How Long Does Pet CBD Last?





From changing the method you use to train your pet to adding a new CBD supplement to their regimen, making changes to your pet’s routine often takes a lot of research, consultation, and worry on your part.

At Canna Companion, we hope to make that easier on you with our extensive resources, like our Cannabis Science, FAQ, and Blog sections, and access to our licensed veterinary professionals with a free one-on-one consultation.

Once you’ve decided to make CBD a regular part of your pet’s routine, it’s important to keep track of how much CBD you are administering and how long it lasts. Identifying your pet’s unique needs in this way will help you offer maximal support to your four-legged friend.

  • Information about tolerance to CBD and link out to CC blogs that talk about determining the amount / when to increase the amount given.

How long does it take for CBD to take effect?

The reasons you choose to give cannabis or CBD to your pet are expansive. For instance, Canna Companion’s line of custom-formulated CBD pet supplements provides a number of benefits, including:

  • Supports digestive processes and encourages optimal GI function
  • Helps support the immune system
  • Assists with joint discomfort associated with normal daily exercise and activity
  • Promotes general joint health
  • Maintains healthy neurological function
  • Supports cellular health for comfort and care
  • Encourages a normal, calm demeanor including in cases of temporary and/or situational anxieties
  • Maintains normal inflammatory response

These reasons will correspond not only with the type of supplement that is best suited for your pet, but also how you can observe the effect taking place. For example, if you are giving your pet CBD as a joint support, you may observe easier mobility and activity while your pet is taking the supplement. Additionally, you may notice periods of stiffness or less activity if/when the effects start to wear off.

You can typically expect CBD supplements to begin working within 30-60 minutes of administration. However, this will vary depending on your pet’s biological factors, as well as what type of CBD you are giving.

How long does pet CBD last?

Just as CBD products have a certain lasting effect in humans, eventually, the supportive effects of CBD in your pet will wear off too. There are several different factors that impact how long the effects of CBD will last for your pet, including factors as basic as the species, breed, age, height, and weight of your pet.

For instance, older patients experiencing a normal reduction in GI absorption may see an alteration in the response and duration of the supplement’s effect.


One of the major factors impacting the duration of action of CBD supplements’ effects is absorption. While dogs are naturally able to digest plant matter, cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they depend only on meat for survival, and, therefore, their bodies cannot digest plants properly.

For plant compounds to enter the circulation in cats, they have to be altered in some way. In the wild, this occurs by the ingestion of partially digested plant matter found within the intestines of their prey.

However, in the supplement world, those compounds must meet several factors: small size, administration with other compounds that enhance absorption of plant matter, and proper chemical formulation for absorption in a carnivorous GI tract.

Age and GI tract health also appear to have a role in the absorption of CBD in cats and dogs, though the exact impact is not clear due to the lack of double-blind or peer-reviewed studies published on the matter. Based on typical responses of older GI tracts in dogs and cats – how they absorb medications, nutrients and supplements – as well as observational data over the last two decades, it is likely CBD products are also impacted by normal age-related GI tract changes.


Another major factor of how long CBD lasts in pets is metabolism. Let’s take a look at an overview of the metabolic process in pets:

1. Mouth

The very first step in the digestive process is the prehension of food -the act of putting food into the mouth. This is quickly followed by mastication, or chewing the food. In the case of cats, repositioning the food in preparation for swallowing. (Fun fact: Cats don’t actually chew their food, though they do gnaw on bones, while dogs may chew or swallow in chunks). Whether you are administering a meal or a CBD supplement, this is where the process begins.

2. Esophagus

Food and water will pass from the mouth to the stomach via the esophagus. It is important to keep a close eye for any problems that occur in this part of the digestive process, such as indigestion or difficulty swallowing. These problems tend to require a veterinarian’s immediate treatment.

3. Stomach

Next, food is stored in your pet’s stomach, both fully and partially digested. Just as in humans, this is where your pet’s body will produce acids and digestive enzymes that will help break down whatever it has ingested.

We often see that aging pets have a better time digesting food with the support of supplements or additives; this is a result of the normal aging process.

4. Intestines

Your pet’s intestines are a collection of organs where food is further broken down and digested into absorbable nutrients that then go on to circulate via the liver to the rest of the body. The pancreas and gallbladder excrete enzymes that assist in this process. We find that a large portion of CBD is left untouched in this stage, but this is not a bad thing. The cannabis receptor system can only handle so many compounds at once.

5. Colon

The colon is where food, water, and solid waste exit the body. While cleaning up after your four-legged friend may seem like an unsightly chore, inspecting their stool can be a clear giveaway to whether or not they currently have a healthy digestive cycle.

The storage of waste can allow cannabis compounds that were not absorbed to attach to local receptors within the colonic lumen. This process only occurs when such receptors indicate they need compounds, such as when the nearby colon cells are sending out stress chemicals.

Similar to absorption, your pet’s basic biological traits affect the way their digestive system works. For instance, according to PetMD, a dog’s digestive system typically takes anywhere from eight to ten hours to digest a meal fully, but can take as long as twelve or as quick as four depending on your dog’s breed and the type of food consumed.

On the other hand, cats have smaller bodies and therefore take longer to digest foods than other pets. Your feline will take anywhere between seven and twelve hours to fully digest a meal.

  • Breakdown of the normal processes in pets; normal metabolism (compliancy), ECM process of breaking things down

Food Ingestion

Another consideration is whether or not the CBD supplement you are giving your pet is being given with food. Food ingestion will slow the process of absorption and thus increase the duration of effect of CBD in your pet.

More notably, the presence of food provides two other important benefits. Food often increases the absorption of these compounds, particularly for carnivorous species, and it provides a layer of protection in sensitive patients, therefore reducing the risk for GI upset.

Pet’s Support Needs

Yet another factor is how much support your pet needs or how many areas are being addressed with CBD supplements.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) listens to stress chemicals and shuttles compounds where they are needed most. If there happens to be two areas of stress (e.g. aging pet with joint stiffness & noise phobia), and one provides appropriate numbers and types of compounds, then the ECS can better address those stresses.

As you can see, along with key biological factors, absorption, metabolism, food ingestion, and the support needs of your pet greatly impact how long CBD could last in your pet. But, it doesn’t stop there; it also matters what type of supplement you are giving your companion.

Which CBD pet supplements are best for your pet?

When it comes to CBD pet supplements, there are a variety of forms, with the two most common being whole plant or full spectrum capsules and oils.

Based on Canna Companion’s observational research spanning 20 years and thousands of patients, here is what we can say about how long pet CBD lasts based on what form you administer:

Oils are easier to break down than solid formulations, such as the powders in capsules. They, therefore, generally work faster and have a shorter duration of action. If given orally such that the stomach and intestines can digest and absorb the compounds, most oils start working in 30-45 min and last 4-6 hours.

On the other hand, if given by mouth for oral absorption (e.g. under the tongue, in the cheek pouch, or a small volume on the tongue), then the effects are often observed within five minutes, but only last 1-2 hours.

Capsules are more complex; compounds do not generally hit systemic circulation for 60-90 minutes. However, they last 8-10 hours in dogs and ~16 hours in cats.

As you can see, there are a multitude of factors that impact how long CBD supplements last in your pet. At Canna Companion, we understand that any good pet parent would want to get the full picture for their specific pet before making changes to their routine.

That’s why our licensed veterinarians take all of this into consideration in the formulation of our pet CBD products as well as in our one-on-one consultations. In fact, our intake form gives us an extensive picture of your pet’s health so that we can make recommendations completely custom to your pet.

It is our priority to create a plan that works for your four-legged friend, from personal preferences to individual medical history and more. To schedule a complimentary one-on-one consultation for your pet, book an appointment today.


All Canna Companion Blogs are approved by veterinary professionals including the product development veterinarians.

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