Why is CBD Better for Your Pets Than Steroids?
The CBD revolution is taking the world by storm. BDS Analytics has reported that in 2018, consumers spent $1.15 billion on high-CBD products. The reason so many consumers have flocked to using CBD products is because CBD has been reported to ease a number of common ailments, including anxiety, depression, arthritis, dermatological conditions, chronic pain, and more. Along with these healing properties, CBD does not contribute to the psychoactive characteristic that has traditionally been associated with cannabis; due to low doses of the THC molecule (under 0.3% THC content), hemp-derived CBD products will not make users “high”.
CBD products work by contributing CBD cannabinoid molecules to the endocannabinoid system, the internal system that regulates overall homeostasis and balance. Our bodies actually produce cannabinoid molecules on their own, known as endocannabinoids, but we can supplement cannabinoid levels by consuming exogenous cannabinoids through the consumption of cannabinoids found in cannabis.
CBD For Pet Health
The growing acceptance of CBD products for improved health has also expanded into the veterinary sector. Because animals have an endocannabinoid system similar to humans, pets such as dogs, cats, and horses can benefit from cannabis therapy, too. Pet owners are using CBD therapy, often in the form of oils or infused biscuits, to help their animals deal with chronic pain, anxiety disorders, fear, aggression, neurological disorders (such as epilepsy), and “hot spot” skin conditions.
Pets do not have to be sick in order to benefit from CBD products. In fact, pet owners and CBD manufacturers alike tout that offering CBD infused products to a healthy pet can brighten their mood. Additionally, by supplementing the cannabinoid levels within a pet’s system, a pet owner can prevent their pet from contracting an illness that would be triggered by a potential imbalance in their endocannabinoid system.
Steroid Therapy Has Side Effects
Many professionals who work to promote pet health have noted that CBD can be a great alternative to steroid therapy, which is often prescribed to pets who are suffering from health ailments.
In a recent Cannabis Heals Me podcast episode, host Rachel Kennerly and guest Danielle Loughton discuss how they have witnessed dogs on steroid therapy lose their sunny dispositions and start to behave in a “zombie-like” fashion. Both women agree that CBD products are a natural method for improving pet health and can reduce the need for steroid therapy.
Jeremy Feldman, Co-Founder and Brand Director at Pet-Ness, a NY-based company who produces CBD products for animals, also agrees that CBD is a great first-line-of-defense for promoting pet health before opting for steroid therapy.
Per Feldman, he has seen dogs who were prescribed steroids, particularly Prednisone, endure negative side-effects, including worsened skin-conditions, hair-loss, lethargy, and unintended personality changes. Additionally, he says, long time use of steroids can contribute to irreversible liver damage.
No Side Effects to CBD
Unfortunately, clinical research proving the correlation between pet health and CBD therapy is limited due to complicated FDA regulations; in an environment where FDA regulations are ever-changing and unclear, research institutions are wary about publically researching the CBD component.
That said, there have not been any clinical studies that correlate CBD therapy to substantial side effects in pets.
Also, a quick search on the internet will highlight that there is now ample anecdotal evidence from pet owners and pet protectors who swear by the benefits of CBD. Based on consumer approval, CBD is a promising, natural solution for sick pets.
If you have an ailing pet, I would encourage you to consider CBD products in order to naturally improve the health of your pet. And of course, if you try CBD and it does not resolve the issue, there is always the option to take the next step and pursue steroid therapy. However, by using CBD first, you may be able to counter your pet’s suffering while also preventing them from going through life like a character in the “Walking Dead”.
Heather Dagley | Cannabis Writer