The use of CBD to alleviate all sorts of ailments like anxiety, sleeplessness, muscle pain, and many more has risen dramatically in the last few years as it has been discovered that the cannabinoid CBD is derived from does not contribute to psychoactive effects. That means that while some cannabinoids like THC can make a person high, CBD does not. Because of the natural effects of CBD that can relieve the symptoms of many common disorders, and the lack of psychoactive chemicals within the products, retail sales of CBD grew 14% last year to a whopping $4.7 Billion nationwide.
Many pet parents who had reaped the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) began to inquire about sharing the natural benefits of the products with their dogs. Generally, it is frowned upon to administer medication to animals that is prescribed or intended for humans. For example, giving your dog common pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be very harmful for them. Knowing that ingested CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system in humans, it is first important to determine whether animals like dogs have a similar neurological system.
The Endocannabinoid Framework
Before we can determine whether or not CBD could be beneficial to pets, we first need to understand what the endocannabinoid framework is exactly. The ECS is a part of the body’s sensory system which regulates cycles within the body as well as directs essential jobs like rest and cravings. It consists of three main parts:
- Endocannabinoids: These are fat based particles that are neurotransmitters and bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
- Cannabinoid Receptors: Cells within the body (primarily in the brain) that recognize and bind to endocannabinoid particles.
- Cannabinoid receptor proteins:Proteins released into the body as a result of signals from the Cannabinoid receptors.
When endocannabinoids are ingested, cannabinoid receptors are activated to provide a specific effect depending on the location of the receptor. The good news regarding the use of CBD in pets, is that while there is certainly variation between the neurological anatomy of humans and other animals, dogs and cats do possess endocannabinoid framework.
Advantages of CBD to Pets
1. CBD may alleviate stress and nervousness in pets
Much like their owners, pets can be very susceptible to stress and emotional pressure. Factors like separation anxiety, loud noises, fears and other emotions may cause trauma for animals. In recent studies, CBD has been shown to alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress within pets who are feeling high strung. Owners can give their dogs or cats CBD oil drops which have been shown in studies to calm nerves without getting the pet high or causing any negative health effects.
2. CBD may limit the danger or severity of seizures and epilepsy in animals
There are several prescribed medications that your vet can recommend for the treatment of seizures and epilepsy in animals, but there are a couple of disadvantages to this method of treatment. First, prescription medication for animals can be extremely expensive and because most people don’t carry health insurance for their pets all of that expense comes out of pocket. In addition, many of the medications that can be prescribed for treatment of seizures in animals carry a long list of side effects such as fatigue and liver damage. By contrast, CBD has not only been shown to alleviate the symptoms of epilepsy it is also safe to use and to this point has not been shown to negatively impact dogs or cats in any measurable way.
3. CBD may ease pain and suffering
Anyone who has watched a beloved family pet grow old, has seen the effects that age can take on an animal. Similarly to humans, old age means sore and aching muscles and joints for dogs and cats but oftentimes without the means of relief that humans get from arthritis medication. One of the earliest known uses of CBD for therapeutic purposes was as an anti inflammatory agent and much of the pain in joints as an animal ages is as a result of inflammation. In addition, cannabinoids have been shown to dramatically reduce pain from joint pain, arthritis and even nerve pain associated with degenerative arthritis.
4. CBD may help treat unhealthy skin
Pets that are battling skin conditions like itching and rawness are very often miserable. It is difficult to see your pet suffer with unhealthy skin, particularly if it has the result of making a normally happy pup cranky and mean. Some of the most widely recognized symptoms of a dog with a skin disorder are excessive scratching and licking, baldness, red skin in patches or rashes. Many pet owners have recently found that treating a pet’s skin disorders both orally and topically with CBD oil can dramatically reduce inflammation and as a result alleviate the pain and suffering from hot spots or rash.
5. CBD appears to assist with neurodegenerative disease
Older pets, just like older humans, are more inclined to develop neurodegenerative disease due to their age. Some of the more common disorders seen in pets is degenerative myelopathy as well as deterioration of the spine or long term nerve damage. Some scientists believe that there may be a connection between use of CBD in pets and a slower advancement of neurological problems. Though there is no definitive proof currently, it is believed that CBD oil helps by diminishing neuroinflammation, DNA harm and autoimmune reactions toward neurological cells within the brain and peripheral nervous system.
While CBD certainly has gained in popularity over the last couple of years, the consumer and scientific community are just beginning to understand the ways in which the natural product can treat symptoms of many different disorders. For most pet owners, their pup or cat are members of the family, and as such when their furry friends are struggling with a medical condition they are more than willing to find a solution. As it turns out, the solution to making millions of people feel better may also be an answer for dogs and cats as well. If you think that CBD may be able to treat a health or emotional concern your pet has been experiencing, there are specially formulated CBD oil for dogs products on the market that you can easily get without a prescription.