HAVE YOU BEEN THINKING ABOUT CBD FOR YOUR PET?
Maybe your friends have used it successfully, maybe your vet has mentioned it. Whatever way you have heard about CBD and dogs, there is a lot to learn to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your beloved furry friend.
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.
First, let’s talk about how CBD works within the body of both humans and pets. There are some specifics about how CBD works in dogs that are slightly different than humans. We will look at that and what that means for your dogs.
WHAT IS THE ECS?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a major lipid signaling system comprising of endogenous cannabinoids, their receptors, and metabolic enzymes. These 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 so it is imperative that only CBD from the hemp plant that exhibits zero THC or THC below the .03% mark be used.
The main benefit of modulating the ECS is the creation of homeostasis. Sometimes we all have times when our bodies don’t produce the right amount of cannabinoids. Animals that don’t create enough of their own cannabinoids are commonly thought to be suffering from genetic issues, disease, or injury. If 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 ECS is out of balance due to a lack of enough endocannabinoids, it manifests with negative physical signs. 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 triggers 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 are similar 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 hindbrain structures (cerebellum, brain stem, and medulla oblongata) of canine species when compared to humans. 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. However, a great deal of data exists on the role of phytocannabinoids. These phytocannabinoids promote the balance of the ECS by differential activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. To learn more about this topic, listen to this podcast.