Being a pet owner, you must be very conscious about your pet’s health. As one may share a strong connection with its pet. Having your pet sick is no doubt, stressful. You must be looking for all the possible remedies and medicines to bring your pet back to a healthy and playful life
If you get a sick pet at home, chances are that you’ve header of this new miracle medicine.
You must be having many queries in your mind like what is CBD? How it works and is it safe for my pet?
In this article, I am going to answer all your questions related to CBD for pets.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. CBD is a non- intoxicating naturally occurring chemical compound found in leaves and flowers of cannabis plant. CBD being a natural nontoxic product let your furry friend enjoy the same health benefits that you experience.
The best thing about CBD is that it does not get your pet high as it is lacking or has a very low concentration of THC (the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana)
CBD is also safe to use as it has no known toxicity level and do not cause an overdose.
How Does CBD work?
CBD produces its physiological effects in body via endocannabinoid system(ECS). ECS is a biological system found in all mammals. This system consists of two receptors i.e. CB1 and CB2.
These receptors interact with endocannabinoids produced by brain. However, they are also responsive to plant derived cannabinoids like CBD resulting in a number of responses throughout the body.
The ECS manages a variety of biological processes including memory, sleep, immune response and more. These effects are similar in humans, cats, dogs and other mammals.
Health Benefits of CBD for Pets
Below is a detailed discussion on health benefits of CBD for pets. Please note that they apply to cats, dogs and other pets.
CBD as Analgesic
CBD is renowned universally for its analgesic effects. In 1970, the European Journal of pharmacology published a study showing that ECS is deeply involved in managing pain. It works so well in managing pain that scientists are now considering it as a new class of drugs for treatment of severe pain.
CBD produces its analgesic effects via following two mechanisms.
- It temporarily stops absorption of anandamide (a chemical that helps dampen pain signals in brain). This temporary increase in anandamide results in reduced pain sensations.
- CBD through its anti-inflammatory action reduces painful symptoms.
CBD as Anti- inflammatory
One of the best known health benefit of CBD is its anti-inflammatory action. The mechanism of CBD’S anti-inflammatory action is based upon its interaction with CB2 receptors in immune cells. CBD produces a variety of actions throughout the body by activating these receptors, one of which is its anti-inflammatory action. CBD also reduces the production of cytokines which cause allergies, hypersensitivities and auto immune responses. CBD may thus be used to reduce inflammation in diseases like arthritis, irritable bowel disease and other diseases characterized by inflammation.
CBD as Anxiolytic
Just like humans, pets may also experience stress and anxiety. While human may suffer from relationship anxiety, job anxiety or studies stress, pets may have separation anxiety, travel anxiety, noise anxiety or specific phobias. In humans, anxiety and stress may cause them to bite their nails, pace around or become little shaky. In pets, anxiety can cause similar repetitive behaviors like constant barking, chewing, anger or tremors etc.
CBD has also shown promises in reducing the feelings of stress and anxiety in humans as well as in pets.
Although exact mechanism of action of CBD for pets as anxiolytic is not known, it is suggested that it might work in a similar way as anti-anxiety medications do i.e. by increasing the serotonin level in brain.
CBD as Anti-cancer
Pets also suffer from cancer and malicious tumor that in many cases prove to be fatal. The most common treatment for cancer in pets is chemotherapy. However just like humans, chemotherapy in pets is also associated with many unwanted side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, immunosuppression and fatigue etc.
Thank to CBD, that in addition to its other health benefits, can also treat your pet’s cancer. Studies have shown that cannabinoids can help reduce the growth, spread and size of tumors.
CBD produces its anti-cancer effect by increasing the rate of chemotherapy agent’s absorption into cancer cells. At the same time, it also protects the healthy cells. The anti -cancer action is prevailing all other health benefits of CBD for pets.
CBD for Homeostasis
Homeostasis is defined as the normal balance of the body. It ensures that all the biological systems in the body are functioning perfectly. When this balance gets disturbed, diseases and illness begin to strike. The endocannabinoid system in mammals is involved in maintaining the homeostasis. Cannabinoids like CBD by stimulating the ECS help promote homeostasis in the body. This is among the most important health benefits of CBD. That is why many pet owners use CBD not only to treat diseases but as a routine supplement to ensure overall wellbeing of their pet.
CBD as Anti-emetic
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in pets also and may cause decreased appetite, dehydration and lack of appetite. Medications used to treat these symptoms in pets include chlorpromazine, acepromazien etc. However, their use is always associated with side effects like hypotension, sedation and lethargy.
CBD is offering its health benefits for pets for everything from pain relief, inflammations, stress and cancer to convulsions. Then how’s it possible that there is no cannabinoid that offer benefits to pets with nausea and vomiting.
By activating 5HT1A receptors, CBD reduces the feelings of nausea and vomiting and also suppress the subsequent vomiting reflex. Prolonged activation of CB1 receptors in brain can also reduce nausea and vomiting. It works so well as anti-emetic that Some studies suggest that CBD is a better anti emetic that many modern medications.
CBD as Anticonvulsant
Studies have shown that dog’s population suffering from seizures estimates up to 5%. Most of the pets are given drugs like phenobarbital to control seizures. No one can deny the importance of medicines. But drugs are associated with side effects such as liver damage, nausea and vomiting etc. Drugs also do not work in all cases.
One of the most important health benefits of CBD is its ability to help control seizures, spasms, ticks and tremors. CBD works as a natural anticonvulsant. CBD can manage seizures caused by epilepsy. CBD and THC also help manage convulsions caused by multiple sclerosis and tics and tremors caused by Tourette’s syndrome.
Seizures are caused by rapid firing of neurons in brain. CBD restores the normal firing rate of neurons and thus prevent the onset .of seizure
The Bottom Line
Although CBD is safe for pets and does not produce any toxic effects. But we do not know what size dosage would be toxic. Always remember, everything is not meant for everyone. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of toxic reactions. So it is suggested when giving your pet something new like CBD, start with a low dose and closely monitor the effects. It is better to check with your veterinarian first.