Cat with Bacon CBD oil; CBD for animals

CBD for animals - a versatile tool

Published: 18.04.2023 (Updated: 21.07.2023)
Reading time: Min.
Dr. Harald Stephan
Dr. rer. medic. Harald Stephan
Health expert

The terms "hemp" and "cannabis" are likely to make most people shy away at first. They associate them too much with drugs and intoxication. However, cannabis plants contain far more active substances than the notorious and psychoactive "THC". In particular, the non-psychoactive substance cannabidiol, CBD for short, proves to be therapeutically useful in many ways.

What is CBD for animals?

The active ingredient cannabidiol, abbreviated CBD, belongs to the so-called cannabinoids, which have so far only been found in the hemp plant. One of the best-known cannabinoids is without doubt the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.

Unlike THC, however, CBD is not psychoactive. Therefore, it certainly does not cause intoxication in your animal. At the same time, according to current research and numerous field reports, it has many positive properties, especially from a medical point of view.

Cannabidiol is mainly found as an acid in the hemp plant. Several methods are available for extracting the active ingredient. Most manufacturers rely on CO2 extraction, which not only preserves the CBD itself, but also many other natural ingredients of the plant. However, there are even better alternatives...

Which ingredients are contained in CBD for animals?

In most cases, CBD oil is used for animals. It contains mainly cannabidiol or CBD, as well as a whole range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Depending on the manufacturer, the ingredients of the respective CBD oil can vary.

The most important cannabinoids in CBD oil:

Cannabinoid Effect
CBC This cannabinoid is said to have an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect. In addition, it is said to support the renewal of body cells.
CBD Like CBC, CBD is said to have an analgesic effect, especially on chronic pain. In addition, it has many positive effects in the treatment of inflammation and epilepsy.
CBDA CBDA is practically the precursor of CBD. What properties CBDA has and how it works has hardly been researched so far. However, it also seems to have some positive effects, for example on inflammation or nausea.
CBG Cannabigerol or CBG for short is another cannabinoid that has been little researched so far. It is said to slightly reduce intraocular pressure in cats. An antibacterial effect is also discussed.
CBN CBN stands for cannabinol. CBN is an oxidation product of THC. It only occurs in very low concentrations and is not psychoactive. CBN is said to have a calming effect and reduce anxiety. It also seems to have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antibacterial properties.


Vitamins, minerals and trace elements in CBD oil:

Ingredient Effect
Carotenoids The carotenoids contained in CBD oil are responsible for the light golden colour of the oil. Carotenoids support the immune system, strengthen the cardiovascular system and the cell membrane.
Chlorophyll Chlorophyll is a colour pigment contained in plants that carry out photosynthesis. In the body, it has a positive effect on the quality and purity of the blood, as the plant pigment is amazingly similar in structure to the body's own haemoglobin. In addition, it has many other positive properties for both animals and humans.
Iron Iron is also important for the blood, as the body needs it to form haemoglobin. It also protects the cells from negative oxidation processes and free radicals.
Potassium Potassium is another important mineral for your pet. It is found in the body's cells and regulates their water content. In addition, potassium plays a crucial role in many metabolic processes.
Calcium Calcium is a particularly important mineral for bones and teeth. As electrically charged calcium also performs important functions in the body, for example in various metabolic processes.
Copper Copper is one of the trace elements and promotes the absorption of iron, among other things. Copper is also involved in bone formation and the formation of collagen and the important pigment melanin.
Magnesium Another important mineral for bones and their stability is magnesium. Magnesium is also involved in a large number of metabolic processes.
Manganese The trace element manganese can be found in many enzymes and is thus involved in a multitude of metabolic processes. The body also needs manganese for bone development.
Sodium Sodium is one of the most important minerals and is responsible for regulating the water balance in the body. Furthermore, the body needs sodium for the function of nerve and muscle cells.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important unsaturated fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself.
Phosphorus Phosphorus is another essential mineral for bones and teeth and ensures their stability and density. Phosphorus also plays an important role in energy metabolism.
Vitamins CBD for animals also contains numerous vitamins. Especially vitamin E is found in large quantities, which as an antioxidant vitamin scavenges free radicals and thus protects the body cells. In addition, there are vitamins B1 and B2, which the body needs for cell growth and blood formation.
Zinc Zinc is an important trace element for both the immune system and reproduction. As a component of numerous enzymes, zinc is also involved in many metabolic processes.


How exactly does CBD work for animals?

The exact mechanisms of action of cannabidiol are not yet fully known in detail. This applies to its use in humans as well as in animals. However, the so-called endocannabinoid system, which is present in practically all mammals as well as in fish and other animals, plays a decisive role.

Through this system, cannabinoids activate the so-called cannabinoid receptors, of which only two are known for sure so far. The two receptors, CB1 and CB2 for short, are found in varying distribution throughout the body.

According to this, CB1 is mainly found in nerve cells, but above all in the cerebellum, the hippocampus and the intestine. Meanwhile, CB2 is mainly found in cells that are responsible for the immune system and for the formation and breakdown of bones.

The distribution of the two known cannabinoid receptors throughout the body may also explain why cannabinoids work in so many different ways.

What can CBD for animals help with?

CBD for animals is therapeutically extremely versatile and can therefore alleviate many of your animals' ailments and increase their basic well-being. As CBD has a stress- and anxiety-relieving effect, anxious and nervous animals in particular benefit from the administration of CBD.

In addition, CBD for animals stimulates your pet's appetite and helps to relieve pain and fight infections and inflammations. CBD for animals can also have a positive effect on age-related problems or epilepsy.

Numerous users have already had good experiences with CBD for animals for the following complaints and problems:

  • anxiety and stress, the animals react more calmly and serenely
  • chronic pain and infections
  • improves neurological functions and supports the immune system
  • supports wound healing
  • alleviates age-related symptoms, the animals are more agile and active
  • helps with loss of appetite and digestive disorders
  • supports the treatment of epilepsy
Hund auf einer Wiese; CBD für Hunde

For which animals is CBD for animals suitable?

Since almost all mammals also have the endocannabinoid system already mentioned, CBD is also suitable for a large number of animals. However, it is most frequently used for the most popular pets such as dogs, cats and horses.

Is CBD for animals safe and does it have side effects?

CBD for animals, like CBD for humans, is declared as a food supplement according to the German Medicines Act. If used and dosed correctly, it is therefore harmless.

Side effects caused by CBD for animals occur only in very rare cases. According to reports from users and veterinarians, lethargy and drowsiness can occur under certain circumstances. In extremely rare cases, vomiting may occur or the treated animal may suffer from itching.

Is CBD legally available for animals?

In principle, the freely available CBD for animals is also legal. As already mentioned, CBD and CBD oil is a food supplement as well as a cosmetic and aroma product according to the German Medicines Act.

Furthermore, the CBD available in Germany is obtained from commercial hemp, which contains hardly any THC. All products derived from cannabis that do not exceed a THC content of 0.2 percent are legal. This generally applies to the CBD for animals available in Germany.

How and in what dosage do I administer CBD for animals?

CBD is not only available as oil, but also in the form of capsules and liquid. However, the easiest way to administer it to your animal is in the form of CBD oil. This can be mixed into the food or dribbled directly into the mouth of the animal.

The dosage of CBD for animals usually depends on the weight of your animal and the CBD content of the respective oil. In the beginning, you should start with the lowest dose. This way you can observe very well how the animal reacts to the CBD at the beginning of the treatment.

As a general rule, a higher dose does not necessarily lead to faster success or work better. It is therefore always advisable to start with the lowest possible dosage.

If the animal tolerates CBD well, the dose can be slowly increased if necessary. The dose is increased slowly, depending on the goal of the application, until there is an improvement. The instructions of the respective manufacturer of the CBD oil and the veterinarian should always be followed exactly. You should also pay attention to all other information provided by the manufacturer, such as the shelf life of the CBD oil.

Katze mit CBD-Öl; CBD für Katzen

What are the alternatives to CBD for animals?

Unfortunately, there are hardly any real alternatives to CBD for animals that can be used in a similar variety of ways and are also freely available. Apart from that, there are of course numerous home remedies available for many ailments and problems, which do not fail to have an effect on animals either.

In direct interaction with CBD for animals, these remedies may even be more effective. The following alternative remedies and home remedies are available, among others:

Alternative Used with:
Bach flowers/rescue drops For states of stress and anxiety, for example during a thunderstorm or a prolonged separation
Valerian Also effective for anxiety and stress. However, it only works after prolonged use and should only be used with care and caution.
Homeopathy All other homeopathic remedies, such as Schüßler salts.
Coconut oil Is considered an antioxidant and can be used in many ways. It is also said to protect against ticks.
Propolis A by-product of bees, which is said to help with injuries as well as skin problems such as eczema and can support wound healing. It is also said to have an antioxidant effect and to increase the body's own defences.



Used and dosed correctly, CBD can have a particularly positive influence on the health and well-being of animals. This is especially true for restless or even anxious animals as well as for animals with various diseases, such as skin diseases or epilepsy.

However, one should not treat one's animals with CBD completely without any precautions. Above all, the correct dosage and application of CBD is important. Furthermore, CBD for animals is not a substitute for important medications that your animal may need.

In case of doubt, it is always advisable to briefly consult your veterinarian before starting to use CBD.

Further sources and literature


Dr. Harald Stephan
Dr. rer. medic. Harald Stephan
Graduate Biologist, Medical Information Processing Officer and Doctor of Health Sciences
About the author

After studying in Saarbrücken, Dr Harald Stephan worked in research and teaching at the Universities of Marburg and Bochum as well as at the University Hospital in Essen before becoming a self-employed publicist in 2016. He sees acquiring and passing on knowledge as his life's work.

In addition to his publications on cell biology and tumour research in renowned specialist journals, hundreds of his articles on health topics can be found on the internet. In them, he explains the causes of diseases, laboratory values, diagnoses as well as traditional and novel therapy options.