Pets often respond well to CBD for various conditions

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Red had a severe rash on his belly. Treated with CBD, it cleared up in just a few days. CYNTHIA GROFF

Did you know your pet has an endocannabinoid system just like you?

The main difference between people and pets when using CBD or cannabinoids is that pets are dosed by body weight.

We still use the adage "start low, go slow." It is also recommended to check with your veterinarian before starting any CBD products.

It is important to note that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has not approved CBD for use in pets. There is, however, anecdotal evidence of CBD working for pets for a variety of conditions including pain, anxiety and skin conditions.

This time of year, there are a lot of seasonal allergies that are causing skin conditions. Because the No. 1 effect of CBD is anti-inflammatory, it can be beneficial to use on inflamed, irritated skin. CBD can be used in conjunction with traditional treatments.

CBD can be applied directly to your pet's skin as well as taken orally. Its important to note that, should your pet's scratching be related to fleas, this should be treated separately.

In most cases, CBD taken orally or eaten will be in the bloodstream in about 45 to 60 minutes with a lasting effect for four to six hours. If using CBD topical for your pet's skin condition, it is best to verify that there are no other ingredients in the products, such as flavorings, that might make your pet sick.

MCT oil, a commonly used carrier oil, can cause a gastrointestinal upset and vomiting in pets. Hemp oil or hemp seed oil taste similar to grass, which most animals naturally eat, and doesn't cause upset to the GI tract in small amounts.

Another commonly asked question is "Can I give my pet the same CBD I take?" Yes, you can give your pet your CBD - if it contains no flavoring. Dosing is normally 1 mg to 5 mg per 10 pounds.

Again "start low go slow." If your bottle of CBD is 300 mg, one full dropper or 1 ml dose is equal to 10 mg. As with people, each pet's endocannabinoid system is unique, and no two are exactly alike. Starting with a half dose might be perfect for your pet.

Other uses for CBD in pets include inflamed arthritic joints, anxiety and stress.

With the season for thunderstorms and fireworks right around the corner, it's good to know that CBD might help your pet deal with these scary events. With CBD's ability to balance the endocannabinoid system, it has a calming effect for those stressful situations - without the side effects of traditional medications. Consult your veterinarian before starting your pet on any CBD products.

Cynthia Groff, CCMA is the owner of Sativa Health Products on Hilton Head Island. SativaHealthProducts.com

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