By now you’ve probably heard of all the ways people are using cannabidiol (CBD) in their regular health routines and heard of its many benefits. It wasn’t long after we discovered the potential benefits of CBD for humans that experts began to explore the potential of CBD for pets. What they found is that the cannabis-derived supplement may have many of the same benefits for our furry friends. That’s why many pet owners are hoping to find out more about the benefits of cannabidiol for their four-legged companions. Luckily, cannabidiol may be useful for dogs and cats. For more information about CBD for dogs, check out this handy guide we made. If you’re curious about using CBD for your cat, keep reading for more insight into the many uses and any potential risks of giving your cat a regular dose.
What is CBD for Cats?
CBD for cats is much like CBD used by people all over the world for its beneficial effects on sleep, inflammation, pain, mood, and more. In fact, the cannabinoids interact with cats in the same way as it does with humans: through the endocannabinoid system. This bodily system, made up of millions of neuro-receptors throughout the major organs and skin, is partially responsible for several necessary functions. For instance, the endocannabinoid system has a hand in sleep regulation, the skin’s sebum production, inflammatory and pain responses, the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis (which directly impact the immune response), and more. The endocannabinoid system is made up of molecules that are similar in structure to CBD, which is why the body easily recognizes and utilizes the cannabinoid.
Cannabidiol for cats comes in many different forms, like oral tinctures, treats, capsules, and even topicals that are designed to be the perfect potency and purity for your pet. Because there are so many different options (and just as many benefits) cat owners usually have no trouble finding a CBD product that brings their furry feline quick and reliable relief.
CBD shouldn’t ever be confused with THC, the cannabinoid found in cannabis that produces psychoactive effects. While THC and cannabis may have benefits for pets in many cases, both cats and dogs are more sensitive to THC than humans. Cats are believed to be even more sensitive than dogs, so it is important that THC is not given to your pet without a veterinarian’s guidance.
CBD Uses for Cats
Again, the uses for CBD for cats are nearly the same as the many benefits of CBD for people. However, there are a few conditions commonly affecting cats that may respond well to cannabidiol, including:
- Arthritis and joint inflammation: Using CBD for arthritis and other inflammatory conditions has become pretty commonplace, and studies have shown that CBD shows great potential for reducing inflammation all over the body. Though there are no cat-specific studies, one study did show great improvement in dogs with osteoarthritis who were using CBD regularly, and pet owners have found it to be effective for cats as well.
- Diabetes and obesity: Studies show that the endocannabinoid system has a direct impact on diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, cannabis products and cannabidiol may help in managing insulin resistance and have a positive impact on fat burning that helps manage weight loss.
- Other pain-causing conditions: In general, research has identified that cannabidiol may help reduce pain, including chronic pain. In some cases, cannabidiol is seen to have effects comparable to prescription opiates. For this reason, people have seen improvement in symptoms of pain when using CBD for cats.
Is CBD Safe for Cats?
The safety of Cannabidiol has been scrutinized by skeptics, mostly due to the lack of research surrounding the cannabinoid. It is true that existing research is minimal, and more research is needed to understand the full potential (and risks) of the supplement. However, there is research regarding possible toxicity and safety related to Cannabidiol. One study shows that CBD produces no toxic effects even in large doses. Another study shows that cannabidiol has a few rare and mild potential side effects, like diarrhea, weight changes, tiredness, or appetite changes. Often, adverse effects are only experienced when taking too much Cannabidiol and many people have successfully used CBD to treat a number of ailments commonly affecting cats. One way to avoid an adverse reaction is to ensure that you are properly dosing CBD for your cat.
CBD For Cats Dosing Information
If you’re new to using cannabidiol, you’re probably thinking “how much CBD should I give my cat?” Unfortunately, there’s no easy dosing guide for giving CBD for cats. The amount of CBD your cat needs could depend on a number of factors, like his or her weight, age, health condition, tolerance, diet, and more. Generally, cannabidiol products made for pets will have pet specific dosing guidelines based on weight. These are a good rule of thumb most of the time, but if you are unsure you can start with doses as low as 0.25 my and increase slowly (every few days) to monitor your cat’s effects. For most average sized cats, less than one milligram is a fair starting dose.
How To Start Using CBD for Cats
If you think that CBD is a good choice for your cat, you may be tempted to get started right away. However, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the product and the safety of your cat, you should take your time to choose a quality CBD product for your cat. CBD brands offer a lot of options, including edible cannabidiol supplements and topical products. Some of the most popular CBD products for cats include:
- Tinctures: CBD tinctures for pets are liquid supplements meant to be given by mouth. These products make it easy to measure the dose each time, which is especially helpful when needing to slowly increase or decrease the amount of CBD given to your cat. Tinctures are popular because they take effect quickly, sometimes in as little as a few minutes.
- Edibles: Edible products, like CBD pet treats, are a great option for giving a pre-measured dose of CBD in a flavor your cat will love. These do take longer to kick in, sometimes over an hour before your cat will feel the effects.
- Topicals: Topical products made for pets may be best for targeting your cat’s skin concerns or joint or muscle pain. These products come in many forms, like CBD lotions and balms. They should, however, be sourced from organic and food safe ingredients, since cats have a tendency to ingest topicals when they clean themselves.
If you are unsure about how to start using CBD for your cat, talk to your veterinarian. You should also thoroughly study the instructions on the label of the product you choose. When in doubt, always start with doses smaller than recommended and work your way up, monitoring the effects CBD has on your cat. With a quality CBD product and a little patience, you can help your furry feline on their way to a pain-free life