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Hemp Oil Dog Dosage Guide

a white dog laying down in the grass

From reducing your dog’s discomfort and anxiety to treating skin and coat disorders, digestive issues, fighting cancer cells, inflammation and more, hemp oil for pets has proven to be an effective natural supplement that can be safely administered together with other supplements.

That means that your dog can still take his other supplements while taking CBD. While CBD’s benefits are numerous, it’s also worth discussing hemp oil dosage for dogs.

Hemp oil is a natural compound found in the hemp plant that has demonstrated its efficacy in promoting good health and easing chronic pain and anxiousness in people and pets.

CBD is different from THC in that it’s not psychoactive, and is safe for dogs because it does not bind to the cannabinoid receptors.

Hemp CBD Oil Offers Analgesic Effects for Dogs with Pain

Pets have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and translates signals from cannabinoids. That said, it also makes its own cannabinoids which are called endocannabinoids. The ECS is important in that it regulates sleep, pain, and immune system health in dogs. So how does CBD fit into the picture?

CBD helps the body to use its own endocannabinoids to its full potential. That said, CBD does not affect the ECS; but helps activate or inhibit certain compounds within the endocannabinoid system.

When dealing with pain, cannabinoids will prevent the body from absorbing anandamide. This compound regulates pain, so when there is an abundance of anandamide in the bloodstream, the dog feels less pain. CBD hemp oil helps with inflammation in the nervous system, and in the brain. This helps dogs with pain and other immune system responses. CBD is the perfect supplement and nutraceutical for all pets.

A study published in Frontiers Media, SA adds that:

“The apparent analgesic effect of the industrial hemp-based oil observed in the present study may be attributable to downregulation of cyclooxygenase enzymes, glycine interneuron potentiation, transient receptor potential cation receptor subfamily V1 receptor agonism (peripheral nerves), and/or g-protein receptor 55 activation (immune cells), influencing nociceptive signaling and/or inflammation,” via Frontiers Media SA.

Anotherstudy from the University of McGill demonstrates the efficacy of CBD without THC for chronic pain. This study adds that “alleviate both pain and anxiety, two symptoms often associated with neuropathic or chronic pain," via Science Daily.The study goes on to add “Our findings elucidate the mechanism of action of CBD and show that it can be used as medicine without the dangerous side effects of the THC," says Dr. Gobbi, who is also Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and staff psychiatrist at the MUHC. "This research is a new advancement for an evidence-based application of cannabis in medicine," via Science Daily.

The Endocannabinoid System in Dogs

Dr. Lascelles from North Carolina State University adds that “However, dogs do have the same natural cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system as humans,” (The endocannabinoid system involves physiological processes such as appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.) These receptors are found in the dog’s brain and peripheral nervous system. In fact, scientific research has confirmed that cannabis receptors exist in many different species, including dogs,” viaAnimal Wellness

CBD’s Numerous Health Benefits for Dogs Includes the Following: 

  • Pain reliever
  • May help with canine depression resulting from pain
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat by preventing sebaceous gland cells from secreting too much sebum
  • May provide benefits to dogs with neurological disorders
  • Helps decrease inflammation in dogs
  • May be beneficial for cardiac health
  • CBD may be beneficial in preventing tumor growth
  • CBD helps with diabetes prevention by reducing diabetes up to 56% and reducing associated inflammation in diabetic dogs.
  • Digestive issues
  • Blood disorders
  • Fights off free radicals, and may prevent the development of cancer

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Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil May Be Beneficial for Cancer Pain

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil with no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for dogs with cancer may be beneficial by helping to relieve the symptoms that go hand –in- hand with cancer treatment, that results in loss of appetite, pain, and nausea. Cancer most times causes pain due to inflammation, nerve injury and pressure on the internal organs.

A recent study at Cornell University found that hemp oil is effective for dogs with chronic pain, and demonstrated evidence that CBD reduces inflammation and chronic pain in pets. The study also found that dogs on CBD did not build up a tolerance to CBD, so doses did not have to increase with time. There was also little to no side effects. That said, it’s still necessary to consult with your veterinarian for a diagnosis, and the best hemp oil dosage with potency for your dog’s medical condition. This ensures that the condition is treated effectively.

Cannabidiol (CBD) may help reduce the amount of cancer pain in dogs by acting indirectly on the CB2 receptors. This differs from how THC acts on CB1 receptors, in that THC may be more beneficial in helping ease pain caused by nerve damage in dogs. As usual, consult with your veterinary oncologist for advice. You’ll need to get the correct dosage for your dog’s weight, age, and medical condition.

CBD for intestinal Inflammation

Studies from the University of Rome demonstrated that CBD was beneficial in reducing intestinal inflammation. The study concluded that “CBD is a key modulator molecule that may interfere with the neuroglial-mediated interactions in an intestinal inflammatory environment. Its activity markedly focused on S100B protein downregulation, which leads to consequent reduction of intestinal damage occurring during acute and chronic intestinal inflammatory status and highlights the importance of glial cell control during these pathological conditions. through the restoration of the altered glia-immune homeostasis. CBD is therefore regarded as a promising therapeutic agent that modulates the neuro-immune axis, which can be recognized as a new target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders,” via Plos One.

CBD for Joint Pain

A brown and black dog running through a field of grass and dandelions

Cannabidiol(CBD) studies have demonstrated that CBD offers analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. CBD studies also show that THC-free cannabidiol is effective in reducing pain and inflammation in dogs. Today, pet parents can purchase CBD –infused dog treats, tinctures, lotions, capsules, and even transdermal patches. Studies have shown that CBD helps with hip, joint, and connective tissue health in dogs. CBD hemp oil supplements that are rich in flavonoids and terpenes also promote healthy joint fluid to support joint health and flexibility in dogs. So look out for those too!

CBD for Joint Diseases

Dogs succumb to joint diseases, like arthritis that will only affect the joint membranes, while there are other joint conditions that will affect a dog’s tendons, cartilage, bursae, and joint fluid. Joint disorders can also come about from a sports injury to the joint, abnormal development, infections, or immune-related disorders. CBD dog treats and tinctures may be beneficial to sporting dogs that do agility, search and rescue or partake in plenty of outdoor activity.

Signs That Your Dog Has a Joint Disorder

  • Lameness
  • Muscle wasting
  • Joint swelling
  • Heat and inflammation in the joint
  • Stiffness after lying down
  • Inability or difficulty climbing stairs or jumping on to the bed
  • Reduced walking pace during walks
  • Thickening and scarring of joint membrane
  • Less grooming
  • Sleeping more
  • Less activity with possible depression

CBD May Have No Long Term Side Effects

While it’s important to always visit your veterinarian for advice as to how much cannabidiol your dog should take, it’s also important to have a chat to discuss whether CBD is appropriate as a treatment for a specific condition. Of course, you may have the option of combining both CBD with traditional treatment. That said, let’s take a look at what the usual treatment is for pain and inflammation.

Treatment May Include the Following for Pain and Inflammation 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and inflammation
  • Surgical options like joint fusion, joint replacement, cutting of the joint, and even amputation
  • Weight reduction program
  • Monitored exercise on soft surfaces to minimize hard impacts on joints
  • Warm compresses on the joint area
  • Joint fluid modifiers
  • regular aqua therapy or any non-weight bearing exercise where your dog’s joints don’t bear his weight during exercise. Swimming is an effective physical therapy option for dogs with OA.
  • Limit sporting and exercise schedules. Consult with your veterinarian as to how much exercise your dog can do.
  • Discuss adding CBD tinctures or treats to the treatment.

CBD Supplement Tips for Optimal Health

When shopping for CBD supplements whether it’s an edible or tincture, look for one that offers dietary supplementation. So if your dog has joint issues, opt for added chondroitin and glucosamine.

  • CBD products for pets that have dietary supplementation with fish oils containing Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. These are anti-inflammatory, and help to promote joint health by reducing inflammation in dogs.
  • Opt for CBD supplement with chondroitin, glucosamine, & MSM for optimal joint health.
  • Purchase CBD hemp oil that is free of THC. This has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain via numerous studies. Today CBD is an important part of pain and inflammation management.

CBD Dosage Study

“Dogs received either CBD oil at 2 mg/kg every 12 hours or they received placebo oil, according to the abstract. Dogs were treated for four weeks with a two-week washout period. The dogs’ owners completed questionnaires and veterinarians conducted assessments—including physical exam, hematology and serum chemistry—before treatment and at weeks two and four. The Canine Brief Pain Inventory score and Hudson activity score (a visual analog scale questionnaire used to assess pain and lameness in dogs),” via Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM. Veterinary News.

CBD Studies Add That It May Combat Cancer Cells with The Correct Dosage

CBD has the ability to destroy certain cancer cells, and prevent the growth of blood vessels to tumors. This natural supplement also offers antioxidant properties and may help slow down tumor growth in dogs with cancer.

Hemp Oil Dosage

As of yet, there have been no studies that show negative interactions between CBD and other drugs when dealing with pain management in dogs. The norms with pain management dosing for cancer pain is usually a “higher dose of CBD such as 2mg/kg to 3mg/kg twice daily,” via Animal Wellness, Volume 21, Issue 3, page 48.

Keep in mind that higher-strength tinctures are more cost-effective, yet pet parents should be cautious about using the more potent tinctures at first on their dogs. You should also consider the strength of the tincture and your dog’s weight, health conditions, and age prior to purchasing.

Potent CBD pet tinctures offer more potency and other cannabinoids which may be beneficial for certain canine health and behavioral issues. That said, it’s important to discuss potencies with your veterinarian. Most CBD tinctures contain hemp seed oil extract that is mixed with a neutral oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. Opt for the highest-quality products for your dog. This is one product that’s worth spending on. Less expensive CBD pet products may not be as effective and may have contaminants like heavy metals or pesticides.

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CBD Dosage for Dogs with Osteoarthritis

A recent, 2018 study from the University of Cornell,College of Veterinary Medicine tested the safety and analgesic efficacy of cannabidiol based oil in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA). Single-dose testing was done first with a randomized placebo-controlled cross-over study done afterward.

The researchers tested two different doses, 2mg/kg and 8mg/kg of CBD enriched oil. The dogs received either the 2mg/kg CBD enriched oil or a placebo oil every 12 hours for 4 weeks with a 2-week washout period. Hematology, serum chemistry testing and physical examinations were performed at each visit. The study concluded that “Pharmacokinetics revealed an elimination half-life of 4.2 h at both doses and no observable side effects. Clinically, canine brief pain inventory and Hudson activity scores showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity (p < 0.01) with CBD oil. Veterinary assessment showed decreased pain during CBD treatment (p < 0.02). No side effects were reported by owners, however, serum chemistry showed an increase in alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment (p < 0.01),” via Frontiers Media SA. 1.

Researchers added that 2mg/kg cannabidiol oil, when given twice daily to dogs with osteoarthritis, proved effective in increasing comfort and activity in dogs. This study also added that” Routine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatments, though efficacious, may not provide adequate relief of pain due to osteoarthritis (OA) and might have potential side effects that preclude its use, particularly in geriatric patients with certain comorbidities, such as kidney or gastrointestinal pathologies.” As for other usual osteoarthritis pharmaceutical treatments like gabapentin and amantadine, they added that “there is little evidence regarding their efficacy in dogs with chronic or neuropathic pain related to OA. Recent medical interest in alternative therapies and modalities for pain relief has led many pet owners to seek hemp-related products rich in cannabinoids.”

New August 2019 Study Shows That High Fat Foods Increase the Absorption of Oral Cannabidiol Absorption

A newstudy from the University of Minnesota in August 2019, first published in Epilepsia, tested to see whether eating high-fat foods actually improved the body’s absorption of CBD. This study involved epilepsy patients that had to eat a high-fat meal before taking a CBD capsule. The researchers compared patients who took CBD capsules on an empty stomach and those that had a meal before like a breakfast burrito. The researchers explained that “The type of food can make a large difference in the amount of CBD that gets absorbed into the body. Although fatty foods can increase the absorption of CBD, it can also increase the variability as not all meals contain the same amount of fat," said Angela Birnbaum, a professor in the College of Pharmacy and study co-author,” via Science Daily. The study goes on to add the following:

 “Increases in the amount of the CBD dose being absorbed into the body can also lead to lower medication costs," said Ilo Leppik, study co-author, a professor in the College of Pharmacy and an adjunct professor at the Medical School.”

Studies Demonstrate That Consuming High-Fat Foods Increases the Amount of CBD in The Body by 4 – to 14-Times

Although side effects are rare, it’s always beneficial to speak to a holistic veterinarian about dosage and tincture potencies. Here’s what we need to take into consideration when we administer CBD products:

  • CBD exposure is increased when CBD is consumed with a fatty meal.
  • CBD taken with food will increase the amount of CBD in the body by 4-times to possibly * There were no cognitive side effects.
  • Epilepsy patients need to maintain consistent blood concentrations of CBD. This is more easily maintained when CBD is consumed with a fatty meal. Epilepsy patients that don’t maintain consistent CBD blood concentrations could be prone to more seizures.

CBD OIL Dosing & Potency

  • Purity Level 1 contains 125 mg of Cannabidiol and is best suited for dogs that weigh up to 25 lbs.
  • Purity Level 2 contains 250 mg of Cannabidiol and is best suited for dogs that weigh between 25-50 lbs.
  • Purity Level 3 contains 500 mg of Cannabidiol and is best suited for dogs that weigh over 50 lbs.

CBD Oil Dosing Per Dog’s Weight

Hemp Oil Dog Dosage Guide
  • 40 pounds: 4 mg – 20 mg
  • 50 pounds: 5 mg – 25 mg
  • 60 pounds: 6 mg – 30 mg
  • 70 pounds: 7 mg – 35 mg
  • 80 pounds: 8 mg – 40 mg
  • 90 pounds: 9 mg – 45 mg
  • 100+ pounds: 10 mg – 50 mg

When calculating a CBD dose for your dog, you’ll need to convert your dog’s weight from pounds to kilograms. With 2.2 pounds in one kilogram, divide your dog’s weight by 2. To get his weight in kilograms. You then will need to multiply the dose by the number of kilograms to get the right dose in milligrams. So if your dog is 50 pounds, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Divide 50 by 2.2 = 22.7 kilograms
  • 0.5mg/kg x 22.7 kg – 11 mg
  • You’ll then need to begin with 11mg CBD tincture twice daily.

We’re all interested in the numerous medical benefits that CBD has to offer, and its therapeutic effects. Signs of pain or illness may be subtle in pets or difficult to recognize at times. Before using CBD with your pets, discuss it with a CBD holistic veterinarian, so that you can find the right CBD pet product and get tips on dosing and potencies.

Meet The Author 

Claudia Bensimoun

Canine Specialist & Writer

Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.

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