Have you been thinking of trying CBD for your dog? Maybe one of your friends has used it successfully. Maybe your vet has mentioned it. Whatever way you have heard about CBD for Dogs, there is a lot to learn. Making sure it’s the right fit for you and your beloved furry friend is no doubt one of your primary concerns. Let’s get to it.
CBD and Dogs
Did you know, over 50% of American pet owners have tried CBD for their pets. 38% of which had CBD recommended by their veterinarian. And most importantly, 74% of respondents were likely or very likely to recommend CBD to other pet owners. Read the full report here on Leafwire. Here’s something to consider. If over 50% of pet owners have tried CBD, could it be something that is beneficial to your pet? Do they know something you don’t?
First, let’s talk about how CBD works within the body of both humans and pets. There are some specifics about how it works in dogs that is slightly different than humans. The importance of those differences is high, so we will look at that information and what it means for your dog.
WHAT IS THE ECS?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a major lipid signaling system comprising of endogenous cannabinoids, their receptors, and metabolic enzymes that play a critical homeostatic role in processing and modulating various bodily functions in dogs and cats. In plain English this means that dogs and cats have a similar ECS to humans and it performs very similarly. There are, however, more CB1 receptors in the brains of dogs. This means it is imperative that only CBD from the hemp plant be used. This is the CBD that exhibits zero THC or THC below the .3% mark.
The main benefit of modulating the ECS is the creation of homeostasis in the body. There are times when all our bodies don’t produce the right amount of cannabinoids. When it comes to dogs, it’s no different. If an animal cannot produce enough of their own cannabinoids, there could be a reason. It is commonly thought to be caused by genetic issues, disease, or injury. When the body’s own cannabinoids are lacking, phytocannabinoids from the hemp plant could make a difference. The endocannabinoid system in both dogs and humans mediates a homeostatic balance of the nervous and immune systems in conjunction with other organ systems.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH TELL US?
Research suggests that a balanced ECS promotes appetite, sleep, mood regulation and stability, gait, pain perception, memory, body temperature, immunity, reproduction and fertility in both humans and pets. When the ECS is out of balance due to the lack of enough endocannabinoids, many negative physical signs are observed. In dogs, this could manifest as digestive issues (vomiting, irregular bowels, diarrhea), poor appetite, sleep issues, stress, anxiety/fear and aggression, lethargy and lack of activity, poor balance and coordination, pain, and inflammation. Targeting the ECS with Phytocannabinoids has been shown to trigger the same physiological effects as the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids.
HOW ARE DOGS DIFFERENT WHEN IT COMES TO THE ECS?
The animal and human endocannabinoid systems mimic each other with respect to the cellular processes and organ systems. The major difference is the distribution of the CB1 receptors in dogs compared to humans. Studies have shown there are a higher number of CB1 receptors in the hind brain structures (cerebellum, brain stem, and medulla oblongata) of canine species. This explains why it’s a good idea to keep any cannabis with high levels of THC far away from your doggies.
Studies are ongoing and the information out there is relatively new, but a great deal of data already exists on the role of phytocannabinoids. Phytocannabinoids promote a balance of the ECS by differential activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors present throughout the body system when administered. To learn more about CBD and Dogs, listen to this podcast from the #1 CBD Podcast in the US.
Many veterinarians are becoming more open to considering the use of CBD for dogs. As always and with anything that’s important to you, it is wise to do the research before making any health care decisions for your pets.