CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol, has been extensively studied in people and, more recently, dogs. It is well understood to have both anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Since OA involves both pain and inflammation, it is no surprise to see that CBD has been a major focus of research into treatment alternatives without the downsides of NSAIDs.
And there’s more. It turns out that the endocannabinoid system, present in both dogs and humans, may play a vital role in the progression of osteoarthritis.
Not only are cannabinoid receptors found throughout healthy joint tissue, they are also found in surprising concentrations in degenerated chondrocytes (joint cells) in human OA patients. Researchers believe that these cells may respond to treatment with cannabinoids.
In fact, a few recent studies, including this one, have shown that cannabidiol may even play a role in preventing the degeneration of joints and progression of pain associated with OA. This is big news for sufferers of osteoarthritis, be they human or canine.
Significantly, in the study cited above, no side effects of treatment were observed at either dose. Also, there were no indications of any psychoactive effects, despite the fact that the full-spectrum CBD oil the researchers used contained trace amounts of THC. This builds on other research demonstrating the safety of appropriately calibrated cannabinoids for dogs.
One other question many dog owners have about the use of hemp or CBD oil has to do with the safety of a full-spectrum CBD oil for their dog. As might be inferred from the term, full-spectrum oils contain the full range of trace compounds (known as cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes) found in the source hemp, including trace amounts of THC (.3 percent or less, by law).
Many pet owners think that since dogs are known to be sensitive to high levels of THC, a full-spectrum product may not be safe.
However, this is not the case. By law, hemp contains extremely low amounts of THC, well under the threshold known to be safe for dogs. As long as you purchase a full-spectrum CBD oil made just for pets and follow dosing guidelines, it is perfectly safe for your dog.
In fact, many pet owners report that a full-spectrum CBD oil was more effective than CBD oils made with an isolated form of CBD.
This is backed up by research. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as the “entourage effect.” Dozens of studies on cannabis-based medicines have shown that the trace amounts of THC and other cannabinoids found in full spectrum CBD oils may well enhance the pain- and inflammation-relieving properties of these natural compounds.
If you have a dog suffering with arthritis, it might be time to talk to your veterinarian about the possibility of adding a full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs, such as LolaHemp, to your companion’s daily supplements to help safely ease the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.
CBD may help you and your vet work out a treatment plan that reduces the use of potentially dangerous NSAIDs, and in some cases, eliminates them altogether. However, since cannabidiol can interact with other medications, it is important to have the conversation with your vet before adopting this strategy—to put your dog’s whole health needs first.
A final word of caution: Even though CBD is available without a prescription, it is critical to make sure that whatever product you use, it is formulated specifically for dogs. CBD products made for people can sometimes have high amounts of THC or other additives (such as artificial sweeteners) that can be toxic to dogs.
By Joey DiFrancesco, October 2020, Updated January 2021