CBD for Animals

CBD for animals effect
Written by Stefan K.

CBD for Animals

Loyal dogs, cuddly cats, powerful horses and a great many other animals all enrich the lives of people all over the world. The wellbeing of these animals is something which lies close to the hearts of many. However, animals can also end up ill. They can suffer physically as well as mentally. One way in which such problems can often be alleviated or even cured is by using CBD.

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It is a product which is derived from the hemp plant. At present, it is known that hemp contains more than 100 different cannabinoids. CBD and THC can be found amongst them. In contrast to THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, nor does it cause addiction or bring about states of intoxication. CBD can therefore generally be given to animals without constituting any danger.

It is important to realise that CBD is a pure natural product. Many pet owners take special care to ensure that their animals only eat foods which have not been adulterated with chemicals. This is an important factor both in terms of the pet food itself and for any dietary supplements which the animal may be given. A fundamental point concerning CBD for animals is that, thanks to its many positive properties, it can improve the physical condition of the animals it is given to. Secondly, CBD can also ease stressful situations for animals. In addition, CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect on dogs, cats, cows, and other animals, and achieves this by natural means. To date, no significant side-effects have been noted.

How does CBD affect animals?

What used to be specialist knowledge about the endocannabinoid system (ECS), has now become more widely known. The receptors which belong to this system are distributed across the whole body. CBD binds to these receptors (CB1 and CB2) and influences bodily functions, generally in a positive manner. An important point to be aware of is that cats and dogs, like all mammals, have an ECS. This means that CBD products such as CBD oil, CBD capsules, and CBD salves also work on animals.

[cip category=”CBD for pets”]

Interviews are not the most practical approach to take with animals. Researchers therefore make use of behavioural observationsin order to find out how CBD affects animals. It has been found that animals which have been given CBD experience changes in their perception of pain and in their consciousness. Thus, it appears that CBD has the same effect on animals as it does on people[1]. For animals, CBD provides pain relief, just as it does for humans.

CBD for animals with chronic inflammation

Besides having an analgesic (pain-killing) effect, CBD can also be used to treat other conditions in animals. These include those which involve chronic inflammation. This often occurs in animals as a consequence of some genetic predisposition which is further encouraged by a weakened immune system. Many animals therefore suffer from gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). Conspicuous symptoms include refusing to eat and pain during excretion. For animals, CBD can help against inflammation. During one study[2], researchers found that many inflammatory bowel diseases are triggered by lipopolysaccharides. Giving CBD to people and animals had a demonstrably positive effect in countering inflammation of the large

Using CBD to reduce stress in animals

Bonfire night and the obligatory fireworks are a well established tradition in Great Britain and many countries of the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the loud bangs of the fireworks end up causing elevated stress levels, especially in animals. This applies not only to wildlife, but also to farm animals and pets. Fireworks cause a rise in the cortisol levels of animals. These levels regulate the fight-or-flight reaction. When the body releases a lot of cortisol, levels of stress and anxiety are drastically increased.  If animals are given CBD beforehand, however, this can help to balance out cortisol levels preventatively[3]. CBD allows animals to deal with stressful situations, such as fireworks, in a more relaxed way.

Other situations in which CBD can help to reduce stress in animals to a tolerable level are during livestock transportation, visits to the vet, and even when moving house.

CBD can resolve weight problems in animals

The state of health of an animal is often reflected in its eating habits. In dogs, cats, and other animals, being overweight constitutes just as much a health risk as being underweight does. For animals, CBD can be helpful in either instance. This may sound contradictory, but it does in fact make sense. Tests on rats[4] have have successfully demonstrated that CBD can suppress the appetite. CBD can also have the opposite effect, however[5]. To resolve this contradiction, it should be understood that CBD can have a regulating effect on the sensation of hunger via the ECS. Thus CBD can regulate the feeding behaviour of animals, bringing it back to a normal level.

CBD for animals with diabetes

One consequence of being overweight can be the development of diabetes. Once an animal has developed this condition, it can often only be helped by giving it daily injections for the rest of its life. As much as this may make their lives easier, the cats and dogs in question often regard the procedure as an ordeal. This is another situation in which CBD can provide animals with relief. As one study has shown[6], in animals, CBD can alleviate the effects of diabetes to a significant extent.

If an animal is suffering from diabetes, it is often the case that the only thing that can help is injections. For animals, this can be very disturbing. In order to ease the fear, many pet owners give their animals CBD beforehand.

Animals with arthritis – cannabidiol can help

One of the worst conditions which pets can suffer from is arthritis. Such inflammation of the joints can, for example, be caused by infectious pathogens. These can enter animals’ bodies if they are bitten or injured. The causes of arthritis in animals are well-researched, especially in the case of dogs and cats. The reason for this is simple – they are the most common and most popular pets. Like people, animals also suffer from typical symptoms of arthritis, such as pain, insomnia, and even anxiety disorders.

The Arthritis Foundation, an organisation based in the USA, commissioned a study[7] which shows how CBD affects this condition. It was found that the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD also provide relief in the case of arthritis. The similarity of the symptoms and modes of action in the bodies of people and animals means that it is reasonable to assume that CBD also helps animals with arthritis.

CBD and epilepsy

As is the case amongst humans, it appears that epilepsy amongst animals is genetic in origin. Even the smallest injuries, or the presence of scar tissue in the brain, can lead to parts of the body, or the body as a whole, being afflicted by violent, painful cramps, which are triggered by a neural stimulus. One recently published study[8] gives both pets and their owners a reason for optimism. In the study in question a girl, who had been suffering from a minimum of 300 epileptic fits per week, was treated with CBD. Taking CBD caused this number to drop to just three per week.

Animals with liver disease

A bad diet and contact with environmental toxins can overstrain the liver of an animal. In addition to this, lack of movement, the diabetes described above, and certain kinds of medication can also cause liver disease in animals. A study[9] published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, used experiments to show that CBD, when used in cases of liver failure, can help the liver to function again.

CBD and travel sickness

For many people, travelling by ship, by train, by car or by aeroplane are not something they can just take in their stride. And the same goes for animals. Generally, pets who are travelling spend the majority of a journey in a cage. The fact that this causes anxiety is clearly quite understandable. However, just like people travelsick animals can also be treated with CBD. One study[10] on the topic of travel sickness and CBD came to the conclusion that the symptoms of this condition can be fought via the ECS.

CBD for animals with cancer

Cancer is one of those medical diagnoses which can turn people’s lives upside down. This goes just as much for people as it does for animals. In such cases as this, CBD can also support the wellbeing of your animal. For example, one study[11] shows that the speed at which metastases form was significantly reduced amongst test subjects who took CBD. This suggests that animals suffering from cancer can be expected to live longer if they take CBD.

Cannabidiol oil for animals with rheumatism?

One of the most painful autoimmune conditions which both dogs and cats can suffer from, and which can greatly impede their ability to move, is rheumatism. To date, medical specialists have identified around 400 different causes for this condition. Most end up being expressed in the form of pain and inflammation. In both cases, treatment with CBD is a promising method for achieving relief.

How CBD affects dogs

The various effects which have already been mentioned generally apply in the case of dogs too. Additionally, many dog owners rely on the positive properties of CBD when it comes to dealing with any skin or fur problems which might affect their four-legged friends. CBD can help against fur loss, thus supporting the general wellbeing of your dog. In addition to improving fur structure, CBD can also help to improve the quality of your dog’s claws. 

Read more: CBD for dogs

How CBD affects cats


According to one study[12], from the age of six years onwards, 61% of all cats suffer from arthritis in at least one joint. From the age of 14 this increases to 82%. This condition, which is especially common amongst cats, can be alleviated with CBD. This means that cat-lovers can maintain a high degree of mobility in their cats, even when their pet has reached an advanced age.

Read more: CBD for cats

How CBD affects horses

Draught horses and riding horses also often suffer from joint inflammation, which can cause the animals almost unbearable pain. Treatment with CBD can soothe such animals noticeably.

The side-effects of CBD for animals

First things first – CBD definitely does not make animals high. Intoxication, along the lines of that experienced by animals which have eaten fermenting fruit, is not a concern when animals are given CBD. To date, no serious side-effects have arisen when animals have been given CBD. However, it is important to pay attention to certain things after giving CBD to animals. It is possible, for example, that the animal may experience a dry mouth.  This can be observed in that the animal will start drinking somewhat more frequently. It has also been observed that some animals can become sleepier. Mild symptoms of diarrhoea have also been noted.

If an animal is suffering from cancer and needs to go through chemotherapy, you should ask the vet whether it still a good idea to give the animal CBD. The reason for this is that the consumption of CBD can mean that the dose of chemotherapy medication needs to be increased. As this medication can have quite a serious impact on the animal’s body, it may be that it makes sense to stop using CBD for the duration of the treatment.


  • CBD can help many pets and farm animals with all sorts of physical and mental problems. This cannabis product is especially useful for animals which are suffering from inflammation.
  • Another point which ought to be mentioned is that CBD can also function as an effective alternative to standard antibiotics. So, if an animal is suffering from a bacterial illness, caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, CBD can be an effective remedy.

[1] – 03.01.2020

[2] – 03.01.2020

[3] – 03.01.2020

[4] – 03.01.2020

[5] – 03.01.2020

[6] – 03.01.2020

[7] – 03.01.2020

[8] – 03.01.2020

[9] – 03.01.2020

[10] – 03.01.2020

[11] – 03.01.2020

[12] – 03.01.2020

Taking products containing cannabinoids may result in interactions with various medications. If you are already taking medication, the use of CBD and other cannabinoids should be discussed with your doctor beforehand

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About the author

Stefan K.

Stefan K.

Stefan is not only a valuable part of the CannaTrust magazine but also convinces with his sound knowledge about the effects of cannabinoids. As an author in Austria he gathered valuable experiences when writing for 'Stadtblatt Salzburg'. He got in contact with cannabis through several positive media reports. Nowadays he writes about everything around the most popular cannabinoid these days: CBD.