What is CBD Oil and How Does it Help with Cats' Cancer?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a compound that comes from the cannabis plant family. Both marijuana plants and hemp plants contain CBD. When people take CBD, they have the option of choosing between CBD extracted from hemp plants or CBD from marijuana plants. The situation is different for cats. The oil that is safe for cats is fully hemp-derived.
As people, we can consume as much THC as we deem desirable because our endocannabinoid systems or ECS, are equipped with the ability to break down THC molecules. However, the ECS of a cat cannot handle CBD with a THC concentration of more than 0.3%, which is the official THC limit for CBD.
So, CBD is a plant-derived substance with a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration at or below 0.3%. So, what does CBD do, and why is it suggested for cats with cancer?
Well, cats can be given CBD to relieve a lot of the pain-related side effects of cancer treatment. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery are three of the most common treatment options for cancer in cats.
While it's impressive that there are ways to treat cats with cancer, the treatment options come with a lot of undesirable effects. From dizziness and nausea to muscle soreness and cognitive stress, there are many adverse effects of the cancer treatment options.
There is a seemingly endless number of health benefits and positive effects of CBD on cats with cancer. Let's take a look at the many ways CBD can drastically improve the quality of life for cats with cancer!
Health Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer
There are many health benefits of providing your cat with CBD for their cancer. These include but are not limited to:
- Calming of inflammation
- Soothing of aching bones
- Relief of upset stomachs
- Alleviation of nausea
- Reducing/minimizing pain
- Lowering of high-stress levels
- Relaxation for anxious cats
- Helping with depression symptoms
- Reducing the frequency of seizures
- Assisting with symptoms of epilepsy
Please know that CBD is in no way, shape, or form intended to treat cancer in cats. CBD is not a cure, but instead, it helps your cat stay comfortable while undergoing other medical treatments for their disease.
CBD oil is not able to prevent cancer in cats, either. It simply alleviates the unwanted pain and intolerable discomfort caused by your cat's cancer treatments, as well as the disease itself.
Types of Cancer in Cats
Just like pet owners, cats run the risk of receiving a cancer diagnosis at any point in their lives. Many different types of cancer threaten the health and well being of cats. While there are more than four types of cancer in cats, we are going to focus on the most common types of feline cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, feline squamous cell carcinoma, and mammary cancer.
Feline Leukemia and Lymphoma
Both feline leukemia and lymphoma in cats stem from a virus known as the feline leukemia virus. Abbreviated as FeLV, the virus transfers very quickly from one cat to the others. For this reason, cats that are infected with FeLV should not be allowed to play with healthy cats, and vice versa.
As one of the many types of feline cancer, FeLV arises when cancer cells make a home out of a cat's immune system. Often mistaken for lymphoma, leukemia is a more fatal form of feline cancer because it targets the immune system directly.
Feline lymphoma is lymphatic cancer, meaning it affects the lymph nodes of cats. Lymph nodes communicate with a large percentage of the rest of your cat's body. Since lymphoma is malignant, the cancer cells can move from the lymphatic system to other parts of the body by way of lymph nodes.
Both leukemia and lymphoma are cancers of the blood, making them both incredibly high-priority because they pose a severe danger to the full body of cats. The cancer cells of leukemia and lymphoma are fast-moving as well.
Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma in cats is a type of skin cancer. Malignant tumors develop in the squamous epithelium, which is the outermost layer of a cat's epidermis. As a skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma might travel from one layer of the skin to another, meaning it can metastasize over time, especially if it goes undetected.
Mammary Cancer in Cats
Feline mammary cancer is a cancer of the breasts. Only female cats can develop mammary cancer because mammary cancer cells are located in the mammary glands. Male cats do not have mammary glands, so breast cancer cells cannot form in males.
Is CBD Legal for Cats?
CBD oil for cats is not only safe for cats to consume, but it's also legal! CBD for your cat is hemp-derived, meaning the oils are extracted from hemp plants rather than marijuana. Even though hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, hemp plants naturally contain less than 0.3% THC, which makes it safe for cats to ingest!
There's a misconception that CBD oil for cats has to be in the form of a CBD isolate, meaning it only contains CBD and absolutely no THC. Cats can consume CBD that includes a THC concentration of no more than 0.3% because this percentage is considered to be a trace amount of THC, so it won't cause your cat to get high.
To get high, a much more significant amount of THC must be present. However, there should never be more THC present in the CBD that you give to your cat. No matter if THC is present in high or low doses, any amount of THC above 0.3% is incredibly toxic for cats. Our feline friends can lose their lives as a result of ingesting CBD with more than 0.3% THC.
It's necessary to pay close attention to the amount of THC in CBD before giving it to your cat. Even so, when you use CBD to improve your cat's quality of life, it's essential to make sure that there's a label on the container that says the cannabidiol oil is intended for use with pets. When extracted from hemp plants, CBD is accompanied by many different essential oils, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which are also naturally-occurring in hemp.
While the oils, terpenes, and flavonoids are safe for human beings to consume, they might cause adverse reactions in pets. This doesn't happen every time with every cat, but the fact that it's possible should be reason enough to avoid administering CBD for people to your cats. For the sake of erring on the side of caution, make sure you only give pet-friendly CBD products to your cats!
What Effects Does CBD Have on a Cat?
We mentioned the endocannabinoid system briefly before. The endocannabinoid system in cats is the reason CBD has any effects at all. Within the endocannabinoid system are cannabinoid receptors that latch onto CBD molecules and allow the body to break them down, which means your cat can yield all of the health benefits of CBD!
Are There Any Negative Side Effects for Cats?
One of the best qualities of CBD oil for cancer is that it's an all-natural pain reliever. When it comes to pain management, there are many different prescription medications out there, but the one caveat is that they are partially artificial, if not entirely.
While prescription medication options have been proven to be effective, they each come with a very long list of potential side effects, many of which are extremely concerning. Unlike prescription medication, CBD oil is entirely natural.
As a natural remedy for pain-related symptoms, CBD doesn't contain any artificial by-products, additives, preservatives, or anything of the like. Natural remedies also have a much smaller list of adverse effects, especially when compared to those that might result from man-made prescription pain medications for cats.
Even so, just like everything that offers health benefits, there are a couple of effects you need to be aware of when giving CBD to your pet cat. Pet CBD oil is not toxic or fatal for cats to consume, but supplements don't have to be deadly to cause adverse effects.
The first potential effect of CBD on your cat is sedation. This generally results from situations where pet owners give their cats a higher dose of CBD than they need. Nothing major will happen if a cat swallows too much CBD oil.
Your feline friend will simply drift away into a deep sleep, only to wake up at some point, feeling very relaxed. Some cats experience slight confusion when waking up from a CBD-induced nap, but being disoriented is pretty rare.
The other potential side effect of administering CBD to cats is something called gastrointestinal upset. This is a fancier way of saying too much CBD can cause your cat to have an upset stomach. Ironically enough, CBD is a common natural remedy for upset stomachs, so the fact that it can also cause discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract of cats is shocking.
But think about it like this. Imagine your cats eating their favorite dry food. When they eat just enough to satiate their hunger levels, your cats will feel full in a comfortable way. However, if they eat beyond the point of feeling satisfied, their stomachs will not take well to the extra food, which leads to an upset stomach.
The same goes for CBD! With the right amount, CBD won't cause gastrointestinal upset. It only happens if too much CBD is administered to your pet.
After learning about the harmful effects of CBD on cats, the consensus is that it all comes down to properly dosing the CBD. Make sure you pay very close attention to the directions and dosage instructions on the side of the CBD oil bottle.
Cannabidiol oil and other products containing CBD are incredible, and we hope you don't let the possibility of a negative side effect overshadow the numerous positive health benefits of feline CBD. As long as the dosage is correct, a cat's life will seriously improve with the help of pet CBD.
Are There Different Kinds of CBD for Cats I Can Get Prescribed?
Using CBD for your cat isn't something you need to obtain a prescription for! Unlike other vet-approved pain medications, cannabis oil for cats can be purchased without a note from your cat's veterinarian. Also commonly referred to as hemp oil, cat CBD oil is a controlled substance, but it doesn't require a prescription before purchasing.
Even though you do not legally need to secure a prescription from a vet before buying and administering CBD oil, we highly suggest discussing CBD with your cat's vet. It's highly likely that the veterinarian will support your decision to use CBD in your cat's life, but it doesn't hurt to consult your veterinarian first.
Vets should always know what you are giving to your cats, including CBD. Additionally, if you ever have any questions about CBD, you can always turn to your cat's vet and ask for their advice. If they aren't as in tune with CBD for cats, they might even know a holistic veterinarian who can help answer your questions, too!
CBD Oil Products for Cats with Cancer
CBD oils are not the only CBD product available for treating cats. There are so many different CBD products on the market, and there's undoubtedly more to come as the cat cannabis industry continues to evolve. Aside from CBD oils, a few other examples of CBD products for cats include…
- CBD isolates
- Full-spectrum tinctures
- Sprayable CBD
- Capsules for swallowing
- CBD cat treats
- CBD-infused wet food
- Hemp-based dry food
Is CBD the Best Option for My Cat?
Cat owners can find a lot of comfort in knowing that CBD is a fantastic option for helping soothe their pets with cancer. As the most natural supplement out there, CBD is also the safest addition to the life of a cat in pain.
As we mentioned, you should consult a vet before introducing CBD oil into your cat's lifestyle. Every cat is different, and some cats won't take to CBD as well as others. If you aren't sure if CBD is suitable for your cat, seek advice from professionals or reach out to us today! We can offer more information to help you make your decision.
More Information About Finding the Right CBD for Cats
Before using CBD, you first need to find the right CBD oil for your cat! At Innovet, we offer CBD oil that pet owners can trust. Every CBD product from Innovet is third-party tested to triple check the quality, so you can rest assured knowing that we only sell the best of the best! Check out our inventory of cat CBD products today.