CANNABIS CULTURE – Chances are you’ve heard about CBD.
After all, this tiny cannabinoid has made its way into our food, cocktails, and even sex products like lubricants.
But did you know that CBD is also taking over the market for pet supplements?
Keep reading to find out why.
Here’s How it Works in the Brain and Body
Before I get stuck into the details of CBD for pets, here’s a quick crash-course in CBD for those of you reading who aren’t too familiar with how this compound works.
CBD, as you probably know, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp.
Like other cannabinoids, CBD interacts with your body’s endocannabinoid system.
How it does so, however, is very different from other cannabinoids.
THC, for example, works by binding directly to cannabinoid receptors CB1 in the brain and body.
When it does so, the endocannabinoid system begins to down-regulate, which can affect the way the body responds to stress, alter appetite and energy levels, promote changes in metabolism, and much more.
CBD, however, doesn’t have a high binding affinity for either cannabinoid receptor.
Instead, it seems to act on a variety of other receptors, including those for neurotransmitters like serotonin, gamma, GABA, and more.
In fact, studies have identified over 60 different molecular pathways that are affected by CBD.
Studies also show that CBD can inhibit a process known as reuptake and thereby temporarily increase the levels of some chemicals (such as endocannabinoids) in the brain.
So, How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
Dogs have an endocannabinoid system just like humans do.
In fact, many mammals (including dogs, cats, horses, mice, and rats) have endocannabinoid systems which seem to work similarly to the human endocannabinoid system.
Today, there’s even a growing body of pet owners who are seeing great results using CBD supplements to treat a wide variety of conditions in their pets.
How Does Your Pet’s Endocannabinoid System Work?
To better understand how pet owners are using CBD with their animals, you first need to understand how the endocannabinoid system works.
At its core, the endocannabinoid system is made up of:
– Endocannabinoids. These are cannabinoids produced naturally by the body. So far,
researchers have identified 2 endocannabinoids; anandamide and 2-AG (or 2-Arachidonoylglycerol).
– Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2).
– Enzymes which help synthesize and break down endocannabinoids.
The endocannabinoid system is a kind of regulatory system that helps modulate a variety of physiological processes.
It is a very tightly regulated system and endocannabinoid activity constantly changes in response to a variety of different factors, including the time of day, external stressors, and much more.
Some of the processes your dog’s endocannabinoid system helps regulate include:
– Appetite – Energy levels – Stress and anxiety – Moods and emotions
– Memory – Body temperature – Inflammation and pain sensation – Sleep – Immune function/response
… and much more.
How Does CBD Act in Your Dog’s Body?
As mentioned earlier, scientists still have a lot of questions regarding how CBD acts in the body.
So far, research has shown us that CBD can act via some of the following pathways:
– Serotonin receptors. CBD, especially in higher doses, has been shown to activate
5-HT1A serotonin receptors and thereby affect mood, stress response and anxiety, pain sensation, nausea and vomiting, sleep, appetite, and more.
– Gamma receptors. CBD has also been shown to activated PPR gamma receptors. While not a lot is known about these receptors, some studies suggest that activating them may help reduce the growth of some tumors as well as amyloid plaques in the brain (which cause Alzheimer’s).
– Vanilloid receptors. Studies show that CBD can bind to TPRV1 receptors. These
receptors play an important role in pain sensation, and some research suggests that, when activated for prolonged periods, TPRV1 receptors become “desensitized.” This can help alleviate pain and slow inflammation.
– GABA receptors. Research has shown that CBD can modulate GABA receptors, giving
them a higher binding affinity for GABA molecules. The fact that CBD can increase GABA signaling like this may be one of the reasons why it has anxiolytic effects.
– Anandamide. Some studies suggest that CBD can interrupt the process of anandamide
reuptake, causing a temporary increase in anandamide levels in the brain. This may be what drives CBD’s ability to improve mood, reduce stress, affect appetite, and more.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Pets?
Because CBD acts on so many levels inside the body, it can produce a broad spectrum of effects.
Just like in humans, CBD can provide a wide variety of benefits for pets.
For example, research shows that CBD can help:
– Reduce inflammation and pain – Regulate appetite – Improve metabolism – Relieve anxiety and phobias – Improve energy levels – Promote better sleep – Reduce seizures – Relieve nausea and vomiting
Some research also suggests that CBD can help promote homeostasis, a state of steady equilibrium which helps to keep the body functioning at its best.
What Conditions and Symptoms Can CBD Help Treat in Dogs?
Pet owners use CBD to help their pets deal with a variety of symptoms/conditions, including:
– Pain and inflammation – Symptoms of old age – Loss of appetite – Digestive issues (like nausea and vomiting) – Anxiety and phobias – Allergies and immune problems – Epilepsy and seizures
CBD pet products come in many different forms, including oils, treats, chews, topical products (like balms and sprays), infused coconut oil and peanut butter, and much more.
How I Used CBD to Treat My Dog With Cancer:
A few years ago, I got the news every pet owner dreads.
Our family dog, Rosie, was diagnosed with cancer, and the vets made it very clear that there was nothing we could do to save her.
After her diagnosis, Rosie seemed fine. At least for a while.
Eventually, however, her condition started to eat away at her health and even her character.
Rosie was always an active and friendly dog who loved playing, going for walks, and, like every Golden Retriever, eating.
But as her cancer progressed, that started to change.
And finally watching Rosie hit rock-bottom was really hard for me and my family.
Luckily, this was roughly the time my wife and I heard about CBD for pets.
Like most people, we were aware that hemp and cannabis had health benefits. But we had no idea those benefits extended over to animals.
One day, as I was looking for supplements to help Rosie deal with her symptoms, I stumbled on a brand of pet CBD.
I was pretty skeptical, and immediately had a lot of questions, like “does this stuff get pets high?”
So, I started researching and quickly learned that many of the health benefits of hemp and cannabis extended to dogs because, like us, they have endocannabinoid systems, too.
I also learned that, compared to many of the other veterinary medications out there, CBD actually has a really mild side-effect profile.
In fact, CBD produces no side effects (even in large doses) in most animals.
Most importantly, I soon realized that CBD is non-intoxicating, safe, and legal.
That’s when my wife and I decided to give it a shot.
And, without wanting to sound over-the-top, CBD really changed Rosie’s life.
It helped reduce her pain, improved her appetite, and increased her mobility, all in a matter of a few weeks.
Most importantly, CBD helped tremendously improve Rosie’s quality of life in her final moments with us.
After seeing what CBD did for my Rosie, I decided to help inform other pet owners about the benefits this tiny compound can have for their animals.
That’s why I founded Cannabis Supplements For Pets, a website dedicated to informing other pet owners about the health benefits of CBD for their furry friends.
Now, my family and I eventually lost Rosie to her cancer. But we came to terms with that, because we never looked to CBD like it was a miracle cure.
Instead, we turned to it when we were desperate to help improve our dog’s health in her remaining time with us.
And that’s exactly what CBD is; a natural, safe supplement that, for many pets and their owners, has real benefits.