The Side Effects of Different CBD Oils In Dogs


Medically reviewed by James Edward, PharmD
side effects of cbd oil in dogs

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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 safer than others. If a product could cause heavy sedation or a panic reaction, you'd want to know before purchasing.

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

0.3% THC Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Side Effects

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
Excessive 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 excessive appetite.

This large survey implies that many dogs, with their increased sensitivity to Cannabinoids, can and do get visibly high from full-spectrum products containing as little as 0.3% THC by mass.

If those were the only listed side effects, it might be safe to say that the benefits outweigh the risks for most dogs. Unfortunately, more than 20% of the owners recorded panic reactions. More than 3% of them noted 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.

These adverse effects mimic the listed side effects of Dronabinol, the only FDA-approved THC isolate drug for people.

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?

Broad-Spectrum and CBD Isolate Side Effects

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 non-detectable amounts of 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 non-detectable THC levels:

  • 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

Long-Term Side Effects

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.

Conclusion

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

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 to be the safest option for your canine companion.

References
  • https://www.ahvma.org/wp-content/uploads/AHVMA-2018-V51-CannabisUseandPerceptions.pdf
  • https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00051/full#F1
  • https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/ajvr/82/5/ajvr.82.5.405.xml?tab_body=fulltext
  • https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-176175/epidiolex-oral/details
  • https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-176175/epidiolex-oral/details
  • https://www.drugs.com/mtm/dronabinol.html
  • https://www.ahvma.org/wp-content/uploads/Cannabis-in-Veterinary-Medicine-A-Critical-Review-Vol-61_LR-3.pdf
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826847/
  • https://www.dvm360.com/view/study-evaluates-adverse-effects-of-cbd-in-dogs-and-cats
  • https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a607054.html

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