Guide: CBD for Pets - What You Need to Know

 What is CBD & How Can It Help My Pet?

Let's start off with some basic information like what is CBD, where does it come from and how can it help my pet.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis or as marijuana is it's more commonly known.

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of cannabinoids which scientists are currently studying to learn more about each one's health benefits on the body.

Will It Get My Pet High?

The short answer? No but in case you wanted to know, here's the long answer:

The component in cannabis that gets you "high" is THC, CBD oils don't contain or contain a very minimal amount of THC so that there's absolutely no "high" associated with ingestion. The majority of CBD oils today are sourced from hemp plants (a type of cannabis plant).

Additionally, there's also no toxicity risk and therefore no risk associated with giving CBD to your pet. Both of those factors make CBD oil completely safe to give your pet.

So How Exactly Does CBD Work?

So we've all being hearing lately about the wonders of CBD oil and how it can solve a myriad of health problems in people and pets alike, but how exactly does CBD oil work on the body?

The short answer: Our bodies (and pets' bodies) have an endocannabinoid system (ECS for short) that the CBD oil affects to heal various ailments and/or symptoms. 

The long answer:

The ECS is a complex system of receptors which are responsible for maintaining and controlling a wide range of biological functions in our body, such as our immune system. Our bodies and pets' bodies are programmed to interact with these receptors via the brain via endocannabinoids  -these obviously are produced naturally by our bodies.

Here's where things get interesting:

In addition to responding to the endocannabinoids produced by our bodies naturally, our bodies react and respond to the cannibanoids found in plants (like the cannabis plant) to produce a variety of processes within our bodies.

It's important to note that most of the science backing up the wide variety of health benefits of CBD oil relates to humans, however since pets have an ECS system similar to ours.

Additionally, many of the ailments we experience our pets experience in a similar way and exhibit similar symptoms.

So to summarize, CBD can be a very effective method of dealing and managing with some very common symptoms that your pet most probably has experienced at least one of at one time or another. 

Some of the main CBD oil benefits for dogs include:

  1. Pain management
  2. Anti-convulsant
  3. Anti-inflammatory properties
  4. Stress reducer
  5. Reduces nausea
  6. May assist in reducing tumor growth

Let's take a deep dive at each item on the list to better understand exactly how CBD oil can help your dog, cat or other pet.

sick dog

1. Pain Management

CBD has been proven to be a natural and effective pain killer.In 1997, a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed that the endocannabinoid system was deeply involved in managing pain. Today, doctors and scientists are aware that CBD contains powerful pain-reducing qualities in a variety of ways.

The first way CBD helps to manage pain is by blocking the absorption of a chemical called anandamide, thereby reducing the sensation of pain.

Furthermore, CBD has also been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory and can therefore reduce the root cause of pain caused by inflammatory conditions.

 2. CBD Reduces Convulsions

One of the most powerful healing properties of CBD is that is can help reduce the severity of seizures and spasms. The power of CBD oil to reduce and/or prevent seizures came into the public spotlight by a young girl with epilepsy named Charlotte. She was helped with CBD oil and since then there have been additional studies documenting the health benefits of CBD oil.

 While it isn't fully understood by the medical or scientific community exactly how CBD oil works to regulate the seizures and spasms, it's now thought that the CBD oil affects the interaction of neurons in the brain to lessen the seizures.

Unfortunately, it isn’t quite clear how CBD works as an anticonvulsant.

Seizures are generally believed to be caused by the rapid, uncontrolled firing of neurons in the brain.

Preliminary research suggests CBD can help restore order to these neurons, causing them to fire normally and essentially prevent the onset of seizures.

3. CBD Contains Natural Anti-Inflammatory Properties

CBD contains powerful anti inflammatory ingredients.

This is one of the reasons CBD oil is so effective at improving a variety of medical conditions.

Modern science believes that the CBD interacts with receptors called CB2 which are receptors within the immune cells, to reduce inflammation. Anti-inflammation is very important in managing ailments such as arthritis, MS, irritable bowel syndrome and other. 

The additional benefit of CBD, as mentioned previously, is the combined effect of reducing inflammation while minimizing pain, making it the an ideal natural remedy for a variety of symptoms such as arthritis, MS, etc.

4. CBD Reduces Anxiety and Stress

While until now, we're spoken about physical ailments that are onset by external and internal physical conditions, CBD has the ability to combat symptoms like stress and anxiety as well.

It’s important to note that CBD doesn’t just help deal with physical symptoms.

In fact, many studies have shown that CBD can help manage the symptoms of a variety of mental conditions, including anxiety.

Much like humans, pets are also likely to suffer from anxiety that may be onset from a variety of causes such as new settings, new family member, loud noises or parties, fireworks, thunderstorms, etc.

Some common symptoms of anxiety in dogs include:

  • Consistent barking for no apparent reason
  • Chewing (sneakers, couches, clothes, etc.)
  • Urinating and defecating (many times inside the house)
  • Unexplained Aggression
  • Tremors and other unusual behavior

Research has shown than CBD can be effective in reducing anxiety

Seratonin receptors in the brain are generally understood to be responsible for maintaining the stress levels in the body. Typical anti-stress medications are designed to restore seratonin levels via a receptor in the brain called 5-HT1A.

By "manipulating" these seratonin receptors, the body is becomes more relaxed and less stressed overall. The medical community is still examining exactly how CBD oil reduces stress, but studies indicate in a similar way as regular medications, only naturally with no side effects.

 5. CBD is Highly Effective Against Nausea

Similar to a person who feels nausea, dogs and cats can also experience nausea which can be onset by a variety of causes including chemotherapy to treat cancer in dogs or cats.The symptoms of nausea can include dehydration, weight loss, loss of appetite, exhaustion and more.

Both in humans and dogs, nausea and vomiting are serious symptoms, often leading to a decreased appetite, rapid weight loss, dehydration, fatigue, and more.

There are plenty of antiemetic medications on the market, and some of the most common given to dogs and cats include acepromazine, chlorpromazine, aminopentamide, and more.

While there are a variety of medications against nausea, these medications tend to come with a variety of side effects that may include:

  • Hypotension
  • Exhaustion and symptoms of lethargic behavior 
  • Lowered seizure thresholds for animals with epilepsy
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea

New evidence indicates that CBD can be highly effective in minimizing nausea while stimulating appetite.

6. CBD May Slow Tumor Growth

Microbiologist Dr. Christine Sanchez of Compultense Univeristy in Madrid, Spain has been studying cannabinoids and cancer since the early 2000s. She was the first to discover the antitumor effects of cannabinoids.

“We observed that when we treated [astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor] cells with cannabinoids, the THC…was killing the cells in our Petri dishes,” Dr. Sanchez says. “We…decided to analyze these components in animal models of breast and brain tumors. The results we are obtaining are telling us that cannabinoids may be useful for the treatment of Breast Cancer.”

Sanchez and other researchers have confirmed that the most potent effects against tumor growth occur when THC and CBD are combined.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, which does not have a psychoactive effect, has long been known as a potent anti-cancer agent. This is because of its ability to interfere with cellular communication in tumors as well as in its ability to instigate apoptosis, or programmed cancer cell death. There have been certain research studies which have included in vitro as well as trials with animals, conducted by San Francisco-based researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, have also shown that CBD may affect genes involved in aggressive metastasis. It is assumed that works by helping to shut down cellular growth receptors.

Considerations Before Trying CBD With Your Pets

If your pet suffers from any chronic disease, upset bowel syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, unexplained weight loss, epilespy, IBD, or cancer, it's definitely recommended to start a modest dosing regime with CBD but only after consulting with your vet. Your vet can give you their insight as to dosing recommendations and which form would be the most effective.

CBD oil for pets comes in a variety of forms including tinctures, treats, pills and ointments so you should consider your pet's affinity to each method before making a decision.

There are thousands of testimonials regarding the healing powers of CBD oil for pets who were afflicted with a variety of ailments and saw a significant improvement due to CBD oil.  

Shop here for the best deals on the leading brands of CBD oil for your pet.