Best CBD Oil For Cats With Cancer

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This article covers CBD for cats with cancer, CBD safety for cats, signs of cancer, types of cancer, and the best CBD oil for cats with cancer. Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in cats, but hopefuly, there are several steps you can take to improve their quality of life — like giving them CBD oil. Here we explain how CBD can help cats with cancer. Here are some of the best CBD oils to help manage your feline friend’s symptoms, including persistent sores, lameness, and unexplained bleeding.

CBD for Cats with Cancer

Cancer is a burden in our lives as well as our cats. Like humans, a cat with cancer can have a lower quality of life dealing with pain, sores, and lumps. Many medications are available for cats with cancer, but those come with many side effects. Natural alternatives such as CBD oil may help relieve the burden of cancer symptoms.

This article covers CBD for cats with cancer, CBD safety for cats, signs of cancer, types of cancer, and the best CBD oil for cats with cancer.

Table Of Contents

  • CBD oil for cats with cancer
  • Is CBD safe for cats with cancer?
  • Signs of cancer in cats
  • Types of Cancer in Cats
  • Best CBD oil for cats with cancer

CBD oil for cats with cancer

CBD for cats has several effects. The ability of CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system is what makes it work. CBD oil for cats may help with cancer treatments and the many symptoms that encompass cancer treatments. In studies, CBD has slowed down tumor growth.

CBD has shown powerful anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on a wide variety of cancer types in cultured cancer cell lines and mice tumor models, as evidenced by the research available. On the other hand, CBD has a softer effect on normal cells from the same tissue/organ. The anti-tumor mechanisms differ depending on the type of tumor, ranging from cell cycle arrest to autophagy to cell death or a combination of these processes.

Cannabinoids, particularly cannabidiol (CBD), which does not have the psychoactive effects of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may have an antitumorigenic impact according to a growing body of research. These include anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic actions, which may disrupt several tumor-related activities in cancer growth. However, additional proof from cancer clinical studies is required.

Is CBD safe for cats with cancer?

Yes, CBD oil is safe for cancer-stricken cats. As with any other supplement, make sure you’re utilizing a high-quality CBD product and following the manufacturer’s dosage and frequency recommendations.

A Canadian study analyzed dose escalation of cannabis oils, including a CBD-predominant oil in cats, and found it was relatively safe beside the occasional mild side effects.

Signs of cancer in cats

There are some common signs of cancer in cats. Here is a list the Veterinary Cancer Society says cat owners should be aware of, and those are:

  • Anemia – Anemia is a condition in which the amount of circulating red blood cells (RBCs), hemoglobin (Hb), or both are diminished.
  • Bleeding or discharge – Bleeding can occur in places where cats are injured or have internal issues. Blood and discharge from the cat’s mouth or vagina, spotting of blood, rubbing of the hindquarters are signs of a problem.
  • Difficulty breathing – If your cat has never shown difficulty breathing, there may be a growth or obstruction in the airway. It is best to consult a vet and get a diagnosis.
  • Difficulty defecating – There is a good chance your cat may be constipated, but there may be an underlining health issue.
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing – Oral Dysphagia is often the culprit when a cat has a hard time eating or swallowing food. Signs may be struggling to open the mouth or hold food in the mouth, collecting food on the sides of the mouth, or throwing head backward to eat.
  • Difficulty urinating – Call your vet immediately if your cat has problems urinating. There are many reasons a cat can’t urinate, and cancer may be one.
  • Drinking large quantities of water – Your cat may be suffering from Polydipsia (unusually great thirst as a disease symptom) or a number of other causes. Unfortunately, cats drinking more water may signify that something is amiss internally.
  • Fever – A normal temperature for cats should fall within 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cat reaches 106 degrees, get to the vet as your cat’s vitals are at risk. Fever is a common sign of infections, illnesses, and cancers.
  • Lethargy – One of bone cancer’s symptoms is lethargy. A lethargic cat does not automatically mean cancer, but continued lethargy and reduced activity may be a sign of disease.
  • Loss of appetite – Decreased appetite is a sign of cancer in cats. The most common symptom of cat cancer is weight loss, which is generally a marker of a gastrointestinal tumor.
  • Offensive odor – Without any evidence of a tumor, cancers of the mouth, nose, or anal regions can cause your pet to create foul odors. Offensive odors are also a sign that a sore may not be healing and needs further inspection by a professional.
  • Pain – If your cat is in pain, it may have cancer. Pain can happen in many different ways. If the pain is persistent, go to the vet.
  • Persistent or continued swelling – Swelling is a sign of cancer—swelling signals the owner that something is wrong. If your cat has swelled, get it checked before the condition worsens.
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness – Older cats suffer more from lameness than younger cats due to arthritic conditions. However, it can represent a symptom of cancer as well.
  • Weight loss – As mentioned before, the most common symptom of cat cancer is weight loss, a marker of a gastrointestinal tumor. Cats, like other animals, are motivated by food. Therefore, if they refuse to eat those tasty CBD treats or wet food, something is wrong.

Types of Cancer in Cats

There are several types of cancer cats can get. Listed below are the five most common feline cancers.

  • Lymphoma – A cancer of the blood cells (lymphocytes) and lymphoid tissues usually found in cats form the ages of 2 to 6 years old.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) – FeLV was one of the most common lymphoma causes in cats pre vaccination. As of 2020, (FeLV) is the second-largest cause of death in cats, behind trauma, killing 70-85 percent of infected cats within three years post-diagnosis.
  • Mammary Cancer (Breast) – Mammary (breast) Cancer is a type of cancer that generally affects older female cats. Spaying assist in cats not getting breast cancer. Male cats with breast cancer are quite uncommon.
  • Skin Cancer – Skin cancer in cats can be caused by over exposure to the sun. It can look like bumps, lumps, redness, scratching and can occur in the hairless regions of a cat.
  • Fibrosarcoma – A malignant tumor that is in the tissues near the ends of cats’ bones.

Best CBD oil for cats with cancer

There’s a variety of diverse pet CBD products on the market. However, they’re not made the same, and several CBD oil products and CBD cat treats are not the same quality as others. The best CBD oil for cats with cancer is manufactured in a clean, controlled environment, 100% all-natural ingredients, and third-party lab-tested.

CBD and other phytocannabinoids may assist in reducing inflammation and have antioxidant properties. That is why we make broad-spectrum oils. Broad-spectrum oils have a wide complement of cannabinoids but contain no THC, the psychoactive part of the plant.

How Worms Might Help Your Pet Live 18% Longer

To say Biscuit lived an active life would be an understatement. Unfortunately, at the age of 10, she started to limp after trips to the dog park.

It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met. Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping persisted. I decided to go to the vet. They quickly diagnosed her with osteoarthritis and prescribed a drug to help.

Her limping stopped, and she was in less visible pain. For the first week, it seemed that this was the solution. A few days later, it was to my absolute shock that she.

We hope this information helps your pet family live a more natural life. We believe in great content and word of mouth, not intrusive ads and popups. If you feel the same way, you can find our products here.

CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer: Top Products Reviews

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases, and although cats are less likely to suffer from it than dogs, it still affects many of our feline friends. Cats with cancer usually experience persistent sores, lumps that can grow or change shape, unexplained bleeding, loss of appetite, and lameness.

Although there’s no established cure for cancer, many medications are available to alleviate the clinical symptoms of feline tumors. However, conventional treatments also entail the risk of dangerous adverse reactions — not to mention harmful side effects that come with long-term use.

CBD has recently come sparked the attention of medical researchers due to CBD’s potential anti-cancer benefits. CBD is a naturally occurring, non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp plants.

A growing number of pet owners are using CBD-based products to ease pain, inflammation, and other conditions in their pets. Although there is no hard data on the efficacy of CBD for cats with cancer, there are studies that highlight its therapeutic potential and safety in small animals.

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Today, we explore the potential benefits of CBD for cats with cancer, covering the current scientific literature and outlining the available forms of CBD for your feline friend.

CBD for Pets: A Brief Overview

A 2018 study showed promising results on the effects of hemp-derived CBD and terpenes on dogs with osteoarthritis. Most of the dogs that consumed CBD oil during the study experienced significantly reduced pain and better mobility in general.

The same study also showed that there were no side effects reported by the dog owners — and that the dogs could tolerate a dose of 2 mg of CBD oil per kilogram twice a day. These results may indicate that hemp-based phytonutrients are safe for animals.

A study on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has revealed that all mammals, except for some insects and protozoans, share the same ECS in their bodies. The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis throughout the body and for regulating the functions of the brain, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems through a set of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.

Since animals and humans have the same receptors, it means that cats can naturally interact with the cannabinoids present in CBD oil. This research on the ECS proves why the dogs in the aforementioned study didn’t experience any adverse effects after taking CBD oil for dogs.

CBD Products for Cats with Cancer

Before we elaborate on the benefits of CBD for cats with cancer, let’s take a look at different product types — and what purpose they serve best.

CBD Oils

CBD oil is the most popular form when it comes to giving CBD to cats with cancer. When people mention the best CBD oil for cats, they typically refer to using tinctures to alleviate certain symptoms.

CBD oil is administered with a dropper, which allows for an easy application in the mouth. You can choose from various flavors, from natural to pet-appealing flavors like bacon or cheese.

CBD Capsules

CBD capsules are a good alternative to use in cats because they provide a fixed amount of CBD in each serving. Each capsule can be administered once or twice a day, depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation.

CBD capsules contain between 5 and 20 mg of CBD, so make sure to consult your vet before application. You can mix these pills into your pet’s food to make them easier to consume.

CBD Treats

Similar to capsules, CBD pet treats contain a premeasured dose of CBD per piece. They come in appealing shapes and textures; you can choose from flavors like bacon, cheese, salmon, catmint, or peanut butter. Just keep in mind that the dosage in CBD treats and capsules may not be as accurate as with oils, so again, you should talk to a holistic veterinarian to estimate the proper dosage for your cat.

CBD Topicals

Topical formulations include products such as lotions, creams, balms, and ointments. They are used to address localized discomfort, such as pain, redness, swelling, and irritation. For cats with cancer, CBD topicals can provide pain relief from stiff and inflamed joints, as well as from abdominal issues. Topicals are often infused with other supportive ingredients that enhance the therapeutic properties of CBD (e.g. herbal extracts, fruit oils, plant-based oils, and butter).

Can CBD Oil Treat Cancer in Cats?

Several clinical trials have suggested that CBD can cause programmed death of cancer cells in cats and contribute to the inhibition of tumor growth. Here we elaborate on both of these properties.

CBD for Cancer Cell Death

In a 2011 study, researchers examined the effects of CBD on breast cancer cells. Although the study was conducted in vitro, meaning it used a sample dish or test tube instead of a living organism, the results were quite promising.

The authors found that CBD could help speed up programmed death on the cancer cells without damaging the healthy ones. The mechanism behind this action is relatively unclear, but the cannabinoid was able to destroy malignant cells, and cause apoptosis (the said programmed cell death).

Since cancer is triggered by the abnormal growth of malignant cells, their elimination proves that CBD is involved in regulating cell growth.

CBD for Tumor Growth

In the same year, the Breast Cancer Research and Treatment journal posted a similar study on breast cancer cells.

This time, the study was conducted on mice and found that CBD can inhibit the growth of breast cancer in the subjects. Moreover, researchers also learned that it could reduce metastasis — a scientific name for the development of secondary cancer growths.

In another study — this time from 2003 — the authors revealed that cannabinoid receptors exist in both healthy and cancerous skin cells of mice. The researchers found that by targeting these receptors with cannabinoids, the compounds induced cell death while slowing down the growth of skin cancer.

Several studies also link CBD with slowed angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process that spurs tumor growth by forming new blood vessels.

What Side Effects of Cancer May CBD Alleviate?

Although CBD hemp oil for cats isn’t an approved cancer treatment for cats, it is capable of providing relief from many of the side effects associated with conventional cancer treatments.

Three main options for treating cancer in cats include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Although these methods can effectively manage cancer cells in felines, they also have a lot of long-term side effects, such as vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, inflammation, pain, and insomnia.

Below we explain how CBD may help alleviate these symptoms in cats with cancer.

Chronic Pain

Cats with cancer experience mild to severe pain. Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery, can also lead to problems with pain management.

Veterinarians usually prescribe Tramadol, which is a popular analgesic for cancer pain. However, its effectiveness in treating acute or traumatic pain is questionable, and its non-opioid mechanism may not provide relief for felines.

The aforementioned study on dogs with osteoarthritis showed that dogs given CBD oil products experience significantly less pain than their counterparts treated with conventional methods. On top of that, the dogs became more active after the study after using CBD oil for dogs with arthritis.

This clinical study also noted that CBD oil didn’t produce any side effects despite a relatively high dosage of 2 mg of CBD per kilo of body weight every 12 hours for one month.

Inflammation

Squamous cell carcinoma in cats begins as a small patch of sore skin and oral tumors, which, if not taken care of, could herald the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Inflammation is the most common contributor to the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma in cats.

A study conducted in 2000 revealed that whole-plant CBD extracts possess remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. The study also investigated the efficacy of cannabinoids on mice with collagen-induced arthritis and concluded that CBD was able to improve both conditions on these subjects.

A follow-up experiment from 2004 that used a novel synthetic cannabinoid acid on mice with arthritis yielded the same results. The compound was found to have suppressive effects on the immune cells while also producing pro-inflammatory mediators, an indicator that it’s a novel, anti-inflammatory molecule.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is a common side effect in cats that are treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy to control the growth of cancer. Such treatments affect the lining of the intestines and stomach, leading to nausea and vomiting.

The modulation of the ECS is associated with reduced nausea. A 2011 study showed that a wide range of animals can benefit from the anti-emetic properties of CBD. Additional evidence also points to CBD as a potential antiemetic agent for the side effects of chemotherapy.

Causes of Cancer in Cats

Several factors can trigger or speed up the growth of cancer in a cat, including:

Aging

Aging is inevitable for all animals; it’s also one of the main reasons behind cancers in many cats. Aging can speed up cancer growth for several reasons.

According to one theory, the mutations in aging cells accumulate over the years, which increases the chances of cancerous cell division. Degeneration of the cat’s body is another possible cause.

For example, chronic inflammation experienced by cats over the years may wreak havoc on their DNA and compromise the immune system. This, in turn, may lead to the uncontrolled growth of malignant cells.

Fibrosarcoma

Fibrosarcoma is a type of feline cancer that occurs in the cat’s soft tissue. It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although fibrosarcoma doesn’t have an identified specific cause, most cats with this cancer developed it at a prior injection site.

Intact Reproductive Organs

If your cat isn’t neutered or spayed, they are at a higher risk of developing cancer in their bodies. Unspayed female cats can develop breast and ovarian cancer, while unneutered males may suffer from prostate cancer.

Cats that have undergone spaying or neutering can also live longer and healthier lives.

Carcinogens

Carcinogens are the substances that cause cancer through mutations in the genes that eventually turn into cancerous cells in your cat’s body. Cats can be exposed to the same carcinogens as humans, including food additives, tobacco smoke, asbestos, radiation, benzene, and x-ray.

Is CBD Safe for Cats with Cancer?

Before you give CBD oil to your cat with cancer, you should be aware of the possible side effects.

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CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated in both humans and animals — even in high doses administered over several weeks.

That being said, giving your cat too much CBD can result in:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diarrhea

CBD is also known to compromise the liver’s ability to metabolize pharmaceutical compounds in most medications. If your cat is on any medication, consult your veterinarian before incorporating CBD into their routine. Doing so will help you establish the right dosage and avoid potential negative interactions between CBD and your cat’s meds.

Key Takeaways on CBD and Cats with Cancer

While cancer isn’t as common in cats as it is in dogs, the symptoms of feline cancer can significantly worsen the quality of their life. Some of the cancer signs in cats include lumps, persistent sores, loss of appetite, unexplained bleeding, and lameness.

Conventional medications, while effective, can also bring undesired side effects, some of which can have a particularly negative outcome on your cat’s health.

CBD is a promising solution for cats with cancer. Studies have shown that it can induce apoptosis and slow down the growth of cancerous cells. Moreover, you can give your cat CBD oil to help them cope with the side effects of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery; these include pain, inflammation, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Although we still lack sufficient clinical evidence to support the use of CBD as monotherapy for cancer, current findings are very promising, to say the least.

Do you have any experience in using CBD oil in cats with cancer? Share your stories in the comment section!

References:

  1. Gamble, L. J., Boesch, J. M., Frye, C. W., Schwark, W. S., Mann, S., Wolfe, L., Brown, H., Berthelsen, E. S., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2018). Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Frontiers in veterinary science, 5, 165. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165 [1]
  2. Shrivastava, A., Kuzontkoski, P. M., Groopman, J. E., & Prasad, A. (2011). Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy. Molecular cancer therapeutics, 10(7), 1161–1172. https://doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-10-1100 [2]
  3. McAllister, S. D., Murase, R., Christian, R. T., Lau, D., Zielinski, A. J., Allison, J., Almanza, C., Pakdel, A., Lee, J., Limbad, C., Liu, Y., Debs, R. J., Moore, D. H., & Desprez, P. Y. (2011). Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. Breast cancer research and treatment, 129(1), 37–47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-010-1177-4 [3]
  4. Casanova, M. L., Blázquez, C., Martínez-Palacio, J., Villanueva, C., Fernández-Aceñero, M. J., Huffman, J. W., Jorcano, J. L., & Guzmán, M. (2003). Inhibition of skin tumor growth and angiogenesis in vivo by activation of cannabinoid receptors. The Journal of clinical investigation, 111(1), 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI16116
  5. Malfait, A. M., Gallily, R., Sumariwalla, P. F., Malik, A. S., Andreakos, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2000). The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(17), 9561–9566. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.160105897
  6. Sumariwalla, P. F., Gallily, R., Tchilibon, S., Fride, E., Mechoulam, R., & Feldmann, M. (2004). A novel synthetic, nonpsychoactive cannabinoid acid (HU-320) with antiinflammatory properties in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Arthritis and rheumatism, 50(3), 985–998. https://doi.org/10.1002/art.20050
  7. Parker, L. A., Rock, E. M., & Limebeer, C. L. (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1411–1422. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01176.x [7]
  8. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0034 [8]
Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer – August 2022

Can pet owners use CBD oil to treat cats with cancer? Is it safe?

  • Cancer affects cats in many ways and can drastically lower their quality of life. Symptoms such as persistent sores, changing lumps, lameness, unexplained bleeding, and loss of appetite are common among cats with cancer. (1 )
  • Many medications are available to help alleviate the clinical signs of cancer, but can also cause adverse reactions to felines. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a promising solution that could be a natural and safer remedy in treating cancer in cats. (2-3 )
  • Several preliminary studies on CBD have shown that the phytocannabinoid might eliminate cancerous cells in the body (4 ) . Results also showed that CBD inhibited the growth of harmful tumors in a lab setting. (5-6 )
  • Despite the purported benefits of CBD oil, there is a lack of in-depth research regarding its use in animals. Cats that are given CBD formulations may experience side effects such as drowsiness (7 ) , anxiety, nausea, and disorientation.
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Can Cats with Cancer Use CBD Oil?

Cancer is one of the most feared health conditions today, and although it is not as common in cats as it is with dogs, it still affects many felines. Some of the symptoms of cancer in cats include persistent sores, lumps that change in size or shape, lameness, unexplained bleeding, and loss of appetite. (8 )

Despite having no cure, there are many medications available that can alleviate the clinical signs of cancer. However, these pharmaceutical drugs also bring with them adverse reactions and harmful side effects that can only worsen the condition of a pet.

One particularly promising solution comes in the form of cannabidiol (CBD), which is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and the main compound in the hemp plant.

There is a growing number of owners that are beginning to look towards CBD-based cannabis products to ease pain and other conditions in their pets. (9 ) Although there is no precise data suggesting that CBD can cure cancer, there are studies that point towards its therapeutic potential and compatibility in small animals. (10 )

One study in 2018, for instance, shows encouraging results on the effects of hemp-based cannabidiol and terpenes on dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The majority of the dogs that consumed CBD oil during the trial experienced significantly less pain and better mobility overall. (11 )

The same study also shows that there were no side effects reported and that the dogs can tolerate a dosage of 2 mg per kilogram bodyweight of CBD oil twice each day. These findings may be an indication that the hemp-based nutraceutical is not dangerous for animals. (12 )

A study on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) reveals that humans and animals, with the exception of some insects and protozoans, share this same system in their bodies (13 ) . The ECS is responsible for regulating the functions of the brain, endocrine, and immune tissues, while it also contains cannabinoid receptors. (14 )

Since animals and human beings also possess the same receptors, this means that cats can be naturally receptive to the cannabinoids present in CBD. This research on the ECS may be proof as to why the dogs in the study mentioned earlier did not experience any adverse effects upon consuming CBD oil.

CBD for Cats with Cancer

Three forms of CBD products for cats are available at this time. These include:

CBD Oils (Tinctures)

Oils are the most popular method in administering full-spectrum cannabidiol in cats. When people mention CBD oil for cats, this typically means using tinctures to help ease symptoms.

Cat CBD oil is given by way of a dropper, which is easily applied in the mouth. There are various flavors available for CBD tinctures that pet owners can choose from today.

CBD Capsules

CBD in the form of capsules is an ideal alternative for use in cats as they are provided in pre-measured portions. Each pill can be administered once or twice a day, depending on the recommendation of a veterinarian.

A capsule may contain 5 to 20 mg of CBD, so it is essential to consult a doctor before application. The pills can also be masked in pet food to make administration easier.

CBD Cat Treats

CBD pet treats for cats are also another way to administer CBD to a feline friend conveniently. Cats enjoy consuming treats that are made for them, and this product makes the application process straightforward.

Keep in mind, however, that the dosage in CBD treats may not be as accurate as with oils and capsules. Again, cat owners should talk to a veterinarian to know the proper dosage they should give to their pets.

Can CBD Oil Treat Cancer in Cats?

There are several clinical studies that were carried out, suggesting that CBD can fight the spread and growth of cancerous tumors in cats.

CBD Might Help Eliminate Cancer Cells

In 2011, researchers carried out an examination of how CBD would interact with breast cancer cells. Although the study was done in vitro, which means that it involved using either a sample dish or test tube instead of a live organism, the results were quite impressive.

In the study, the scientists learned that CBD could help induce programmed death on the cancer cells without causing much damage to the healthy cells. (15 ) How CBD was able to do this is relatively unclear, but the compound was able to help destroy damaged tissues, and cause apoptosis or programmed cell death.

Since cancer is primarily characterized by the abnormal growth of cells, the results of this study may be a hint that CBD can contribute in regulating cell growth.

CBD Can Help Stop Tumor Growth

The Breast Cancer Research and Treatment journal published a similar study in the same year regarding CBD and how it affects cancerous cells in the breast.

The study, although carried out on mice, found that CBD can help slow down the growth of breast cancer cells in these rodents. Additionally, researchers also discovered that it could reduce metastasis or the development of secondary malignant growths. (16 )

Another study in 2003 revealed how there are cannabinoid receptors present in healthy and cancerous skin cells of mice. The researchers targeted these receptors and found that by activating the ECS with cannabinoids, the compounds contributed to cell death while helping slow down skin cancer growth. (17 )

There are also several studies regarding CBD and its ability to inhibit angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the process that allows cancerous tumors to continue growing by way of developing new blood vessels. (18 )

Side Effects That CBD May Help Alleviate

CBD oil is not an approved treatment for cancer in cats. However, it is capable of providing relief to many of the side effects that come with cancer treatment.

Three prevalent options for treating cancer in cats are done via surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Although it is impressive to have these choices to manage cancer cells in felines, these treatments have a lot of undesirable effects, especially long-term.

Below are the side effects that CBD may help alleviate in cat cancer treatment:

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is a common outcome for cats that undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy to control the growth of cancer in their bodies. During such treatment, cells that line the intestines and stomach of a cat can be affected, leading to nausea and vomiting. (19 )

There is encouraging evidence that demonstrates how the manipulation of the ECS in animals can regulate this digestive problem.

A study in 2011 shows that a wide variety of animals have the capacity to use the anti-emetic effect of cannabinoids in their bodies. Additional evidence also reveals that cannabinoids may be useful in treating nausea caused by chemotherapy. (20 )

Since CBD is a phytocannabinoid, it is theoretically possible to use it to engage the ECS of cats after they receive chemotherapy to ease their gastrointestinal issues.

Chronic Pain

Tumors that are present in any part of a cat’s body can cause mild to severe pain. Therapies such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery can also lead to pain management issues.

Tramadol is a common analgesic given to cats that are suffering from cancer pain. However, its effectiveness is questionable in treating acute or traumatic pain, and its non-opioid mechanism may not work on felines. (21 ) The latest data suggests doses of 2 mg/kg are effective for tramadol.

In 2018, a study on dogs that had osteoarthritis were given CBD oil products to see the safety and analgesic effect it had on canines. The final assessment showed that the dogs had significantly less pain after the CBD treatment and became more active. (22 )

This clinical trial also reported that there were no ill side effects observed despite being given 2 mg per kilo of body weight every twelve hours for four weeks. (23 )

Inflammation

Squamous cell carcinoma in felines can start as a small patch of sore skin and oral tumors, which, if not healed, could be a sign of cancerous cells present in the body. Inflammation of the skin is one of the most common symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma in cats.

Research in 2000 reveals that cannabinoids, particularly with CBD from the cannabis plant, have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This same study investigates cannabinoid efficacy on mice that had collagen-induced arthritis and showed that it was able to improve the conditions on these rodents. (24 )

A follow-up experiment in 2004 using a novel synthetic cannabinoid acid on mice with arthritis generated the same results. The cannabinoid was found to have suppressive effects on cell immune responses while also producing pro-inflammatory mediators, a hint to its usefulness as a novel, anti-inflammatory product. (25 )

Causes of Cancer in Cats

There are several reasons why cancer can show up in the mammalian body of a cat.

Aging

The process of getting older is one of the primary causes of cancer in many cats. There are several reasons as to why aging can cause a higher rate of cancer growth in the body.

One theory is that the mutations on these cells accumulate over the years, which raises the likelihood of cancerous cell division to happen. (26 ) Degeneration of the mammalian body is also another suspect.

For instance, chronic inflammation experienced by cats over the years can damage DNA and weaken the immune system, leading to slow identification and elimination of harmful cells.

Fibrosarcoma

Fibrosarcoma is a common soft tissue cancer in cats that is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although no specific cause can be identified, most cats that have fibrosarcoma developed tumors at a prior injection site on their bodies. (27 )

Intact Reproductive Organs

Cats that are not spayed or neutered are at risk of developing cancer in their bodies. The spaying of female cats eliminates the possibility of breast and ovarian cancer, while neutering male ones reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. (28 )

Apart from reducing the risk of cancer development, cats can also live longer and healthier lives when they are spayed and neutered. (29 )

Carcinogens

These chemicals are believed to cause mutations in the genes that eventually become cancerous cells in the body. Cats can be exposed to the same carcinogens as that of humans, which include those coming from tobacco smoke, asbestos, x-ray radiation, and benzene. (30 )

Possible Side Effects of CBD in Cats

Prior to administering CBD to a cat, pet owners should understand its potential side effects so that they are fully aware and prepared for what could happen. Although studies did show that CBD did not cause any adverse reactions during the trials, every cat can have a different response, and there is always the risk of harm.

The probability of these side effects can be higher with the improper use of CBD. Cat owners that notice a negative change in their pet’s attitude may consult a veterinarian to reduce their CBD dosage.

A potential side effect of CBD hemp oil consumption is drowsiness. (31 ) In many cases, cats tend to portray sleepy behavior, which makes this reaction relatively difficult to notice at first.

Nausea, anxiety, changes in appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and disorientation are also other possible side effects of CBD use in cats. Although these reactions are rare, owners should cease applying CBD and contact a veterinarian immediately when they notice these signs.

Conclusion

Cancer in cats may not be as common as they are with dogs, but the symptoms felines experience can lower their quality of life significantly. Some of these signs include persistent sores, lumps that change in shape or size, unexplained bleeding, loss of appetite, and lameness.

There are many medications that pet owners can buy to help alleviate these symptoms. However, pharmaceutical drugs are known to cause adverse reactions that can only worsen the condition of a cat suffering from cancer.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising solution that offers many potential health benefits in easing the symptoms of cancer in felines. Many pet owners are beginning to look towards high-quality CBD-based products with less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to help reduce the pain, inflammation, and other conditions their pets are experiencing.

Preliminary research studies on pet CBD show impressive results with the phytocannabinoid being able to help inhibit and even eliminate cancerous cell growth in the body. CBD may also provide relief to several clinical signs related to feline cancer.

However, the lack of in-depth studies on CBD use in animals leaves many questions unanswered, including the possible side effects of its use. Pet owners that notice any adverse reaction in using CBD should cease its application immediately and consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.

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