How the Endocannabinoid System Works for Dogs & Cats

An overview and quick resource guide of CBD for pets


CBD Can Help Pets Much Like It Can Help People

It can have a calming effect on mood, promote joint and tissue function, and support the immune system. This is significant because our pets can’t tell us what or how they feel so we have to interpret their behavior. Barking, chewing, and mess making are some of the pet behaviors we perceive as quirkiness or even naughtiness but more often than not, something else is happening.

Here are some things to consider when starting your furry best friend on CBD pet products:

Pets Have An Endocannabinoid System

It is well-established that all mammals respond to CBD and other cannabinoids via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), just like humans.

The ECS is a complex network of receptors, internal neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids), and receptor proteins found throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Cannabinoids are made by the body and also produced in plants. Plant cannabinoids, including CBD, trigger the ECS to balance bodily functions like immunity, the central nervous system and others.


"CBD can have a calming effect on mood, promote joint and tissue function, and support the immune system."

Is It Safe To Give My Pet CBD?

Although several studies are now underway, the effects of CBD in dogs have not been researched conclusively. Depending on which product or brand you buy, there can be huge differences in ingredients and potency.

Although pets generally can have CBD products intended for humans and vice-versa, there are two important caveats: pets shouldn't have anything that could get them high or have serving sizes larger than recommended for their species or weight.

The federal limit on THC is 0.3%, generally considered the threshold for potential intoxication, or the famous marijuana high. Any plant or product with more than 0.3% THC is considered marijuana and is not recommended for pets. Look for products listing precise amounts of CBD and any other cannabinoids or other ingredients.

CBD Can Improve Mobility, Appetite, and Mood

Some dogs with uncontrolled seizures, even on maximum serving sizes of anti-seizure prescription medication, experienced a reduction in frequency and severity of seizures with a proper dose of daily CBD.

Other dogs that depended on an anti-inflammatory medication experienced improvement, which was observed as better mobility and increased energy after a consistent daily dose of CBD.


How to Use a Pet Tincture

A CBD tincture can be applied to your pet's food by sprinkling into the food (using the dropper) and mixing it together. You can also apply the pet tincture to a treat so it will absorb the liquid.

When a tincture is mixed with their food, it passes through the digestive system and the liver. It will take longer to see the effects (up to 1-2 hours), but they tend to last longer (typically 6-8 hours). For the best and quickest results, apply the CBD directly to your pet's tongue or jowls.

How Do I Choose The Right Serving Size?

You can use the guide on the label as a starting point but every pet has a different metabolism and will react differently. Naturally there will be some trial and error. First decide whether you want to give CBD to your pet daily for general wellness or if you will use it only in specific situations such as when the fireworks go off on Fourth of July.

Begin with a low dosage and watch your pet's behavior carefully, such as a .25ml dosage. If you don’t see the desired results, gradually increase the serving size by .25ml each day or every two days. Again, be sure to monitor your pet closely. It can take up to a week to start seeing the benefits so it's important to be patient and give your pet time.

Will My Pet Get High From CBD?

No, CBD doesn't get humans or pets high because it comes from hemp, which legally must have THC (the compound in marijuana that gets you high) levels below 0.3%. The CBD will help your pet relax and take the edge off it's overall anxiety.

Can My Pet Have Too Much CBD?

The legalization of hemp is recent so there is insufficient research to determine toxic levels for CBD. There hasn’t been a single recorded case of a fatal serving size of CBD in animals or humans to date. People most commonly report sleepiness and dry mouth when they (or their pets) have taken a large serving and this can be avoided by starting with small amounts and gradually increasing the serving size.

Always check with your veterinarian first if your pet is on any other medications, or if you’re worried about serving size. CBD products have specific serving sizes, usually based on pet weight.

By VidaVerde Botanicals
September 26, 2022