THC vs CBD for Dogs

CBD is one of over 80 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It does not have any of the psychoactive effects of THC which is the best known of the cannabinoids.

THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis and is what creates the euphoric, high feeling. Giving dogs THC in its straight form is not recommended. Such a practice has not been proven to be effective and may be harmful to your canine.

CBD is more closely related to NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and Rimadyl than to any other class of drugs.  This class of drugs affects inflammation and prevents blood clots. Although CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory, its impact on blood clotting can cause dangerous side effects as it reduces the clotting of blood and can therefore lead to serious bleeding.  

The quality of life for your dog may improve if you use CBD-based products, sometimes in conjunction with other treatments.

CBD is being studied as a potential benefit to dogs suffering from cancer, stress, arthritic pain, and general pain management. There is some scientific evidence that CBD can offer improvement to dogs suffering from these illnesses but more research needs to be conducted.


The metabolic pathways of CBD and anti-inflammatory drugs are similar, and they might therefore be effective for treating various inflammatory conditions.

It is estimated that 60% of dogs will suffer from Osteoarthritis. This condition is usually treated with traditional NSAIDS but CBD oil is a treatment option that has been used in recent years and there has been a significant reduction in arthritis pain in dogs who receive CBD oil twice daily.


The anti-inflammatory effect seen in dogs with arthritic joints may also be effective to treat other types of inflammatory pain.  Dogs who suffer from the pain of intervertebral disc disease have been effectively treated with CBD.

Studies have shown that CBD and THC used together are more effective for pain relief than when used separately, however, such research has not been conducted on dogs. Until further conclusive studies have been performed, THC should NOT be given to dogs. 


CBD’s effect on seizures has been studied extensively in humans but research on its effects on pets has been limited. Dogs can suffer seizures for different reasons due to many underlying conditions and there have been only limited studies that have shown a reduction in the frequency seizures with the use of CBD.

Idiopathic epilepsy is the prevalent type of seizure in dogs. There have been limited studies which indicate that CBD may help treat dogs with this condition, however, it has been observed that dog’s seizures are reduced when anti-seizure medications are given simultaneously with CBD.


Cancer is a broad term which refers to various diseases, each with specific therapies to help.

Cancer patients have been studied for potential CBD use for treating tumours directly and for treating the side effects of chemotherapy; however, research on the use of  CBD for cancer-stricken dogs has been limited.

Studies have shown that CBD oil has anti-nausea benefits in humans undergoing chemotherapy. The same effects have been noted in rats and ferrets which suggests that CBD may also prove beneficial for dogs.


One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD is that it helps overcome anxiety. In theory, CBD may be able to reduce inflammation or pain-induced stress indirectly.

CBD is unlikely to treat dog anxiety in the same way as Prozac and other medications since CBD is not psychoactive. Further research is required to understand the effects of CBD suffering from anxiety.

Potential Risks of CBD for Dogs

It is believed that CBD is relatively safe for dogs and cats. In numerous scientific papers, it has been found that CBD, when taken in the recommended dosage, is generally well tolerated and safe for dogs. However, it is possible to have adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhea and drowsiness if using too high a dose of CBD and not every dog is the same; some are more sensitive than others so care must be taken.

Research on the impact of CBD on liver enzymes is conflicting. Some data shows that it causes increased levels of alkaline phosphatase; other data indicates that it inhibits liver enzymes which impedes the dogs ability to metabolize drugs and potential overdose. A vet must be consulted before giving your dog CBD, especially if there are currently on other medications.

THC dangers for Dogs

THC, unlike CBD, can cause severe problems for you pet when ingested. THC intoxicates them.  THc intoxication can have long-term and possible even permanent harmful effect on your dog, depending on its level of exposure.

Pets may have difficulty standing or eating during such episodes.  Your pet must be taken to the vet immediately if you suspect THC toxicity.  To avoid complications, second-hand  effects of THC should be monitored closely, especially respiratory depression.

Though documented life-threatening risks for dogs from THC is extremely rare, THC should never be given to your furry friend.

Is there a limit to how much CBD dogs can take?

The most common form of CBD oil administration is oral consumption and prescribing the correct dosage is essential.

Studies have used CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures, with most of them recommending lower doses (about 1mg per pound of body weight), no more than twice daily. Dogs should tolerate this dosage but you should always seek the advice of your veterinarian.

It can be difficult to determine the correct amount of CBD for your dog because each company produces CBD oils with varying concentrations of CBD.  Other factors to consider are what illness you are treating your dog for, any other underlying issues that your pet may have and other medications that have been prescribed.

ConclusionWhile there are many articles and stores online promoting CBD products for dogs, there is still limited scientific research to show CBD’s short and long term effects. With the lack of and sometimes contradictory research about the benefits and potential risks of CBD use,  make sure you consult your veterinarian before administering CBD to your Dog.