Is your dog regularly taking medications?
If so, you may have heard about CBD and how some pet owners use it to gradually replace their pet’s prescription drugs.
Well, you can too.
In this article I share my top tips on how to wean your pet off their medications using CBD.
Does CBD Interact With Other Drugs?
While CBD is a natural and safe compound, it can interact with other drugs.
This is because CBD affects the activity of specific liver enzymes that play a big role in metabolizing a wide variety of drugs.
These enzymes are known as cytochrome P450 and help breakdown around 60% of all the medications currently on the market.
This includes NSAIDs, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and much more.
Studies show that CBD can inhibit the activity of these enzymes, hence slowing down the rate at which the liver processes and breaks down other medications.
Ultimately, this means the medications stay in the body for longer, possibly having prolonged effects.
The rate by which CBD affects the activity of P450 liver enzymes can vary depending on dosage as well as the presence of any other medications in the body.
Some of the medications CBD can interact with include steroids, NSAIDs, anesthetics, allergy medications, anticonvulsants, and anti-anxiety medications.
I also talk about the safety of CBD on its own in the above report, which is always important to consider when starting your dog on a new supplement.
Also, check out the Flockhart P450 Drug Interaction Table for a full list of all the drugs processed by P450 enzymes that could possibly interact with CBD.
Can CBD be Used in Conjunction With Other Drugs and Supplements?
This is a complex question.
CBD is widely thought of as a safe supplement and is commonly used in conjunction with other supplements or medications.
In fact, some studies suggest that cannabinoids can help increase the efficacy of some medications like painkillers, for example.
You can read more about the synergism of cannabinoids with other pain medications in this paper from the 2013 Journal of Opioid Management.
Now, the fact that CBD can synergize with other drugs can be both positive and problematic.
Research has shown, for example, that cannabinoids can safely increase the pain-relieving potential of opioid medications.
This leads researchers to believe that cannabinoids like CBD could help lower opioid doses in patients and help them slowly decrease their dependence on these drugs.
At the same, the fact that cannabinoids interact with other drugs could prove problematic.
As I mentioned earlier, CBD can affect liver enzymes and affect the rate at which the liver processes other drugs.
This could increase the chances of some medications causing side effects and possibly affect the dose at which these other medications should be taken, seeing as they’ll stay in the body for longer.
Unfortunately, there’s a limited body of research that’s looked specifically at CBD and how it may interfere with the effects of other drugs.
There are even fewer studies that focus particularly on veterinary drugs.
Hence, it’s really important you take the time to discuss CBD with your vet and let them help you make informed decisions about how it may interfere with any other medications your pet is taking.
How CBD May Affect the Dosage of Other Drugs and Supplements
Before I move on to show you how to wean your dog off their regular medications, I want to take a closer look at how CBD can affect drug dosage.
This is really important, seeing as some medications, like chemotherapy drugs and anticonvulsants, are often administered at very specific doses.
When treating dogs with cancer, for example, vets often take a lot of time to find the right dosage for their chemotherapy drugs.
This dose should be strong enough to be as effective as possible, yet small enough to minimize toxicity.
The drugs used in chemotherapy are, like many other medications, metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver.
Therefore, using CBD together with chemotherapy could be risky because it may cause higher blood concentrations of the chemotherapy drugs.
This means a normally safe dose of chemotherapy could, potentially, become unsafe when used together with CBD.
Or that’s what experimental study results tell us, at least.
The reality is that CBD is becoming ever more popular among cancer patients, especially those undergoing chemotherapy.
These patients find that CBD helps them maintain a healthy appetite, fight the fatigue and lethargy that chemotherapy often produces, manage pain, and much more.
There is very little evidence that shows that CBD interacts with chemotherapy agents.
When I used CBD with my dog Rosie, who underwent chemotherapy, I noticed no negative side effects at all.
The CBD only seemed to enhance Rosie’s treatment and improve her condition.
As Rosie’s cancer progressed, she lived in constant pain, became lethargic, and suffered from a failing appetite.
As a pet owner, I’m sure you can imagine how devastating it was to see Rosie’s condition so rapidly deteriorate right in front of my eyes.
When I heard about the benefits of CBD for people and pets with cancer, I was obviously super intrigued.
Nonetheless, I didn’t rush into the treatment and spent a lot of time reading up on CBD and how it worked.
I also spent a lot of time discussing the treatment with my vet before finally deciding to give it a shot.
And I’m so glad I did because the results were incredible.
CBD helped Rosie with her pain, increased her energy levels, and helped her regain her appetite.
Within just a week of starting the treatment, both my vet and I were blown away by Rosie’s improvement.
Note that this is just my experience, and you shouldn’t take my word as gospel.
If you’re thinking about using CBD with your pet, talk to your vet about it and the effect it may have on the medications your pet is currently taking.
When is it Time to Move Your Dog Away From Their Regular Meds?
This is a question that I hear from a lot of pet owners.
The answer to this obviously depends a lot on your pet’s condition and the medication they are taking.
First, I would take a look at my CBD checklist (more information below) for tips on whether your dog can really benefit from this supplement.
You can also look at my blog for articles on specific conditions that commonly affect dogs and cats, like arthritis, epilepsy, cancer, and more.
If you decide that CBD could be beneficial for your dog, next you’ll need to look at what supplement or medications they are currently taking.
Talk to your vet about how these drugs are processed in the body and whether, given CBD’s effect on liver enzymes, there is a possibility of an interaction.
Also look for the drugs your dog is taking on the P450 Flockhart Drug Interactions Chart.
If you can’t find your dogs meds on this list, still talk to your vet before you decide to move ahead with CBD.
If there is a possibility of a drug interaction, I’d recommend weaning your pet off their meds completely before starting to use CBD.
Again, whether this is feasible will depend on your dog’s condition, as most serious conditions cannot go untreated for very long.
If a drug interaction isn’t possible, you may want to start your pet on CBD alongside their regular medicines.
Then, you can potentially start to wean your dog off their other drugs gradually.
To do this, follow the tips I outline below:
5 Tips for Replacing Your Dog’s Prescription Meds With CBD
There are a number of things you can do to make your pet’s transition to CBD as smooth as possible.
Here are some tips on using CBD with your dog and weaning them off their original medication:
- Consult your vet.
- Double check that CBD can help the specific ailment.
- Start with a small CBD dosage.
- Slowly increase the CBD dose, and reduce the medication dose.
- Be patient.
1. Talk With Your Vet
Before you do anything, consult your vet about the possibility of a drug interaction. If there’s a possibility CBD might interact with your pet’s other medication, make sure you understand how.
2. Review the Benefits of CBD for Dogs
Only try CBD when you’re sure there is no risk of a negative drug reaction and that CBD can replace their other medications. Remember, CBD is no miracle cure and can’t replace every medication on the market. Review the main benefits here.
3. Find the Right CBD Dosage
Introduce your pet to CBD slowly. Monitor your pet’s reaction to the supplement. Start with small doses (0.05mg CBD per lb of body weight) twice daily. To find the proper dosage, you will really want to refer to my dosage checklist here.
4. Adjust the CBD and Medication Doses
Once your pet has adjusted to CBD, you can start increasing their dose (if need be) and begin decreasing the doses of their other medications. How you do this will depend on what medication your pet is taking. Just be sure to do it gradually, as some medications can have nasty side effects when you stop taking them abruptly. Your vet will know how to do this safely.
5. Don’t Rush This Process
Be prepared to be patient. Tapering off some medications can be a process of weeks or even months. Remember, how exactly you taper off your pet’s medication will also vary depending on how long they’ve been on their meds, the dose they’ve been taking, and the half-life of their specific medication.
Note: Unfortunately, I can’t give you exact figures on how to decrease your pet’s drug doses. Make sure to consult your vet for the specifics on how to taper off your pet’s medication.
What Medications Can CBD Replace?
Thanks to its various health benefits, CBD can replace a variety of regular pet medications.
- Antihistamines (like hydroxyzine)
- Steroids (like Prednisone)
- Antifungals (like Ketoconazole)
- Anxiolytics (like Alprazolam)
- Maropitant and other antiemetics
What are the Benefits of Weaning Off Your Dog’s Medications With CBD?
I’ll be honest:
I’m not one of those people that’s all against prescription medications.
I understand and value what our medicines can do.
But, if possible, I think choosing a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs can offer your pet a lot of health benefits.
CBD is a completely natural compound that produces virtually no side effects and is completely non-toxic.
That means you don’t have to worry about overdosing:
All the studies into CBD have shown that the only real side effect it can cause when taken in large doses is sedation.
So, if you overdo it with a dose of CBD, the worst thing that might happen to your pet is that they feel a bit drowsy and sleepy for a while.
That’s more than I can say about some other popular veterinary medications which can produce harsh, sometimes even fatal side effects when not administered properly.
Plus, CBD has so many different health benefits that it is able to boost your pet’s health in more ways than one.
In fact, that’s why I (and countless other pet owners like me) use it as a daily supplement with all of my pets.
Ever since I started doing so, I’ve found my pets live happier, healthier lives.
And, as a pet owner, what more could you really want?
Find Out More About CBD Today
CBD has replaced a lot of the medications and supplements that used to sit in my pet medicine cabinet.
If you’re interested in trying it for yourself and using it to taper your pet off their medications, make sure to download my CBD checklist.
In this 35-page printable report I dive deep into CBD, what it is and how it works, its health benefits for pets, and all you need to know before trying CBD with your furry friend.
Also, make sure to check out my homepage where I publish rankings of different CBD pet products to help you find the best CBD supplements for your dog or cat.