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A Modern Approach of Using CBD for Dogs

By - Milo

Blogger. Researcher. Enthusiast.

Osteoarthritis and using CBD for dogs

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease in aging dogs causing varying degrees of discomfort and pain. The range of discomfort decreases the quality of life our dogs experience as joint pain results in the administration of analgesics (pain medication), anti-inflammatory prescriptions and non-steroidal drugs (NSAIDs). Cannabidiol (CBD) has been given a lot of support for further research for its advocacy for mitigating OA in dogs through CBD treatment. 

The side effects of prescribed pharmaceutical drugs can pose complications for geriatric dogs relating to gastrointestinal and kidney issues. Additionally, some drugs have shown to increase the total amount of Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) which is adversely correlated to a variety of liver diseases, cancers and other health issues. So it’s obvious here to see why it could be very beneficial to regulate treatment with natural hemp derived CBD vs. solely relying on prescription drugs!

The pain and crepitus felt by our dogs can lead to decreased activity and reduction of mobility. These adverse reactions to degenerative joint pain is caused by inflammation and central sensitization (becoming more susceptible to the sensation of pain).

In a recent study conducted by Brioschi et al., 2019, their team discovered that CBD treatment can be useful to decrease the frequency of use of stronger prescription drugs and improve the quality of life of our dogs.

Endocannabinoid system of dogs and the practicality of CBD treatment

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is composed of CB1 and CB2 receptors that receive endocannabinoids (ECs) which regulate many of our body’s central nervous processes. They play a strong role in our nervous system modulation of pain and inflammation attenuation…

English———ECs help us increase our pain tolerance and the signals our body sends to cope with inflammation from disease, stress or physical damage.

Learn more about the Endocannabinoid System and Endocannabinoids —– Click Here

CBD exerts modulatory effects in our immune system, anti-hyperalgesic tolerance (abnormal pain sensitivity), anti-nociceptive response (physical damage pain) and our ability to mitigate inflammatory responses.

All of the above applies to dogs as well and most animals as they have similar networks of ECSs.  It is important to note here, that the studies show that maximize the efficacy of using CBD for it’s therapeutic treatment of OA that the liver filters out many of the introduced ECs through First-Pass-Liver-Filtration but as the second dosage comes 12 hours later the absorption increases. 

The benefit of including CBD for dogs in their treatment

The pros can outweigh the cons in extreme cases of potent analgesic prescription usage but together with non-invasive and stress free usage of CBD it seems the studies show we have a winning combination.

The use of CBD is safe, stress free for our dogs and with limited severity of side effects. In most studies some dogs show the odd case of soft stool but I think we can agree intestinal, kidney and liver problems take president over a little bit of diarrhea. 

CBD for dogs

Letting your dogs food soak up the CBD prior to consumption has shown to increase absorption.

The nice thing with using CBD for your dog is that you can infuse their food and treats with the oil to maximize their absorption and increase the bioavailability of ECs in our dogs serum.

Recommended clinical dosage = 2mg/kg (1.1 mg/lb) 30 lbs dog = 30 mg twice daily 

Many of the most recent studies show 2 mg/kg twice daily results in the most noticeable improvements of quality of life for our dogs suffering from OA.

The study conducted by Brioschi et al., 2019 confirmed that the balanced usage of prescribed drugs and CBD to be beneficial to improve the quality of life scores in dogs. Using analgesics when necessary but with their reduced consumption balanced by the increased usage of CBD regularly.

The true benefit of administering a mixed therapy approach for OA is that continued use of OA analgesics can cause hyperalgesia and evolve into neuropathic pain. If you haven’t had success in the past with CBD treatment consider if you were giving your dog an adequate dose and used twice daily for up to 6 weeks to notice significant changes in your dog’s health.

Epilepsy treatment with CBD for dogs

An increasingly focused subject, veterinarians are vocal about their curiosity about using CBD as an effaceable treatment mechanism for dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy (IIE) (Epilepsy that is difficult to treat with medication). With the difficulty to effectively treat epilepsy with medications many owners are at their wits end and are looking for solutions. CBD has been a hot topic in this regard for humans and now dogs. 

A few different studies Deabolt et al. (2019) and McGrath et al. (2019) used oral transmucosal administration (OTM) by administering tincture oil under the tongue and CBD infused dog chews to deliver doses of CBD. 

Remembering the frequency of dosing your dog is important because of the First-Pass-Liver-Effect mentioned above.

What these studies found is that a typically higher dosage of CBD is more effective for dogs who suffer from IIE symptoms and that dog chews showed an increased absorption rate than OTM delivery by 3-4 times. OTM delivery in dogs usually expresses a serum absorption of less than 10% whereas food administered CBD was noticeably more efficient for serum concentrations of CBD for dogs when used together with OTM delivery.

Although dog treat CBD supplements had a higher absorption rate, their serum concentration time was half-life compared to OTM. This means that the increase of serum CBD is removed from the blood quicker than CBD absorbed from OTM delivery.

So there’s a tradeoff that can be balanced by using both modes of delivery, OTM and food delivered CBD for dogs. These studies noted that 2.5 mg/kg twice daily was the recommended dosage amount to be used for dogs that responded well to CBD supplement therapy. Higher doses (10-20mg/kg) increased Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) in the blood.

ALP is a noticeable by-product caused by the oxidation of cytokine P450 metabolism by the liver which is a topic needing more study. The importance of ALP is that it is a marker in the blood that usually is attributed to risks of cardiovascular health, cancer, haemotinic issues, liver disease etc.

Learn more about cytokines and inflammatory responses —– Click Here

Takeaways and Considerations for using CBD for dogs

CBD has the potential to offer an exciting alternative option to heavy usage of prescription drugs for your dog. However, CBD does not offer a direct solution for the treatment of Osteoarthritis or Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy. CBD is advised to be a buffer to reduce the amount of risks associated with using potent prescription medications and can be used effectively to reduce these risks while therapeutically benefiting your dog.

Depending on the size of your dog will determine how you should administer your dogs CBD intake and in what amounts.CBD for Dogs


OA – 2mg / kg /twice daily

IIE – 2.5mg / kg / twice daily

These were the recorded amounts used in these studies. If you’re using less than this currently and are getting results, great! If not, then consider increasing the dosage and frequency of application for your dog to increase their quality of life.

AnuCBD has a variety of CBD products for both you and your dog. We have soft chews being developed. For now we recommend using our Canine Tincture which you can use orally for your pet and add to their favorite treat/food.

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