Disclaimer: This information is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnose or treat any health conditions. If your dog is experiencing issues with their health, please visit your vet as soon as possible.
For dogs experiencing pain, spasms, anxiety, nausea or inflammation often associated with cancer treatments, CBD (aka cannabidiol) may be a source of much-needed relief. Sadly, dog cancer is a lot more common than you might think. This year alone, it’s estimated that around six million dogs will be diagnosed. And, according to the Veterinary Cancer Society, nearly 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer while approximately one in four dogs will, at some stage in their lives, develop cancer.
At the moment, the most viable treatment options are just as limited for dogs as they are for humans—surgery (often very effective if caught early), chemotherapy and radiation. The downside is that chemotherapy and radiation cause a number of symptoms that can dramatically affect the physical, mental and emotional well-being of dogs. Such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble eating
This is where CBD comes in.
What Is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a natural, non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. Medical research shows it has many therapeutic benefits, including pain relief and anti-inflammation. And, since it doesn't cause an altered mental state like its cousin marijuana, CBD is federally legal.
As the scientific evidence of CBD's potential increases, its impact in modern medicine is quickly going mainstream. Already, CBD is being used to manage the symptoms of a variety of health conditions, like chronic pain, depression, epilepsy, as well as the symptoms of cancer treatment. Still, for all of the solid information that’s accessible on CBD, there’s even more misinformation—especially on the topic of its role in dog cancer treatment.
Here’s what the research has to say.
Fact: CBD Oil Is Not a Replacement for Vet Care Or A Form Of Dog Cancer Treatment
Currently, there is no scientific evidence that shows using CBD oil can replace a visit to the vet or formal cancer treatments. If left untreated, cancer in dogs will cause inflammation, pain, distress, deformity and eventually death. This is why you must always consult your vet about the best course of treatment for your dog. By no means is CBD a magical supplement that will miraculously cure dog cancer. So be extremely wary of any source that attempts to make such a statement without providing sufficient evidence from a credible study or research to prove their claim.
However, CBD oil has been clinically shown to help manage the symptoms of cancer treatment, which can improve a patient’s quality of life.
Fact: CBD Oil Can Reduce Inflammation
In one study, cannabis oil reduced inflammation—causing enzyme activity and tumor necrosis factor in the inflamed pancreases of study participants. The result: inflammation in those organs went down.
Another study showed that CBD oil reduced the lung inflammation of participants by impacting several inflammatory markers. Additionally, a separate study demonstrated a reduction in digestive-tract inflammation in participants, which would also help with common gastrointestinal issues.
Fact: CBD Oil Can Help Relieve Cancer Pain and Spasms
CBD oil isn't like aspirin. It doesn't work immediately on pain. But studies do show that, for example, after taking cannabis oil for four days, pain and inflammation were significantly reduced in study participants. Researchers also wanted to know if CBD can reduce pain in dogs without side effects. They found that giving 2 mg/kg (2 mg per 2.2 pounds) of CBD oil twice a day reduced pain and increased physical activity for canines without triggering side effects.
Fact: CBD Oil Can Lessen Anxiety
A review of 15 cannabis oil anxiety studies by researchers found that CBD can reduce anxiety symptoms in both humans and animals. Research shows that CBD interacts with a dog's natural cannabinoid receptors, acting as an "allosteric modulator." Simply put, when dogs take CBD it causes a subtle feeling of contentment, not in a sedated way but in an "everything's gonna be alright" kind of way.
Fact: CBD Oil Can Reduce Vomiting and Nausea
A study confirmed that CBD oil produced an anti-emetic/anti-nausea effect in those exposed to toxic substances, including chemotherapy. It did so through "indirect activation of the somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors in the DRN," which stopped the symptoms. Next, a small controlled study of cancer patients found that participants in the CBD group were 49 percent more likely than placebo to experience "complete response," meaning that CBD could reduce nausea and vomiting symptoms.
Fact: CBD Oil May Slow the Growth of Cancer
Two studies performed by a team of researchers from Italy and the UK looked at how colon cancer cells in humans react to CBD. They found a clear "anti-cancer effect" for patients receiving CBD. It slowed the proliferation of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Researchers believe that the cancer-slowing effects may be the result of CBD oil's ability to regulate hormones through the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Another study showed similar results in brain tumors. Brain cancer and colon cancer are relatively uncommon in dogs. Still, the same mechanism that helped reduce cancer growth in these patients theoretically could help with other cancers. But again, it has not been scientifically proven that CBD is an effective alternative to traditional cancer treatments. So always talk to your vet to determine what treatment options are best for addressing your dog’s cancer.
Fact: Quality Matters
CBD is an unregulated industry right now. Meaning, it’s important to watch out for companies making claims about their products that aren't true. Not doing so could potentially leave you with harmful products that are unsafe for your pet. Our advice: be cautious, be conscious and choose Bido Pet CBD by Curaleaf Hemp. We use only the best natural ingredients and pure hemp-derived CBD that is 100% free of THC. We also conduct rigorous third-party testing on every product to ensure purity, quality, and safety.