The Science Behind CBD for Dogs

on April 13, 2021

Word has gotten around! CBD may be a safe and effective treatment for all kinds of doggy ailments: from anxiety to arthritis, from skin ailments to digestive distress. 

But CBD is a relatively newly studied field, and the science is still emerging.

Here’s what we know, and what dog lovers should know before treating their furry friends with CBD products.


CBD and THC are not the same things, but they come from identical-looking plants, so don’t worry if you find it confusing!

First: hemp vs marijuana. 

Hemp and marijuana plants have a similar leaf shape, but different plant properties. Hemp has been used for millennia in cloth for sails and fiber for paper. Both hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabinoid family, but the chemical compounds in them are different.

Hemp contains high levels of cannabinoids, the naturally occurring chemicals in cannabis that do not produce a “high,” and are used in CBD products. Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive chemical in Marijuana which produces a “high.” Marijuana plants can contain 10% or more THC.

While the science is not 100% understood, cannabinoids are thought to interact with the endocannabinoid system in the brain

THC-producing marijuana plants are still illegal, federally, though legal in certain states for medical or recreational use. But the 2018 Farm Bill legalized industrial hemp production across the United States.

What Does CBD Do for Dogs?

Using CBD to treat various medical conditions is still a new area of research. In humans, CBD is being studied to treat epilepsy, schizophrenia, and several other conditions.

In dogs, recent research suggests that animals have similar reactions to CBD products as humans, namely processing of cannabinoids in the liver and the brain, which lead to positive outcomes with certain medical conditions. The most effective CBD products for dogs appear to be CBD oils or tinctures.

While it’s too early to tell for sure, some of the ailments which may be treated with CBD oil for dogs include:

  • Inflammation, joint pain or arthritis
  • Allergies or skin conditions
  • Nausea or other digestive problems
  • Car sickness or sea sickness
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms of cancer

It’s important to note that the science behind CBD for pets is an ongoing area of research. There are not very many well-designed and peer-reviewed studies. But since a natural, safe CBD oil is unlikely to have serious side effects, many pet owners take a “try and see” approach to the treatment of medical conditions in their furry friend.

You know your dog better than anyone. When you safely administer CBD oil, you can monitor for changes and make a determination if CBD oil is right for your pup.

What to Look for When Choosing CBD Oil for Dogs

It’s important to note that CBD oils for dogs should be specially formulated for your 4-legged friend. 

Human CBD products are not necessarily safe for animals. They may contain harmful additives, residual solvents, or other ingredients which you should not give your dog. For example: xylitol is a zero-calorie, safe-for-humans sweetener that may be deadly for dogs

CBD products should not contain THC, but if a product accidentally contains marijuana your dog could suffer from THC poisoning or THC toxicity. Symptoms can be serious and may include:

  • Vomiting,
  • Difficulty walking,
  • Glazed-over eyes or dilated pupils,
  • Agitation,
  • Lower blood pressure and/or higher heart rate,
  • Tremors or seizures,
  • Coma or even death.

If you suspect that your dog consumed marijuana or THC, you should seek emergency veterinary assistance immediately.

Good CBD products will include:

  • Formulation specifically for your pet.
  • Organic, traceable ingredients.
  • No unnecessary additives, solvents, or chemicals in the production process or final products.
  • An application or administration guide for the correct dosage.

If you have not used a CBD product for your pet before, closely monitor your furry friend for up to 12 hours after administration to see how your dog is doing. Seek veterinary assistance if you see any concerning or alarming changes in your dog’s behavior.

Ideally, you will see improvement in your dog’s condition with regular use of a quality CBD oil.

Choose the Best CBD Oil for Dogs

At Bad Dog CBD we use only non-GMO, organically-grown industrial hemp for the best CBD oil for your dog.

Our pets are our family, and helping them out to feel relief and unstressed is a great thing to do for them!

Try our USA-grown-and-made CBD oil today!

Hip & Joint with CBD Tincture


Hip & Joint for Dogs Tincture