Cat cannabidiol (CBD); sounds fancy, right? CBD for cats has grabbed the attention of many feline fanatics looking for alternative solutions to common issues. Ever since industrial hemp was federally legalized in the United States, CBD products have gained more attention for their potential therapeutic uses. At a glance, it may seem that dogs have received the majority of the attention in this area, but as it goes, the market is meeting the people’s demands and finally catering to cats as well.
But what exactly could CBD do for cats? Is it okay to give cats? And most importantly, is it good enough for my precious? Any cat lover knows that cats are a whole different animal (pun intended) when it comes to pleasing your pet. They are independent, intelligent, and sassy creatures. That’s why we love them!
So, I repeat, cat CBD—fancy? Yes. But is it the right amount of fancy for your pet? Join Companna to find out.
The cat is out of the bag on CBD
The popularity of CBD has seen rapid increase lately and for good reason. Budding research has demonstrated a variety of potential benefits, and the everyday individual’s personal accounts appear to align with these findings. But what is CBD?
CBD is a common occurring compound that is found in cannabis plants. More specifically, it is one of over 113 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Marijuana is another plant that falls within the cannabis genus, but you probably already know this because of its controversial history related to another infamous cannabinoid: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Until 2018, every kind of cannabis was federally illegal. However, all of this changed with the legalization of hemp, another plant of the cannabis genus that is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. So long as a CBD product contains less than 0.3% THC, it falls within the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) guidelines.
The big difference between CBD and THC is how they interact with our bodies. Our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) essentially allows these cannabinoids to interact with various ECS receptors and produce varying reactions. THC is psychoactive. It is able to bind with the receptors in such a strong way that causes a high. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive. It binds very weakly with the CB1 receptor and does not produce a high. That being said, CBD certainly produces its own unique effects. It’s not uncommon for people to feel a boost in mood after they take CBD. This key difference is the main reason hemp was made legal by the USDA, and why we can all enjoy CBD and its many wonders today!
The cat that ate the CBD
As it turns out humans aren’t the only ones with ECS. Most mammals have one, including cats! This means that CBD can interact with their own ECS, allowing our favorite furry friends to also reap the potential rewards this incredible gift nature has given to us.
Before we dive in, it is important to know that scientific research has yet to find definitive proof to support any claims that CBD can be used as a medical treatment or cure. That being said, there are a lot of studies that have suggested that there are incredible benefits in CBD, and some pet owners have started to report the same for their pets. In particular, CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, and a potential ability to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, stimulate appetite, and relieve feelings of anxiousness.
Poor joint health is a common condition in cats, and particular in older cats. There is a lot of research so far that has suggested that CBD could help boost joint health. A 2016 study on rats found that four days of receiving transdermal CBD patches helped reduce the rats’ pain, as well as the swelling in the treated areas. Another study found that CBD prevented the progression of arthritis and protected “the joints against severe damage” related to chronic inflammation.
It’s not uncommon for cats to become anxious. While our cats (unfortunately) cannot put into words their emotional experiences, there are reliable behaviors associated with anxiety. These include things like decrease in activity and an increase in aggression. While the efficacy of CBD for anxiety in cats is largely based on personal accounts from pet owners, studies have demonstrated CBD’s potential ability to relieve feelings of anxiety in humans. Based on anecdotal support and preliminary research, it is possible that CBD may be able to help relieve your cats’ anxious behaviors, like aggression, restlessness, and loss of appetite.
Epilepsy and CBD has been a popular area of study recently. Epidiolex was the first CBD–based medication to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of seizures associated with rare forms of epilepsy. Unfortunately, studies on CBD for the treatment of seizures in cats is sparse, so conclusions can only be (carefully!) extrapolated from research on canines and humans. But because cats have an ECS like dogs and people, it is possible that CBD may be able to help cats in a similar way.
Did curiosity kill the cat?
Now we arrive at what is arguably the most important question: is CBD safe for cats? At the moment, we can only really say potentially. This is because, as mentioned a few times, research on CBD has been focused on people. But so far, it appears that CBD may be safe for cats. Because CBD is 100% natural, it presents minimal risks, especially if you are vigilant and responsible when giving your cat the appropriate doses. Possible side effects include fatigue, increased thirst, decrease in coordination, decreased blood pressure, and slower heart rate. However, when you consider the things that CBD may be able to help, these side effects don’t seem surprising. A sense of relaxation and calm in a cat displaying feelings of anxiousness may look a lot like decreased activity and fatigue. Again, because research on CBD is only just beginning and we have yet to determine the long-term effects, it is highly recommended and important that you speak with a veterinarian before deciding if CBD may be a viable option for your cat.
In order to be sure that you’re giving your cat the best CBD possible, you will need to be willing to do some research. You need to look into the product and the company that you’re interested in. They should be transparent about their ingredients and extraction processes. They should have their products tested for quality and content. All of their animal products should also be either broad spectrum or CBD isolate so that they are completely THC free.
If you follow our advice, you should be able to find some high-quality CBD for your cat. Of course, always be sure to talk to your vet before giving any to your cat. After you talk to your vet, come back here, to Companna, to find great CBD products for your cat.