The benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) for rabbits are usually underscored. However, furry friends can derive several benefits from the hemp-derived compound.
Several studies that have been done on CBD are animal studies. Through these studies, it has been shown that pets can benefit greatly from hemp and cannabis-derived CBD.
What is CBD for Rabbits?
There are over 100 phytocannabinoids that are found in hemp and cannabis, CBD is one of them. Of these phytocannabinoids, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most studied and they appear to have significant therapeutic properties. Unlike CBD, THC causes psychoactive effects by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors (CB1) that are scattered in the central nervous system (CNS). Because CBD does not have this effect, it is safe rabbits and will not alter their mental status.
How Does CBD for Rabbits Work?
Rabbits, as well as other mammals, have an endocannabinoid system. It's intriguing to know that a few years back there was not much in the public domain on this vital system. It's not until the therapeutic benefits of cannabis became a subject of interest among scientists that this system was “discovered.”
So far scientific literature has shown that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is primarily involved in the regulation of physiological balance (homeostasis) in the body. This means that the ECS restores balance where it has been interrupted by disease.
The ECS is comprised of three major components as listed below:
– Endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG)
– Endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2)
– Metabolic enzymes (FAAH and MAGL)
The ECS is involved in the regulation of the following processes:
– Metabolic functions
CBD is a pluripotent compound meaning that its acts through different mechanisms to promote healing. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors and in this way, it supports the endocannabinoid system.
For example, one study that was published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research showed that the administration of 2mg of CBD was effective in relieving intraocular pressure in rabbits.
CBD for rabbits comes in the form of tinctures, oils, and pet treats. The oils and tinctures can be given sublingually (beneath the tongue) while the treats are eaten as they are. Since hemp has a strong smell and taste it may be advisable to break the treats into small pieces and mix with other foods that the rabbit is familiar with.
Full-spectrum CBD contains extra cannabinoids and terpenes that boost the healing benefits of the CBD. This is referred to as cannabis synergy.
How To Tell if your Rabbits is Unwell
Rabbits are not your everyday pet. Hence you will be forgiven for not knowing the tell-tale signs of a sick rabbit. In case you feel lost on this issue, here are a few signs to be on the look-out for:
– High-pitched squealing
– Reduced activity
– Rubbing tummy against the floor
– Poor feeding
In case you suspect that your rabbit is unwell consider consulting a veterinary doctor. However, CBD may be of help if your rabbit is suffering from any of the following ailments.
1. CBD for Anxiety in Rabbits
There are a couple of reasons why your rabbit may be experiencing anxiety. A new environment is a common cause. An anxious rabbit will be overly skittish and may squeal in a high-pitched voice. Anxiety may be heightened when there are visitors around.
Studies have shown that CBD is effective in relieving anxiety. CBD modulates the serotonin system which is responsible for regulating anxiety and moods. Offering CBD to your anxious pet may help to relieve anxiety.
2. CBD for Arthritis in Rabbits
Arthritis affects rabbits as it does humans. Larger rabbits may develop arthritis earlier than smaller breeds. It may be hard to tell if your rabbit is suffering from arthritis; rabbits are good in concealing pain. Signs to look out for include reduced movements, uneven gait, or joints that are tender when touched.
If your rabbit is suffering from arthritis, CBD may be of help.
Arthritis is triggered by chronic inflammation. CBD has anti-inflammatory effects that help to relieve arthritis and slow down its progression.
3. CBD for Skin Irritation in Rabbits
Rabbits can suffer from skin irritation. In this case when you look beneath the fur the skin may appear dry, flaky, inflamed, or may have dandruff. Skin irritation may be the result of a bacterial or fungal infection.
Full-spectrum CBD has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal benefits. The CBD oil can be applied directly to the skin and massaged in circular motion until the CBD oil is absorbed. The inner layers of the skin are richly endowed with endocannabinoid receptors that take up the CBD.
4. CBD for Seizures in Rabbits
Rabbits can experience seizures which may catch you off-guard. If your rabbit experiences frequent seizures it may help to have some CBD oil on standby.
There is anecdotal evidence on the use of CBD in treating seizures in rabbits.
In 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD-based drug for the treatment of intractable childhood seizures. This is after a number of studies had been carried out to investigate the potential benefits of CBD in relieving seizures in both humans and animals.
5. CBD for Pain in Rabbits
Rabbits may experience pain for a number of reasons. For example, they may be in extreme pain when they have overgrown teeth. This may happen when the rabbit does not chew well enough or when their teeth don’t meet properly.
Rabbits may also experience pain after an injury.
A rabbit in pain may squeal in high-pitched tones or it may show signs of aggression or withdrawal.
Full-spectrum CBD for rabbits has analgesic properties.
6. CBD for Neurological disorders in Rabbits
Aging rabbits can be affected by neurological disorders. CBD has been shown to have neurological benefits for both humans and pets.
7. CBD for Cataracts in Rabbits
Aging rabbits can get cataracts. One lab study that involved rabbits showed that CBD is effective in reducing intraocular pressure. High intraocular pressure is linked to the development of cataracts.
If your rabbit is suffering from cataracts CBD oil may help to relieve the symptoms.
Is Full-spectrum CBD Good for Rabbits?
Most of the evidence on CBD benefits for rabbits is anecdotal. However, it is clear that rabbits interact with CBD in a similar way to humans and other animals.
Full spectrum CBD contains extra cannabinoids such as CBG and CBD which offer extra therapeutic benefits. It also contains terpenes such as myrcene, limonene, linalool, and caryophyllene among others. These compounds work together to produce a powerful and sustained healing benefit. This means that full-spectrum CBD offers more benefits for rabbits as compared to CBD isolate.
Is CBD safe for rabbits?
CBD is safe for rabbits. A report that was published by the World Health Organization in 2018 showed that CBD is safe for both humans and animals. Other studies have also indicated that CBD is safe for animals and humans, even when given in high doses.
CBD is non-psychoactive and therefore will not alter the mental status of your rabbit in any way.
CBD Dosage for Rabbits
Legitimate CBD sellers will indicate the recommended dosage of CBD for rabbits based on weight estimates. Generally, the recommended starting dose is 0.25mg of CBD per pound of body weight. It is advisable to always start with the lowest possible dose and adjust the dose upwards as you observe how your rabbit is responding.
You may observe that your pet is more relaxed and less stimulated after taking the CBD. On rare occasions, your rabbit may experience mild negative effects such as diarrhea, sleepiness, and stomach upsets.
Can Rabbits eat Hemp?
Rabbits can eat raw hemp without experiencing any negative effects. They may even derive a number of health benefits from hemp because it is rich in essential nutrients such as amino acids and vitamins.
However, raw hemp does not contain CBD; this means that your rabbit will not derive the therapeutic benefits of CBD from raw hemp.
Raw hemp contains inactive CBD in the form of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). CBDA converts to CBD when hemp is subjected to higher temperatures through drying or heating, this process is referred to as decarboxylation.
What About CBD For Ferrets?
Ferrets can benefit from CBD in a similar way that rabbits do. However, there are no studies that have been done specifically to test the effectiveness of CBD in ferrets. Ferrets also happen to be highly sensitive. Consequently, it would be advisable to consult with a pet doctor before offering CBD to a sick ferret.
Discussed above are the 7 benefits of CBD for rabbits, feel free to write to us and let us know if you have tried CBD for rabbits and what the effects were.