The benefits, side effects, and dosing of CBD for reptiles

Published Jul 17, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Viktoryia Voinakh

We know that cats and dogs can benefit greatly from CBD oil, as infused treats are quickly becoming a hot commodity on the pet food market, but this only works because they have something in common with us, and that is the presence of endocannabinoid receptors which significantly influence essential bodily functions. We have touched a little bit on smaller animals like mice, rabbits, and even birds, but are reptiles able to garner the same benefits, and is a CBD treatment even safe for them to try?

Can CBD work for reptiles?

The cannabinoid receptors that we have are also present in reptiles, which means that their body is designed to interact with CBD when it’s introduced to their system. So yes, reptiles, in most cases, can most definitely benefit from the addition of CBD to their daily diet. This is true for all reptiles, including snakes, lizards, frogs, and all of the other slimy and scaly critters that we keep as pets.

Uses of CBD for reptiles

Reptiles like any other pet can succumb to a range of problems, including anxiety, inflammation, seizures, issues with appetite, and mood swings. Though most people don’t realize it, these incredible animals are just as fragile both physically and mentally as we are. All of these things that CBD is known to help us with can transfer over to reptiles, and they can benefit greatly from a reduction in these symptoms with a CBD treatment like many of us do.

Can reptiles take CBD oil?

Reptiles can get sick if they eat the wrong things or fall too far off of what is considered to be a healthy diet, which is why so many pet owners are wary of testing these products out on their beloved critters, but you can rest assured knowing that edible CBD oil is just as safe for your reptile friend as it is for you.

The best CBD oil treatment methods for reptiles

To start a CBD treatment on a reptile, you will need to make sure that it doesn’t contain any traces of THC. This is because these creatures are extra sensitive to cannabinoids, so much like with cats and dogs, and the euphoric element can be toxic to their system. Once you find the best CBD oil that money can buy for your pet, the rest is easy, as all you have to do is add it to their food source.

So if you have a snake that eats mice, it can be added to the rodent's fur, and if you have a reptile that eats crickets or pellets, all you have to do is drizzle some CBD into the mix and you’re all set to go, but you do have to be wary as far as dosing goes. Reptiles only need microdoses of CBD oil, so try to start with the lowest dose that you can find, and only with a drop or two, and slowly move upwards from there. That way, you can avoid any potential adverse effects.

Potential side effects of CBD for reptiles

Even if you find the best CBD oil that is pure and you’re careful to administer only the smallest doses, there is always some potential for adverse effects that you should watch out for. If at any time your reptile stops feeding, starts acting groggy, or begins to experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is important that you stop the treatment immediately and consult a veterinarian for advice on how to proceed. Though CBD won’t be toxic for your pet, it can cause uncomfortable effects or trigger sensitivities just like it does in some humans, so keep an eye out for the symptoms mentioned above.

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