Does CBD Work On Pets?

Does CBD Work On Pets?

Posted on November 18th, 2020

The adoption of CBD by the general public continues to grow more with each passing day. Taking the compound has numerous potential benefits for both humans and animals. If you have pets that happen to be dealing with symptoms such as anxiety and pain, guess what? They may benefit from CBD! Many pet owners have started embracing giving CBD to their pets because CBD they find it addresses specific symptoms from certain conditions.

CBD may be helpful for those who have both physical and nonphysical issues stemming from some common ailments. The compound also has the advantage of being all-natural and with minimal side-effects, unlike some conventional drugs. CBD products come in many different presentations, including edibles and CBD oil. If you are thinking of trying to give CBD to your pets, you should research which products are best for them. It is also essential to seek a veterinarian’s advice so that they may give you an all-clear to use the compound on your pet.

Research is still ongoing to answer if indeed does CBD work on pets as well as it does on humans. However, scientists are sure that cannabinoids interact with the animals’ own endocannabinoid receptors. Just as with humans, the receptors are present in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. Said network of receptors are part of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which both humans and animals have. The ECS itself has the function of help preserve the homeostasis inside the body. In this article, we’ll learn about CBD, the ECS, and answer if indeed does CBD work on pets.

What Is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an active compound naturally present inside the cannabis and hemp plants. Both plants contain a plethora of compounds; said family of compounds go by the name ‘cannabinoids.’  They interact with the endocannabinoid system inside the body, activating its receptors and triggering a variety of effects. Effects that, by the way, may have therapeutic value, which is one of the reasons CBD became popular. The other reason is that using CBD is very safe since it is non-psychoactive, unlike THC, the main psychoactive component in marijuana. This means that nor you or your pets will experience a ‘high’ after consuming some CBD. Great news if you don’t like being impaired yourself or not keen on having your pets act weird.

How Does CBD Work for Pets?

Like humans, animals have an endocannabinoid system in charge of regulating many bodily functions to promote homeostasis. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for relaying instructions across the body. These include dealing with pain and inflammation. The ECS has two different kinds of receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors, each linked to different bodily responses.

Meanwhile, there are two kinds of cannabinoids as well: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are those our body naturally produces on its own. Phytocannabinoids are those that come from plants as CBD does. The body automatically uses endocannabinoids it creates in our day to day to function correctly. Yet, providing it with phytocannabinoids is what allows us to trigger the therapeutic effects ourselves.

When a phytocannabinoid like CBD activates the receptors, it mimics an endocannabinoid’s effect. As said before, these may include pain-relief and anti-inflammatory response, which could translate to relief for you or your pet animal. There still a lot of research underway at this very moment to determine the exact impact of CBD on pets and if indeed it is entirely the same as the impact it has on humans. However, there is much anecdotal evidence from pet owners who already tried CBD with pets that have ailments.

Effects CBD Has On PetsDoes CBD Work On Pets? - This anxious dog could use some CBD

Both humans and animals have their own endocannabinoid systems with the same two kinds of receptors. Therefore, the effects the CBD compound has on them are quite alike. Here are the most salient of them:

Anxiety

Just like humans, pets can also get anxious. Very anxious. This could result from a perceived threat, thunderstorms, fireworks, or relocation to a new place that the pet is not familiar with. For example, if you take your dog somewhere, they will not behave the way they usually do at home. Taking dogs as an example, you will notice that the dog is anxious through its behavior. Excessive barking and violent behavior both to their surroundings or against themselves are telltale signs. If your dog has been showing persistent symptoms of anxiety, you could try giving them CBD. Also, if your dog seems overly restless anytime you leave the house, they may be suffering from separation anxiety. Giving the dog CBD could relieve them from stress, helping them remain calm. CBD may increase the brain’s serotonin levels, leading to an overall improved mood.

Seizures

Animals do get seizures, which can get worse if not managed correctly in time. Doctors will give your dog medication to control them as well as antiepileptics for chronic seizures. However, prescription drugs might pose a threat to the animal’s liver and other vital organs. CBD is an alternative that may help control the seizures your dog may be experiencing. (It is the base of an FDA-approved seizure medication for humans. But has not been thoroughly studied for use in pets.) But, since it is all-natural, it should not put them at risk of severe side effects such as liver damage, dizziness, and lethargy.

CBD contains anti-convulsive and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it may minimize the occurrence and length of seizures. By addressing the seizures, your dog will feel better. And that means it may have more energy to play with you, so get ready!

Pain Management

Pets do get hurt once in a while. Sometimes more often than a pet owner would like. If your pet is suffering from chronic pain, CBD might minimize their discomfort.  CBD can address chronic pain by temporarily stopping the body’s breakdown of anandamide. More anandamide freely running through your body means a better pain management response from it. It may also reduce nerve-related pains by minimizing the pain signals fired by the affected cells. CBD also has anti-inflammatory effects, which scientists believe interact with the CB2 receptors. When it interacts with the receptors, it can evoke various immune responses, inflammation among them.  Since pets, including dogs and cats, can get arthritis, they may suffer from chronic inflammation. By lowering the inflammation, the pain should decrease. Thus, lessening somewhat the chronic pain and other associated symptoms of arthritis.

CBD Is an Anti-emetic

Pets suffer from nausea and vomiting every once in a while, just like humans do. This could be as a result of a particular condition that the animal is suffering from. It could also be a result of specific medications that your pet is currently taking. When your pet suffers from persistent nausea and vomiting, they become dehydrated, begin to rapidly lose weight, experience low appetite, and tire very easily. There are several anti-emetic medications that you could use, such as acepromazine. However, these drugs come with several side effects, such as diarrhea, excessive drooling, and lethargy. They might end up making your pet feel way worse in the long run, all depending on how they react to it.

CBD has anti-emetic properties, so it may help control both vomiting and nausea while encouraging your pet to eat. Increased appetite allows your dog to gain a few pounds they could have lost from persistent vomiting. If you want your dog to have a healthy weight, taking CBD may help with this goal.

CBD And Cancer

Early research suggests that CBD may reduce the spread of tumors. In some cases, it inhibited the growth of cancer cells, but further research is necessary in this area. CBD also appears to increase the death rate of cancerous cells without damaging healthy cells. It does this by disrupting the energy production process in the cells. So, with future research, we may see pets with cancer benefit from taking CBD.

How to Choose the Best CBD Products for Your PetDoes CBD Work On Pets? - A Happy dog that just took some CBD

Nothing is more important than the health of your pets and ensuring they get the right products. That is why many pet owners keep asking, “Does CBD work on pets?”. There are just so many CBD products in the market; it might be difficult to distinguish the good products from the bad. Thus, you need to know a few things to assess the quality of the product you are giving to your pet. Below are some of the questions you need to ask before purchasing a CBD product.

The first question you need to ask is whether a third party has tested the product. Check to see whether the product has undergone the proper verification from a reliable third party. If possible, also ask whether the certificate of analysis is available upon request. Most trusty manufacturers happily brag about the certification their product got from third-party labs. Those that do not, you should avoid.

Also, confirm that the product has gone through a clinical and pharmacokinetic study in an accredited institution.  If a veterinarian studied the product and the results were positive, giving it to your pet is safe.  The other factor that you need to consider is whether there are any dosage instructions on the product. Just because CBD is naturally occurring, it doesn’t mean that you can give your pet just any amount of it. Search your product to see if it has specific dosage instructions for pets.

You also need to confirm if your veterinarian recommends the product you want to purchase. Veterinarians use quality products that have undergone testing to ensure they are safe to use on pets. Check with your pet’s veterinarian to see what they got to say. So, does CBD work on pets? So far, it indeed seems it does.

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