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The AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, explains what CBD oil is, what it does for dogs, and its safety concerns and potential side effects.

Learn more about the CBD study funded by the Canine Health Foundation.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Dr. Klein says it is essential to note that in most cases, CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. In fact, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.

According to Dr. Klein, CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.

While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.

Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, copywriter, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. As a writer for Remedy Review, an independent CBD review site, Josh covers the relationship between cannabis-based products and the human body. The products featured in this article were tested at ProVerde Laboratories in Milford, MA and Avazyme, Inc. in Durham, NC.

The company has found that these baseline dosages are sufficient for 70% of pet owners that use its products, but in some instances, a dog may need more than the recommended starting dose. If this is the case, it's usually best to slowly increase the CBD dosage and carefully monitor your pet's reaction to find their perfect dose.

ABSC offers several CBD oil products, each one designed for different weight classes of dogs. One noteworthy benefit of ABSC is that it’s the only line of dog CBD products that have been clinically tested. Dr. Stephanie McGrath, DVM, has conducted studies with her team at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences using ABSC’s CBD oil. These CBD extracts are derived from organically-grown hemp plants in Colorado and feature a natural chicken flavoring that’s safe for pets (and more appealing to your dog).

How much CBD oil should you give your dog?

Finally, while shopping for a CBD product for your pet, look out for these factors: natural or organic hemp harvesting methods (which means there are no artificial ingredients), dog-friendly flavors (like chicken, bacon, or peanut butter), and overall concentration of CBD (which speaks to the potency of the products).

In fact, products made from the hemp plant can provide a number of benefits to dogs of all breeds and all sizes. Here are just a few reasons why you might want your pets to use CBD.

As a brand, Medterra is dedicated to helping you and your pets, and it offers pure CBD extracts that are carefully-researched. These CBD isolate products are completely THC free and come in a few different pet-friendly flavors to pick from—including chicken, beef, or unflavored. These tinctures are available in three different strengths: 150, 300, and 750 milligrams per 30 milliliter bottle to suit the size of your pup and his needs.

In addition, there are some potential side effects, although they are usually quite mild. According to Dr. Jerry Klein, the American Kennel Association's Chief Veterinary Officer, some specific side effects to watch out for include drowsiness, dry mouth, or lowered blood pressure. A study in Animals also noted diarrhea as a potential side effect. However, pet owners may find some assurances in a 2016 report from the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (JAHVMA), which notes that there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD may be helpful for dogs with chronic pain, anxiety, and other health issues.