Can My Pet Develop CBD Tolerance?

on February 14, 2022

 cbd tolerance

CBD for pets has taken off! Pet parents around the world, and especially in the US, have seen the many potential benefits of regular pet CBD use. However, they often also ask, “Can my pet develop CBD tolerance?”

In this article we will take a quick look at what CBD tolerance might look like in our pets. Also, what you can do about it if you suspect your pet is getting less than the full benefits of CBD use?

Read on and find out.

How is CBD Tolerance Developed?

It’s hard to know for certain if pets can develop CBD tolerance. They can’t exactly tell us what they’re experiencing. However, we do have two major clues: research on humans and our own observations of our furry loves.

So what does the research say about CBD tolerance in humans?

It does appear possible to develop a tolerance to CBD, rendering the CBD less effective. In humans, when the nervous system and brain develop a CBD oil tolerance, the CBD becomes less effective at reducing pain, anxiety, or other beneficial effects from the cannabidiol.

Based on this research, one suspects that dogs also may develop the kind of tolerance that would prevent some benefits. 

In observing your pet, some of the potential signs of CBD tolerance may include:

  • Health symptoms were better, but undesired symptoms appear to be returning,
  • It takes more CBD to create the same effect,
  • Pet seems lethargic after administering CBD,
  • And/or change in your pet’s energy (hyper-energy or sleeping too much).

Why do these things happen? Based on the research on humans, it seems that the main factors involve receptors for cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Like the circulatory system or the nervous system, the ECS is a system within the body. Its purpose is really just beginning to be understood, but it is known that endocannabinoid receptors exist throughout the entire body, within places like the digestive system and the brain.

The widespread impact of CBD mostly likely comes from the many ECS receptors throughout the body.

Essentially, if the ECS system gets overloaded or feels the incoming messaging (from CBD, THC or another cannabinoids) is abnormal, it will counteract that impact by producing fewer receptors. Hence, diminished benefits.

Fortunately, CBD tolerance can be corrected.

How to Reset CBD Tolerance

Unfortunately, the common response to CBD tolerance, using more and more CBD, can backfire. Instead of your pet getting renewed benefits from CBD, using too much can cost more money and prove ineffective. If you use too much, you might also be more likely to experience some of the potential side effects of CBD.

Instead of increasing dosage and furthering the problem, consider a CBD reset.

How can you reset CBD tolerance?

It’s simple! Try these steps:

  1. Take a CBD break for 7-10 days. No CBD oil, no CBD treats, no anything with any cannabinoids.
  2. Reintroduce CBD after the break period, with the lowest potentially effective dose. Use manufacturer’s guidelines. When in doubt, use less.
  3. Maintain the same, low, dosage for at least 30 days before increasing at all. Even if the low dose doesn’t seem effective enough, keep it for 30 days.
  4. Increase incrementally every 30 days, if you need to, until you reach the lowest effective dosage. Use only small dosage increases, particularly for a smaller pet.

Following these steps you not only reset CBD tolerance, you may also prevent it from occurring again.

Note: CBD side effects are rare, but they can be dangerous. If your pet experiences lethargy, diarrhea, or any other undesirable effect, discontinue use. Consult a veterinarian and try the reset steps above.

Maximize the Benefits of Pet CBD

Want the most benefits from CBD for your pet?

The same guidelines (above) for resetting tolerance, also apply in preventing CBD overuse.

You always want to use the lowest effective dosage, maintain for 30 days, and only increase gradually.

You can also mix and match CBD products to change it up, so long as you don’t exceed your pet’s dosage. So use pet CBD oil or treats, but just monitor that overall quantity. Don’t forget you can also still use topical CBD! Topical CBD does absorb through the skin’s endocannabinoid receptors, like in our best-selling Oatmeal Anti-itch CBD Shampoo, but not as directly as CBD oil.

So you can definitely combine CBD shampoo, oil and treats for your pet without fear of tolerance. Just follow the plan above!

Hip & Joint with CBD Tincture


Hip & Joint for Dogs Tincture