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Frequently asked questions

Here is a list of some of the questions we get asked the most by dog owners looking to add cannabis to their dog's medical treatment plan

  • Is Cannabis Toxic to Dogs?
    CBD itself is 100% non-toxic to dogs and is actually probably the safest drug you can give your dog. THC is "toxic to dogs" in the same way THC is toxic to humans in that in large doses it will cause psychoactivity. In excessive amounts it has the potential to cause Cannabis Toxicosis, which can lead to a condition called "Ataxia". However, THC is not fatally toxic to dogs and when properly dosed can be an important part of treatment for certain conditions. "Studies found that dogs can develop tolerance to THC’s adverse effects in about a week when THC is introduced in small amounts initially and gradually increased over time. Once tolerance is achieved, dogs were able to handle escalated doses 100 times higher than the original dose that had caused the adverse response. Once tolerance has been developed, the canine patient can then tolerate larger doses if their condition warrants dose escalation." Veterinary Cannabis: Regulatory, Pharmacology, Safety, Applications (Pain & Cancer) Robert J. Silver DVM, MS The Healing Project uses a gradual dosing system to ensure that your dog is happy and comfortable at all times throughout the process. Our top priority is your dog's health so we take dosing safety seriously. Speak with us directly to learn more about how we approach dosing dogs with cannabis to help treat their medical conditions safely. The main thing to worry about when dosing your dog with cannabis is the other ingredients in the CBD or THC product. While CBD and THC themselves are safe for dogs when properly dosed, many CBD and THC products meant solely for humans contain additives that can be poisonous to dogs. Sweeteners such as Xylitol which is fatal in even miniscule doses and essential oils such as citrus oil and peppermint oil are commonly used for flavoring and can cause serious adverse effects. Edibles for humans may contain ingredients that are poisonous to dogs such as chocolate, caffeine, or raisins. Make sure the only thing added to your CBD and THC oils are dog-safe carrier oils such as MCT oil or coconut oil, and that it is coming from a trusted source. For more information about the safety of CBD and THC for dogs, check out our blog "Is CBD Safe for Dogs?" If you would like a Free One-on-One Phone Consultation to discuss your dog's specific situation, and to learn about having a custom diagnosis-specific cannabis dosing plan created for your dog please CLICK HERE.
  • What's the Difference Between CBD and THC?
    CBD and THC are both molecules called cannabinoids that are produced by the cannabis plant. CBD (Cannabidiol) is non-intoxicating whereas THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) gives users the "high" that marijuana is known for. CBD can be extracted from either the Hemp plant or the Marijuana plant which are both Cannabis plants. More on that in "Cannabis vs. Hemp vs. Marijuana. What's what?" found in the FAQ below. THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain which is what causes its mind altering effects. It is believed that CBD activates but does not bind to these receptors, which explains why CBD does not cause the same effects. In fact, it has been discovered that CBD can actually neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC when taken together as it seems to block some of the THC molecules from binding. CBD and THC are only two of the approximately 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. When taken together rather than as isolates, the cannabinoids create what is known as "The Entourage Effect" and actually work synergistically, enhancing the positive effects of cannabis. To learn more about CBD check out our blog post "All About CBD".
  • Cannabis vs. Hemp vs. Marijuana. What's what?
    It's common to think that hemp and marijuana are different plants, however they are actually the same plant, Cannabis Sativa, and are only differentiated by the amount of THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol each contains. They are not scientifically different, only legally different. Hemp is legally defined as a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% THC, the mind altering component of cannabis, whereas Marijuana is a cannabis plant with anything more than that amount of THC. Marijuana can also come from the cannabis variety Cannabis Indica, but hemp only comes from the Sativa plant. Most people when they say cannabis are referring to marijuana and not hemp which is 100% legal as of 2018. CBD or Cannabidiol can be extracted from hemp or marijuana from either Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica, but THC can only be extracted from marijuana from Sativa or Indica obviously due to the minuscule amount of THC found in hemp. To make it even more confusing, hempseed oil is not the same thing as hemp oil, and there is no CBD in hempseed oil.
  • Full Spectrum CBD vs. Broad Spectrum CBD vs. CBD Isolate
    If you've started looking around at CBD, you may have noticed there seems to be 3 different types. What does each one mean and is one better than the other? Basically, the difference comes down to the other Cannabinoids that the product contains aside from CBD (Cannabidiol). Let's start with the most simple. CBD Isolate. CBD Isolate is just CBD. It has been extracted and isolated from the other cannabinoids that are found naturally in the cannabis plant such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBN (Cannabinol) and CBG (Cannabigerol). CBD Isolate has zero THC and will not cause any type of intoxication whatsoever. As an extract, pure CBD is a crystal form which is then ground down into a powder. It can be consumed sublingually, put into capsules or mixed into a concentrate to be vaped. CBD isolate can come from either the hemp plant or the marijuana plant but comes more often from the hemp plant due to its low THC levels and legal status. Check out our 100% THC Free Nano CBD Powder. CBD isolate is a great choice if you are worried about giving your dog a product containing any amount of THC. Full Spectrum CBD Oil on the other hand is CBD oil with the "full spectrum" of other cannabinoids that are left after extraction, including THC. Full Spectrum CBD oils contain above 0.3% THC and come from the marijuana plant. CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant and refined until it is a thick oily resin. It is then mixed with a carrier oil such as MCT or coconut oil and made into a tincture which is usually dispensed from a small bottle with a dropper for accurate dosing. The benefit to using a Full Spectrum CBD oil is something called "The Entourage Effect". This effect is due to the additional benefits of the synergistic interaction that comes from consuming all of the cannabinoids together. Basically, they work best when taken all together. The downside to Full Extract CBD oils are that they are not legal in all states due to the above 0.3% amount of THC. This is also not the best choice for those who want to avoid any form of psychoactivity from THC. Full Spectrum CBD Oil is safe for use in dogs when properly dosed. If you are interested in a custom diagnosis-specific cannabis dosing plan for your dog, book your Free One-on-One Phone Consultation with The Healing Project. Caution: As the sale of CBD products is not regulated by the FDA, some companies falsely advertise their CBD products as being "Full-Spectrum" while actually containing 0% THC (which technically makes them "Broad Spectrum"). Carefully read the label of CBD oils in store before purchasing to ensure it contains above 0.3% THC for the proper medicinal properties that THC brings to a "Full-Spectrum" CBD oil. Broad Spectrum CBD Oil is CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC, usually made from the hemp plant and sometimes marketed as Hemp Oil. This is the CBD Oil that you will find on the shelves of your health food store or even pet store. Because it has less than 0.3% THC, it is legal in all states. The downside to Broad Spectrum CBD is that without THC it does not have the full entourage effect and will be less effective than Full Spectrum CBD Oil (depending on the intended use) particularly when dealing with cancer. If you're wondering which product is right for your dog and their particular condition, set up a Free Consultation with The Healing Project and we will be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.
  • What is the Endocannabinoid System and what does it do?
    The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a system kind of like the Nervous System in that it is a cell signaling system which helps regulate internal processes in the body. All animals (other than some insects) have an Endocannabinoid System. It was only recently discovered in the late 1980's and scientists still aren't entirely sure of all the details of how it works. One thing they do know is that its main purpose is to help the body achieve the state of Homeostasis, otherwise known as internal balance. The system is comprised of a mix of receptors, endogenous cannabinoids (aka endocannabinoids, or cannabinoids produced internally by the body) and enzymes. The ECS regulates many things in the body such as pain, appetite, sleep, mood, energy and temperature. It has been shown to be deregulated, or in layman's terms, out of whack, in pretty much every disease known to man. The endogenous cannabinoids (most notably Anandamide and AG1) are synthesized where and when needed by the body's enzymes. The cannabinoids then activate or bind to cannabinoid receptors on the surface of cells throughout the body which then send signals to modulate whichever process is out of balance. Once the cannabinoids have done their job, enzymes are then produced by the body to break down the cannabinoids. The two cannabinoid receptors that have been identified in the body are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in highly concentrated levels in the brain and spinal cord and are also found in the spleen, white bloodcells, and the gastrointestinal, reproductive and urinary tracts. CB2 receptors are found mainly in the immune system and the peripheral nervous system but are also found in the brain, though in smaller quantities than CB1 receptors. Studies show that dogs have higher numbers of CB1 receptors in the brain which means they are affected more intensely than humans by cannabis. This is why a properly designed dosing plan such as the one offered by The Healing Project is so important when giving your dog cannabis as medicine. Endocannabinoids vs Phytocannabinoids The cannabinoids made by the body are called endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids (endo meaning internal or within) and cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant are called phytocannabinoids (phyto meaning coming from a plant). The incredible thing about the cannabis plant is that it produces cannabinoids so close in structure to those made naturally in the body that they can actually mimic the effects. Supplementing the body with phytocannabinoids such as CBD and THC from the cannabis plant can have the same effects as though the body were naturally producing more cannabinoids. This can help with a huge range of conditions including chronic pain, inflammation, appetite issues, tremors and seizures, and even cancer and its associated symptoms. Expect to hear more about the Endocannabinoid System and its effect on the body as the science and research catches up with the importance of this incredible internal system. Check out our blog post "All about CBD" for more on how CBD interacts with the ECS.
  • How does CBD work?
    While CBD and its long list of incredible therapeutic benefits might give the impression that it's magic, it's definitely not. It's 100% science. CBD or Cannabidiol is a molecule known as a cannabinoid which is produced in the cannabis plant. It is so close in structure that it can mimic the cannabinoids produced naturally by the body. This means you can supplement the body's Endocannabinoid System with external cannabinoids, one of the most well known being CBD. CBD is one of the safest drugs out there with a huge range of medicinal benefits and in most cases absolutely zero negative side effects. It is entirely non-addictive and in fact is being used to help combat opioid addictions. One of the only things you need to watch out for when taking CBD or administering it to your dog is drug interactions. Read more about the caution required when mixing CBD with some prescription drugs in our blog post "Is CBD Safe for Dogs". CBD doesn't bind with cannabinoid receptors the way THC does so it does not have the same kind of mind altering effects. In fact, CBD can actually reduce or neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC. This means when taken together, the "high" that comes from THC will be reduced, making it more widely applicable as a treatment drug. If you are looking for a 100% THC free CBD, check out our Water Soluble Nano CBD Powder. CBD works by activating receptors on the surface of cells within the body. Once activated, the receptors then send signals through the body telling it to modify processes to regain homeostasis or balance within the body. CBD is known to activate serotonin receptors, which lends to its use as a treatment for anxiety. The serotonin receptor is involved in many neurological processes including but not limited to anxiety, addiction, appetite, pain perception, nausea, vomiting, and sleep. It also binds to and influences vanilloid receptors (TRPV1) which modulate pain perception, temperature and inflammation. This is why CBD is commonly used for chronic pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory for conditions such as arthritis. Unlike traditional pain meds such as NSAIDs (for example Advil for humans or Rimadyl for dogs) CBD does not appear to damage the liver and in fact has anti-inflammatory qualities that may help reduce inflammation from the overuse of NSAIDs. While CBD activates or binds to the previous receptors, scientists believe that CBD actually blocks another receptor known as an Orphan Receptor or GPR55 (G-Protein Couple Receptor 55). This receptor is involved in modulating blood pressure and bone density. Excessive GPR55 signaling is associated with osteoporosis. Activation of the GPR55 receptor is also involved in cancer cell proliferation (in plain english, that's a bad thing). Because of these receptor relationships, CBD and cannabis are currently being studied and tested as an anti-cancer treatment option. Research centers around how they interact with these receptors and how they may be used as anti-tumor agents as well as to treat the pain, inflammation, nausea, decreased appetite and other debilitating side effects associated with cancer and its standard treatments such as chemo and radiation. Are you interested in exploring Cannabis as a treatment option for your dog's medical condition? The Healing Project offers diagnosis specific cannabis dosing protocols for dogs. Start your dog's path to healing by scheduling your Free One-on-One Phone Consultation so we can point you in the right direction with proper dosing levels for your dog and product recommendations for their specific diagnosis.
  • What is FECO?
    FECO is short for Full Extract Cannabis Oil. FECO is the product of soaking the dried and decarboxylated cannabis flower in a solvent then reducing the mixture over heat until 100% of the solvent burns off and it reaches a thick tarry oily consistency. FECO is the strongest cannabis product on the market as it is highly concentrated full spectrum extract. FECO is sometimes also referred to as RSO for Rick Simpson Oil, the man famous on the internet for allegedly curing his own cancer with cannabis. In fact, FECO and RSO are slightly different. The difference comes down to solvent choice and temperature. FECO uses food-grade grain alcohol, ethanol alcohol or c02 in the extraction process and it is "cooked" at lower temperatures. This means more of the cannabis plant's beneficial elements (cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids etc.) are left in the concentrate as they are not burned off in high temps. RSO on the other hand uses naphtha or isopropyl alcohol as the solvent and it is processed at higher temperatures. RSO is not deemed safe for use in dogs due to the toxicity of the specific solvents used. FECO can be used to treat dogs who either cannot tolerate the carrier oils included in cannabis tinctures, or who would require such a high level of cannabis oil that it becomes unreasonable or cost prohibitive when the same effect could be achieved with properly dosed FECO. FECO is usually packaged in a plastic syringe (no needle) and due to the potency, only a tiny amount is required for maximum effect. Wondering if your dog might benefit from FECO to help treat their medical condition? Book a free consultation with us and we can discuss your dog's specific diagnosis and possible cannabis dosing plan options.
  • What can I expect after giving cannabis to my dog?
    Worried about what your dog might experience after taking a cannabis product to treat their medical condition? Here's what you can expect. The great part about CBD is that the majority of the effects are just "the absence of". For example, the absence of pain, the absence of inflammation, the absence of anxiety, the absence of nausea, the absence of seizures etc. If you yourself were to take CBD, you would probably not even notice anything at all. But after a short while if you stopped for a moment and took stock of how you felt, you may notice that you are no longer anxious and feel calm throughout your body, you might realize that your pain has disappeared, and over time you may notice a decrease in depression if that is something you suffer from. Science points to the fact that your dog experiences CBD's effects the same way. The more unwanted, yet mild, side effects you may notice in your dog after treating them with CBD include possible lethargy, changes in mood, dizziness, dry mouth, changes in appetite or in some cases stomach upset (which is usually due to the carrier oil, not the CBD itself). Again, these are the same side effects a human would experience. Dogs who have taken a cannabis product or CBD oil containing THC may exhibit more intense side effects, the same as you would expect if a human took a THC product vs. a CBD product. There is a prevalent myth that THC is fatal to dogs. This is just not true. However, on top of the possible mild side effects of CBD noted above, dogs who are dosed with a product with THC levels they have not developed a tolerance for yet may seem very sleepy and possibly confused. They may become wobbly or uncoordinated. Their pupils may dilate and they may drool. They might even get the munchies just like humans. If a dog consumes excessive levels of THC, there is concern that they may experience what is known as "Cannabis Toxicity" which basically amounts to the dog version of a "bad trip". The signs to watch out for are a dog looking fearful and standing completely still and rigid as though frozen in place, or rocking back and forth as though they are trying to move but cannot. This is a condition called "Ataxia". Treatment for Ataxia, if you were to take them to a vet, centers mostly around keeping the dog comfortable until the symptoms pass, monitoring fluids, temperature, and respiratory function. It's important to observe your dog after dosing with cannabis until you are sure they have developed a tolerance for the amount you are giving. At The Healing Project, we use a titration schedule in our dosing protocol in order to build tolerance slowly. This means we start low (really low!) then gradually increase the amounts until the desired dose has been reached. If at any point unwanted side effects occur, we will instruct you to decrease the dosage to the previous successful dose amount then slowly increase it once tolerance to the higher amount has been achieved. Studies show that dogs develop tolerance to THC very quickly. You can read the study Veterinary Cannabis: Regulatory, Pharmacology, Safety, Applications (Pain & Cancer) in our Resources page to see the exact findings on dogs and THC tolerance. We are here to help you heal your dog, so your dog's safety and comfort throughout the entire process is our top priority. Check out our blog post "Is CBD Safe for Dogs" for more information regarding cannabis treatment and dog safety. If you are interested in getting a custom cannabis dosing plan developed for your dog's specific diagnosis, including a dosing schedule and product recommendations, book your free consultation with The Healing Project and we will work with you to get you on the road to healing your dog. Always monitor your dog after dosing them with cannabis and take them to the vet immediately if you suspect they are having a serious reaction. Never give your dog cannabis products meant for humans such as edibles or flavored cannabis oils as the additional ingredients may cause adverse reactions or in severe cases even death.
  • What can CBD be used to treat?
    CBD, or Cannabidiol, can help with such a long list of medical conditions that it may seem like a miracle drug. The truth is, because the Endocannabinoid System controls and modulates such a wide range of internal processes, supporting it by supplementing with cannabis derived cannabinoids such as CBD can help put a lot of things back in check. Read more about the Endocannabinoid System in our blog "All about CBD". The list of things CBD can potentially help with is so long, and studies are still being conducted into which conditions it can help with and how, that we can't cover them all here. Here are some examples of a few of the more common things CBD is being used to treat. Anxiety Depression PTSD Chronic Pain Drug Withdrawals Nausea Vomiting Inflammation Arthritis Glaucoma High Blood Pressure Epilepsy Insomnia Tremors Poor Appetite Nerve Pain Neurodegenerative Conditions Diabetes Cancer, Cancer-related Pain, and Cancer Treatment Related Side Effects As you can see, CBD seems too good to be true, but scientific studies are proving it's full potential every day. Check out our Resources Page for a library of documentaries, books, studies and articles on the topic of using cannabis as medicine. If you are interested in adding cannabis to your dog's treatment plan to help heal their medical condition, book your free phone consultation here. The Healing Project is here to guide you in properly dosing your dog with cannabis safely and effectively.
  • Can Cannabis cure Cancer?
    Anyone who says that cannabis can cure cancer is wildly oversimplifying things. The research being conducted is far behind the interest levels surrounding it due to years of misguided anti-cannabis laws preventing scientists from legally studying the benefits of cannabis. However, studies are showing that cannabis can indeed slow the growth of cancer cells and in some cases cause apoptosis of the cancer cells or "cell suicide" helping to put cancer into remission. This happens when the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant activate cell signaling pathways within the cancer cells triggering the cells to commit suicide while keeping the surrounding cells healthy. As cancer is an umbrella term for a range of diseases where cell overgrowth is the main issue, this is very promising. Cannabis has also been proven to have anti-metastatic properties. Due to the restrictive cannabis laws in the US, these studies are currently being conducted in lab and animal studies only, so exactly how they may translate to either humans or other animals has not been proven. It is still incredibly encouraging news though! Check out some of the studies that have been conducted on this subject in our Resources Page. There is much more research to be done, but we expect to see cannabis become an integral part of cancer treatments in the future. Scientists will have easier access to these types of studies once Cannabis is eventually (and almost inevitably at this point) re-scheduled by the federal government. For more information on why Cannabis is illegal to begin with, check out our blog post "The History of Cannabis and Why it was Illegal". They are also currently conducting studies into adding cannabis alongside conventional cancer treatments to boost their effectiveness. Anti-tumor effects aside, cannabis is helpful in mitigating many of the debilitating side effects of cancer and traditional cancer treatment such as chemo and radiation. Because cannabis can help reduce inflammation and modulate pain, it is helpful in reducing the chronic pain associated with cancer and its treatments. Cannabis is helpful when it comes to relieving the nausea that comes with chemo and radiation and can help improve appetite which can help slow cancer related cachexia (extreme weight loss) which is worsened when patients cannot eat due to nausea. On top of all that, CBD is believed to be a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free-radicals and are sometimes even referred to as free-radical scavengers. Free radicals are molecules in the body which have either lost or gained an electron, causing them to become highly reactive chemicals that in high concentrations can be harmful to cells. Free-radical damage, particularly to DNA may potentially play a role in cancer cell development. Antioxidants' power to neutralize free-radicals prevents the free-radicals from being able to cause damage to healthy cells. This suggests CBD and its antioxidant properties could potentially be used as a preventative measure when it comes to some cancers. Because the term cancer covers such a wide range of conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan, but we are finally moving in the right direction when it comes to studying cannabis for cancer. Check out our Resources Page for books, documentaries, scientific studies and articles about the research being conducted on cannabis as a cancer treatment, our dog owner Testimonials Page, as well as our Podcast where Healing Project clients discuss their experiences using cannabis and our custom dosing protocols to treat their dog's cancer. If you are interested in adding cannabis to your treatment options in your fight against your dog's cancer, schedule your Free One-on-One Phone Consultation with The Healing Project so we can create a custom diagnosis-specific cannabis dosing plan for you to help you heal your dog.

For more information check out our Resources page, our Blog, or the Healing Project Podcast

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical

advice from your doctor, veterinarian or other qualified clinician and is for informational purposes only.

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