Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 1, 2023

The hemp plant has been used for thousands of years and even ancient civilizations have been using it for its numerous health benefits. Today, the hemp plant, and especially one of its main cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD), is very popular in the wellness industry on account of its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties – and some people are even giving it to their pets. CBD is added to pet products and given to cats to help with anxiety, and to dogs for treating chronic pain, among other conditions.

Even though it’s used so often, pet owners often have a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to administering CBD to their furry friends. In this article, we’ll answer one of the most commonly asked questions: How long does CBD stay in your dog’s system?

The Benefits of CBD Oil 

The only reason that cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affect the body is because of the existence of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body, therefore, it regulates the immune response, appetite, metabolism, memory, and other processes. 

When it comes to the effects of cannabinoids on the body, the ECS is of vital importance. Once the cannabinoids enter the body, they bind with the endocannabinoid receptors (CB-1 and CB-2) and produce the effects we get from consuming weed. While THC has psychoactive effects on users and is the most sought-after cannabinoid for recreational purposes, CBD gives users anti-inflammatory and stress-relieving effects. 

CBD oil is used medicinally for its numerous health benefits for patients wanting to:

  • Reduce inflammation;
  • Reduce chronic pain;
  • Reduce anxiety and depression;
  • Treat epileptic seizures, and more.

But what about using CBD to treat your furry friend?

The Benefits of CBD Products and The Effects of CBD Oil for Dogs

The cannabis plant has numerous therapeutic effects on humans and their immune systems according to studies, although the information regarding the effects of marijuana on pets is limited. It’s likely that the cannabinoids that enter the bodies of our pets interact with their endocannabinoid receptors in a similar manner to how they interact in the human body.

Recently, CBD has been used to treat pets that suffer from osteoarthritis, epilepsy, joint pain, anxiety (caused by thunderstorms and vacuum cleaners), loss of appetite, sleeplessness, inflammation, and other conditions. 

Treating pets with CBD isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, pet owners are using the products of the hemp plant like hemp oil, CBD oil, and other products in the form of dog treats as an alternative treatment option much more than they did in the past.

Best CBD Products for Dogs

As the CBD market increases, more and more CBD products for dogs emerge. Generally, CBD for pets comes in the form of CBD-infused edibles (dog treats), tinctures, topicals, CBD capsules, and other products. 

CBD dog treats are the easiest way for your furry friend to receive the whole dose of CBD without much fuss. CBD capsules are also a good option since dosing is easier, and capsules can be hidden in your dog’s food.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?

Dosing your furry friend with high-quality, full-spectrum CBD oil may be a good idea if your dog is suffering from chronic pain, osteoarthritis, or other conditions. However, the amount of CBD your pet needs will depend on its weight, breed, and what medical condition the dog is being treated for.

If you’re not sure how your dog will react to CBD oil, start with a low dose of about 1-2 mg and increase the dose as your pet develops a higher tolerance. It’s best to consult a veterinarian who is more knowledgeable about the proper CBD dosage for pets.

Possible Side Effects From CBD Products

Cannabinoids have a greater effect on the nervous system of dogs compared to humans because they have a higher number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Therefore, your furry friend may be more susceptible to weed than you. That is why you need to be careful when dosing CBD for your dog.

As a pet owner, you should know some of the most common side effects that may happen to your pet as a result of consuming CBD. This can include dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, drowsiness, and others. If your dog doesn’t seem to be going back to normal even after a few hours after consuming CBD, check with your veterinarian as soon as possible (just to be on the safe side).

Generally, when dogs consume more CBD than they should, there’s no need for special treatment since they just need a few hours to metabolize the CBD. After the CBD leaves your dog’s system, they’ll be back to normal.

How Long Does CBD Stay In Your Dog’s System?

If we look at human studies, we know that CBD as well as other cannabinoids produce metabolites in the body that remain long after the initial effects of weed wear off. That is the half-life of the metabolites. 

Dogs process CBD faster than humans as a result of their faster metabolism. In general, CBD stays in your dog’s body between four and twelve hours, and that’s confirmed by a few studies. One study proved that CBD administered through an IV has a half-life of nine hours, and another study puts the number at over four hours, but that depends on a few factors.

The contributing factors that influence how long weed stays in your dog’s system:

  • Body weight;
  • Diet;
  • Activity level;
  • Biochemical makeup.

Another important aspect that affects how long it takes for CBD to leave your pet’s body is how often you give them CBD oil.

CBD can stay in the body:

  • Up to 3 days after a single use;
  • 3-5 days after moderate use;
  • 10 days or more after repeated use.

Most pet owners have an eight-hour dosage schedule for their pets, although the dose will also depend on the purpose of the CBD treatment and the CBD oil that you’re using. To maintain a consistent level of CBD in your dog’s system, aim towards a lower dose, twice a day, and if you want to treat a specific incident, opt for a higher, single dose.

Final Thoughts

CBD is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional medicine for effectively treating medical conditions in both pets and humans. There are a lot of different CBD products available on the market and CBD oil is most commonly used to treat chronic pain, osteoarthritis, and other medical conditions in pets. The dosage of CBD depends on your dog’s body weight, size, and breed. Therefore, talking to your veterinarian is essential to figuring out the right amount of CBD to give to your puppy.

When it comes to the half-life of CBD metabolites in the blood of your dogs, it can take anywhere between four and twelve hours. Although when it comes to eliminating the metabolites throughout the body, it might even take a few days.

Dog owners should give their dogs appropriate CBD doses in order to prevent side effects like dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, drowsiness, and others. Finally, research the CBD products that you plan on giving to your dog and check for trace amounts of THC, pesticides, and other harmful additives. Make sure you’re buying the highest quality products that contain ingredients that will help your dog.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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