If you’re like those of us here at Honest Marijuana, you love your pet(s) like a member of the family. We know it’s traumatic when your favorite feline or cherished canine gets sick. That’s why we’ve put together this definitive guide to CBD oil for cats (don’t worry, dog lovers; there’s a guide for you too).
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about CBD and CBD oil for cats, including:
- What is CBD?
- What is CBD oil?
- What are the benefits of CBD oil for cats?
- How do you administer CBD oil to a cat?
- Where do you get CBD oil for your feline friend?
We’ll also discuss dosage recommendations and what side effects you can expect when using CBD oil for cats. Let’s start our discussion with the most basic question of all: what is CBD?
What Is CBD?
CBD is the common abbreviation for the scientific word cannabidiol (pronounced can-uh-BIH-dee-all). It’s one of a group of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found almost exclusively in the cannabis plant (indica, sativa, and ruderalis).
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most famous (or infamous) cannabinoid thanks to its psychedelic effects. But CBD is quickly growing in popularity because of its myriad medical benefits. Other cannabinoids of note are:
- CBG (cannabigerol)
- CBL (cannabicyclol)
- CBT (cannabicitran)
- CBN (cannabinol)
- THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin)
- THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid)
As you can see from that last nine-syllable monster, some of these scientific terms can be pretty hard to say. And who’s got time to work the word “tetrahydrocannabinolic” into their conversation? Not us! That’s why we’ll stick to the abbreviations, thank you very much.
How Does CBD Work On Cats?
Your brain (and ours too) contains specialized neurons known as cannabinoid receptors. These neurons turn on in the presence of the various cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. So when you smoke a doobie or take a hit from a bong using a high-THC strain, THC travels to your brain, where it produces a psychoactive effect known as getting high.
If you substitute a high-CBD strain, the CBD cannabinoid produces a broad range of medicinal effects without causing you to hear colors.
The neat thing about all this chemistry is that the brains of non-human animals (birds, reptiles, and mammals) also contain cannabinoid receptors. That means cats can experience many of CBD’s medicinal effects just like you.
But before you buy a bag of weed and mix it into your kitty’s Fancy Feast to make him feel better, it’s essential to understand that raw cannabis isn’t good for man or beast. To ensure your cat experiences all the medicinal benefits that CBD has to offer, you need to use CBD oil instead.
But what exactly is CBD oil? We’ll answer that question next.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a concentrated extract, or tincture, made using the cannabis plant. More specifically, CBD oil is an extract of a high-CBD/low-THC strain of the cannabis plant. CBD oil is produced by passing a solvent—like CO2, butane, alcohol, olive oil, or even ice water—over the mature cannabis plant matter.
As the solvent passes over and through the leaves, stems, and stalk, it dissolves (extracts) the cannabinoids, terpenes, and trichomes and holds them in solution. The solvent then evaporates, leaving behind an oily concentrate known as CBD oil.
If this is all terribly confusing to you, don’t worry. Just think of it like making tea. You put the tea bag in hot water, let it steep for a while, and then remove and dispose of the tea bag. Making CBD oil is similar, except that you use marijuana plant matter instead of tea and CO2 or butane instead of water.
Will CBD Oil Get Your Cat High?
CBD by itself is non-psychoactive for cats (and humans and birds and reptiles), so there’s no way to get your furry friend high on CBD oil. We’ll say that again so you’re clear: Your cat cannot get high on CBD oil.
It’s physically and chemically impossible (unless you somehow got mixed up and used a THC oil). That’s what’s so wonderful about CBD oil—it’s full of medical benefits without the side effects of THC.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD Oil For Cats?
1. CBD Combats Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression occur as a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, and both humans and cats are susceptible to these disorders. The introduction of CBD into the human (and feline) brain can normalize and stabilize the chemical fluctuations that lead to anxiety and depression.
CBD also interacts with both the adenosine and serotonin receptors in the brain to help them work properly.
2. CBD Reduces Swelling & Relieves Pain
Pain and swelling in most higher mammals (like humans and cats) are regulated by the vanilloid receptor in the brain. When CBD interacts with these types of neurons, it effectively blocks the receptor from turning on and prevents it from signaling the rest of the body to exhibit pain and become inflamed.
3. CBD Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth
CBD can be used to treat cancer because:
- It prevents cancer cells from spreading.
- It interferes with cancer cell growth.
- It even induces cancer cell death.
Though laboratory studies have only been conducted on mice and rats, numerous reports from humans (like Rick Simpson) have shown some promising results. It’s not a huge stretch to conclude that CBD oil for cats can be used to treat cancer just like it can for humans.
4. CBD Suppresses Seizures
Seizures are disruptions in electrical activity in the brain that result in violent shaking. Unfortunately, seizures occur in both humans and animals and can be difficult to treat. It’s well documented that CBD oil reduces the intensity and number of those electrical disruptions in the human brain.
Because your kitty has the same cannabinoid receptors in her brain as you do, she too can experience a suppression of seizures after using CBD oil.
5. Other Benefits
Anxiety, depression, inflammation, pain, cancer, seizures—these are just a few of the many disorders that CBD oil can treat. CBD oil can also be used to mitigate asthma, arthritis, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you use CBD oil to treat a human disorder, it’s a safe bet to assume you can use CBD oil to treat that same disorder in cats.
What Are The Side Effects Of CBD Oil For Cats?
The side effects of CBD oil for cats are minimal. The most common side effect is drowsiness. And don’t think this is like putting your cat into a coma. Cat owners report that the drowsiness is similar to that produced by an antihistamine.
Most cat owners don’t even consider drowsiness to be a side effect, especially since cats do plenty of sleeping, anyway. It’s a small price to pay for all the benefits that CBD has to offer your furry friend.
Note: Extreme side effects (such as itchiness or vomiting) can occur, but these reactions are rare.
How Do You Administer CBD Oil For Cats?
The easiest way to administer CBD oil for cats is directly into their mouth with an eyedropper. You can also drip CBD oil onto a small treat or mix it in with their food.
Keep in mind that CBD is not a fast-acting chemical. It can take a few hours for your cat to experience pain relief and a few days to see a decrease in inflammation.
How Much CBD Oil Should You Give Your Cat?
Every cat is different, so we highly recommend starting with a low dose. That way, your cat can get used to the new chemical in his system. Here is our recommended progression for giving your cat CBD oil.
- Start with 1 drop of CBD oil ONCE per day.
- Continue administering 1 drop once per day for one week.
- If you don’t see any effects or your cat needs more relief, increase the dosage to 1 drop TWICE per day.
- Continue administering 1 drop twice per day for one week.
- If necessary, increase the dosage to 1 drop THREE TIMES per day.
- Continue administering 1 drop three times per day for one week.
- If necessary, increase the dosage again per the above pattern.
You’ll notice in the above progression that the number of drops never changes. Only the frequency with which you administer those drops changes. If you find yourself administering one drop more than four times per day, you can try increasing the number of drops given at one time. Start with two drops and work the steps as outlined above.
The key to this progression is to observe your cat’s reaction and find a dosage and schedule that provides the benefits you’re looking for without the side effects. If any of the extreme side effects occur, stop treatment immediately, wait for the effects to wear off, and then restart the progression at a lower dose.
Where Can You Get CBD Oil For Cats?
If you’re thinking about trying CBD oil for your cat, the first thing you should do is talk to the budtenders at your local marijuana dispensary. They can give you advice on brands so you can choose the best CBD oil available, and they’ll provide guidance on dosage so your cat feels better right away.
You can also talk to your veterinarian about CBD oil for cats, but don’t be surprised if he or she recommends against it. The results of CBD research are promising, but they are also new, and your vet may not be up on all the latest science. Listen to their advice, but don’t let it dissuade you from trying CBD oil for your cat.
Research on your own, and then talk to other cat owners to see if they know anything about CBD for pets. And remember that the side effects are largely nil, so it won’t hurt to try CBD oil and see if it works. If your feline friend reacts badly, you can always stop.
For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all-natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.