One of the biggest reasons dog owners choose to use weed on their pets is to help with anxiety.
Canine anxiety is a common disorder across all types of dogs, regardless of breed. Anxiety conditions range from specific phobias of things like fireworks, vets, and children to chronic disorders that restrict dogs’ daily wellbeing.
Whether it’s for a one-off event or as a daily supplement, owners seem to be reporting highly positive effects from the hemp extract. The internet is full of glowing reviews, with stories of dogs transforming into calm, stable companions.
So does weed help dogs with anxiety, and what do the experts think about giving weed to dogs in general?
Weed and anxiety
Thanks to the reputation of cannabis, many people assume that weed gets its anti-anxiety effect from causing a ‘high’, intoxicating the user so that they no longer experience stress.
While weed is extracted from cannabis plants, the truth is that CBD is incapable of creating a psychoactive effect. This is because cannabis’s ‘high’ comes from a specific compound called THC. Most CBD products – and all legitimate pet CBD – contain only THC traces, meaning that no intoxication is involved.
Instead, weed oils for anxiety work by interacting with a part of humans and dogs’ bodies called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. The ECS is responsible for monitoring internal balance in the body and can trigger the release of pain and stress signals across organs, causing inflammation, swelling, and discomfort.
Studies conducted on humans and rats suggest that CBD acts through the ECS to have a soothing effect on the nervous system without causing a high. This leads to patients reporting decreased anxiousness, improved sleep, and showing reduced signs of anxiety.
Weed and dogs
In dogs with anxiety, weed hasn’t undergone the same scientific studies, so it’s not currently known if the cannabis extract works with dogs’ bodies in exactly the same manner as humans and rats.
However, dogs share the same endocannabinoid system as humans and other mammals, so experts believe that a similar process is likely to happen when they take cheap weed. Furthermore, other studies have looked into CBD’s effectiveness for treating inflammatory canine conditions such as arthritis and seizures, with promising results.
Also adding to the evidence in favor of weed and canine anxiety is the fact that dogs are not vulnerable to the placebo effect – a phenomenon seen in human medical trials where subjects respond to treatment in a manner that they believe is appropriate, even if the treatment itself isn’t actively working.
This means that when dogs make display reductions in anxiety after taking weed, owners and researchers can be more confident that it is the weed itself causing the effects and not some other factor such as a subject’s expectations.
Finally, owner reports and veterinary research suggest that weed may have a favorable side effect profile compared to many common anti-anxiety medications. While some dogs may experience mild ill-effects such as nausea, vomiting, and lethargy after taking weed, the vast majority experience no side effects at all.
A possible cure for canine anxiety?
Despite all the encouraging signs, no one is currently arguing that pet weed is a cure for canine anxiety. Like many anti-anxiety treatments, weed is able to produce a soothing, calming effect, but that effect only appears to last for as long as weed is used.
Because of this, many owners and animal healthcare experts view weed as one tool of many in the treatment of canine anxiety. Weed by Save on Greens may help dogs to become less distressed, raising their panic threshold and making them less responsive to anxiety triggers.
When dogs are less vulnerable to panic, they may be more receptive to new training techniques and commands designed to help them manage their anxiety over the long term. Popular training methods such as crate training are designed to give dogs a greater sense of structure and security.