cancer, helping with seizures and epilepsy, and more. You can read some testimonials from animal owners below.
“Since starting on CBD oil, Chester’s skin has cleared up so much. We no longer have regular courses of steroids and antibiotics. It’s honestly been the most amazing thing for us.” – Stacey, owner of 5 year old English Staffy, “Chester”. Chester suffered with dermatitis on and off for many years.
“I wholeheartedly believe that CBD is the reason my 21 year old thoroughbred is still with us. The change in him has been remarkable. We no longer use any other joint supplements at all.” – Fiona, owner of 21 year old thoroughbred horse, “Sally”, who has suffered from chronic arthritis since age 15.
“We have CBD oil to thank for saving our girl. Cancer is a horrible thing to watch a pet go through, and the chemo drugs were so toxic for her. We are so, so thankful that we discovered CBD.” – Geoff, owner of eight year old Boxer, “Tess”. Tess was diagnosed with lymphoma at age six.
“Tizzie was such a stressy cat before we started her on CBD. She frequently had urine infections from stressing out over everything. Always antisocial and withdrawn, since the time we adopted her from our local rescue. CBD has been the best thing for her.” – Sam, owner of 6 year old cat.
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