How to Wean Your Dog Off Medications Using CBD Oil

Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: March 1, 2022

Is your dog regularly on medications?

If so, you may have heard about some dog parents replacing their pet’s prescription drugs with CBD.

Well, it’s possible — although it requires veterinary supervision and a lot of knowledge on your part.

In this article, I elaborate on using the best CBD oil to wean your dog off their medication.

Does CBD Interact with Medications?

Yes, CBD-drug interactions are real.

While CBD is a natural and safe substance, it can compete with other drugs in your body.

That’s because CBD is an inhibitor of specific liver enzymes that metabolize most pharmaceutical medications.

These enzymes are called cytochrome P450 and help break down around 60% of all the medications available on the market.

This includes antidepressants, anticonvulsants, analgesics, NSAIDs, etc.

Research has shown that CBD can block the activity of these enzymes, slowing down the metabolic rate of other medications.

As a result, the medications stay in the body for longer, and in larger concentrations.

CBD’s impact on these metabolic enzymes depends on dosage as well as the presence of any other drugs in the body.

The most alarming side effect of these interactions is the higher incidence of adverse reactions from the elevated levels of medications in the body.

For more detailed information about interactions between CBD and pharmaceutical substances, check out the Flockhart P450 Drug Information Table.

Can You Give Your Dog CBD Alongside Other Drugs and Supplements?

CBD Oil and Capsules

This question requires more than a simple answer.

CBD is considered a safe supplement and is commonly used together with other supplements and medications.

As a matter of fact, some studies found that cannabinoids could help increase the efficacy of some medications, such as painkillers.

The paper from the 2016 Journal of Opioid Management describes the synergism of cannabinoids with other pain medications.

Now, considering that CBD can bolster the effects of other drugs — it can be both positive and troublesome.

For example, studies have shown that cannabinoids have the potential to increase the potency of opioid medications — leading researchers to a conclusion that CBD helps lower opioid doses in patients. This could slowly help them wean off their current medication and reduce dependence on pharmaceutical drugs.

The problematic part of this feature involves the aforementioned risk of second-hand side effects that come from these medications when you take them alongside CBD.

For now, there’s a limited body of evidence that examined specifically how CBD interferes with the effects of other drugs.

Even fewer studies have been conducted on these interactions when it comes to veterinary drugs.

Therefore, the first step you should take before using CBD to wean your dog off its medication is to consult your vet.

Or look for one that specializes in holistic treatments if your vet doesn’t know much about CBD.

How CBD May Affect the Potency of Other Drugs and Supplements

Before I continue to elaborate on weaning your dog off its regular medications, let’s take a closer look at how CBD may affect the potency of pharmaceutical medications.

This is a paramount aspect of this article because some medications like anticonvulsants, antidepressants, or chemotherapy, are often prescribed at very specific doses.

For example, when treating dogs with cancer, veterinarians often take a lot of time to figure out the right dosage of their chemo treatment.

The dose should be strong enough to effectively target cancer, yet small enough to avoid toxicity and minimize the side effects.

These drugs are, as you may guess, metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver.

Given this, using CBD alongside chemotherapy could be risky because it may elevate the levels of these drugs in your dog’s blood.

In other words, what would be a safe dose of chemo could, potentially, become threatening when used together with CBD.

The reality is that CBD is becoming more popular among different kinds of patients due to its versatility as a therapeutic compound.

These patients find that CBD improves their quality of life by helping them maintain a healthy appetite, reduce fatigue and lethargy, curb nausea, manage pain, and more.

There’s very little evidence that shows interactions between CBD and chemotherapy agents — despite these experimental lab models.

My Rocky has age-related arthritis and before I started giving him CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, he was very lethargic and became dependent on his medications.

After seeing his condition deteriorating, I gave CBD the leap of faith because it was helping with my knee pain too. Considering that dogs have the endocannabinoid system as well, my decision seemed reasonable to me.

And it was actually the best decision I could make at that time. I consulted my vet and we slowly started changing the doses of CBD oil and Rocky’s meds — gradually weaning him off of his pharmaceuticals.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging you to leave your dog’s current medications away. It’s just an option that you may want to consult with your vet if the risks and side effects start to outweigh the benefits.

When is it Time to Wean Your Dog Off Their Medication?

That’s a question many pet owners ask. The answer is not so obvious and depends on a lot of individual factors, such as your dog’s condition, tolerance to the medication they’re taking, and their current results.

Ask your vet how these medications are processed in the body and whether taking into account CBD’s effect on liver enzymes, there’s a risk of an interaction.

Also, make sure to check the P450 Flockhart Drug Interactions Chart and look for the dog your dog is taking to confirm if the interaction might occur.

If your dog’s meds aren’t on this list, still reach out to your vet before adding CBD to its diet.

Should there be a possibility of drug interaction, I’d suggest weaning your dog pet off their meds first.

In case the drugs weren’t on the above list, you may use CBD together with their regular medicines.

From there, you can begin to wean your dog off their other meds steadily.

5 Ways You Can Replace Your Dog’s Prescription Meds with CBD

Dog being check by Vet

There are a few things you can do to incorporate CBD as smoothly as possible.

Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Consult your vet
  2. Make sure that CBD is appropriate for the specific condition
  3. Start with low doses
  4. Slowly increase the CBD dose while cutting down on the medication dose
  5. Don’t rush anything

Let me elaborate on each step.

1. Consult Your Veterinarian

Before you introduce anything new to your dog’s supplementation plan, talk to your vet about the potential benefits of CBD as well as the risk of a drug interaction. If there’s a possibility CBD might affect the way your pet’s body processes other medication, you should figure out how it happens and what you can do to avoid negative reactions while using both.

2. Learn About the Health Benefits of CBD for Dogs

Once you know there’s no risk of negative drug interaction and that CBD can replace your dog’s medications, you can give it a green light. Just remember that CBD is no miracle cure and can’t replace any medication out there despite its versatility.

3. Find the Right CBD Dosage for Your Dog

Make the transition to CBD slowly and don’t rush large doses. Observe your pet’s reaction to certain amounts of the supplements. Start low and increase the dose slowly; you can break it down into two smaller daily doses.

Reputable companies provide clear instructions on dosage and serving sizes for dogs based on different weight groups to help new users introduce CBD to dogs safely.

4. Establish the Right Routine for CBD and Medication

Once your dog has adjusted to CBD, you can start increasing the dose while decreasing the dose of their other medications.

Just make sure to monitor the doses of CBD and the meds because certain medications can have dangerous side effects if there’s an excess concentration in the body. Your vet should know how to manage the dosages safely.

5. Take this Process Easy

Being patient will help you go through the transition process smoothly. Weaning your dog off its medications can be a process lasting weeks or even months. Remember, the way you do it will also vary depending on how long your dog has been on its meds, the dose it has been taking, and the half-life of the substance.

Unfortunately, I can’t give you any recommendations as to how to reduce your dog’s drug doses; that’s the job of your veterinarian, they should be qualified enough to help you out.

Medications that Can Be Replaced with CBD

CBD Oil and Pet Foods

Thanks to its broad range of health benefits, CBD could replace a lot of regular pet medications.

The list is quite long and includes:

  • Tramadol
  • Antihistamines
  • Carprofen
  • Steroids
  • Metacam
  • Rimadyl
  • Phenobarbital
  • Antifungals
  • Anxiolytics
  • Prozac
  • Gabapentin
  • Maropitant
  • Mirtazapine
  • Oxymorphone

The Benefits of Weaning Off Your Dog’s Medication with CBD

Just so we’re on the same page: I’m not the enemy of all prescription medications. I always try to see the bright side in both natural and made-man medications because I understand their value.

But, I also believe that natural remedies can offer your pet a lot of health benefits and are generally safer than their pharmaceutical counterparts.

CBD is completely natural; it also produces no dangerous side effects and is non-toxic — so you don’t have to be afraid about overdosing.

The only real side effects your dog can experience after taking too much CBD are sedation and diarrhea. It may feel sleepy and drowsy for a while, but this isn’t a threat to its health.

That stays in vivid contrast with the harsh side effects (sometimes even fatal) that can occur when a drug isn’t administered properly.

Plus, unlike conventional medications, CBD uses more than just a single mechanism to improve your dog’s well-being.

It’s a well-rounded health supplement that can also have direct therapeutic effects.

Best CBD Oil for Dogs: Royal CBD

RoyalCBD 125mg Pet Oil Bacon flavor

As I said, I started giving Rocky CBD oil after experiencing its benefits first-hand. Royal CBD has been my go-to brand, and after experimenting with different companies to find the right pet product, the guys at Royal CBD introduced its “Paws” collection.

The Royal CBD pet range includes CBD oil for pet dogs in two concentrations and three formulas of CBD dog treats formulated with superfoods.

The CBD oil is available in 250 mg and 500 mg bottles and comes in a bacon flavor to convince the fussier dogs to take it properly.

The treats include three versions:

  • Active: with cinnamon and pumpkin spice
  • Hearty: with potato and blueberry
  • Calm: with peanut butter and apple

Royal CBD products are made from US-grown, non-GMO hemp. They’re also tested for potency and purity in an ISO-certified laboratory so that you can rest assured your dog eats only safe products.

Final Thoughts on CBD as a Way to Wean Your Dog Off Medications

My dog medicine cabinet has become a lot smaller since I introduced CBD into Rocky’s routine.

If you’re curious about the potential health benefits of CBD oil for your dog and want to use it to wean it off its current medications, make sure to save this article for later and use it as a guide to a safe transition.

Most importantly, always consult your veterinarian before introducing a new supplement; and be that informed customer who doesn’t fall for outlandish health claims and inch-deep marketing phrases from companies that sell snake oil all over the internet.

Check out my other CBD reviews and rankings to see a bigger picture and pick out some high-quality suppliers for yourself.

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.

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Great post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a littemore on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.Thanks!

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