Similar to humans, dogs have endocannabinoid systems and can also benefit from CBD and cannabis medicines. Whether your dog has anxiety, seizures, or cancer, CBD can serve as an alternative remedy to help treat symptoms. In this article, you’ll learn about common ways CBD can be beneficial for dogs.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a compound found in hemp and cannabis. It is extracted from the buds and flowers of cannabis (hemp plants or marijuana). However, CBD does not produce the “high” typically associated with marijuana as it does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which has the psychoactive properties. There has been no formal scientific study on how CBD affects a dog. However, scientists know that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the peripheral and central nervous systems. This helps with maintaining balance in the dog’s body while also keeping it in a normal healthy state.
Benefits of CBD for Dogs
CBD Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety or noise phobias? CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. It has compounds that work through the endocannabinoid system to produce calming effects in our furry friends. Just like humans, dogs can also suffer from stress, anxiety, or even specific phobias, and CBD has been shown to help in this area.
CBD is a Powerful Painkiller
A 1997 study showed the endocannabinoid system is involved in managing pain. CBD can help your dog manage pain in different ways. Studies have shown that CBD can stop anandamide absorption temporarily. Anandamide helps to dampen pain signals in the brain. The temporary increase in anandamide can help to reduce pain sensations among other effects. CBD has also been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory. So CBD can help reduce the painful symptoms caused by conditions such as arthritis.
CBD is an Anticonvulsant
One of CBD best-known medicinal uses is perhaps its ability to help control spasms, tremors, and seizures. This is because CBD is a natural anticonvulsant. Many studies have proven that CBD can help manage seizures resulting from epilepsy. Other studies have also proven that THC and CBD can help dogs manage spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. Generally, seizures are believed to be caused by the uncontrolled and rapid firing of neurons in the brain. According to preliminary research, CBD can help restore order to these neurons, preventing the onset of seizures and causing them to fire normally.
CBD is Anti-Inflammatory
As mentioned earlier, CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are among the reasons the compound is very useful in treating a wide range of conditions. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD are also believed to be linked to its ability to interact with the immune cells receptors. CBD is known to interact with CB2 receptors which are typically located in the immune cells. CBD can evoke a wide range of immune responses by activating these receptors. Fighting inflammation is one of these responses. Conditions like irritable bowel disease and arthritis are characterized by chronic inflammation. CBD can help dogs reduce pain and other symptoms of conditions like arthritis by helping to lower inflammation.
CBD is an Antiemetic
In dogs and humans, vomiting and nausea are serious symptoms. It often leads to fatigue, dehydration, rapid weight loss, and decreased appetite. There are lots of antiemetic medications on the market. Some of the most common medications given to pets include aminopentamide, chlorpromazine, acepromazine, and more. Although these drugs are effective in controlling nausea and vomiting, they can cause a wide range of side effects including diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, excessive drooling, lowered seizure thresholds, strong sedation, and hypotension. Research has shown that CBD can help control both vomiting and nausea while also stimulating their appetite.
CBD May Slow Tumor Growth
Malicious tumors and cancer are common in pets and prove to be fatal most times. Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for tumors and cancer in pets. Unfortunately, chemotherapy has a wide variety of side effects including diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, tiredness, and fatigue. Research has shown that CBD has a unique anti-cancer effect. In fact, a growing body of research has started exploring how CBD can help slow the spread and growth of cancer and reduce the size of tumors. Studies have also shown that CBD for dogs can help enhance the effect of traditional chemotherapy. Another study also showed that CBD can protect against colon cancer in rats by stopping the spread, growth, and development of malignant tumors.
CBD Promotes Homeostasis
Homeostasis can be described as the proper functioning of the body. It occurs when the body is in balance and ensures all biological systems function properly. However, this balance sometimes gets thrown out, that is when illness and disease strike. Research has shown that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in maintaining this balance. This is because it is involved in a wide range of bodily processes. Researchers have suggested that CBD can also help to promote homeostasis by stimulating the endocannabinoid system. That is why many dog owners use CBD to treat specific illness and as a supplement to promote the wellbeing and overall health of their dog.
CBD Can Help With Neurodegenerative Diseases and Protect the Nervous System
CBD has been shown to help with nerve and spine issues, including degenerative myelopathy and many others. It has also been proven to help patients with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This is because it can protect the brain cells from toxicity. CBD can also protect senior dogs from brain cell death usually caused by toxins and free radicals.
With several studies showing the health benefits of CBD, the fact that it is safe even when taken over extended periods and high doses is the most encouraging result. It can help decrease the liver enzyme activity used to metabolize most prescription drugs. So make sure you check with your vet before using CBD if your dog is on medication. The bottom line here is that CBD could be a life-saving or healthy alternative for your dog.