Holistic vets have been sending us some interesting reports about the benefits of hemp oil for dogs in their care …
A senior Staffordshire Terrier had a 6cm mammary tumor and metastasis that disappeared in 3 months and didn’t come back …
A Jack Russell Terrier had a severe heart murmur and painful arthritis and, after a month, he wanted to go for long walks and his murmur was much improved …
These are two examples of from Australian vet Edward Bassingthwaighte.
“I simply can’t explain the improved heart murmur” says Bassingthwaite. “They normally don’t get better.”
Why You Should Give Your Dog Hemp Oil
To be clear, there are two kinds of hemp oil for dogs: hempseed oil and hemp oil from the whole plant. You’ll usually see this called Full Spectrum Hemp Oil or Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil.
While hempseed oil has great nutritional benefits for your dog, researchers are turning their attention to full spectrum hemp, from the whole hemp plant. So far, they’re finding there’s lots to like. And just as full spectrum hemp oil has helped humans, your dog can reap the same health-boosting benefits.
Let’s look at the 10 things you might not know about this often misunderstood herb and the research that shows its promise in helping dogs with a variety of common health issues …
1. Hemp Oil Is Not Psychoactive
Hemp oil contains a compound called cannabidiol. can also be found cannabis is hemp’s close cousin and it’s rich in another compound called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). It’s this compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties.
But if you buy hemp oil for your dog, you’ll get the benefits of the Cannabidiol compounds without the THC. In short, your dog won’t get “high” from hemp oil … he’ll get the relaxation without the intoxication.
And speaking of relaxation …
2. Hemp Reduces Anxiety
Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias? Hemp oil has been extensively studied for its effect on stress and anxiety. In humans, research shows it can:
- Reduce anxiety caused by public speaking
- Reduce anxiety in both healthy people and people with anxiety disorders
- Be effective for panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorders
So, if your dog is suffering from anxiety, hemp oil would be a great way to keep him relaxed when he’s uncomfortable.
RELATED: Does your dog suffer from joint pain? These herbs can help
3. Hemp Oil Can Help Fight Cancer
Research shows hemp oil and other substances in hemp and cannabis have an anti-tumor effect. It has even been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and increase tumor cell death.
Hemp oil can be a solid addition to your dog’s cancer prevention or treatment regime because it can:
- Help the immune system’s killer cells to cause cancer cell death
- Kill cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy
- Provide anti-tumor properties that slow and inhibit glioma cell growth
- Help increase the efficacy of conventional cancer treatment
4. Hemp Can Help Manage Seizures And Epilepsy
Estimates suggest that up to 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Most dogs with seizures are given drugs such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Sure, these drugs may help control the seizures … but they can be extremely harmful to your dog’s liver and other organs. And the drugs don’t work in all cases.
Full spectrum hemp oil has been shown to work well in drug-resistant epilepsy. In one study, 7 of 8 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy saw a definite improvement within 4 to 5 months.
In another study, 84% of children with drug-resistant epilepsy had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
5. Hemp Oil Can Relieve Pain
The cannabinoids in hemp oil have also been shown to work well for pain. So well, in fact, that scientists are considering it as a new class of drug for the treatment of chronic pain.
Studies show full spectrum help oil can be very effective for reducing:
- Pain (including neuropathy and nerve-related pain)
- The impact of inflammation on oxidative stress (which causes degeneration and premature aging)
- Inflammation in acute pancreatitis
- General inflammation
- Intestinal inflammation (associated with irritable bowel disease)
6. Helps With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Animal studies show that hemp oil can prevent colitis (IBD). Other studies show it can help restore normal gut motility in inflammatory bowel disease.
Hemp also has antibiotic properties, including protection against Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
7. Reduces Chronic Inflammation And Autoimmune Disease
Hemp oil has been shown to decrease the production and release of inflammatory cytokines. These can cause allergies, hypersensitivities and autoimmunity. It can also suppress something called Th17 dominance, a major cause of autoimmune diseases.
Another important property of hemp oil is that it can inhibit the production of inflammatory macrophages. This is an important step in decreasing chronic inflammation.
On the topic of chronic inflammation, hemp oil is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radical damage, which is a major cause of organ disease and premature aging. Research shows hemp oil is a more powerful antioxidant than both vitamin C and E.
8. Can Protect The Nervous System
Hemp oil shows a lot of promise for degenerative myelopathy and other spine and nerve issues. It’s also been shown to help patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
This is thanks to its ability to protect the brain cells from toxicity. For senior dogs, hemp oil can also protect the brain from cell death caused by free radicals and toxins.
9. Increases Appetite And Helps With Nausea
If you have trouble getting your dog to eat, hemp oil may help. The National Cancer Institute reports that full spectrum hemp increases appetite.
Studies show that hemp can also help with vomiting and nausea, even when they’re the result of toxins and drugs.
10. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Just as veterinarian Dr Bassingthwaighte discovered, hemp has been linked to heart health. Studies show it can:
- Reduce the damage from damaged blood vessels and irregular heart rates
- Protect blood vessels from damage and dilate the arteries
- Reduce heart rate and blood pressure associated with stress and anxiety
BONUS: Hemp Oil Is Safe For Dogs
With so many studies showing the health benefits of hemp oil, the most encouraging result is that hemp appears to be safe, even when taken in high doses and over extended periods of time.
However, it’s important to know that hemp oil can decrease the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize many prescription drugs. So if your dog is on medication, you might want to check with your holistic vet before using hemp oil.
If your dog is on any of the following medications, ask your vet before giving your dog hemp oil:
- Allergy meds
- Liver or kidney meds
- Heart meds
- Anxiety meds
If your dog is on any of these meds, it doesn’t mean you can’t give hemp oil … but it’s safest to check with your vet first.
The bottom line is, hemp oil could be a healthy (or even life-saving) herb for your dog. More and more pet owners and holistic vets are drawn to its diverse health benefits. And they feel good knowing the side effects are mild and animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance.
How To Find The Best Hemp Oil For Dogs
The hemp and CBD industry is largely unregulated. That means you might be buying a low quality hemp oil for your dog. Here are some tips for finding the best hemp oil for your dog:
1. Look For Co2 Extraction
Hemp oil needs to be extracted from the hemp plant somehow … and the cheapest way to do this is with solvents. These often include propane, butane or petroleum products. These solvents will leave a residue in the product and can be toxic to your dog.
Some hemp oil is extracted with natural solvents, such as ethanol or olive oil. This is obviously much safer for your dog … but these oils can destroy the hemp plant’s waxes and the resulting oil isn’t as beneficial.
CO2 is the most expensive way to produce hemp oil … and the best. In CO2 extraction, the hemp is placed in a high-pressure chamber with CO2 (plain old carbon dioxide). The CO2 simply puts pressure on the hemp and the oil is released as the hemp is broken down.
CO2 extraction produces much higher concentrations of CBD than any other method … which means your dog gets more benefit. And supercritical extraction will extract more cannabidiols than subcritical.
This makes the product more expensive … but your dog gets a safe product with more active ingredients.
2. Look For A Certificate Of Analysis
A certificate of analysis is a document, usually from a third-party laboratory, that shows the amount and type of cannabinoids in the hemp oil.
Every batch of hemp should have its own COA … this protects you from poor quality products. If the COA isn’t listed on the website, make sure you ask for it before buying your dog’s hemp oil.
Here’s what you’ll want to look for on the COA …
- Make sure the amount of CBD on the COA is the same as the label. It’s not unusual to think your buying 500mg hemp oil for your dog, only to find out there’s only 150mg in the bottle.
- Make sure the hemp is full spectrum. Sometimes the CBD in your dog’s hemp oil is from isolate. It’s easy to spot isolate because it will contain zero THC. But it will also be lacking important cannabinoids and terpenes. So check the label and make sure there is some THC (usually 0.03%) and other cannabinoids such as CBGA, CBDA or CBC.
- Check for contaminants. The COA will also list contaminants like heavy metals. To be safe, make sure your hemp oil is organic … and check the COA to make sure there is no pesticide or solvent residue.
How Much Hemp Oil Should I Give My Dog?
When you buy hemp oil for your dog, you’ll notice that the bottle will have a certain concentration, which is listed in milligrams (mg). This is the amount of CBD in the entire bottle. Common concentrations are 250mg, 500mg and 1,000mg.
The general rule of thumb is to give 1mg to 6mg of full spectrum hemp oil per 10 pounds of body weight. But it’s best to start with a lower dose and increase the amount from there.
If you’re giving your dog hemp oil to deal with stress or anxiety, stick to the lower dose. And if you’re giving your dog hemp oil for an immune issue or pain, try to work up to the higher amount.
You can just give the hemp oil right on your dog’s food … most dogs don’t mind the taste.
Overall, hemp oil is a safe and versatile herb that can be a great addition for most dogs. Just make sure you do your research and give your dog a high quality full spectrum hemp oil.