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CBD & Hemp For Pets: What You Need To Know

In the rapidly evolving landscape of pet wellness, CBD and hemp have surged as powerful front-runners, offering a myriad of health benefits. For the Australian pet owner, understanding the intricacies of CBD oil for dogs in Australia is paramount. With its potential to alleviate anxiety, treat skin conditions, and even combat symptoms of dementia and cancer, CBD's therapeutic prowess is hard to overlook.


As we delve deeper, this guide sheds light on the global trends, legal standings, and holistic advantages of these natural remedies. Key insights to be explored include cannabinoid therapies, pet wellness trends, Australian legalities, natural treatments, endocannabinoid system, and hemp-derived benefits. Equip yourself with this knowledge and navigate your pet's health journey with confidence.


What are CBD and Hemp? 

As you may know, humans aren't the only creatures that can reap the rewards of hemp and CBD oil products. In fact, many veterinarians have come forward with evidence suggesting these substances could benefit animals in general. They're known to reduce stress while also reducing pain and anxiety in animals with chronic illnesses. Pets (especially dogs) can also be treated with cannabis to improve their health and address many new and ongoing health issues. In the correct dose, cannabis can work correctly for any animal you care for.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over a hundred compounds found inside the Cannabis Sativa plant. This compound is typically extracted from the Hemp plant. This is crucial, as it's genetically bred to ensure shallow THC content. Having low THC content inside the hemp plant means you can receive a product with no psychoactive effects (the psychoactive effects make people feel "high").

CBD is proven to treat many indications in all mammals and works on a system inside our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ECS); (check out our in depth article on the topic here), something we are all born with and which was only recently discovered in the mid-'90s. Consuming hemp and CBD will ensure the cannabinoids interact with your ECS and give you a general feeling of wellness, bringing balance to your body and helping treat and fight several diseases. It does the same for animals. Because animals are much smaller than humans, it's crucial to understand how to dose them correctly and what benefits they can expect. 


Cbd for Pets dog 

What is the Difference Between the CBD (Hemp) Oil and Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is obtained by pressing only the hemp plant seeds. When cold-pressed, the hemp seed oil appears greenish in colour with a delicious, nutty flavour. As hemp seeds have no CBD, the oil extracted from hemp seeds, the hemp seed oil, doesn't have any CBD. It does, however, offer spectacular nutrition: all essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, without an excess of starches and sugars. As such, hemp seed oil is an excellent dietary supplement to support and improve health.

For more information about the unique benefits of hemp seed oil for pets, and the basis of all products in the current BUDDYPET range, take a look at our Hemp Seed Oil For Pets - Ultimate guide and read GLA - hemp seed oil's secret weapon to fight inflammation.

 CBD & Hemp for Pets 

What Are The Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets?


CBD Oil for Pain Management

To date, a growing body of evidence supports the use of CBD oil for modulating anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, with chronic pain being the most widely cited condition. Clinical research among chronic pain patients and extensive population-based studies show that CBD / hemp oil is an effective mid-level analgesic. [1][2][3] CBD produces analgesic effects by altering signalling at multiple receptor systems. A study published in 2020, The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model, provided evidence that phytochemical extracts of CBD oil can significantly improve mechanical pressure pain in animals with established chronic neuropathic hypersensitivity. [4]


CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis and Other Mobility Issues

Arthritis is defined as inflammation of the joint, and there are many types of arthritis, for example, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs. That occurs when the articular cartilage at the ends of bones wears down, leading to increased friction, inflammation, and pain.

Researchers at Cornell University found that dogs taking CBD for arthritis were more active and showed a decrease in pain. As CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, it works to reduce inflammation in the joints and reduce the pain associated with it.

Holistic veterinarians often recommend CBD oil to help alleviate joint pain in senior dogs and dogs with hip dysplasia. Although it's not a cure for all joint issues, CBD oil can help dogs stay active longer and feel better by easing inflammation caused by worn-down cartilage.

For more information about arthritis, please read Arthritis: Stages and Protocols for Dogs.


CBD Oil for Dogs with Seizures and Epilepsy

Epilepsy, one of the most common nervous system disorders, is a neurological condition characterised by recurrent seizures. Treatment for epilepsy includes anti-seizure medications. Common drug side effects are dizziness, nausea, fatigue, vertigo, and blurred vision, which are all too difficult for many dog patients to tolerate. As a result, many pet parents often seek alternative, natural forms of treatment such as CBD oil.

In collaboration with the Realm of Caring Foundation and other institutions, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conducted an observational study to better understand CBD's impact on people with epilepsy. The participant-reported data found that CBD may reduce the adverse effects of anti-seizure medications while improving other aspects of health and patients' quality of life.

In a study conducted at Colorado State University, 89% of dogs that received CBD oil had a reduction in seizures. Human trials also saw success when CBD worked in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. One study even showed that seven out of eight patients saw noticeable improvement within four to five months.

Although scientists still don't know exactly how CBD oil works for seizures, the following interactions have been observed, which may explain the positive effects:

  • As endocannabinoids are neuroprotectants, they lower the risk of strokes caused by neurotoxicity. After a person ingests CBD, more cannabinoids are introduced to their system— which potentially improves the performance of the endocannabinoid system with their neuroprotective properties.
  • The endocannabinoid system modulates neuroexcitation, a process that may bring about seizures. Assisted by additional cannabinoids from CBD oil, a properly functioning endocannabinoid system may prevent the overexcitation of neurons.
  • CBD is also an anti-inflammatory. Since attacks can be triggered or exacerbated by brain inflammation, CBD may help in reducing seizure severity and/or frequency through attenuating neuroinflammation.


CBD Oil for Anxiety and PTSD

In dogs, anxiety can present as the feeling and anticipation of future dangers from imagined or unknown origins. Separation anxiety can occur when the dog is left alone for an extended period. Once alone, the dog will feel so stressed and worried that it could start destroying everything inside, barking or crying, grooming itself excessively, and biting, causing self-trauma. Cats can also suffer anxiety and may hide, display aggression, or become agitated. Cats are known to be vocal with their owners if they are stressed. Pets need help from their owners to overcome their fears. This can be in the form of compassion, patience, and understanding to nurture the situation. Providing a relaxed surrounding and calming presence when stressful situations arise will help, but this may not be enough in some cases.

CBD oil is a proven natural treatment for pets with anxiety, low tolerance to stress, and PTSD. CBD works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to relieve stress. The ECS is a network of thousands of receptors all over the body, including the brain and central nervous system. It regulates various functions such as sleep, mood, and pain. All animals have highly developed endocannabinoid systems. Treating symptoms with a plant-based solution such as CBD oil is increasingly popular with pet owners.

CBD also helps regulate the production of serotonin, the happy hormone that helps improve mood, social behaviour, sleep, and appetite.

Read How to Spot Anxiety Symptoms in Dogs for more information about anxiety symptoms and causes.


CBD for Inflammatory Skin Conditions and Allergies

There are very few studies on the effectiveness of the topical application of CBD oil to treat inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or allergic skin reactions. However, in a 2019 study published in Clinical Therapeutics, CBD ointment helped clear skin and reduced itch in a small group of people suffering from atopic dermatitis.

As CBD oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, it helps the immune system fight inflammation, reducing potential eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis triggers.

The endocannabinoid system is also found in the skin; hence CBD oil can also help manage the immune system's response to allergens and provide much-needed itch relief for your pet.

For more information about symptoms and causes of inflammatory skin conditions, please read Cannabis oil and Dog Skin Problems: A True Case Study.


CBD Oil for Dogs with Dementia

While there is no definitive clinical research to prove CBD's effectiveness for dogs with dementia, our understanding of how CBD affects the ECS suggests that it could be useful in mitigating some forms of neurodegeneration and accompanying symptoms.

A study published by the Department of Pharmacology at Wonkwang University School of Medicine concluded that CBD Oil could help support brain function and reverse cognitive deficits. [5]

CBD affects both GABA and serotonin receptors and has been shown to have anxiolytic properties. A review by Maroon and Bost discussed the neuroprotective benefits of CBD, which include decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines, preserving cerebral circulation during ischemic events, and reducing neuroinflammation. CBD has been used in humans to reduce the signs of dementia in Alzheimer's disease patients. Decreased distress, agitation, aggression, and improvement in mood, appetite, and sleep quality were reported by caregivers whose patients were taking CBD oil. Dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction could also similarly benefit from CBD.


CBD Oil for Cancer

Recent studies have shown that CBD oil may have direct anti-aging cancer effects in human and rodent models. As there is little data on the results of CBD in canine cancer, investigators at Cornell University are studying what happens when canine cancer cells are exposed to CBD alongside common chemotherapy drugs. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology recently published the results that offer hope for canine cancer patients. These results showed that CBD oil caused a significant decrease in cancer cell reproduction in every cell line studied. When combined with chemotherapy drugs, CBD also decreased cancer cell reproduction with a more substantial effect than the chemo drug alone.

If your pet is undergoing cancer treatment, CBD oil can also help reduce nausea symptoms, which would make them feel more comfortable during their recovery.


CBD for Pets Cat

Where to Buy CBD Oil for pets in Australia?

Sadly, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have not approved (legalised) CBD oil yet. Currently, the only legal distribution of CBD products is by veterinarians under prescribing rights and for research purposes only. Any other supply of CBD products for animal use in Australia is illegal, except for S4 CBD oil products (medical cannabis) approved and registered with TGA for off-label use.

But do not despair. Take a look at hemp seed oil. It comes from the same plant and works as an anti-inflammatory, but on different pathways; hence, it is an excellent alternative to CBD oil for pets with mild anxiety and chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and atopic dermatitis. Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, hemp seed oil is an excellent dietary supplement to support overall immune function and heart, brain, and health.

For seizures, cancer, and sharp chronic pain, if you are looking for a natural solution, nothing is quite a match to CBD oil. So, talk to your vet about a prescription for a TGA-approved off-label product.


Check out the BUDDYPET Marley product, safe, legal and thousands of 5 Star reviews. Click here! 

buddypet pet range


How Does This Compare With Other Countries? 

In most western countries, access to CBD has been legalised in some form, and patients can quickly gain access to a full-spectrum CBD treatment. On October 17 2018, Canada went all the way and legalised medical cannabis for recreational use following many years of allowing access to medical cannabis with no problems. America is in the grip of a nationwide legalisation wave, with over 40 states allowing cannabis in some form; nine states have legalised recreational cannabis use for adults, with some other states ready to do the same. Many European countries like Switzerland, Germany and Austria now allow the sale of cannabis products, and more hardline nations such as Thailand have recently opened the door for access to cannabis. 


READ NEXT: An In Depth Handbook:  Hemp For Pets with Joint & Mobility Issues


[1] Vigil, J.M.; Stith, S.S.; Adams, I.M.; Reeve, A.P. Associations between medical cannabis and prescription opioid use in chronic pain patients: A preliminary cohort study. PLoS ONE 2017, 12, e0187795.

[2] Li, X.; Vigil, J.M.; Stith, S.S.; Brockelman, F.; Keeling, K.; Hall, B. The effectiveness of self-directed medical cannabis treatment for pain. Complement. Ther. Med. 2019.

[3] Stith, S.S.; Vigil, J.M.; Brockelman, F.; Keeling, K.; Hall, B. Patient-reported symptom relief following medical cannabis consumption. Front. Pharmacol. 2018, 9, 916.

[4] The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model. Vigil JM, Montera MA, Pentkowski NS, Diviant JP, Orozco J, Ortiz AL, Rael LJ, Westlund KN. The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model. Life (Basel). 2020 May 18;10(5):69. doi: 10.3390/life10050069. PMID: 32443500; PMCID: PMC7281216.

[5] Xiong, Y.; Lim, C.-S. Understanding the Modulatory Effects of Cannabidiol on Alzheimer's Disease. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 1211. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11091211


READ NEXT: Pets, Anxiety And Wellness – How To Help Your Best Friend Feel Better

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What is CBD oil for dogs?

CBD oil for dogs is a product derived from the cannabis plant. It contains cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound known to have various potential health benefits, such as relieving anxiety, reducing inflammation, and aiding with chronic pain. The oil is often mixed with carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil to make it safe for dogs' consumption.

Is CBD oil legal in Australia for dogs?

As of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, CBD oil for pets in Australia is not available over the counter. Veterinarians can legally prescribe CBD oil for animals under certain conditions. However, it's recommended to always check with a local veterinary professional or relevant regulatory body for the most recent information.

Can CBD oil harm my dog?

CBD oil is generally safe for dogs when used appropriately. However, some dogs may experience side effects, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, or lowered blood pressure. It's always recommended to start with a low dose and monitor your dog's reaction. Always consult with a vet before starting any new treatment.

What is hemp oil for pets?

Hemp oil for pets is a product derived from hemp plants. It is rich in nutrients and has several potential health benefits, such as improving skin health, reducing inflammation, and supporting cardiovascular health. Unlike CBD oil, hemp oil does not contain significant amounts of CBD or THC, making it non-psychoactive.

What are the benefits of hemp for pets?

Hemp has several potential benefits for pets. The oil derived from hemp seeds is rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which can contribute to a healthy coat and skin. Moreover, these fatty acids can promote cardiovascular health and support a healthy immune system. Some pet owners also use hemp products to help manage their pets' anxiety or joint pain.

Can hemp harm my pet?

Hemp is generally considered safe for pets. However, as with any new product or supplement, it's essential to start with small amounts and monitor your pet for any adverse reactions. Always consult with a vet if you're considering introducing hemp into your pet's diet.