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CBD for Pets in the UK: What You Need to Know

woman giving cbd oil to dog

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant that has been associated with a range of therapeutic benefits for humans, but can it be used to help animals too? In this article, we give you the lowdown on CBD for animals, including if and how you can use it, and its potential benefits. 

Can You Give CBD to Animals?

At present, it is not possible to purchase CBD for animals. This is because these products require a marketing authorisation before they can be sold or supplied in the UK and, as of right now, no products have been approved. 

However, there is another safe and legal approach. Under the guidelines of the UK Government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate, vets can prescribe “human” CBD products to be given to animals. This requires a professional assessment from a vet, who will then recommend a dosage that you should adhere to. This is also important if your pets take medication, as CBD could interfere with anything that is currently prescribed.

The reason that “human” CBD should not just be given to pets is detailed on the government website — ‘A safe dosage for the various species and size of animal has not been determined, which would mean you would have to “guesstimate” how much of the product to give to your pet, and hope that in doing so, trust that you are not inadvertently causing them distress or harm.’ That said, it is thought that “human” CBD poses a low risk to animals and, anecdotally, it is safe and effective to use.

Is CBD Toxic for Animals? 

Research has shown that Cannabidiol (CBD) is not toxic for animals. However, large and unregulated doses might cause unpleasant side effects, such as dry mouth, nausea and incontinence. 

It is important to note that this is different from Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which can be unsafe for animals when consumed in excess. 

The Benefits of CBD for Pets

While there is no definitive data, there are some potential benefits of CBD for animals based on existing research and anecdotal reports.

  1. Improve Mood: A new study, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in 2023, found that a single oral dose of THC-free CBD can lead to a significant reduction in canine stress caused by car travel or being left alone. In a Cornell study, dogs were given CBD chews prior to a stressful event, and 83% showed a decrease in stress or anxiety-related behaviours. Anecdotal reports also suggest that CBD can help reduce stress levels and calm anxious pets.
  2. Reduce Pain: CBD might help to alleviate pain in pets, in particular for joint and neuropathic pain, and conditions like arthritis. In a Cornell study, more than 80% of the dogs with osteoarthritis experienced a decrease in pain, allowing them to be more comfortable and active.
  3. Improve Allergies: One study by CannPal found that CBD has the potential to help dogs with atopy (a dermatological allervy), with 65% of the CBD dogs having at least a 50% decrease in itching and chewing. Of these dogs, half recovered from all signs of itchiness while being treated.
  4. Manage Seizures: CBD might have anti-epileptic effects, which can help control seizures, by reducing the frequency and severity of them. In one cross-over trial, there was a > 50 % reduction in epileptic seizure frequency found in 6 of 14 dogs, though further research is required.
  5. Reduce Inflammation: CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and allergies. 

CBD Alternative for Animals

As the name suggests, hemp seed oil is a natural oil that comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. It contains high levels of omega-3 and omega-6, as well as other beneficial compounds like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Although it comes from the same plant as Cannabidiol (CBD), hemp seed oil has no cannabinoids. That said, it is associated with a number of therapeutic benefits for animals, which makes it a suitable alternative.

Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Animals

Hemp seed oil can offer several potential benefits for animals when taken alongside a well-balanced diet. This includes: 

  1. Healthy Skin and Coat: Hemp seed oil contains fatty acids that can help improve the appearance and health of your pet’s skin and coat. 
  2. Reduces Inflammation: The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp seed oil can help reduce pain and inflammation in pets with conditions like arthritis. This is also thought to help with allergies
  3. Boosts Immune System: Hemp seed oil is rich in antioxidants, which can help boost your pet’s immune system and protect them against illness, infection and disease.
  4. Antioxidant: Hemp contains high amounts of vitamin E, which aids cell renewal, immunity and disease prevention.
  5. Appetite: Hemp seeds contain omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid which can help to increase energy levels and promote a higher metabolism. 
  6. Gut Health: Hemp seed oil has a high amount of fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.

As well as the oil itself, you can purchase hemp-infused products for pets, such as treats, bedding and pellets, to introduce hemp into your pet’s life. Keep in mind that, with any change to your dog’s diet, it’s always safest to check with your veterinarian first. 

We are Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD provider. Backed by science, and built on the principles of traceability, transparency & trust, we are dedicated to improving the health & wellness of all our customers, and their pets.

We are proud to be one of the only companies to guarantee full traceability from seed to shelf with our premium range of products, tested by third-party, independent quality control analysts.

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

Keep out of sight or reach of children.