Your dog is a mammal with an Endocannabinoid System, so cannabis may be an option to treat various symptoms and diseases. Here are the five things you and your dog need to know about cannabis.
This is as high as Kila ever got! 14,015 ft.
1. You cannot explain being high to your pooch
Honestly, you’re a jerk if you’re getting your dog super baked. Dogs and most other animals cannot understand what is happening if they get high. Your pup couldn’t have their chihuahua friend explain that the bacon-flavored biscuit edible will take a bit to kick in, but when it does, they should chill out to some Baha Men and enjoy the tingling in their paws for a few hours.
The concept of high isn’t even an evolutionary experience for pup ancestors, wolves. Although there are some animals that willingly get drunk or high on natural things like dolphins on puffer fish or monkeys on fermented bananas, dogs aren’t one of these wild party animals.
When dogs get high, they get anxious, fearful, and confused. I know this because I’ve witnessed this happen to a couple of dogs at parties throughout my years. Bad dog, owners!
So, try to steer clear of activated THC and rely on non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and others.
Note: Some elderly dogs may benefit from THC in their final days before they go to doggy heaven, but even then, the high may cause excess anxiety for the good old boy or girl.
Meet Jack. He isn’t high; he just looks it, mannn.
2. There is hardly any research on dogs and cannabis
I know your cannabacon treat says 5 milligrams of CBD will cure your hound’s ____________ (fill in the blank), but did you ever question where that dosing recommendation came from?
When you look at the human research on CBD, the average dose used in studies with control or placebo is between 5-25 mg/kg of body weight. Take your weight, divide it by 2.2, then multiply that by 5, and that’s your average starting dose of CBD based on the plethora of research.
Even with human dosing being documented for years, the CBD industry continues to tell humans that 5-10mg will set them straight. The “recommended doses” defy nearly all the research.
However, some properly formulated full-spectrum brands that provide a couple of milligrams of THC per serving may be incredibly beneficial. Sativex is a cannabis-based pharmaceutical available in over 25 countries, which is approximately a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, providing 2.5 mg of THC. Based on the clinical trials, this ratio and dose of THC are incredibly effective for various conditions.
What’s important to understand is that although all mammals have an Endocannabinoid System, that doesn’t mean they all have the exact blueprint as humans. The amount and density of cannabinoid receptors vary from species to species, so animal research doesn’t necessarily reflect what would happen with humans.
So what about your dog? How do you know what dose and cannabinoid profile are best for them?
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see recommendations ranging from 1 to 1,500 milligrams a day. However, if you type in “cannabis dog” or “cannabis canine” into Google Scholar, you’ll find a few studies from the 1970s, recent surveys from pet parents, and some metabolism and side effect studies – but hardly any recent data on dosing your doggy for specific conditions. I did find one recent study but I immediately red-flagged it when I saw a full-page ad for a pet-based CBD brand smack dab in the middle of the article. Conflict of interest much?
Even if there was a bunch of research on dogs and cannabis available, the plot thickens!
What kind of dog?
What other medications are they on?
How old are they?
The very questions people should be asking about humans, they should ask about their dogs, but at least there is solid research on the safety, efficacy, and dosing of CBD and THC with humans.
If you’re going to start giving your puppers cannabinoids, first, you should talk with your vet. Then go low and slow. Try a few milligrams a couple of times a day and pay attention to the following:
- How much water they are drinking
- Do they have loose stool
- Are they eating normally
- Do they have a change in energy
- Is there a noticeable change in their condition
Something else to consider – did you know that giving animals medication can actually have a placebo effect on the owner!
Meet Mali, the 17-year-old chihuahua from hell.
I gave Mali 10-20 mg of CBD twice a day for a few months to see if it would help with her Lyme disease. Unfortunately, I saw no change. I also gave my German Shepherd 150 mg of CBD in MCT oil twice a day, and it didn’t do anything but give her diarrhea.
However, my shepherd did great with a 10:1 of CBD:CBG in beef tallow. I gave her about 125 milligrams twice a day in her food for her hips, and some extra applied topically, which helped a skin rash.
Meet Kila, my #1 girl (sorry Megan).
3. Combining medications may create adverse side effects
In humans, one medication can make another go haywire. So, if your dog is on any medication and you start giving them CBD, you could do some damage. CBD and other cannabinoids modulate drug-metabolizing enzymes in the liver, which means that the CBD could prevent a drug from metabolizing (changing into the correct/active form of the medicine), which could build up in their system and have some nasty side effects.
Since you were supposed to check with your vet before giving your best friend CBD, you should be okay in this department. However, it couldn’t hurt to research any drugs your pup is on and see if there are any issues with that drug and CBD in humans. Even though humans and dogs are very different, there are also many similarities. This information on humans with drugs interactions could save you a costly vet visit
4. Ingredients matter
You want to ensure you’re not giving your dog any CBD treats with ingredients that would be different from their regular diet…otherwise, you may be renting a carpet cleaner. I would be cautious of MCT tinctures with dogs. Small amounts of particular triglycerides in MCT oils can wreak havoc on human stomachs, and I’ve heard of it happening to dogs as well. No one wants a dog with the shits.
5. It’s easy to make your own treats
You can buy CBD, CBG, and other isolates, beef tallow or lard, and make an affordable treat for your delicate little Doberman. Technically, dogs are omnivores because they occasionally eat grass. In the wild, dogs would eat the stomachs of their prey, which has plenty of fibrous “stuff” in them, as their wolfy ancestors still do. However, most of what a dog eats in the wild is fat and protein. So if you make a treat for them, keep it simple and genuine to their ancestral diet.
A quick recipe for Fido:
- 2 grams of CBD isolate
- 1 cup plus 1 tbsp of beef tallow, lard, or duck fat
- Heat the fat in a saucepan until melted on low heat
- Add the CBD isolate and gently stir on low heat for 5 minutes until dissolved
- Let cool uncovered for an hour, and then refrigerate
- Add to their food based on your vet’s recommendation
The Dose & Math:
- One cup and 1 tbsp is about 250ml. Since you have 2,000 mg of CBD, that means that for every milliliter, you’ll have 8 mg of CBD.
- 1 tsp = 5ml = 40mg CBD
- 1/4 tsp = 1.25 ml = 10mg CBD
See the bare spot on Kila’s nose? It was a LOT worse before I started rubbing the recipe above (+ CBG) with beef tallow on her nose. Whenever I put conventional ointment on her nose for her skin allergy, she would lick it off. At least now she’s getting healthy fat, CBD+CBG, and help with her allergy rash at the same time.
So there you have it, folks. Five things you need to tell your dog about cannabis! Be sure to share this blog with all your furry friends!
The Allen Family