Cancer is a dreadful disease, both in the animal it is attacking and in the furparent trying to bring relief. Most of us will clutch at any chance to save our pets and give them a long, happy and pain-free life. Which is why you will see a range of products aimed specifically at the animal lover who will do anything to save their beloved furbaby, unfortunately few of them really work – even mainstream medication that has undergone vigorous research and testing is not 100%.
The latest in this list is of course CBD oil, and although you will see grandiose claims about its ability to cure everything from fleas to cancer, the reality is actually much more positive. No, it will not cure cancer (yet), but what it can do is help relieve the pain that some cancers cause, in can help increase the appetite, particularly if your pet is undergoing chemotherapy, it seems to help reduce nausea in dogs, and it can help reduce anxiety in both cats and dogs. So while you are researching your favorite pet website, read the claims with a note of skepticism and look at the source of the information (and the source of the product they are trying to sell you).
Will being happy and pain free give your pet the strength to help fight harder to gain health? Possibly, but the main goal is that you are able to help your beloved feel better, because words can not express how much we loathe seeing our pets, or any loved ones, in pain and feel unable to help.
Improving Chemotherapy Results
One of the exciting research projects is looking at how CBD oil can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments, and so far, it is positive. Although still in very early stages, and looking at human treatment rather than animal, it seems that in addition to being able to help reduce some of the side effects experienced by cancer sufferers (human and pet alike), CBD oil in the right dose could also reduce resistance to the chemotherapy drugs https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/11/6/781/htm.
Results have only been released for studies that have looked at using the treatment directly on cells under a microscope cells rather than live trials in either humans or animals, but we can keep our fingers crossed!
So, What Is CBD Oil?
You will probably see it sold as Cannabidiol oil, THC free cannabis or hemp oil, all of which are true. Hemp is a cannabis plant that has such low amounts of THC (under 0.3%) that it is considered to be free of THC. THC is the element of cannabis or marijuana that produces a ‘high’. There is also Cannabinol (CBN) which occurs as cannabis ages and the THC starts to break down – CBN is mildly psychoactive but rarely found in CBD products.
Cannabidiol Oil has no psychoactive properties itself, and in fact may be useful for treating drug addiction, but unfortunately with no standardization in the industry you need to be careful that you are purchasing from a reliable source that is able to guarantee that your oil is under 0.3% / 0.003 THC. This is particularly important if you’re are buying to give aid to a cat, as this drug can be highly toxic to cats.
CBD based oils may be sold in a liquid form suitable for consumption, or with a solid base designed to be applied to the skin.
Check the other ingredients and that they are suitable for use with your animal, for example, some topical ointments may include lavender essential oil which is not recommended with pets – in fact few essential oils are good with animals.
Why So Skeptical? It Cures Breast Cancer!
Again this comes down to really great marketing, and is partially correct. Yes, CBD oil really has managed to reduce breast cancer tumors (see here), but only a laboratory situation by being injected into the cells directly.
Your pet is not human, for all that we love them so. They have different physical needs than we do, and although we want only the best for them, we also don’t want to see them in more pain because we overdosed them in trying to save them. CBD has proven pain relief properties, so talk to your vet about how you can use it to help your beloved pet.