Cannabis, marijuana, weed, Buddha, wacky tobacky, or whatever else you want to call it. The attention on cannabis has increased in recent years. Scientific studies have shown definitive proof that it can help treat various medical conditions such as chronic pain. As it turns out, it’s not just for people. CBD oil has been reported to have various uses for various mammalians, including pet pigs.
Veterinarians have heard some interesting reports about the benefits of CBD oil for pets. Researchers are just beginning to turn their attention to this herb. So far, they’re finding there is a lot to like about it. Just as CBD has helped humans and other animals, your pig can reap some of the same health-boosting benefits.
Let’s look at 10 things you might not know about this often misunderstood herb and the research that shows promise in helping animals with health issues.
1. CBD Is Not Psychoactive
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can also be found in cannabis. It’s the THC compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. Do not use CBD oils with THC for your pig. With pure CBD oil, your pig can relax without being intoxicated.
Ross Mill Farm sells a full-spectrum hemp extract. That means it has various cannabinoids but does not include THC. There are four included in our product, CBD, CBN, CBG, and CBDA. This full-spectrum allows for better results without the “high” that you get from THC.
2. CBD Oil can Reduce Anxiety
Does your pig suffer from general anxiety, separation anxiety, or noise phobias? CBD has been extensively studied for its effect on stress and anxiety in humans. Some research shows it can reduce anxiety in healthy people as well as people with anxiety disorders. Ross Mill Farm and some of our customers are using CBD oils for pigs with these issues and have found that it helps the pig have more relaxed behavior without negative side effects.
3. CBD Oil Relieves Pain
The CBD cannabinoid has also been shown to work well for pain management. So well, in fact, scientists are considering it as a new class of drug for the treatment of chronic pain. Studies have shown CBD to be very effective for reducing general pain including neuropathy and nerve-related pain.
Cannabinoids also lessen the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress, the precursor to oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Interestingly, one study found that CBD was actually comparable to BHT for the reduction of free radicals, but without growing any tumors. One of the most important takeaways is that the benefits of CBD seem to result from its ability to modulate cell-signaling events. That means it may potentially have an impact on many inflammatory diseases.
CBD can also reduce the inflammation associated with acute pancreatitis. This is a serious disease that often leads to an early and exquisitely painful death.
There have also been studies suggest that CBD oil can help reduce intestinal inflammation which is associated with irritable bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of those diseases can be incredibly painful and debilitating. Any progress in finding a new treatment can significantly improve the quality of life for many people. And maybe some pigs!
4. CBD can Help Fight some Cancers
The big “C” word is frightening for basically everyone. While CBD has not been shown to cure cancer and you should always consult with your doctor before adding any kind of medication to your routine, there is some indication that it could be helpful. Some people find that CBD helps combat the side effects that come with intense cancer treatments,
Research shows CBD oil and other substances in hemp and cannabis have an anti-tumor effect. It has even been shown to stop cancer cells from growing and increase tumor cell death. However, it’s difficult to say how this would translate to action within a body. So far, there is promising data to indicate that CBD could be used to help make cancer treatments more effective and targeted within the human body.
There has also been evidence to suggest that CBD’s can help the immune system’s killer cells to cause cell death in certain cancers. Basically, that means that it can help make the body’s natural defenses against cancer more effective. We have seen that it can kill cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy and has anti-tumor properties that slow and inhibit glioma cell growth. Glioma cells are a particular kind of cancer cell that are often related to brain tumors.
While we cannot say that CBD can cure cancer, we can say with certainty that it has potential. It may be able to be used as a treatment for specific kinds of cancer cells, or as a way to manage side effects from the harsher treatments themselves.
5. CBD Oil can Treat Seizure Disorders and Epilepsy
Most pigs with seizures are given drugs, such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide. These drugs may help control the seizures and can be invaluable in the quality of life for your pig. But long term use can be extremely harmful to your pig’s liver and other organs. Almost all drugs have some side effects, and the more intense the drug, the worse the side effects tend to be. This goes double when your pet pig may have to be on them for the rest of their life. And the drugs don’t work in all cases.
CBD has been shown to work well in drug-resistant epilepsy in children and young adults. In one study, 7 of the 8 patients with drug-resistant epilepsy saw a definite improvement within 4 to 5 months. In another study, 84% of human children with drug-resistant epilepsy had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. However, it’s important to note that some of these studies required adjusting their other medications due to interactions. One of the most frequent interactions was increased drowsiness.
However, this has not been tried with pigs. What we do know is that, at the very least, it’s worth trying. Due to the possibility of drug interactions, always speak with your veterinarian before attempting to use CBD oil with your pet pig.
6. CBD Oil and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has wide-ranging impacts. It’s chronic inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. That can affect everything from nutrition absorption to chronic diarrhea or constipation, weight loss to chronic pain. Needless to say, it can have a serious impact on the quality of life for any person or animal that suffers from it.
Animal studies show that CBD can prevent colitis (IBD) and restore normal gut motility in inflammatory bowel disease. We aren’t exactly sure why CBD is able to impact IBD, but we do seem to be establishing a pattern. It would appear that CBD has some impact on many different kinds of inflammation in the body. This could make it incredibly useful for a wide variety of issues. IBD is tricky to treat and can severely impact the quality of life for those who suffer from it.
7. CBD Reduces Chronic Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease
We keep seeing CBD pop up in relation to inflammation problems. There’s one inflammation issue that tons of people experience every year – seasonal allergies. And guess what can help! CBD has been shown to decrease the production and release of inflammatory cytokines. These can cause allergies, hypersensitivities, and autoimmunity issues. It can also suppress Th17 dominance, a phenotype that is a major contributor to certain autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.
This ability to decrease chronic inflammation is a big part of why it’s helpful against issues like Crohn’s Disease and other IBD issues. It’s also probably why we see a larger impact on our older, arthritic pigs.
8. CBD Oil Protects the Nervous System and Helps with Neurodegenerative Diseases
Inflammatory diseases plague many people, but they are far from the only issues humans (or pigs) face. CBD shows a lot of promise for degenerative myelopathy and other spine and nerve issues. Although these issues are more common in dogs, pigs may still struggle with the same problems.
It’s also been shown to help patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Remember the whole oxidative stress thing? Well, that’s largely associated with these diseases. Since CBD reduces it, and therefore reduces the oxidative damage, it can slow the progression of these long-term diseases that so many people struggle with.
For senior pigs, CBD may be able to protect the brain from cell death caused by free radicals and toxins. Again, this is largely due to its ability to reduce oxidative stress and damage. You might notice a recurring theme here! That’s because a lot of these diseases stem from similar issues.
9. CBD Increases Appetite and Decreases Nausea
You’ve probably heard of getting the munchies, right? Well, it might not be the THC that’s causing that particular side effect.
As mentioned earlier, CBD can help regulate some of the symptoms associated with cancer treatments. Included in those are nausea and lack of appetite. If you have trouble getting your pig to eat, CBD may help. The National Cancer Institute reports that CBD increases appetite.
Studies show that CBD for dogs can help with vomiting and nausea, even when they’re the result of toxins and drugs. This is the same thing that’s been seen in people, and we do have anecdotal evidence that it may help with pigs as well. If your pig is on a medication that gives them an upset stomach, you can ask your vet about using CBD oil with it.
10. CBD Oil Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Just as veterinarian Dr. Bassingthwaighte discovered, CBD has been linked to heart health. Studies show it can reduce the damage caused by irregular heart rates and decreased blood flow to the heart. The damage that is usually inflicted by those events can be reduced through preemptive use of CBD oil.
That reduction in blood flow (also called myocardial ischemia) is usually the result of clogged arteries. CBD can help by protecting blood vessels from damage and dilating the arteries. This has the added benefit of reducing heart rate and blood pressure, both aspects which are associated with stress and anxiety. So, while it helps your heart health, it also helps reduce stress, which is a major contributor to heart issues. It’s kind of a double-whammy.
Bonus: CBD Oil For Pigs Is Legal And Safe
With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD, the most encouraging result is that CBD appears to be safe, even when taken in high doses and over extended periods of time. We have seen some very minor issues in dogs, so you should keep an eye out for them with your pigs.
- A decrease in saliva production
- CBD can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure at very high doses. This may lead to lightheadedness.
- May cause drowsiness
- Decrease the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize many prescription drugs. So if your pig is on medication, check with your veterinarian before using CBD.
Most CBD oil for pigs, dogs, and other pets comes from hemp oil, so it contains no or very small traces of THC. Because of this, hemp-based CBD products for humans and animals are legal in all 50 states.
The bottom line is, CBD oil could be a healthy (or even life-saving) herb for your pig. More and more pet owners and veterinarians are noticing CBD oil’s diverse health benefits. And they feel good knowing the side effects are mild and animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance.
Choose the Best CBD Oil For Your Pig
Not all CBD oils are the same. You want a high-quality CBD oil that works, so here are a few things to look for:
- Make sure the product is using safe, pesticide-free farming practices. If not the CBD oil could contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents. At the time of writing, there are no genetically engineered forms of cannabis, hemp, or CBD that are commercially available. However, tracking that will continue to prove difficult until the products become federally legalized.
- Don’t cheap out: The higher the quality and purity, the higher the cost. Don’t price shop. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives, has a good amount of CBD and is THC free.
- Get the analysis: Ask for a lab analysis of the amount of CBD in the product. Many CBD oils contain only small amounts of CBD. The manufacturer should be able to provide a certificate of analysis.
- Buy CBD as a tincture: You can buy CBD in treats making it easy to administer but the best form is in a tincture. Most of the treats sold are dog treats, which are not always good for pigs. Plus, when purchased as a tincture, you can adjust your pig’s dose drop by drop to make sure he gets the most benefit.
Start your pig off with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. Ross Mill Farm has been using CBD oil and is finding it is a good option for some of the pigs. Our senior, arthritic pigs got the most relief, and they appear to have had no ill effects. Our experimental tests are continuing and the results seem to be very promising. However, we aren’t scientists either!
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat pigs, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. Pig vets and pig owners have both suggested it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as help control seizures. CBD oil is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.
By: Susan Magidson
Edited by: Julie Huff