Cartilage is the natural cushion at the ends of bones that allows the joints to move in a smooth, frictionless manner. As the cartilage begins to deteriorate, the raw ends of the bone begin to rub together causing pain, inflammation, and impaired mobility. This has led many to try the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil in an attempt to reduce the chronic pain associated with osteoarthritis and improve the later years of their dog's life.
We discuss the top 5 CBD oils that may be worth trying in dogs suffering from the chronic pain of arthritis.
Best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis: a shortlist
- Batch Pet Oil — best broad-spectrum CBD oil
- NuLeaf Pet Oil — best full-spectrum CBD oil
- Joy Organics Pet Oil — best USDA-certified organic broad-spectrum CBD oil
- R&R Medicinals — best USDA-certified organic full-spectrum CBD oil
- FOCL Pet Oil — best human-grade CBD oil
How did we choose the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis?
Several CBD oils are available to choose from and can result in an intimidating experience when trying to select the best one for your dog. Thus we compiled a list of criteria to evaluate CBD for dogs with arthritis to identify which product on the market, as of 2023, maybe the best option for your dog.
|Formulation||Non-GMO and organic products|
|Third-party testing||Confirming the ingredients match the label|
|CBD spectrum||Full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate products|
|Value for money||Cost per serving|
|Reputable manufacturer||Using labs adhering to good manufacturing practices|
- Formulation. Products using non-GMO and organic hemp to manufacture their product.
- Third-party testing. Manufacturers use an outside laboratory to ensure the product contains its listed ingredients in the referenced quantities and is free of contaminants and harmful substances.
- CBD spectrum. CBD products are divided by spectrum depending on the presence of tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC) and other cannabinoids.
- Value for money. The bottle provides a sufficient supply to provide you a good value for the money.
- Reputable manufacturer. Choosing products from manufacturers known for high quality standards.
Best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis: an overview
Arthritis develops as your dog ages and can result in them developing significant chronic pain and problems ambulating. To improve their symptoms many different medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid painkillers are often suggested to provide pain relief. Given the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, its use for pain relief in arthritis has become increasingly popular.
We have developed a list of the best CBD for dogs with joint pain using the criteria of third-party testing, trusted manufacturer, CBD spectrum, and highest quality and value.
1. Batch Pet Oil — best broad-spectrum CBD oil
Batch sources non-GMO, organic hemp from Wisconsin to make their Pet CBD Oil Tincture. Using ultra-cold ethanol extraction they produce a broad-spectrum CBD extract that contains additional endogenous cannabinoids and terpenes, in addition to CBD. These substances are thought to help improve the effects of CBD on pain relief and other beneficial effects through what is collectively referred to as the entourage effect.
Pet CBD Oil Tincture undergoes third-party testing to ensure the purity, strength, and consistency of each batch. Individual lab testing also confirms this product is free of THC.
Batch provides dosing recommendations based on the weight of the dog and recommends 6 mg of CBD for every ten pounds your dog weighs. Thus for a 20-pound dog, their 375 mg strength which provides 12.5 mg of CBD per dropper full would be appropriate to use.
Each bottle provides 30 dropper fulls of CBD oil, allowing a bottle to last 30 days when you are using a dosage of one dropper full per day. The price of each bottle depends on the strength purchased and can range from $34.99 to $94.99, and comes in three flavors: chicken, salmon, and bacon. Additional savings are available by signing up for their subscribe and save program.
2. NuLeaf Pet Oil — best full-spectrum CBD oil
Pet CBD oil is manufactured by NuLeaf Naturals using organic hemp sourced from Colorado. Using carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction methods, a full-spectrum CBD extract is obtained. The full-spectrum nature of this product means that in addition to the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, a small amount of THC is also present. Some research suggests that THC can work to improve the pain-relieving properties of CBD making this product particularly helpful in dogs with arthritis.
Each Pet CBD oil batch undergoes third-party testing to confirm its purity and lack of harmful substances. In addition, the laboratory testing results are available on the website making it easy to identify the amount of THC in the product.
NuLeaf Naturals recommends a dose of 6 mg per 25 pounds. Each bottle provides a dosage of 6 mg for every two drops of CBD oil, which using some calculations can determine the number of drops needed for a single day's supply.
The bottles are available in different sizes based on the number of 6 mg servings the bottle contains. For a 50 serving size bottle, the cost is $19 and their biggest 300 serving size bottle costs $89. Additional savings are available through their subscribe and save program.
3. Joy Organics — best USDA-certified broad-spectrum organic CBD oil
Organic CBD Oil Tincture is manufactured from organic hemp grown in the USA. This broad-spectrum CBD oil is produced by milling the buds and then using the CO2 extraction method to get a honey-colored extract. The THC is then extracted using a proprietary USDA organic-certified chromatography process. However, this process leaves behind CBD, terpenes, other cannabinoids, and flavinoids which work together to help with pain relief and provide anti-inflammatory effects.
Joy Organics ensures each product is free of pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants, as well as THC, using third-party testing.
The recommended dosing is 1–2 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds your dog weighs. The bottles come in two strengths, either 3.75 mg or 7.5 mg per quarter of the dropper. Each bottle contains 30 dropper fulls which can easily exceed a 30-day supply, especially in small dogs.
The cost of the lower-strength bottle is $44.95, while the higher-strength formulation costs $69.95. Joy Organics offers a subscribe and save program that offers additional savings.
4. R&R Medicinals — best USDA-certified organic full-spectrum CBD oil
The CBD Pet Tincture manufactured by R&R Medicinals uses locally grown hemp to produce their full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs. Using CO2 extraction, they produce a product that contains 16.7 mg of CBD per 1 mL and 2 mg of other minor cannabinoids which includes THC in this component. This small amount of THC and minor cannabinoids can enhance the effects of CBD and improve pain relief in your dog.
Using third-party testing, R&R Medicinals confirms their product is pure, free of contaminants, and contains exactly what is listed on the label.
Using an easy-to-follow dosing chart, the manufacturer recommends 0.25 mL for dogs under 25 pounds, 0.25–0.5 mL for dogs between 26–50 pounds, and 0.5–1 mL for dogs over 50 pounds. Each bottle contains 30 mL of CBD oil, which allows the bottle to last at least 30 days even when using the higher dosage range.
A 30 mL bottle costs $35 but additional savings are available through a subscribe and save program or by buying multiple bottles at one time.
5. FOCL Pet oil – best human-grade CBD oil
FOCL manufactures its Premium CBD Pet drops using organic hemp grown locally within the USA. The broad-spectrum extract is produced using CO2 extraction methods to produce an end product free of THC. However, the product retains other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavinoids to enhance the pain relief of this product.
FOCL uses third-party testing to confirm the purity and strength of its CBD oil and confirms each batch is free of THC.
This product uses an easy-to-follow dosing chart to provide recommendations based on the dog's weight. FOCL does provide two different strength products to help reduce the number of drops needed per dose.
Each strength is available in three flavors: peanut butter, wild salmon, and savory chicken. The lower-strength formulation is available for $29, while the higher-strength formula costs $39. To obtain additional savings, both subscribe and save and multiple bottle discounts are available.
Comparing the top CBD oils for dogs with arthritis
|Brand||CBD type||Flavors||Cost per serving||Third-party certified|
|Batch||Broad-spectrum||Chicken, salmon, and bacon||$0.58||Yes|
|FOCL||Broad-spectrum||Peanut butter, wild salmon, and savory chicken||$0.97||Yes|
Understanding arthritis in dogs
Arthritis is a chronic condition that can produce mild to debilitating symptoms in dogs. As a common cause of chronic pain, it is important to understand arthritis and its treatment.
Types of arthritis
The three most common types of arthritis in dogs are:
- Inflammatory arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis)
- Septic arthritis (joint infections)
Of these types, osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on the joints in your dog's body and is a common cause of chronic pain.
Symptoms and causes
As arthritis progresses, you may notice your canine becoming less active, having difficulty getting up from a lying position, and developing a slower gait.
Causes of osteoarthritis include advanced age, obesity, previous trauma, and a previous infection in the joint. Common to all these causes is the wearing away of the cartilage coverings of the bones resulting in friction between the two bones making up the joint and pain.
Diagnosis and treatment
The early signs of arthritis in dogs often go unnoticed by their owners, thus taking your dog to regular veterinarian check-ups can help identify subtle signs of arthritis. Your veterinarian may perform an exam and x-rays to help diagnose arthritis.
Weight loss through diet and exercise can help reduce the symptoms and progression of arthritis in obese dogs. Medications such as NSAIDs, painkillers, steroids, or natural supplements can be used to help reduce the inflammation, swelling, and pain associated with arthritis. Natural substances such as glucosamine and CBD may also support healthy joint function and reduce pain.
Benefits of CBD oil in dogs with arthritis
CBD and other cannabinoids work by activating receptors of the endocannabinoid system naturally present in dogs. These receptors are located within the brain, peripheral nervous system, and immune system helping to restore homeostasis and to communicate messages in the body. Therefore, via this system, CBD may provide multiple benefits to canines with arthritis.
CBD through the activation of endocannabinoid receptors has been shown to reduce substances that promote inflammation as well as impact cellular signaling mechanisms. Although many studies identifying these benefits are laboratory studies, many hypothesize this to be a key benefit of CBD for dogs with arthritis in relieving pain due to arthritis.
Modulate pain signals
Endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and throughout the body can also help to reduce the activity of neurons that are important in the signaling of pain. This may help provide pain relief by regulating signaling characteristics and reducing the activity of neurons responsible for pain.
In clinical studies, CBD has been shown to help increase the mobility of dogs that are suffering from osteoarthritis. This benefit is likely secondary to the pain relieving effects of CBD. Reduced mobility is an easily visible effect of osteoarthritis and a major complaint of many pet owners.
Safety considerations and potential side effects
To safely use CBD oil products for dogs, it is important to follow the dosing recommendations on the package to avoid unwanted side effects. Also, the use of CBD oil has not been adequately studied in every breed of dog and thus it is important to ask your veterinarian before starting any CBD oil product.
Side effects can occur with the use of CBD oil and are more common with the use of higher dosages. The most common side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Drop in blood pressure
- Upset stomach
- Increase in liver enzymes
If your dog experiences any of these side effects, it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Research has shown CBD to have anti-inflammatory properties and to modulate pain signaling which may be beneficial in dogs with arthritis. If you are considering using CBD oil in your dog, it is important to discuss this with your veterinarian and follow dosing recommendations to avoid any unwanted side effects. Using the above criteria will help ensure that the selection of a high-quality CBD product with consistent purity and ingredients.
For more information on CBD oil use in pets
- Top 8 CBD oils for a dog's anxiety and calming effects
- Best CBD dog treats for anxiety: a review of the top 5 brands
- Best probiotics for dogs to promote healthy digestion
- Best medicinal mushrooms for dogs to support a healthy immune system
- Best CBD for dog anxiety to improve your dog's mental well-being
Can dogs use CBD oil for arthritis?
Yes. The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties of CBD may provide beneficial effects in dogs with arthritis and its use is gaining popularity. However, it is important to discuss with your veterinarian the use of any CBD oil in your dog.
How fast does CBD oil work in dogs with arthritis?
Dogs will typically begin experiencing the effects of CBD oils within 30–45 minutes after consumption. This varies depending on the type of product used, whether it was taken on an empty or full stomach, and your dog's individual metabolism. These effects may become more noticeable after administering the same dose over a few days to a week.
What is the appropriate dosage of CBD for dogs with arthritis?
Due to the limited number of studies using CBD oil in dogs with arthritis, a standard dosage has not been developed. Therefore, it is important to follow each manufacturer's recommended dosing guidelines. These typically are provided based on the weight of your dog.
- Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.
- Animals. Oral Transmucosal Cannabidiol Oil Formulation as Part of a Multimodal Analgesic Regimen: Effects on Pain Relief and Quality of Life Improvement in Dogs Affected by Spontaneous Osteoarthritis.
- American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Journal. The Use of Cannabidiol-Rich Hemp Oil Extract to Treat Canine Osteoarthritis-Related Pain: A Pilot Study.