By Rachael Hellman
For Debbie Cokes, owner and one of the founders of RxCBD, it was, quite literally, a natural progression.
Living in Colorado, and with a deep connection to the world of holistic health, alternative remedies, and cannabis therapeutics, shifting her focus to CBD when hemp became legal made perfect sense.
Today, RxCBD makes a variety of therapeutic CBD products—including edibles, tinctures, capsules, and skin care products—accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Even those without opposable thumbs.
Oh, yes. The same CBD (cannabidiol) you trust to lull you into a gentle sleep or offset your office-job-induced anxiety also has plenty of benefits for the only living thing you love more than the cannabis plant itself: your dog. And if you’re the, um, “quiet” type, your cat.
As much as we’d like to think so, it’s not as radical as it sounds. Both you and your animal cohabitants have endocannabinoid systems, a group of receptors located throughout your whole miracle-of-a-body that keep different physiological roles in check. When you’re sick, using phytocannabinoids (found in the cannabis plant) to wake up these receptors can help address and alleviate the problem.
For dogs and cats, that “problem” can be a lot of things: thunderstorms, noisy events, separation anxiety, traveling, car rides, introduction to a new home, grooming, day care, pet sitting, inflammation, compromised digestive systems, seizures, and quality-of-life for older animals.
As is the case with CBD use in humans, animals treated with CBD can enjoy relief from uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes life-threatening conditions without experiencing psychoactive effects that come with THC. Admit it, though: watching Adventure Time with your most faithful pal and knowing that she really “gets it” would introduce a whole new layer to your relationship.
In the words of several enthusiastic dogs and cats we talked to, the second-best thing about RxCBD’s products is that they “taste f-n awesome.” Made with human-grade ingredients and without common allergens like wheat, soy, gluten, corn, or artificial additives, RxCBD’s handcrafted treats function as equal parts medicine and reward. They’ve got all the things you’re hopefully already eating yourself: flaxseed, nutritional yeast, parsley, cage-free eggs, and brown rice flour. The flavor-factor is especially important for the proverbial finicky cat, a type Debbie knew all too well and accounted for in her products.
“Those of us with feline family members they know that besides being magical, cats are elusive and are able to disguise a lot. It’s often difficult to tell what they are feeling or how to help,” Debbie told us. “We’ve developed a line of CBD cat products, along with serving tips that seem to work well.”
Proof that it all does work is in Big Joe himself. Suffering from stomatitis, or inflammation of the mouth, nothing prescribed by the vet for Debbie’s 14-year old cat was working. A consistent dose of CBD extract finally eased the symptoms and made Big Joe a new man.
Other cat moms comment on RxCBD’s site that products helped their cats with allergies, dilated eyes, vomiting, and general malaise. There’s no shortage of CBD benefits for dogs, either—even when it comes to seizures. Many common breeds like German shepherds, dachshunds, and collies are prone to inherit symptomatic seizures while labrador retrievers, Siberian huskies, and boxers are commonly plagued with seizure disorders.
The popular treatment for these pups (and often their human counterparts) is phenobarbital, part of the barbiturate family. Although the drug is low-cost and has longevity, it comes with a host of severe side-effects like lethargy, dizziness, confusion, and long-term liver damage that would have anyone in desperate search for an alternative.
Enter CBD. Well, almost.
Scientific studies on the effectiveness of CBD for dogs with seizures is still relatively new—and still lacking—but open-minded veterinarians and dog owners report their fair share of individual success stories all over the Internet.
One “Eldertrees” Redditor speaks to Elvis, a 4 year-old rescue dog who was on a cocktail of Phenobarbital, Levicitracian, Potassium Bromide, and several other pharmaceuticals while experiencing one to two seizures per-day. The poster says, “[The] seizures become so violent and you can see how much immense pain he is in. Earlier this year, I had introduced Elvis to CBD oil and his seizures decreased to about three times a month.” The Redditor goes on to explain that he or she was then advised by Elvis’s vet to stop the therapeutic CBD and resume prescription meds. Unsurprisingly, Elvis’s seizures were more severe than ever.
In a 2016 survey conducted by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), 19.13 percent of respondents reported that the use of hemp products decreased the frequency of seizures and convulsions in their dogs. Even more stunning, 68.8 percent of respondents said they preferred using hemp products to conventional medicine.
Be excited, but don’t go giving your dog or cat tasty CBD treats without doing your research first. Animals don’t metabolize cannabis like we do and while “overdose” isn’t much of concern, attention to proper dosage is important.
As RxCBD explains on their site, “less is often more” when it comes to cannabis therapeutics and their biphasic properties. CBD can also take time to build up in the system before its effectiveness starts to show more profoundly—or before it shows at all. Sometimes, it can even take as long as two weeks. Consistency and patience are crucial.
Customers can also take comfort in the fact that RxCBD’s team of microbiologists, holistic health professionals, herbalists, engineers, master bakers, and animal nutritionists have done their due diligence for quality control. They use third-party testing procedures and incorporate analysis of cannabinoid and terpene (the aromatic oils unique to each strain of cannabis) profiles. For further dosage accuracy, they also employ double-testing protocol in both the oil and final product. Upon request, RxCBD offers Certificates of Analysis.
Therapeutic CBD use for pets may still be in its infancy—at least scientifically—but hey, we think real results from real people and their pets are pretty compelling. Plus, it’s legal in all 50 states.n all 50 states. If you’re interested in alternative ways of treating what ails you (of course you are!) or the other species you share your home with, visit RxCBD online at www.rxcbd.co.