Medical Research

CBD For Dogs

Written by Jason Collins

Cannabidiol (CBD) products are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners in the US. Owing to rising awareness of the health benefits of cannabis, more and more animal owners, including dog owners, are using CBD. [1] This seems exaggerated, but one report determined that 50% of survey respondents who are pet owners in the US have reported using CBD for their pets.

With the use of various cannabis derived pet products on the rise, many US dog owners and also veterinarians are beginning to wonder if CBD treatments could be a viable treatment option for dog health care conditions. Spoiler alert; CBD products are successfully being used for treating pet ailments like inflammation, arthritis, seizures, and plenty of others that we will discuss in our article. So continue reading to learn what you need to know about how CBD can benefit dogs.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) In Dogs: What You Need To Know

Like humans, all mammals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Studies conducted since the 1960s have found that the ECS supports and maintains homeostasis and healthy balance. When any of the body systems go out of balance, the ECS comes into action and assists the body with repair and recovery [2].

Essentially, CBD can be beneficial to your dog (like it can be with humans) both by interacting with your dog’s endocannabinoid system and by other paths that science is still discovering.. To elaborate further, when CBD interacts with this system, it can improve numerous things in your pet’s body, like joint health, brain function, and bone health.

It can do this because the ECS consists of receptors, which are spread all over the body including the brain and the immune system, that interact with cannabinoids and assist with regulating various processes like cognition, eating, relaxation, and sleeping.

How Can CBD Help Dogs? The Medical Conditions It Helps

Now that you know about the endocannabinoid system, we can discuss how CBD can help your dog. Yet, it’s important to note that the ECS system can function slightly differently from one dog to the next.

This means that CBD products like oil, tinctures, balms, treats, and medicines can be more effective for some while less effective for others. Also, dosing may vary from patient to patient. Ultimately, even though the use of CBD in treating the below conditions is under-researched, it has proven to be beneficial. Let’s dive in.

Pain and Inflammation

Various studies conducted on animals have shown that CBD among other cannabinoids (like CBDA and CBG) can help lower inflammation and relieve pain. This is especially true with dogs who suffer from arthritis and have difficulty being mobile.

Scientists and researchers are unsure why CBD can reduce pain and inflammation, but they have summarized that it could be linked to how CBD affects a dog’s ECS and the nerves that create joint sensations. [3]

Additionally, it isn’t only arthritis symptoms that can be alleviated through CBD. It’s been determined that the cannabinoid can also help with other anti-inflammatory conditions like back pain caused by intervertebral disc disease. And all this with minimal side effects.


Unfortunately, most dogs experience anxiety at some point during their lifetime, while others go so far as to develop anxiety disorders. When a dog experiences anxiety, it can lead to many troubling behaviors like aggressive actions, mood problems, and frequent urination. Luckily, CBD has been proven to ease a dog’s nervousness and anxious feelings when the right dosages and products are administered. [4]

Although not much is known about how CBD lessens anxious feelings in dogs, and further studies are needed, some experts believe CBD activates serotonin in the brain. This is the hormone that allows animals to feel calm, happy and relaxed.

Nausea and Appetite

As we mentioned earlier, CBD interacts with a dog’s ECS to promote homeostasis, which helps regulate nausea and appetite. In fact, a study in the British Journal of Pharmacology stated that there was considerable evidence of CBD manipulating human and animal ECS’s to regulate nausea and vomiting.

Additionally, some believe that CBD can help ease nausea and vomiting symptoms while promoting appetite in dogs with cancer, as it does in humans. [5]


Interestingly, CBD has been proven to help with epilepsy and with reducing seizures in humans as well as in dogs, sometimes on its own and other times when it is used in combination with traditional antiseizure medications. [6] Although it’s not wholly known why CBD helps to reduce the frequency of seizures, researchers believe that CBD prevents dogs’ nerves in their brains from firing too much while lowering the number of electrolytes that play a significant role in seizures. [7] How Can You Determine If CDB Is Helping Your Dog?

Unfortunately, your dog won’t be able to tell you when the CBD you’re giving them is working. That’s why the best way to tell if it’s having a positive effect is to watch your dog and their behaviors to see if their health improves with CBD use.

You might notice some improvement in your dog’s condition within an hour of administering CBD, like with dogs suffering anxiety. On the other hand, it could take a few days or weeks to see an improvement, like with dogs suffering from arthritis. Like most cannabis treatments, i’s best to start low and go slow.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, CBD can help dogs with a wide range of health conditions. Although it is not dangerous even in very high doses, and it usually has minimal side effects, Before giving your dog CBD for any of the health conditions, we discussed it’s best to consult a veterinarian. First so that you can get a handle on what products to use, the different options of administration and the correct dosages for your dog and its condition. After all, CBD pet care products are not approved by the FDA yet.



About the author

Jason Collins

Leave a Comment