CBD & The Endocannabinoid System

CBD works on receptors within the endocannabinoid system, a part of the nervous system that operates as a network in the body of all mammals that sends messages from the brain to its various parts. 

This is accomplished through neurotransmitters, communication chemicals that transmit messages from special cells called neurons that send and receive sensory input to receptors that receive that information. 

The neurotransmitters that work within the endocannabinoid system are called endocannabinoids and for the purpose of this article we will discuss two specific types: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids created within the body and phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that come from plants like cannabis. Since cannabinoids send pain relief and anti-inflammatory messages it can then be inferred that CBD, the dominant active cannabinoid in hemp, plays a prominent role in addressing negative symptoms associated with many diseases.

cbd oil for cats

Dr. Powers is not alone. According to the professionals at Boulder Holistic Veterinary Clinic, CBD can help with the following conditions in cats:

  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Cats with IBD sometimes vomit, have diarrhea, or lose large amounts of weight. CBD can help reduce inflammation and therefore the symptoms of IBD. 

  1. Pancreatitis

Some cats that have IBD also have pancreatitis, which can be a challenge to treat. Along with a low-fat diet and some herbal remedies, CBD oil can help with the symptoms. 

  1. Arthritis

Cats suffering from arthritis need special care because there aren’t many safe pharmaceutical options. The veterinarians at Boulder Holistic Veterinary Clinic have found that CBD is particularly safe and effective in treating cat arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

  1. Cancer

CBD is increasingly being used to treat cancer in both pets and people with many reports claiming longer survival times and increased quality of life. 

  1. Asthma

Asthma is a common inflammatory disease seen in cats and while some have very minor symptoms, others require life-long treatments using inhalers. CBD can be a great option to help combat the inflammatory effects of asthma. Due to the complex nature of this condition, veterinary advice is strongly recommended. 

  1. Chronic Upper Respiratory Infections

Reports of symptom relief from chronic upper respiratory infections have been seen in cats administered CBD for conditions like arthritis or asthma. Some cats with life-long chronic viral infections have experienced significant relief according to the veterinarians.

  1. Seizures

Cats experiencing seizures (although not common) have had very positive responses from the use of CBD. It is advised to not stop medication abruptly however, and to always consult with a veterinarian.

CBD Oil For Cats

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is increasing in popularity worldwide for use in treating the symptoms of many diseases. It’s effectiveness in treating these symptoms has prompted many people to consider giving it to their cats, resulting in considerable debate around the conditions it can treat, suitable dosages and safety concerns. 

These questions are addressed in this short guide, designed to provide you with the information you need about administering CBD to your cat.

Please note that while a great deal of this content is backed by anecdotal evidence and the opinions of veterinary professionals, it is very important to consult with an expert prior to administering CBD or any other medication to your cat.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is derived from hemp, a plant that is related to marijuana in the cannabis family. The main difference between the two is that marijuana contains large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the active ingredient in marijuana that produces feelings of euphoria. 

Hemp (and therefore CBD oil) contains negligible amounts of THC and will not produce any psychoactive feelings. CBD is legal in most countries in the world however legislation differs – meaning that not everyone can produce or grow cannabis products.

Not all CBD oils are alike – our CBD oil is created using organic CBD paste that is rich in CBD, blended with an olive oil base. This format is considered to be one of the most convenient available, giving users control in the dosage through the use of its built-in dropper.  

How does CBD Oil Works for Cats?

All mammals (including cats) have an endocannabinoid system – a component of the nervous system that acts like a network sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body. This is accomplished through the use of cannabinoids – special neurotransmitters that “transmit” information from “neurons”. Neurons are receivers that obtain information from the outside  and send instructions.

There are two main classifications of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids and phtyocannabinoids. 

Endocannabinoids are internal – a type produced naturally by the body. Phytocannabinoids come from plants, derived from the Greek word “phyto” which means plant. 

Cat Diseases Treated With CBD Oil

CBD oil can be used to treat many conditions that affect cats including stress and anxiety-related disorders, chronic pain and arthritis. 

According to Jeffrey Powers, DVM and chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, “CBD has received quite a bit of interest recently in veterinary medicine. It has been shown to be an effective analgesic and a strong anti-inflammatory as well.”

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Disease Specific CBD Doses for Cats

The professionals at Boulder Holistic Veterinary Clinic recommend the following doses for each specific disease: 

1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Dosing: Start with 0.2 mg/kg twice daily and increase gradually

2. Pancreatitis

Start with 0.1 mg/kg twice daily and increase to 0.5 mg/kg twice daily. It is very important to minimize fat consumption in cats with pancreatitis. 

3. Arthritis

Start with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily and increase gradually.

4. Cancer

Start with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily and increase gradually.

5. Asthma

Start with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily and increase gradually.

6. Chronic Upper Respiratory Infections

Start with 0.5 mg/kg of CBD twice daily and increase gradually. 

7. Seizures

Start with 0.5 mg/kg twice daily and increase as needed, with up to 3 mg/kg twice daily if required.

Side Effects of CBD in Cats

There is not any scientific data explicitly available for side effects of CBD oil usage in cats, however some people have noticed the following side effects in their pets from the use of CBD: 

  • Dry mouth (increased drinking)
  • Drowsiness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Sedation

To minimize potential side effects it is advised to consult a veterinarian prior to administration and to always dose with the minimum amount.

What are the Overdose Risks for Cats Taking CBD?

Overdoses are possible if the CBD is infused in treats or other methods using food. For this reason CBD oil is advised. If the cat exhibits symptoms of lethargy, vomiting, incoordination, excessive skin sensitivity, stumbling, falling, urinary incontinence or inactivity, it is important to call your vet immediately.

Scientific studies that show the effectiveness of CBD oil for cats

There are no known studies of the effects of CBD on cats, however one study on the use of CBD in dogs exists. It was conducted in July 2018 and published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science. The results were very promising, showing positive effects of CBD on dogs suffering from arthritis with more than 80% of the animals demonstrating increased mobility and decreased pain. 

Treat Your Cat to Organic Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

Our CBD products contain full-spectrum organic CBD Oil of the highest quality. For more information and to view the collection, please click on the link below:

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