Why CBD May Not Work

If you have given your pet CBD products and found yourself unsure if it is working, or how long it takes to work, you are not alone. In fact, although many dogs show changes right away, some dogs take a bit longer to feel the effects of CBD because endocannabinoid receptors are unique in each dog. Just like every human has a different reaction to different medications, so do our pets. So, let’s figure it out, why didn’t CBD work for your pet?

You may be tempted to throw out your CBD products if you don’t see changes right away, or might be wondering why CBD didn’t work for your pet. If you fall into either of these categories below, don’t give up until you have tried our tips to get the most out of your CBD products.

Is the product you are using reliable?

Look for third party lab testing, easy administration, and high potency. Many products that contain only 1.5 mg of CBD, may work for your 5 lb rabbit but not for your 13 lb cat. Many new players in the industry are putting out inferior products that are poorly extracted with unreliable concentrations. Don’t get fooled by pretty labels and great marketing! Full spectrum CBD oil should have a light herbal bouquet and should not taste like licking a lawnmower, full of grass and solvents.

Is the Dosage right?

Like humans, animals are all unique. While the dosage on the package may work for one dog, it may be too little or not enough for another dog. The differences can be caused by a variety of factors, including weight, size, or age of the dog. In some cases, differences can be the result of cells communicating at different speeds in the endocannabinoid system. It may take a few days, or even weeks, of trial and error while you adjust the dosage to find the right amount for your specific pet. I always love to share how much my dogs take, because they have such a huge difference regardless of their size. My large Labrador Retriever takes 1 dropper of CALM and relaxes right away. But my tiny 5 pound Chihuahua needs 2 full droppers of CALM and about 20 minutes before he starts to feel the effects. You may also need to give CBD to your pet more than once a day. Some dogs benefit the most from taking CBD two to three times a day if they have a faster metabolism. You may also find that your pet gets maximum benefits by taking CBD oil tinctures during the morning and evening, and enjoying a few CBD treats during the day. Remember: your pet cannot overdose on CBD. The only side effect you may experience from using too much is that your pet may become sleepy, and in rare cases may experience diarrhea.

Is the method of administration correct?

It has long been known that in order for the CBD to be effective, it must enter the blood stream or the exact location of the need. The more passes it takes, the less effective the CBD becomes. Avoid administering CBD on top of food, during the meal or using treats as the only method of CBD administration. Ideally, the oil should be placed in the gum line using a plastic dropper or dropped 1 drop at a time within the inside of the ear. If these methods are not possible then dropping the amount of needed oil, onto a CBD treat. If the product is topical, prepare the pet’s meal, place the topical balm onto the affected site and give the pet their meal. This will allow time for absorption. All balms made for pets are safe to consume,. but the product needs to remain on the site for it to work. Some pet owners have found that administering the product on the affected area prior to a walk allows for adequate absorption.

Patience Is Key, behaviors need to change.

When your pet suffers anxiety, they may be resistant to the calm feelings CBD gives them at first. For example, a dog who is afraid of thunderstorms will feel calm when using CBD oil, but the behavior of pacing or barking may be ingrained in them. At first, your pet might be resistant to their behaviors changing. However, with consistent use, they will learn to relax into the effects of the CBD and you will see a difference. For dogs with more severe issues, like frequent seizures or joint pain, they may need a few days or even weeks for their body to become used to the CBD and to start experiencing maximum benefits. Much like supplements people take (think of fish oil or iron supplements), many of the benefits take effect more strongly as it builds in your system. While CBD can stop or shorten seizures while your pet is actively having a seizure, in order to see the maximum benefit, you should stay consistent and administer CBD every day.

Eliminate Other Factors For Maximum Benefits, Like Allergens.

The endocannabinoid system works by helping the cells communicate to resolve an issue. However, if your dog is having an allergic reaction, like an allergy to food or an environmental issue like grass, the allergy will not fully resolve with CBD. CBD will treat the inflammation being caused by the allergen which will resolve the symptoms, but until you remove the allergen itself, the problem may return when your pet does not take their daily dose of CBD. This may lead you to feel that the CBD did not work because the pet still has the issue when they stop taking it. If your dog is experiencing internal allergies, food is often the culprit. Start by switching your dog to a diet of raw, dehydrated, or freeze dried food. If you prefer to prep your pet food at home, the Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs cookbook is a great resource. Keep using CBD while you go through this process to help your dog maintain a sense of balance. If your dog is allergic to external factors, like grass, make sure to wash their paws off in water when they come in from outdoors. CBD salves can be beneficial to combat skin irritation and will provide instant relief. For skin issues, you may also find a maximum benefit by using both a salve and an oral tincture.

Try a change.

All brands have their own hemp and methods of achieving the end product. Another

possibility is switching to a different brand. Not all hemp affects all pets’ endocannabinoid systems equally. For example: the oranges grown in Florida have a higher sugar content and are juicier because of the wetter climate while those that grow in California tend to maintain freshness to their thicker peel. Try one more high quality reputable brand before you decide that CBD may not work on your pet.

The main thing to remember is that every pet has a different response and reaction time, and if your pet is not showing results immediately it is okay. That does not mean they will never see results. Keep trying to find the cause of the issue and using CBD to heal the issues and you will see a difference.

CBD is not working. Here are 5 possible reasons why’

Healthline July 2020

Maisha Johnson


Cannabidiol (CBD) What we know and what we don’t’


Dr. Peter Grinspoon


CBD: What you need to know’

American Kennel Club February 2021



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