As pet parents, we often look for ways to help our furry friends feel their best. CBD is one of the latest trends in pet health, providing some much-needed relief for various issues, from lessening anxiety to reducing chronic pain.
But how long does CBD stay in a dog’s system? When can you expect to see results, and how often should you give your pup CBD? Let’s take a look at what the research says.
How Long Does CBD Stay in a Dog’s System
To get a more specific answer, we’ll have to combine scientific and anecdotal evidence. If you take both into account, you’ll see that the effects of CBD last anywhere from 4-12 hours, with some reports going as high as 24 hours.
From a scientific standpoint, you’ll hear a lot about a product’s half-life. This is the amount of time it takes for the concentration of a substance in the blood to drop by half its original value. In other words, if you give your dog a 10mg dose, the CBD lingers at 5 mg once the half-life is reached.
This matters because it helps determine how long the effects will last. A shorter half-life means that the effects will wear off more quickly, while a longer half-life indicates that the effects will stick around for longer. The numbers mentioned earlier (4-12 hours) come from combining different half-life values reported in scientific research over the years.
From an anecdotal viewpoint, pet parents have reported the 8-hour mark as the sweet spot for CBD’s effects. This is the most common range people report, with some saying it lasts even longer.
How Do Dogs Absorb CBD
The specific method of administration is based on your dog’s current health situation, lifestyle, and what you’re hoping to address by using this form of treatment. Here are the three most common ways to give CBD to dogs:
These CBD-infused oils come with a dedicated dropper for convenient dosing. You can put the drops directly into your dog’s mouth or mix it with their food.
When administered under the tongue, it’s absorbed directly into the bloodstream through your pup’s mucosa. This provides fast relief, as the CBD doesn’t have to go through the digestive system first. However, some dogs may not be too fond of the taste or smell of CBD, which is why you might want to mix it in with their food instead.
But how long does a CBD tincture stay in your dog’s system? Given their quick absorption rate, you can expect the effects to last 4-6 hours, although some canines may still be experiencing the effects even after 8 hours.
CBD-based treats are a great way to make medicating your pup a little more fun. Most of these products come in the form of chews or biscuits, which means they’re easy to give and are usually quite tasty for dogs. This makes them ideal for picky eaters or those resistant to taking their medicine.
And how long do CBD treats last for dogs? Since they have to go through the digestive system, the product takes a little longer to take effect. However, you can expect the effects to last 6-8 hours, with some dogs still feeling the benefits even 12 hours later.
Topicals are products applied directly to your pet’s skin, providing localized relief from pain, inflammation, and other issues. These come in the form of creams, balms, and tinctures and can be easily applied to the affected area.
The CBD particles need to pass through the 7-layer structure of the skin before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This process can take a little longer, but it’s still relatively fast compared to other administration methods. They’re about on par with drops regarding how long they last, with the effects typically lasting 3-7 hours.
What Determines How Long CBD Last in a Dog’s Body
This goes hand-in-hand with the question of “How fast does CBD work in dogs?”, as many factors determine the answer. To give you a better idea of the timeline we’re talking about, here’s a quick rundown of the different variables that come into play:
As mentioned earlier, the administration method can significantly impact how long the effects of CBD last. In general, products that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream (such as tinctures and topicals) take effect faster than those that have to go through the digestive system first (such as treats and capsules).
Type and Quality
The effects of CBD on dogs also depend on the type of product you’re using. For example, full-spectrum products contain a wider range of cannabinoids and THC (the compound that gets you high), while CBD isolate is just that—pure CBD.
The broad-spectrum variety falls in the middle, containing most of the beneficial compounds found in full-spectrum products minus the THC.
The quality of the product also matters, as there can be a big difference between products made by reputable manufacturers and those that are not. Each component should be of the highest quality to ensure maximum efficacy and safety.
Weight and Metabolism
Since CBD is fat-soluble, it’s absorbed more slowly by dogs who are overweight or have a slower metabolism. On the flip side, leaner dogs and those with a faster metabolic rate will absorb the compound more quickly.
Your pet’s diet can also affect how long the product lasts, as fatty acids-rich meals can delay the onset of effects, while a light meal will allow the compound to be absorbed more quickly. Based on your pup’s genetic makeup, weight, and metabolism, CBD’s effects may last shorter or longer than average.
Dosage and Potency
The math here is simple—the higher the dosage, the longer the effects will last. This is because there are more cannabinoids in the system for a more extended period. The same goes for potency, as a more potent product will be more difficult for the body to break down and will therefore last longer.
Frequency of Use
In the medical world, there’s a lot of speculation regarding tolerance build-up from continuous and regular medication use. The same goes for CBD; some experts believe dogs can build up a tolerance to the compound if used too frequently.
If this is the case, you may need to increase the dosage or frequency of administration to achieve the desired effects. Similarly, notice your pup’s symptoms improving and their condition stabilizing. You can reduce the dosage or frequency of use without compromising the product’s efficacy.
How Does CBD Affect the Body of Your Dog
But how does CBD make a dog feel in general? It interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of receptors and enzymes that have a therapeutic effect on many physiological processes. This neurochemical network includes pain perception, appetite stimulation, mood, memory, and chronic inflammation.
When cannabidiol binds to receptors in the ECS, it alters their activity and causes various beneficial effects. For example, it’s known to curb inflammation in different body parts, including the joints, skin, and digestive tract. Gut motility and secretions are also regulated by the ECS, which is why CBD can be effective in treating any digestion problem, including diarrhea and vomiting.
Additionally, it interacts with serotonin receptors, which have a direct anti-anxiety impact and can help to improve your pup’s mood. Plus, the cognitive effects of CBD are beneficial in treating conditions like seizures, pain, and separation anxiety.
Moreover, the hemp plant is thought to have several cardiac benefits, as it can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of heart disease. And finally, osteoarthritic dogs may experience pain relief and improved mobility from CBD arthritis treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can your dog overdose on CBD?
While a lethal overdose isn’t possible, ingesting too much CBD can result in some unwanted side effects like gastrointestinal upset and drowsiness. If you’re concerned that your dog has had too much, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian.
Do dogs build a tolerance to CBD?
Yes, dogs can build up a tolerance to CBD if used too frequently. If this happens, you may need to increase the dosage or frequency of administration to achieve the desired effects.
All things considered, the effects of CBD on dogs can vary depending on a range of individual factors. But no one can deny that this compound has the potential to provide a wide range of therapeutic benefits for our furry friends, mainly thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.
And how long does CBD stay in a dog’s system? To get the most accurate estimate, it’s best to start with a low dosage and increase as needed. You should also pay close attention to their behavior and look for any changes in their condition, including improvement in symptoms, increased energy levels, and better sleep patterns.