Can CBD help dogs with cancer?

  • Results of a study that examined the anti-tumor effects of cannabidiol exhibited CBD’s properties that make it effective at suppressing tumor growth and destroying cancer cells(1).
  • A 2016 research published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network provided some evidence that CBD could potentially help stop harmful cell growth in tumors(2).
  • Studies reveal that the presentation, histology, and biology of many canine cancers closely parallel those of human cancers(3).
  • An understanding of how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions in dogs might help explain how CBD could potentially alleviate cancer symptoms like pain and inflammation, as well as induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells(4).
  • However, as the safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched, the American Kennel Club advises pet owners to always consult with their veterinarian before giving CBD to their dogs with cancer(5).

Best CBD Oils for Dogs with Cancer

1. Dog CBD by Spruce

Best Overall

Spruce Dog CBD Oil 750mg

Dog-Friendly CBD Oil
Spruce Dog CBD Oil 750mg Bottle
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Overall
  • Score breakdown
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  • Summary

    Spruce’s dog-friendly CBD has been specially formulated for dogs. Instead of hemp seed oil for the carrier oil, the product contains coconut oil, which is generally easier on the digestion for dogs. The taste is also milder with no flavorings, making it more likely that dogs will eat it with their food.

    Using Spruce CBD for dogs is simple. All owners have to do is sprinkle the desired dose on the dog’s food at mealtime once or twice a day. Each dose should consist of about two to three drops per 20 pounds of dog weight.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Same as human lab grade, full spectrum CBD oil
    •  Easier on Dog's digestion
    •  Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
    •  No other flavors
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 20% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Kentucky, USA & North Carolina, USA
    Form Oil
    Ingredients Full Spectrum Organic CBD Oil, Organic Coconut MCT Oil
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Full Spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    Moonshine extraction method
    How to take it Squirt 2 to 3 drops per 20lbs. of dog weight on the dog food one to two times per day. Picky eaters may need it stirred in, or covered with some food Up to 25lbs./11kg – 2 drops one to two times per day on the dog food 25-50lbs./11-23kg – 4 drops one to two times per day on the dog food 50-75lbs./23-34kg – 6 drops one to two times per day on the dog food Over 75lbs./34kg – 8+ drops one to two times per day on the dog food
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    750 mg per bottle
    Carrier Oil Organic Coconut MCT Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    25mg of CBD per dropper full (1ml)
    Drug Test Not applicable
    Flavours Natural
    Price Range $89 ($75.65 for subscriptions, 15% discount from regular price)
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.11 ($0.10/mg with subscription)
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-4 business days (first class USPS)
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants Organic, Non-GMO, no pesticides, no herbicides, no solvents or chemical fertilizers, No preservatives or sweeteners
    Allergens Contains tree nuts (Coconut)
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for All dog breeds
    Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
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2. Pet CBD by Nuleaf Naturals

Best Organic

NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Pet Oil

Perfectly formulated CBD for Dogs, Cats, and other four-legged animals
NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Pet Oil
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
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    CBD for dogs, cats and other four-legged friends! Our product is concentrated to approximately 60mg cannabinoids per milliliter of oil. While this product is designed for pets, it’s great for humans, too.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Pure CBD hemp
    •  All natural
    •  No other flavors
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? CBDCLINICALS20
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Colorado, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients USDA Certified Organic Hemp Oil, Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Full Spectrum CBD
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 Method
    How to take it 2-3 drops per 20lbs
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    300mg - 900mg
    Carrier Oil Organic Hemp Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    60ml per dropper full (1ml)
    Drug Test Not applicable
    Flavours Natural
    Price Range $38.50 - $179.50
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.12 - $0.19
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-3 Days via USPS
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants No additives or preservatives, Non-GMO, NO herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers
    Allergens Not specified
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for All four-legged animals of any size and breed
    Countries served USA (all 50 states) and over 40 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Beliza, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and many more.
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3. Paw CBD by cbdMD

Best Range

cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs

Powerful CBD oil for your canine friends
cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Range
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  • Summary

    With nothing but MCT oil combined with CBD oil sourced from U.S. hemp that is grown using organic farming methods, these CBD Oil Tinctures for Dogs can be added to their favorite foods while still providing the same effects that you enjoy. We have two flavors to choose from: Natural and Peanut Butter.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  Same CBD Oil benefits as for humans
    •  No THC Animal-specific products (dogs, cats, horses)
    •  Made from premium CBD from non-GMO USA hemp
    •  Low terpene and cannabinoid profile
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: cbdMD15
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Kentucky, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Cannabidiol (CBD) and MCT Oil (from palm kernel oil)
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Broad Spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 extraction method
    How to take it Every dog is unique, so you need to experiment a bit to work out the optimum measurement. Start by giving your pet a small amount every day and watch for improvement. If need be, gradually increase.
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    150 mg - 3000 mg
    Carrier Oil MCT Oil (from palm kernel oil)
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    150 mg - 5 mg per dropper (1ml), 300 mg - 10 mg per dropper (1ml), 750 mg - 25 mg per dropper (1ml), 1500 mg - 50 mg per dropper (1ml), 3000 mg - 100 mg per dropper (1ml)
    Drug Test Not applicable
    Flavours Natural and Peanut Butter
    Price Range $19.99 - $149.99
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.05 - $0.13
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-5 Business days (via Fedex)
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants 100% organic, non-GMO, and vegan-certified
    Allergens Vegan, Gluten free
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for All dog breeds and sizes
    Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
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4.Pet Tincture by CBDistillery

Best Value For Full Spectrum CBD

CBDistillery CBD Pet Tincture

Pets can enjoy the same full CBD benefits as humans.
CBDistillery CBD Pet Tincture
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Value For Full Spectrum CBD
  • Score breakdown
    Value
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  • Summary

    CBDistillery’s Full Spectrum CBD Oil Pet Tinctures were made with your pets in mind. Formulated with cold-pressed hemp seed oil, your pets can now enjoy all of the same benefits of CBD that you do.

    Pro's
    Cons's
    •  60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
    •  Hemp seed oil is safe for pets and aids in easy digestion
    •  Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
    •  Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
    •  Dropper is a bit shaky
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? Save an extra 15% sitewide with code CBDCLINICALS15
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Colorado, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Hemp Seed Oil, CO2 Hemp Extract (Aerial Parts)
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Oil Tincture
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 extraction
    How to take it Shake well. Give suggested dose at each meal at least twice per day. Suggested serving by weight: Under 25 lbs: 0.5 mL (10mg), 25-75 lbs: 0.5 – 1mL (10-20mg), Over 75 lbs: 1 – 2mL (20-40mg)
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    150mg - 600mg
    Carrier Oil Hemp Seed Oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    5mg - 20mg per full serving (1ml)
    Drug Test Not applicable
    Flavours None
    Price Range $20 - $38
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.06 - $0.13
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    Standard UPS Shipping ships up to 5 business days
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants Contaminant-free
    Allergens Allergen-free
    Refund policy Within 60 days
    Recommended for All dogs and cats breeds and sizes
    Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
Check Latest Prices

Why Some People are Using CBD for Dogs with Cancer

An article posted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) says that there is no conclusive scientific data on using cannabidiol (CBD) to treat dogs specifically. 

However, there is anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting that CBD can help with neuropathic pain relief and control seizures(6)

AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Jerry Klein, says CBD is used in dogs due to its anti-inflammatory properties, benefits to the heart, appetite stimulation benefits, anti-anxiety and anti-nausea effects. 

Klein adds that CBD is also used for its potential anti-cancer benefits, although there is no definitive data on this use.

Still, there has been some evidence showing how CBD may help with cancer, like the subsequent studies that demonstrate its use as a potential anti-tumor agent. 

A study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics exhibited CBD’s antiproliferative and apoptotic features(7).

In another study, which was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, it was shown that CBD could inhibit the migration of tumoral cells(8). 

In one research, results indicated that cannabidiol could reduce tumor growth and size, as well as decrease the number of lung metastases (malignant growth) in mice(9). Their findings were published in the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment Journal in 2010.

Then, a 2016 research conducted by Mellar Davis provided some evidence that CBD could potentially help stop harmful cell growth in tumors(10).

Although the studies mentioned above were not focused on cancer in dogs, the results are still promising, suggesting that CBD may also help dogs with cancer symptoms. 

How can CBD help dogs with cancer?

Studies reveal that the presentation, histology, and biology of many canine cancers closely parallel those of human cancers(11).

CBD’s potential benefits in dogs with cancer may be attributed to how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions similarly in the bodies of both humans and dogs.

According to the authors of a 2017 study published in the PLOS One Journal, many conditions in dogs share striking similarities with their human counterparts(12)

The said study examined the spatial distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in the central and peripheral nervous systems of healthy canines and compared them with that of humans and other animals.

The similarities were also shown in a review published in the Animals (Basel) Journal. Based on the author’s research, it is clear that the endocannabinoid system is not just present in nearly all animals, but plays an integral role in maintaining homeostasis (natural balance) for a number of organ systems(13).

It is interesting to note that the first scientific research conducted on CBD oil use in pets is the 2017 Cornell University study, where CBD oil was given to dogs with osteoarthritis two times a day(14)

In the said study, some of the conditions thought to be relieved by the consumption of hemp-based CBD dog treats and products were: joint pain, inflammation, anxiety and phobia, digestive system issue, and pruritus (itching)(15). 

Results concluded that CBD oil helped increase the dogs’ relief and activeness, which seemed to support anecdotal reports of CBD oil’s benefits for pain and anxiety(16).

Moreover, CBD has been shown to stimulate or rectify the loss of appetite and relieve inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which helps to maintain a dog’s natural balance within its body(17). 

As CBD manages to provide relief concerning the ailments mentioned above, some pet owners may be inclined to try CBD on their dogs to alleviate their pets’ cancer symptoms.

How CBD Oil Works to Help Dogs with Cancer

There has been no clinical research on the specific manner by which CBD works for dogs with cancer. 

However, an understanding of how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions in dogs might help explain how CBD could potentially alleviate cancer symptoms like pain and inflammation, as well as induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells(18).

The ECS regulates the functions of cannabinoids, which include the active constituents of cannabis. 

By interacting with the dog’s ECS, CBD can help effectively manage cancer symptoms, making it an alternative tool to improve the quality of life in dogs with cancer.

Studies have established the efficacy of cannabinoid agonists in reducing tumor growth and proliferation, according to a 2016 research that examined cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents(19).

Cannabinoid agonists are substances that initiate a physiological response when combined with a receptor.

Cannabinoids produce many of their cellular and organ system effects by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors(20).

The CB1 receptor structure is similar among all mammalian species. This was also mentioned in a 2019 study on the ECS of animals(21). CB1 receptors are mostly found on neurons, and they inhibit neurotransmitter release. 

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are mostly found on immune cells. 

CB2 receptors modulate the release of cytokines (proteins made by the immune system) and cell migration. This was explained by the the authors of a 2018 PLOS One publication on ECS in canine inflammatory (central nervous system) CNS diseases(22).

They also said that many of the medicinal properties of cannabinoid compounds have been attributed to the CB2 receptor.

In a study published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation in 2017, it was shown that CB2 receptors contribute to slowing down of chronic inflammatory processes and modulate chronic pain(23).

Data from a research article published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics suggested that CBD could induce apoptosis in cancer cells partially via direct or indirect activation of the CB2 receptor(24). Results showed that CBD could be a potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth. 

Cannabinoid agonists are used as palliative therapy for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, said the authors of a 2017 animal study published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology. They also added that these compounds might be beneficial in the treatment of cancer-related pain(25).

CBD as a complete treatment method for cancer in dogs has not been proven, but results from studies are encouraging. 

As the safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched, the American Kennel Club advises pet owners to always check with their veterinarian first before giving CBD to their dogs with cancer(26).

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Dogs with Cancer

Pros

  • There are many manufacturers from where one can get CBD oil for dogs. Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in many countries as well(27)
  • Generally, cannabis oil and CBD products are easy to use on pets when following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Compared to the traditional pain medicine for dogs, CBD provides no life-threatening side effects when administered properly. According to experts, CBD does not damage the gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidney, and the dogs are not sedated or high(28).

Cons

  • CBD has not been extensively tested for use in dogs with cancer, and no longitudinal studies on its effects have been done.
  • CBD is still categorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, like heroin. Thus, vets can talk about CBD only if clients broach the topic(29).
  • Only California has passed legislation that authorizes veterinarians to discuss cannabis with their clients. As a result, vets lag behind other physicians in working with cannabis and researching its use in pets(30).
  • CBD may interact with medications, including those prescribed by veterinarians. Also, there is less testing of products marketed for pets. There have been reports of animals adversely affected by contaminated or spoiled CBD products(31).
  • There is no recommended CBD dosage for cancer in dogs. Wrong dosing may result in an overdose, which could result in dry mouth, low blood pressure, and drowsiness in dogs(32)

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Dogs with Cancer

Johanna Budwig, a German biochemist, believed that flaxseed oil could stop cancers from growing. She developed the Budwig diet, which involves eating flaxseed oil mixed with cottage cheese and milk(33)

Meanwhile, studies of flaxseed in animals have also shown that it may help with cancer by reducing tumor growth(34).

Flaxseed oil’s potential as an alternative treatment for cancer may be the reason why some pet owners use the Budwig diet on their dogs with cancer.

However, note that since there is not enough research on the topic, there is no high-quality evidence that would substantiate flaxseed’s use in cancer in dogs.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is a natural plant extract that has been shown in several studies to possess therapeutic benefits that may help treat cancer symptoms in dogs. 

Still, pet owners are advised to first consult with a veterinarian should they decide to try CBD as an alternative treatment for their dogs with cancer.

How to Choose The Right CBD for Dogs with Cancer

Once the pet parents and the veterinarian decide that they should try CBD as a treatment for the dog, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil. 

Not all oils are the same, so looking for a high-quality CBD oil is essential to have an increased chance of it working better.

In an article posted by Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting, a product-neutral enterprise dedicated to providing practical education to the veterinary and cannabis industries, pet parents are given guidelines and tips on choosing the right CBD for dogs with cancer(35)

  1. Accessibility: Hemp and CBD-only products can be found in pet stores and online. Meanwhile, products that contain a higher amount of THC can be found in a dispensary. Consumers should become familiar with and abide by the cannabis laws applicable in their area where CBD would be purchased and used.
  2. Manufacturer Reputation: When looking to buy CBD products, choose a company that has high ethical standards, honest, and transparent about their manufacturing methods.
  3. The Entourage Effect: Products that utilize the 600+ of the whole cannabis plant are safer and more beneficial than those that use a single or a few compounds.
    • The plants within the genus cannabis vary greatly. Individual plants express high levels of various cannabinoids (like THC, CBD, CBG, CBN) and different variations and levels of terpenoids and flavonoids.
    • The Certificate of Analysis (CoA) for any product is essential in demonstrating which medicinal compounds are contained in the finished/on-the-shelf product(36).
    • A full spectrum product is a plant-based cannabis product containing the full complement of medicinal compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids). Be wary of products labeled as “full spectrum” without an accompanying CoA. 
  4. Laboratory Testing: Buy products that have been tested and guaranteed to be free of contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and bacteria.
    • The U.S. Hemp Authority is one organization on a mission to certify best practices for growers and processors of hemp(37).
    • Finished product brands can earn the U.S. Hemp Authority seal, which assures consumers that the product was carefully evaluated and certified from the field to production stage and bottle. The seal is also seen as an essential piece of industry self-regulation.
  5. Safe Extraction Methods: CO2 and alcohol are the safest extraction methods for CBD products used in animals. Other techniques may leave behind toxic residual chemicals in the products that may cause adverse side effects or endanger animal health.
  6. Formulation: Tinctures are one of the most accurate and safest forms of cannabis to use in animals. Edibles for humans are not recommended to be used on animals.
    • Tinctures for animal use should be formulated in a high-quality oil base and not alcohol. Alcohol is excellent as an extraction technique but not as a tincture base.
  7. Avoid using products that have additives, like coloring, preservatives, and other herbs, that may adversely impact pet health. Xylitol is an extremely toxic additive that pet parents should be aware of and must not be given to animals.
  8. The ratio of CBD to THC: A combination of CBD and THC is usually more beneficial than using either of the compounds alone. Consult with a trusted veterinarian experienced in cannabis use to determine the ratio that would provide more significant therapeutic benefits to a dog and help with its current condition(38).

How Much CBD to Give to Dogs with Cancer

There is no recommended CBD dosage for cancer in dogs. However, there are dosing guidelines that may help pet parents and veterinarians make sure that a dog gets the full benefits of CBD while in therapy.

In an article posted by Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting, pet parents are given guidelines and tips on CBD dosing(39).

CBD is remarkably safe. Still, it is the pet parent’s primary responsibility to inform the veterinarian about a plan to include CBD in the dog’s regimen if the dog is taking other medications.

Note that CBD may interact with other pharmaceuticals and bring about unwanted side effects. Cannabis is also not advised to be given to immature or pregnant animals.

When giving CBD oil to a dog for the first time, always start with a low dose and slowly work up to a target dose. A syringe, marked dropper, or easily-calculated number of drops is recommended for consistent and accurate dosing. 

Gradually introduce any change in brand, CBD/THC ratio, or concentration. Then, re-evaluate the dosing whenever the dog’s health condition changes.

It is essential to know how many milligrams of CBD is in each drop or milliliter of CBD oil, for example. Note that high concentrations allow easier administration in big animals. Low concentrations are safe for small animals due to their low body weight.

Arranging the home environment in such a way that the dog feels safe, secure, and comfortable at all times is an excellent idea. An animal that receives cannabis therapy is usually overly sensitive to loud sounds and bright lights.

Also, consider keeping a journal or a log of the dog’s CBD dosing, reactions and behavior. Remember to share this information with the veterinarian in charge of the dog’s therapy.

Note that the amount of CBD that could help a dog would vary, depending on the dog’s diagnosis, size, age, and other medical conditions. 

Because finding the right dose for a dog can be challenging, Dr Richter, a veterinarian and the author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, advises that people first speak with their veterinarian before giving their pets CBD(40). 

How Dogs with Cancer Can Take CBD Oil (and Why)

Given that every dog’s needs are different, accurate dosing is crucial when using CBD products for medical reasons and looking for specific results.

There are numerous CBD product forms available in the market. Upon the advice of a veterinarian, it is essential to choose a product that best fits the dog’s needs.

 A practical solution for most pets is either a liquid formula (also called a tincture or oil) or an edible that comes in a measured dose. Both forms are easy to administer and ensure accurate and consistent dosing.

Tinctures give the most consistent, accurate dosing, especially for smaller pets. Tinctures are also likely to be either alcohol-based or oil-based. 

An oil-based liquid is a better choice for palatability and safety. It is also absorbed more effectively by the body, as indicated in a 2019 University of Minnesota study published in Epilepsia(41)

This oil-based liquid can be put directly into a dog’s mouth, in a small amount of broth or water, or mixed into a soft food treat.

For edibles, there are a wide variety of treats and foods available that are marketed for animals. However, it is more practical to choose a single-dose type of products that can be given easily, quickly, and in the pet parent’s presence, rather than pouring the CBD edible in the dog’s food bowl and walking away.

Note that mixing CBD oil in the dog’s food may not be as effective if the dog is having appetite problems since not finishing food means not getting the full CBD dose.

The CBD edibles that have a measured amount of active ingredient (i.e. CBD or other cannabinoids) per treat or piece is ideal. 

CBD treats could be a fun way to help dogs feel calm as the treats can make them feel like they are getting a reward. 

Whatever form of CBD product a pet parents choose, a consultation with a veterinarian is the best course of action to find the best treatment option for them and their dogs. 

Understanding CBD

Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) is a type of cannabis that is one of the most recognized ancient plants. Sativa is Latin for “useful”, and it is a term that is commonly used in plant names. 

A hemp plant and a marijuana plant both belong to the plant genus cannabis. Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States but is legally accepted in 16 states and the District of Columbia for therapeutic purposes. 

When people hear the word “cannabis,” marijuana comes to mind. However, the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is only one component of the cannabis plant. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the next most prevalent of the active constituents of cannabis, and it is a significant component of medical marijuana. 

Scientists have already discovered and identified more than a hundred different cannabinoids. 

CBD is naturally found in hemp plants, and this compound is commonly used to produce CBD hemp oil supplements. CBD is non-intoxicating and non-addictive. CBD derived from extracted from hemp is legal under U.S. federal law(42). 

One of the primary differences between CBD and THC lies in how they affect an individual who consumes them.

Although CBD and THC are similar in chemical structure, they do not share the same psychoactive effects. THC binds with the cannabinoid 1 or CB1 receptors in the brain and produces a sense of euphoria. THC is the cannabinoid that is mostly associated with marijuana or weed

CBD, however, binds inadequately to CB1 receptors. CBD can even disrupt the binding of THC and suppress its psychoactive effect, as researchers of a 2018 study published in the Neuropsychopharmacology Journal suggest. CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, does not induce the “high” associated with THC(43)

THC and CBD are both found in the flowers, seeds, and stalks of both hemp and marijuana. Both cannabinoids naturally exist in cannabis plants in a broad range of proportions. 

THC is most abundant in marijuana, while CBD is found in substantial quantities in hemp. The CBD oil ingredient that is found in most CBD oil products is extracted from the hemp plant.

Conclusion

As the use of medical cannabis and CBD oil has become more widespread, there has been an interest in CBD as a natural remedy for treating symptoms of cancer.

Studies have shown CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits for both humans and dogs, making it an appealing alternative or supplement for treating cancer symptoms in dogs. 

However, it is essential to note that CBD use for dogs poses risks as it does for humans. The lack of regulation surrounding CBD products and the proliferation of mislabeled products in the CBD market add to the risks that pet owners have to deal with during the difficult time of cancer treatment.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expediting work to evaluate regulatory policies related to cannabis and cannabis-derived ingredients like CBD. 

For now, the best course of action for a pet owner who has a pooch with cancer is to consult with a veterinarian before giving CBD to a furry friend or supplementing its therapy with CBD.


  1. Massi P, Vaccani A, […], and Parolaro D. Antitumor Effects of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoid, on Human Glioma Cell Lines. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics March 2004, 308 (3) 838-845; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.103.061002.
  2. Davis, Mellar P. Cannabinoids for Symptom Management and Cancer Therapy: The Evidence. Volume/Issue: Volume 14: Issue 7. Jul 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2016.0094.
  3. Vail DM, MacEwen EG. Spontaneously occurring tumors of companion animals as models for human cancer. Cancer Investigation. 2000;18(8):781–792; Ostrander EA, Galibert F, Patterson DF. Canine genetics comes of age. Trends in Genetics. 2000;16(3):117–124.
  4. Roxburgh CS, McMillan DC. Cancer and systemic inflammation: treat the tumour and treat the host. Br J Cancer. 2014;110(6):1409–1412. doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.90;  Soderstrom K, Soliman E, Van Dross R. Cannabinoids Modulate Neuronal Activity and Cancer by CB1 and CB2 Receptor-Independent Mechanisms. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:720. Published 2017 Oct 10. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00720.
  5. Kriss, R. (2019, Oct 27). CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Massi P. et al. op. cit.
  8. Vaccani A, Massi P, Colombo A, Rubino T, Parolaro D. Cannabidiol inhibits human glioma cell migration through a cannabinoid receptor-independent mechanism. Br J Pharmacol. 2005;144(8):1032–1036. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706134.
  9. McAllister SD, Murase R, Christian RT, et al. Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis [published correction appears in Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 May;133(1):401-4]. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011;129(1):37–47. doi:10.1007/s10549-010-1177-4.
  10. Davis, Mellar P. op. cit.
  11. Vail DM. op. cit.
  12. Freundt-Revilla J, Kegler K, Baumgärtner W, Tipold A (2017) Spatial distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in normal canine central and peripheral nervous system. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181064.
  13. Silver RJ. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(9):686. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/ani9090686.
  14. Gamble LJ, Boesch JM, Frye CW, et al. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2018;5:165. Published 2018 Jul 23. doi:10.3389/fvets.2018.00165.
  15. Kogan LR, Hellyer PW, Robinson NG. Consumers’ perceptions of hemp products for animals. J Am Holist Vet Med Assoc. (2016) 42:40–8.
  16. CBD for Dogs. Retrieved from http://thecbdbenefits.org/cbd-for-dogs/.
  17. Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), pp.139-154; Reggio, P. (2010). Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 17(14), pp.1468-1486.
  18. Roxburgh CS. op. cit.
  19. Ladin DA, Soliman E, Griffin L, Van Dross R. Preclinical and Clinical Assessment of Cannabinoids as Anti-Cancer Agents. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:361. Published 2016 Oct 7. doi:10.3389/fphar.2016.00361.
  20. Soderstrom K, Soliman E, Van Dross R. Cannabinoids Modulate Neuronal Activity and Cancer by CB1 and CB2 Receptor-Independent Mechanisms. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:720. Published 2017 Oct 10. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00720.
  21. Silver RJ. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(9):686. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/ani9090686.
  22. Freundt-Revilla J, Heinrich F, Zoerner A, et al. The endocannabinoid system in canine Steroid-Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis and Intraspinal Spirocercosis. PLoS One. 2018;13(2):e0187197. Published 2018 Feb 6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0187197.
  23. Niu J, Huang D, Zhou R, et al. Activation of dorsal horn cannabinoid CB2 receptor suppresses the expression of P2Y12 and P2Y13 receptors in neuropathic pain rats. J Neuroinflammation. 2017;14(1):185. Published 2017 Sep 12. doi:10.1186/s12974-017-0960-0.
  24. Alessia Ligresti, Aniello Schiano Moriello, Katarzyna Starowicz, Isabel Matias, Simona Pisanti, Luciano De Petrocellis, Chiara Laezza, Giuseppe Portella, Maurizio Bifulco and Vincenzo Di Marzo. Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics September 1, 2006, 318 (3) 1375-1387; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.106.105247.
  25. Soderstrom K. op. cit.
  26. Kriss, R. (2019, Oct 27). CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/cbd-oil-dogs/.
  27. YourHemp. (2019, May 29).Which Countries is CBD Legal in. Retrieved from https://www.yourhemp.co.uk/2019/05/29/which-countries-is-cbd-legal/.
  28. The CBD Benefits Organization. CBD for Dogs. Retrieved from http://thecbdbenefits.org/cbd-for-dogs/.
  29. ibid.
  30. Peachman, RR. (2019, April 11). Should You Try CBD for Your Pet? Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/should-you-try-cbd-for-your-pet/.
  31. Ibid.
  32. The CBD Benefits Organization. op.cit.
  33. Cancer Research UK. (2018, Dec 21). Budwig Diet. Retrieved from https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/budwig-diet.
  34. Goyal A, Sharma V, Upadhyay N, Gill S, Sihag M. Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. J Food Sci Technol. 2014;51(9):1633–1653. doi:10.1007/s13197-013-1247-9.
  35. Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting. Cannabis Guidelines for Pet Parents. Retrieved from https://www.veterinarycannabis.org/guidelines-for-pet-parents.html.
  36. Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting. Product Terminology. Retrieved from https://www.veterinarycannabis.org/product-terminology.html.
  37. USHA. Hemp Certification Is Here. Retrieved from https://www.ushempauthority.org/.
  38. Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting. op.cit.
  39. Ibid. 
  40. The Truth About Marijuana and Your Dog. https://youtu.be/zpjWLTJMhu4.
  41. Birnbaum AK, Karanam A, Marino SE, Barkley CM, Remmel RP, Roslawski M, Gramling-Aden M, Leppik IE. Food effect on pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol oral capsules in adult patients with refractory epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2019 Aug;60(8):1586-1592. doi: 10.1111/epi.16093. Epub 2019 Jun 27.
  42. US FDA. (2020, Feb 13). FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd.
  43. Boggs DL, Nguyen JD, Morgenson D, Taffe MA, Ranganathan M. Clinical and Preclinical Evidence for Functional Interactions of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018;43(1):142–154. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.209.
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