The Side Effects of Different CBD Oils In Dogs

Key Takeaway: In dogs, full spectrum CBD oil (which contains 0.3% THC) causes symptoms such as dry mouth, sedation, over-active appetite, panic reactions, nausea, and dry or red eyes. Broad spectrum CBD oil (which contains no THC) can cause hypersalivation, vomiting, loose feces, and dehydration.

side effects of cbd oil in dogs

As a loving pet parent, you want to know any possible side effects before giving anything to your dog.

While CBD products are generally considered safe for dogs, it is clear that some are far safer than others. If a product could get your dog high or cause panic, you'd want to know before purchasing.

The side effects of CBD oil for dogs can vary massively depending on the product you pick. What seems to matter is the THC content. While they appear to be reversible in all cases, they are significant enough that pet parents should be aware of them.


One manufacturer of Full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs asked over 600 of their customers about their products' perceived benefits and side effects. While many of the benefits listed are similar to what we hear from our customers, the side effects are not. The AHVMA carried out the survey, and these are the results:

Side Effect Total % Minimal % Moderate % Significant %
Dry Mouth/ Excessive Drinking 46.67 24.67 19.97 2.33
Over-active appetite 31.52 15.59 10.85 5.08
Sedation 30.32 1.08 10.11 19.13
Lack of Energy 27.65 16.72 6.83 4.1
Panic Reactions 21.43 13.61 5.1 2.72
Panic Reactions 14.68 3.41 7.17 4.1
Nausea 7.53 2.74 3.08 1.71
Vomiting 6.83 3.07 2.05 1.71
Impaired Mental Functioning 6.5 3.77 2.05 0.68
Dizziness 4.85 3.46 1.04 0.35
Dry or Red Eyes 4.79 3.08 1.37 0.34
Rapid Heart Rate 3.78 2.75 1.03 N/A
Increased Seizures 3.44 1.72 1.03 0.69

According to the customers, 30% of their dogs suffered from dry mouth, laziness, and the munchies. Does that sound like anything you're familiar with, maybe something you smoked in college?

While a few small company sponsored studies on this topic and most sellers will tell you otherwise. This large survey implies that many dogs, with their increased sensitivity to Cannabinoids, can and do get visibly high from full-spectrum products containing close to 0.3% THC.

If those were the only listed side effects, we could safely say that the benefits outweigh the risks for most dogs. Unfortunately, more than 20% of the owners recorded panic reactions (it is on there twice, so we hope it's not double that). More than 3% of them perceived increased seizures.

Despite these side effects, 88.8% of pet parents thought the product was very safe; we do not know what the other 11.2% thought, as it isn't listed. Were they the ones who encountered the significant side effects?

These adverse effects mimic the listed side effects of Dronabinol, the only FDA-approved THC isolate drug for people. Taking that into account, we don't think it's unreasonable to believe the 0.3% THC is responsible.

Dronabinol Side Effects:

  • Weakness
  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Memory Loss
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteady Walking
  • Feeling like you are outside of your body
  • ''High'' or Elevated Mood
  • Hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
  • Depression
  • Strange or Unusual Thoughts
  • Headaches
  • Vision Problems
  • Feeling Lightheaded
  • Seizures
  • Fast or Pounding Heartbeat
  • Fainting

Is full spectrum the right choice for dogs, or is there a way for them to naturally benefit from the hemp plant while minimizing these risks?


In the early days of the CBD industry, the only choices were full-spectrum or CBD isolates.

In 2022 things have changed, and technology has advanced. We can now create CBD extracts that naturally retain the whole-plant benefits but have much less THC.

To make a high-quality broad-spectrum extract, you filter out the THC organically without separating the cannabinoids. The result is a product with similar benefits to full-spectrum CBD oil without the side effects of THC in dogs.

We can look at the many studies on CBD isolate in dogs to see what to expect from a Broad-spectrum product containing minimal THC:

  • Hypersalivation
  • Lip-licking
  • Vomiting
  • Loose-feces
  • Dehydration

You might notice these are entirely different than the side effects customers saw with full-spectrum products. The most significant difference is the lack of panic reactions, seizures, and impaired mental functioning. They mimic the side effects of the FDA-approved CBD isolate drug for people:

  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling Very Weak and Tired
  • Rash
  • Sleep Problems
  • Infections
  • Increased liver enzymes


Before using any CBD product for your dogs, you should know the possible long-term effects.

While it's considered relatively minor, many studies have shown increased liver enzymes in dogs using a variety of CBD oils. Another possibility is decreased blood pressure.

We don't know the long-term psychological effects of THC on dogs, so you should monitor your dog closely with full-spectrum CBD products.

When giving any drug to your dog, natural or not, it's best to contact your veterinarian first.


CBD oil's side effects in dogs often get lumped together. The reality is different products have very different results. Those containing closer to 0.3% THC are very capable of getting dogs high, causing panic reactions, or worse.

While severe side effects and death are nearly impossible with CBD products, they can have a profound mental impact.

If your dog has suffered previous trauma, they may be more susceptible to these adverse psychological effects.

We suggest considering a high-quality broad-spectrum CBD oil before moving to higher THC products.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is Relievet

I'm Chris; I started Relievet to help my dog Biscuit deal with her mobility issues naturally. Relievet is a family-owned business composed of a team of passionate pet parents that includes a Doctor of Pharmacy, a dog trainer, a writer, a psychologist, and more. We make natural products that help animals maintain balance and deal with the issues they face, and we do our best to educate people on natural pet health. Beyond that, we are conducting research in hopes of improving the lives of many more animals.

In a world of giant corporations, we favor the personal approach. Reach out to us any time, whether just to tell us your pet's story or for your vet to consult with James, our in-house Pharmacist; we would love to hear from you.

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Animals suffer from many of the same issues as us, with one crucial difference: they can't communicate their needs or feelings. Relievet products are designed from the ground up for animals with careful consideration of their needs.

We make over 40 natural products targetting some of the most common issues faced by dogs, cats, birds, and horses.

Does My Vet Need to Be Involved?

You don't need a prescription to purchase Relievet products online or in stores in the United States and many other parts of the world.

However, only your vet can diagnose and recommend treatment for your pet's health issues, and you shouldn't ever stop, change, or add to their medication without your vet's guidance. If they have questions regarding our products, reach out to us, and we will be happy to help.