Side Effects Of CBD Oil In Dogs


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Repeated studies on cannabidiol (CBD) have shown it to be one of the safest, most compatible, and least toxic treatments available right now. This blog discusses the side effects of different CBD oils as well as Dronabinol.

Does CBD oil for dogs have any side effects?

Repeated studies on cannabidiol, the full name for CBD, have shown it to be one of the safest, most compatible, and least toxic treatments available right now. According to a 2018 World Health Organization report, CBD is “well-tolerated, with a good safety profile,” and is unlikely to cause adverse reactions or dependency in either humans or animals.

There are of course exceptions to every rule, and it should be noted that extremely high doses of CBD have shown adverse effects in some tests (more on that below). But in general, CBD products for dogs fair very well when compared to many of the other drugs and treatments traditionally offered to dogs and their owners.

Here’s the rundown on possible side effects of canine CBD usage, as well as the potential risks of more traditional CBD alternatives.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

CBD is a cannabinoid—a class of substances that interact with the body via the endocannabinoid system. Unlike opioids and other pharmaceutical drugs, interaction with this system means that CBD doesn’t directly affect the brainstem or areas controlling respiration. In terms of substance safety, this is a big plus, meaning that serious overdoses from CBD and other cannabinoids are highly rare.

Also in CBD’s favor is its half-life, which sits in the Goldilocks zone of around one full day (specifically, less than 12 hours for most dogs, and a little over 24 hours for most humans). A half-life of this duration means that dosages from the previous day shouldn’t negatively interact with the current day’s dose, adding to user confidence.

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Finally, CBD is one of the many non-psychoactive cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, meaning that—when property isolated—CBD should have zero intoxicating effect. While CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety and inflammation is likely to induce a sense of relaxation, this certainly isn’t the psychedelic high most associate with weed. In fact, most CBD products for pets are produced from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant, which means there’s a minimal presence of the high-causing cannabinoid, THC, to begin with.

Possible side effects

Nevertheless, more minor side effects have been reported by some people and dogs. It’s not exactly clear why some experience these negative effects and others don’t, but researchers believe it may be down to a combination of high (or prolonged) dosage, genetic disposition, and CBD that has a low purity or is poorly produced.

If your dog does experience CBD side effects, they are likely to include:

The Side Effects of Different CBD Oils In Dogs

As a loving pet parent, you want to know any possible side effects before giving anything to your dog.

While CBD products are generally considered safe for dogs, it is clear that some are far safer than others. If a product could get your dog high or cause panic, you’d want to know before purchasing.

The side effects of CBD oil for dogs can vary massively depending on the product you pick. What seems to matter is the THC content. While they appear to be reversible in all cases, they are significant enough that pet parents should be aware of them.

Table Of Contents

  • 0.3% THC full-spectrum CBD oil side effects
  • Broad-Spectrum and CBD Isolate Side Effects
  • Long Term Side Effects
  • Conclusion

0.3% THC full-spectrum CBD Oil side effects

One manufacturer of Full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs asked over 600 of their customers about their products’ perceived benefits and side effects. While many of the benefits listed are similar to what we hear from our customers, the side effects are not. The AHVMA carried out the survey, and these are the results:

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Side Effect Total % Minimal % Moderate % Significant %
Dry Mouth/ Excessive Drinking 46.67 24.67 19.97 2.33
Over-active appetite 31.52 15.59 10.85 5.08
Sedation 30.32 1.08 10.11 19.13
Lack of Energy 27.65 16.72 6.83 4.1
Panic Reactions 21.43 13.61 5.1 2.72
Panic Reactions 14.68 3.41 7.17 4.1
Nausea 7.53 2.74 3.08 1.71
Vomiting 6.83 3.07 2.05 1.71
Impaired Mental Functioning 6.5 3.77 2.05 0.68
Dizziness 4.85 3.46 1.04 0.35
Dry or Red Eyes 4.79 3.08 1.37 0.34
Rapid Heart Rate 3.78 2.75 1.03 N/A
Increased Seizures 3.44 1.72 1.03 0.69

According to the customers, 30% of their dogs suffered from dry mouth, laziness, and the munchies. Does that sound like anything you’re familiar with, maybe something you smoked in college?

While a few small company sponsored studies on this topic and most sellers will tell you otherwise. This large survey implies that many dogs, with their increased sensitivity to Cannabinoids, can and do get visibly high from full-spectrum products containing close to 0.3% THC.

If those were the only listed side effects, we could safely say that the benefits outweigh the risks for most dogs. Unfortunately, more than 20% of the owners recorded panic reactions (it is on there twice, so we hope it’s not double that). More than 3% of them perceived increased seizures.

Despite these side effects, 88.8% of pet parents thought the product was very safe; we do not know what the other 11.2% thought, as it isn’t listed. Were they the ones who encountered the significant side effects?

These adverse effects mimic the listed side effects of Dronabinol, the only FDA-approved THC isolate drug for people. Taking that into account, we don’t think it’s unreasonable to believe the 0.3% THC is responsible.

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Dronabinol Side Effects:

  • Weakness
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory Loss
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteady Walking
  • Feeling like you are outside of your body
  • ”High” or Elevated Mood
  • Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • Depression
  • Strange or Unusual Thoughts
  • Headaches
  • Vision Problems
  • Feeling Lightheaded
  • Seizures
  • Fast or Pounding Heartbeat
  • Fainting

Is full spectrum the right choice for dogs, or is there a way for them to naturally benefit from the hemp plant while minimizing these risks?

Broad-Spectrum and CBD Isolate Side Effects

In the early days of the CBD industry, the only choices were full-spectrum or CBD isolates.

In 2022 things have changed, and technology has advanced. We can now create CBD extracts that naturally retain the whole-plant benefits but have much less THC.

To make a high-quality broad-spectrum extract, you filter out the THC organically without separating the cannabinoids. The result is a product with similar benefits to full-spectrum CBD oil without the side effects of THC in dogs.

We can look at the many studies on CBD isolate in dogs to see what to expect from a Broad-spectrum product containing minimal THC:

  • Hypersalivation
  • Lip-licking
  • Vomiting
  • Loose-feces
  • Dehydration

You might notice these are entirely different than the side effects customers saw with full-spectrum products. The most significant difference is the lack of panic reactions, seizures, and impaired mental functioning. They mimic the side effects of the FDA-approved CBD isolate drug for people:

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