Find out how CBD, especially when used in conjunction with joint supplements such as green lipped mussel and MSM, can help alleviate arthritis and other joint problems in dogs.
“Do you think CBD might help him feel better?” This is a question I get daily from animal parents about their arthritic dogs. The word “arthritis” is used to describe many conditions of the joints, and most of us, human and canine, will experience it some point in our lives. CBD has emerged as an exciting new supplement that can help with the discomfort of joint problems in dogs. Read on for more detailed information about when to use CBD for arthritis, and when it might not be appropriate for your dog.
Hemp products are safest for dogs
CBD is derived from the Cannabis sativa L. plant, along with its intoxicating cousin THC, and a host of other plant molecules such as terpenes and flavonoids, most of which have beneficial effects on people and animals. THC can be a problem for dogs, which are more sensitive to its adverse neurological effects than any other species. The level of THC found in the hemp variety of cannabis is so negligible as to not have any intoxicating effects, except in the occasional super-sensitive dog.
THC can have good pain-relieving properties on its own, although it’s not known if the small amount found in hemp varieties of cannabis is enough to have a clinical benefit. Hemp is now federally legal in the US, but high THC cannabis (formerly known as marijuana) is still illegal at the federal level, although 17 states now allow adult-use cannabis, and over 40 allow medical use cannabis. Canada legalized hemp years ago, and in 2018 legalized all cannabis, hemp and marijuana across the country.
It’s important to know that the levels of THC found in products from dispensaries or stores are usually too high for dogs to tolerate. Many dogs that are given, or accidentally ingest, a THC-containing product end up in animal ER.
For the safety of your dog, stick to hemp products with their low (<0.3%) THC content.
CBD and your arthritic dog
CBD, especially when used in combination with the many other beneficial compounds found in a cannabis extract, has been found to reduce the pain of arthritis as well as the inflammation associated with an arthritic joint. After administering a good dose of a CBD extract, many people report their dogs move better with less discomfort.
Sometimes this improvement happens almost overnight. Other times, especially with dogs whose arthritis is uber severe, it can take several weeks for the CBD to build up enough in their systems enough to show benefits. Sometimes, the dose you start with may be too low; if seven to 14 days pass without results, you can try and double it and see if another two weeks at that higher dose helps.
Joint supplements add extra help
If you still are not getting the desired results, it may mean your dog’s joints are quite painful, and adding some joint supplements could help. I am referring to supplements that provide structural support to the joint, keeping it well-lubricated and friction-free for improved movement. These joint lubricants are products that contain one or more of the following: glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, green lipped mussel, and undenatured type II cartilage.
Joint anti-inflammatories work synergistically with joint lubricants and with CBD to improve function. These incluyde MSM, boswellia, quercetin, and turmeric. Fish oil helps with everything, especially when given at a fairly high dose for at least three to four months.
Remember, CBD and supplements take longer to have an effect than medications. Drugs will take effect within hours or days, while supplements take days to a week or two. Be patient, and you will see a difference in your dog.