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New Study Sheds Light on How CBD for Dogs Helps with Cancer


Hearing “I’m sorry, your dog has cancer” is about any pet parent’s worst nightmare. If you have a dog, chances are you see the pooch as a member of the family and would do just about anything to keep it happy and healthy.

And, almost every day, we see stories on social media about how “cannabis cured my cancer”. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of facing cancer with your pets, you might be curious about trying cannabidiol (CBD) oil to help –but you also may be concerned about whether it’s the right decision.

While we’ve had dozens of customers tell us about their experiences with CBD oil treating cancer, both for humans and pets alike, it helps to have research that explains how this is taking place. Thankfully, a recent scientific study has made great headway on how CBD can help the pets to tackle cancer.

An Overview of Canine Cancer

Cancer is actually a collection of diseases. What they have in common is that cells divide uncontrollably and spread to surrounding tissues. Common types of canine cancer include:

  • Mast cell tumours – a type of skin cancer found in the connective tissues, usually on the skin, lungs, nose, and mouth.
  • Melanoma –  a common type of skin growth in dogs which thankfully isn’t always cancerous.
  • Lymphoma – a cancer of lymphocytes and lymphoid tissues which is found in places such as lymph nodes, spleen, liver, gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.
  • Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma) –  the most common bone cancer found in dogs, more commonly in the larger breeds.
  • Hemangiosarcoma – a fast spreading cancer, causing tumours to appear almost anywhere in the body but most often in a dog’s heart and spleen.

Almost 50% of dogs over 10 will develop some form of cancer, which is somewhat similar to the incidence in humans. Like humans, standard treatment for canine cancer includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But how can CBD for pets help? Read on!

How CBD Kills Cancer Cells in Dogs

When researchers are developing an anticancer drug, be it for humans or companion animals, there are certain boxes that need to be ticked:

  1. Killing cancer cells while ideally leaving healthy cells untouched (apoptosis).
  1. Stopping the tumours from growing and invading other parts of the body (antiproliferative).
  1. Improving the efficacy of existing cancer treatments.

It just so happens that CBD shows promise in all three areas!

You see, cell death is a natural part of how our bodies operate. This can be due to our genetic code and the natural functioning of our bodies, infection, poisoning –a range of reasons. But with cancer, programmed cell death doesn’t take place and uncontrolled (cancerous cells) keep growing.

This new, 2020 study on CBD and canine cancer found that full spectrum CBD oil stopped cancer cells from spreading (apoptosis), as well as having an overall cytotoxic effect brought about by both apoptosis and autophagy (the clearing out of damaged cell parts)! Huge, we know.

Pure CBD (CBD Isolate) VS Full Spectrum CBD

The researchers were also curious about testing out claims regarding full spectrum CBD’s entourage effect. We’ve written about this in detail before, but in short, there is growing research which has shown that the benefits of CBD are more profound when the oil contains more cannabinoids (hemp-derived compounds), and not just cannabidiol (CBD).

As we suspected, they found lower amounts of the full spectrum product were needed to achieve the same cancer killing effect as pure CBD (often known as CBD isolate, because the one compound has been isolated from all the others).

What This Means for Pet Parents

While more research is needed, studies to date have shown that CBD can be effective in assisting with treating canine cancer. Before going out to buy CBD  for pets, though, always check with your veterinarian.

We’ve had dozens of customers email to let us know how CBD oil has helped treat their cancer, or their pet’s, and it’s worth pointing out that they have mostly used CBD in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We’re not recommending CBD as an alternative to medical treatment, but a supplement to assist it. You can see recommended dosages here.

As always, ensure that the CBD oil you buy has been independently lab tested for potency and purity and provides you with the certificate of analysis.

Cancer is a horrible disease which affects almost every family, so please feel free to share your story in the comments section below, or to email us here. We believe in supporting each other.

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