CBD Oil with THC for Dogs: What You Should Know

CBD oil has gained popularity as a potential alternative treatment for various ailments in dogs, from anxiety to chronic pain. However, the inclusion of THC in these products raises several questions about their safety, legality, and efficacy. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what dog owners should know about using CBD oil with THC for their pets.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • CBD and THC have different effects on dogs, with THC being potentially toxic even in small amounts.
  • Federal and state laws vary regarding the legality of CBD oil with THC for pets, so it’s essential to be informed about local regulations.
  • Potential benefits of CBD oil with THC for dogs include pain management, anxiety reduction, and seizure control, but more research is needed.
  • Quality control is crucial when selecting CBD products for dogs; look for third-party testing to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy.
  • Consulting with a veterinarian experienced in CBD treatments is highly recommended before administering any CBD oil with THC to your dog.

Understanding CBD Oil and THC for Dogs

Definition of CBD and THC

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two primary compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a "high," while THC is the psychoactive component responsible for the euphoric effects associated with cannabis use. In veterinary medicine, CBD is often used for its potential therapeutic benefits, whereas THC’s use is more controversial due to its psychoactive properties.

Differences Between CBD and THC

The primary difference between CBD and THC lies in their psychoactive effects. While CBD does not induce any psychoactive effects, THC is known for its ability to alter mental state and perception. This distinction is crucial when considering the safety and efficacy of these compounds for canine use. Additionally, CBD and THC interact differently with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a significant role in maintaining physiological balance.

How CBD and THC Interact with Canine Physiology

CBD and THC interact with the endocannabinoid system in dogs, which is involved in regulating various physiological processes such as pain, mood, and appetite. CBD primarily interacts with CB2 receptors, which are found throughout the immune system, while THC binds to CB1 receptors located in the brain. This difference in receptor interaction explains why CBD is often considered safer for dogs, as THC can lead to adverse effects such as disorientation and anxiety.

Understanding the complex interactions of THC and CBD on canine physiology is essential for making informed decisions about their use in pets.

Legal Considerations for CBD Oil with THC for Dogs

Federal Regulations

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the Farm Bill, legalized the sale of hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% THC. This legal limit is crucial for ensuring that products do not cause cannabis toxicity in dogs. However, it’s important to note that there are no FDA-approved CBD products for dogs, making it essential to consult a veterinarian before introducing any new treatments.

State-Specific Laws

State laws regarding CBD oil with THC for dogs can vary significantly. Some states have more stringent regulations, while others are more lenient. Pet owners should thoroughly research their state’s specific laws to ensure compliance. This variability can make it challenging to navigate the legal landscape, emphasizing the need for careful consideration and due diligence.

Veterinary Guidelines

Veterinary guidelines on the use of CBD oil with THC for dogs are still evolving. While the American Veterinary Medical Association has historically been cautious, there is a growing acceptance of these products’ potential benefits. Nonetheless, veterinarians must tread carefully due to the legal ambiguities and potential repercussions if adverse effects occur. It is advisable to seek a veterinarian experienced in treating dogs with CBD to develop a safe and effective treatment plan.

Veterinarians strongly emphasize that owners should carefully research and choose reputable brands when selecting CBD products for their pets, as reputable brands are more likely to adhere to legal and safety standards.

Potential Benefits of CBD Oil with THC for Dogs

Pain Management

CBD oil with THC has shown promise in managing pain in dogs. Many dog owners report that their pets experience relief from chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, after using these products. The combination of CBD and THC may work synergistically to reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort.

Anxiety Reduction

Another potential benefit of CBD oil with THC is its ability to reduce anxiety in dogs. This can be particularly useful for pets that suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias. The calming effects of CBD, combined with the mild psychoactive properties of THC, can help to soothe anxious dogs and improve their overall well-being.

Seizure Control

CBD oil with THC may also be effective in controlling seizures in dogs. Some studies have shown that dogs with epilepsy experience fewer seizures when treated with CBD oil. While more research is needed, the initial findings are promising and suggest that this combination could be a valuable tool in managing canine epilepsy.

While the evidence supporting the benefits of CBD oil with THC for dogs is largely anecdotal, the positive experiences reported by many pet owners are encouraging. Further research is needed to fully understand the potential of these products in veterinary medicine.

Risks and Side Effects of THC in Dogs

Signs of THC Toxicity

The primary risk associated with administering THC to dogs is cannabis toxicity. This condition can manifest if a dog ingests an excessive amount of THC. Symptoms of cannabis toxicity in dogs include:

  • Drowsiness and seeming to fall over before catching themselves
  • Lack of coordination
  • Low energy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slower heart rate
  • Inability to hold their pee, in some cases

Long-Term Health Implications

Long-term exposure to THC can have significant health implications for dogs. Chronic use may lead to persistent lethargy, cognitive impairments, and potential behavioral changes. Caution is advised when considering THC as a treatment option for pets, as the long-term effects are not yet fully understood.

Emergency Measures

In cases of THC toxicity, immediate veterinary attention is crucial. If you suspect your dog has ingested a harmful amount of THC, contact your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic right away. Treatment may involve inducing vomiting, administering activated charcoal, and providing supportive care to manage symptoms.

THC exposure can be very stressful for pets. Ensuring that your dog receives prompt medical attention can significantly improve their chances of recovery.

Quality Control in CBD Products for Dogs

Importance of Third-Party Testing

Ensuring the quality of CBD products for dogs is paramount. Third-party testing is a critical step in this process, as it provides an unbiased verification of the product’s contents. This testing confirms that the ingredients listed on the label are accurate and that the product is free from harmful contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. Without third-party testing, there is no guarantee of the product’s safety or efficacy.

Identifying Contaminants

Contaminants in CBD products can pose serious health risks to dogs. These contaminants may include THC, pesticides, and heavy metals. It is essential to scrutinize the product’s certificate of analysis (COA) to ensure it is free from these harmful substances. The COA should be readily available on the manufacturer’s website or upon request. If a company cannot provide an up-to-date COA, it is advisable to avoid purchasing that product.

Understanding Product Labels

Reading and understanding product labels is crucial when selecting CBD products for dogs. Labels should clearly state the amount of CBD and THC present in the product. However, studies have shown that more than half of CBD products are not labeled correctly, often containing more CBD than indicated. Therefore, it is important to verify the information through third-party testing and the COA. Additionally, look for labels that indicate the product is organic and non-GMO, as these factors contribute to the overall quality and safety of the product.

Ensuring the quality of CBD products for dogs involves multiple steps, including third-party testing, identifying contaminants, and understanding product labels. These measures help guarantee that the product is safe and effective for your pet.

Dosage Guidelines for CBD Oil with THC in Dogs

Determining the appropriate dosage of CBD oil with THC for dogs is crucial for ensuring their safety and maximizing the therapeutic benefits. Aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, administered twice daily by mouth. It’s important to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it, as more is not always better. The response to CBD can be biphasic, meaning that it may not be effective if too little or too much is given.

Forms of CBD Oil with THC Available for Dogs

When considering CBD oil with THC for your dog, it’s important to understand the various forms available. Each form has its unique benefits and applications, making it easier to find the right product for your pet’s needs.

Tinctures and Oils

Tinctures and oils are among the most common forms of CBD with THC for dogs. These products are typically administered orally, either directly into the mouth or mixed with food. Bottled oils with droppers allow for precise dosage adjustments, which can be particularly useful when starting a new treatment regimen.

Edibles and Treats

Edibles and treats infused with CBD and THC offer a convenient and palatable option for dogs. These products come in various flavors and forms, such as biscuits or chews, making them an easy way to administer the compound. However, it’s crucial to monitor the dosage to avoid overconsumption.

Topical Applications

Topical applications, including lotions, gels, and creams, are designed for external use. These products are applied directly to the skin and can be beneficial for localized issues such as inflammation or pain. Topical CBD products are absorbed through the skin, providing targeted relief without the need for ingestion.

When selecting a CBD product for your dog, always consult with your veterinarian to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your pet’s specific condition.

Veterinary Perspectives on CBD Oil with THC for Dogs

Clinical Studies and Findings

Recent clinical studies have explored the potential benefits and risks of CBD oil with THC for dogs. For instance, Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University, conducted studies on the effects of cannabidiol in dogs with arthritis and epilepsy. These studies have shown promising results, indicating that CBD may help manage pain and reduce seizure frequency. However, the presence of THC in these products requires careful consideration due to its potential toxicity.

Veterinarian Recommendations

Veterinarians are increasingly considering CBD oil with THC as a treatment option for various canine conditions. A high-quality and pet-specific CBD oil for dogs is non-addictive and does not lose its potency when used correctly. Most brands recommend giving between one to five milligrams of CBD per ten pounds of body weight. However, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure the product’s safety.

Case Studies

Several case studies have documented the positive effects of CBD oil with THC in dogs. For example, one case study reported significant improvement in a dog’s mobility and pain levels after using a CBD oil product. Another case study highlighted the reduction in anxiety and seizure frequency in a dog with epilepsy. These anecdotal reports support the findings of clinical studies and suggest that CBD oil with THC can be a valuable addition to traditional veterinary treatments.

Veterinary perspectives on CBD oil with THC for dogs are evolving, with ongoing research and case studies contributing to a better understanding of its potential benefits and risks.

How to Choose the Right CBD Oil with THC for Your Dog

Evaluating Product Ingredients

Before purchasing a CBD product, carefully read the label for specific information about its contents. If a product is described as “full spectrum,” it may contain up to 0.3% THC — the legal limit according to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. This seemingly small amount could be enough to cause cannabis toxicity in your pup, especially if they are extra sensitive to THC.

Brand Reputation

Keep in mind some CBD products sold for dogs may have serious quality issues. For example, a product may contain a different amount of CBD than what’s listed on the label. Or it may include contaminants like THC or pesticides. So you may want to do some extra digging to find out exactly how a product is made before giving it to your dog.

Customer Reviews

There aren’t any FDA-approved CBD products for dogs. So it’s best to discuss your options with a veterinarian who has experience treating dogs with CBD before giving your pet anything new. Together, you’ll come up with a plan for how to safely help your furry friend feel the best they can.

Before purchasing a CBD product, carefully read the label for specific information about its contents. If a product is described as “full spectrum,” it may contain up to 0.3% THC — the legal limit according to the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. This seemingly small amount could be enough to cause cannabis toxicity in your pup, especially if they are extra sensitive to THC.

Alternatives to CBD Oil with THC for Dogs

CBD-Only Products

CBD-only products are a viable alternative for pet owners who wish to avoid THC. These products contain non-psychoactive CBD, which is praised for being better tolerated than many prescription medicines. CBD-only formulations are designed to provide therapeutic benefits without the risk of THC toxicity.

Holistic Therapies

Holistic therapies offer a range of natural treatments that can complement or replace CBD oil with THC. These may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal remedies
  • Chiropractic care
  • Aromatherapy

Such therapies aim to improve overall well-being and address specific health issues in a more natural manner.

Prescription Medications

Prescription medications remain a cornerstone in veterinary care. The medical community recognizes THC benefits in prescription drugs despite legal complexities. These medications are FDA-approved for specific conditions and are often used when other treatments are ineffective. Always consult your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your pet’s health.

When considering alternatives, it’s crucial to discuss all options with a veterinarian experienced in treating dogs with various therapies. This ensures a comprehensive approach to your pet’s well-being.

Future Research Directions for CBD and THC Use in Dogs

As the interest in CBD benefits for dogs continues to grow, the number and size of these studies will increase as well. Eventually, veterinarians and pup parents will have more guidance on how to best use these products.

Ongoing Clinical Trials

Studies using CBD have greatly increased in recent years. One of the first CBD studies was done at Cornell, and it showed that CBD helped with pain management in many dogs. In the study, more than 80% of the dogs with osteoarthritis experienced a decrease in pain, allowing them to be more comfortable and active.

Areas Needing Further Study

Currently, you can find CBD products for your dog in the form of oils and treats. There’s not a lot of research or a formal study to back up the claims on its uses and benefits. Evidence is mostly anecdotal, or unscientific. Experts aren’t sure how much of the CBD is actually affecting the dog’s body or if it’s just being removed. More research is needed.

Potential for FDA Approval

Research with dogs is still scarce, but there’s a huge body of research (about 23,000 published papers!) looking at CBD’s effect on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results for pain, especially arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer, all of which have at least one canine study as well. The results in dogs? It depends.

The potential benefits of CBD and THC for dogs are an exciting area of research that holds promise for improving the well-being of our furry friends. As we look to the future, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest findings and advancements. For more in-depth information and updates on this topic, visit our website and explore our comprehensive articles and resources.


In conclusion, while CBD oil with THC for dogs presents potential benefits, it also carries significant risks that must be carefully considered. The presence of THC, even in small amounts, can be toxic to dogs, making it crucial for pet owners to thoroughly vet any CBD products they intend to use. Consulting with a veterinarian experienced in CBD treatments for pets is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friend. As the research on this topic continues to evolve, staying informed and cautious remains the best approach for those considering CBD oil with THC for their dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CBD oil and how does it differ from THC?

CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are both compounds found in cannabis plants. CBD is non-psychoactive and is often used for its potential therapeutic benefits, while THC is psychoactive and can cause a ‘high.’ In dogs, THC can be toxic, so it’s important to use products specifically designed for pets.

Is CBD oil with THC legal for dogs?

The legality of CBD oil with THC varies by location. Federally, CBD products can contain up to 0.3% THC. However, state laws and veterinary guidelines may differ, so it’s crucial to check local regulations and consult with a veterinarian.

What are the potential benefits of CBD oil with THC for dogs?

CBD oil with THC may offer benefits such as pain management, anxiety reduction, and seizure control. However, the presence of THC also poses risks, so it’s essential to consult a vet before using such products.

What are the risks and side effects of THC in dogs?

THC can be toxic to dogs, causing symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, drooling, and coordination issues. In severe cases, it can lead to more serious health problems. Immediate veterinary care is recommended if THC toxicity is suspected.

How do I ensure the quality of CBD products for my dog?

Look for products that have undergone third-party testing to verify their contents. Check for contaminants like pesticides and ensure that the product label accurately reflects the CBD and THC levels.

What forms of CBD oil with THC are available for dogs?

CBD oil with THC for dogs comes in various forms, including tinctures, oils, edibles, treats, and topical applications. Each form has its own set of administration guidelines and absorption rates.

How should I determine the right dosage of CBD oil with THC for my dog?

Dosage depends on several factors, including your dog’s weight, age, and health condition. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it while monitoring your dog’s response. Always consult your veterinarian for personalized advice.

Are there alternatives to CBD oil with THC for dogs?

Yes, alternatives include CBD-only products, holistic therapies, and prescription medications. These options may offer similar benefits without the risks associated with THC.

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