If you’ve read some of our other blog posts, you already know how great CBD can be for you and your health.
But keep in mind that CBD isn’t just for people — it’s for pets, too! There’s a good chance that CBD could benefit your feline friends in particular.
As it turns out, CBD's just as useful for cats as it is for people. Many of us develop health problems because we subject ourselves to lifestyles that are at odds with our ideal environment. Your cat is no different. Today, our cats are more likely than ever to suffer from anxiety, obesity, and even mental health disorders.
CBD for full-body balance
CBD could be the solution. After all, your cat has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that reacts to CBD just like yours does. And while his or her ECS might be slightly different than yours (receptors are concentrated more in the brain than in the surrounding nervous system), it still functions to maintain homeostasis, or balance, within the body.
This biological reality has big implications for your cat’s health. Just like you, the stressors of modern life may leave your cat prone to low endocannabinoid levels. Researchers call this state CECDS, or clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome (1).
Because endocannabinoids are such important cellular signallers, being deficient in them is bad news. If your cat is stressed out, hyperactive, or in chronic pain, they could be low on internal cannabinoids. Addressing this cannabinoid deficiency could play a vital role in maintaining health.
Other symptoms that might point to endocannabinoid deficiency include:
- Frequent stomach issues
- Visible signs of discomfort
- Recurring skin problems
- Fearfulness and/or aggression
Even cats that seem happy and healthy may need a little extra help. Cats usually hide their injuries or health problems — unlike dogs, who will basically do everything they can to tell you that something is off. And while cats may seem to age slightly slower than dogs in the long run, the first few years of their lives are actually spent developing at a much faster rate. In other words, don’t neglect your cat’s health just because he or she isn’t vocal about it!
Now for some good news. Nature has gifted us two types of cannabinoids to help maintain health: the endocannabinoids we've been talking about, and phytocannabinoids, which come from plants. If your cat is deficient in one type, the best thing to do is supplement with the other.
CBD = Happy Cats
The primary cannabinoid in the hemp plant is — you guessed it — CBD. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a fat-soluble organic molecule. If you’ve ever used essential oils, you’ve taken something similar. CBD can be thought of as almost like the essential oil of hemp.
But CBD oil is even more diverse than conventional essential oils. Most CBD products contain a huge spectrum of over a hundred active compounds (2). Such compounds synergize and make CBD’s health benefits even more powerful.
These products are generally referred to as either broad- or full-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD contains many of the aforementioned active compounds, but zero THC, while full-spectrum CBD contains legal trace amounts of THC as well.
The many compounds present in hemp are there for a reason. When taken consistently, they’re able to boost the endocannabinoid system. And a healthy ECS helps regulate and balance pretty much everything.
Remember the list of CECDS symptoms we listed? As you might expect, CBD’s potential health benefits are virtually the opposite. Studies have stated that:
- “CBD reduces experimentally induced anxiety in healthy controls, without affecting baseline anxiety levels…” (3)
- “Cannabinoids and their anti-emetic potential are still under research [...] Animal models have also indicated CBD to have an allosteric inhibitory effect on the 5-HT3 receptor.” (4)
- “[...] it has been suggested that CBD may indirectly improve anti-inflammatory effects.” (5)
- “A long-term study of sleep quality assessed CBD actions using a common self-report instrument found a modest improvement in sleep, and more patients with improved sleep compared to poorer sleep.” (6)
How to find the right CBD product for your cat
Thankfully, the CBD industry has caught on to this concept, and it’s now easier than ever to find CBD for cats to help fulfill this need. Our hope is that the remainder of this guide will give you the confidence you need to select the perfect pet product.
The most important thing is that your pet takes CBD consistently, so feel free to select whatever delivery method makes this easiest.
Other things to look for in a product include:
- A label that clearly states cannabinoid content and is easy to read
- A healthy carrier oil (not grapeseed oil)
- Third-party lab testing verification
At Medterra, we carefully vet (no pun intended) every product we offer to the public.
A little bit of CBD goes a long way
Now that you’ve found a quality product, the next thing to do is figure out your cat’s optimal amount of CBD. In general, start low and go slow is an excellent rule of thumb for CBD oil.
You might start off giving your cat approximately 1 milligram of CBD per 10 pounds of bodyweight, and slowly ramping things up from there. If you want to get even more advanced, consider starting a journal to keep track of your pet’s progress.
It’s not uncommon to increase CBD by a few milligrams per week. In general, the more your cat is struggling, the more CBD he or she might need to fully overcome his/her health challenges. Use your best judgment, and don’t be afraid of giving your pet too much — it’s virtually impossible to get sick from excess CBD.
Modern science has finally confirmed what pet owners and lovers have already known for years: Having a companion animal is good for one’s health. We benefit from the pets in our lives in so many ways — emotionally, physically, even spiritually. Why not put effort and intention into benefiting them, too?
Although your cats can’t speak to CBD’s health benefits for themselves, it’s clear what the research says. If you do decide to get your furry friend on this amazing plant compound, its healthful properties will be clear to you, too!