Most pet owners want to give their pet the ultimate love and care. The good news is that they no longer need to settle for mediocre supplements and treats. There is a diverse and extensive range of quality options for pets to experience better health. In Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine by Stephen Cital et al., it states that “American families spent $61.4 billion on their pets in 2011 or about $500 per household”.
One of the most exciting options gaining much recognition in recent years is CBD oil for pets. With the use of CBD on the rise, pet parents and veterinarians alike are increasingly looking at it as an alternative option for various pet health conditions. Our aim is to assist you in making an informed decision by understanding the main benefits that CBD oil offers for your pet.
How Does CBD Affect The Endocannabinoid System?
Currently, there has not been any formal study on how CBD affects pets. What we do know is that both humans and pets have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which serves to maintain balance of all processes in the body. In humans, cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help to maintain balance in the body and foster well-being. Like humans, dogs and cats also have an endocannabinoid system that allows them to benefit from CBD oil.
What Are Some Main Benefits Of CBD For Dogs And Cats?
The way in which CBD interacts with pets’ endocannabinoid system is still an emerging field. While there is no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat animals, early research is promising and suggests that CBD may help pets with conditions like pain, anxiety and seizures.
Of the research on CBD that has been done so far, probably the most promising centers on pain relief. In a recent survey, Canadian dog owners perceived cannabis products to be equal or more effective than conventional medications for pain and inflammation (Kogan et al. 2020). In another survey, dog owners reported 95% efficacy and cat owners 100% efficacy for pain (Kogan et al. 2016). While experts are still learning how CBD alleviates pain, it seems to affect the ECS and other nerves that are involved in creating pain sensations.
How does it happen? CBD binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system and this helps change the way your dog’s brain perceives pain. CBD can also help manage acute pain from injuries since it has natural anti-inflammatory properties. It works by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain which then stimulate the immune system to reduce inflammation.
Anxiety is a common reason pet owners seek CBD. Similar to humans, pets also suffer from stress and anxiety just like us. In pets, there are a few main causes of anxiety: fear and separation. Many dogs have a fear of loud noises such as fireworks or thunder and often show they are scared by hiding, shaking, or showing aggression. Some dogs also feel distressed to see their owners leave and panic when left alone, often manifesting in incessant barking.
Although there are no quick fixes for anxiety, there are ways you can help calm and lessen your pet’s turmoil. CBD is known to ease nervous feelings and bring about a sense of calm by activating areas of the brain that produce serotonin — the hormone that regulates mood and helps us feel happy and relaxed.
It is estimated that about 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Often, vets treat epilepsy and seizures with antiepileptic drugs, however, these drugs are extremely harmful to a dog’s liver and other organs. CBD has been shown to help with epilepsy in dogs by preventing nerves in the brain from firing too much and by lowering the number of electrolytes believed to cause seizures.
In Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine, the editors state that “CBD is the most abundant, non-intoxicating cannabinoid in the cannabis plant and is thought to be superior to THC for seizure control given its lack of intoxicating effects, safety and relative demonstrated efficacy in seizure control.”
Although more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of CBD for pets, many pet owners are already using CBD with positive results. Emerging research has suggested that CBD can assist with pet conditions such as pain relief, anxiety and seizures yet we recommend talking to your vet before starting treatment for any pet ailment to make sure CBD is safe for your furry friend.