Why Does CBD Oil For Dogs Work? It All Starts With Your Animals Endocannabinoid System.
Updated: Mar 10
The Endocannabinoid system plays a major role in creating homeostasis within the body. This is important for maintaining health.
In the last couple of years a lot of interest has been drawn to the healing properties of cannabis, not just in humans but in animals as well. All this began with the coincidental discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that is present in all mammals,
your furry friends included.
This article explores the endocannabinoid system in pets and how it plays a pivotal role in promoting and maintaining health and wellness.
The endocannabinoid system is present in all mammals including dogs, cats, horses and other mammals.
The endocannabinoid system of pets is made up of three components: cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids and metabolic enzymes.
Phytocannabinoids are plant derived cannabinoids that interact with the ECS in pets to reestablish homeostasis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid that has shown effectiveness in relieving anxiety, stress, insomnia and digestive issues in pets.
Cannabidiol (CBD) does not have psychoactive properties; therefore it cannot cause euphoria in pets.
The Endocannabinoid system was discovered by scientists who were trying to establish the reason as to why the human body has specific receptors that bind phytocannabinoids. Over time science has been able to piece up the components that make up the ECS and the far reaching effects that this system has on different physiologic functions of the mammalian body. This has taken diligent research, patience and in some cases trial and error. Now we have enough scientifically proven evidence to confirm that the ECS plays a key role in establishing homeostasis and preventing progression of disease in the mammalian body. When the ECS is not functioning properly, numerous other physiologic processes from the nervous to peripheral systems are consequently affected.
The Endocannabinoid System in Pets
The Endocannabinoid system in pets is fast becoming a subject of interest, as studies are proving that pets interact with phytocannabinoids in the same way humans do. Actually most of the scientific studies carried out to understand the ECS have been based on animal studies. A 2018 study conducted by the University of veterinary medicine in Hannover confirmed that the ECS is involved in the CNS inflammatory process in canines. Another 2012 study conducted by the University of Pisa confirmed the presence of cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the skin of healthy dogs and those with atopic dermatitis. More studies have confirmed the presence and functions of the ECS in pets.
ECS found in pets has the same basic components comprising of:
· Cannabinoid receptors
· Metabolic enzymes.
Any time homeostasis is destabilized, the ECS triggers the release of enzymes that synthesize endocannabinoids to restore physiologic stability.
Cannabinoids, both endogenous and phytocannabinoid, interact with receptors to influence how your pet feels. These receptors are embedded in cell membranes spread throughout the body. Your pet has two kinds of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the nervous system of your pet. You can also find them in connective tissues, glands and organs. It is here that they are stimulated to alter physiological processes.
Just like in humans, the brain of your pet has different regions that have cannabinoid receptors. They include:
The cerebral cortex: controls memory, thinking and alertness
The hypothalamus: controls metabolic processes and apetite stimulation
The amygdala: controls emotions
The hippocampus: aids in short term memory
The basal ganglia: controls motor skills
The cerebellum: controls coordination
The brain stem has a low concentration of cannabinoid receptors; this partly explains the reason why fatal overdose from cannabis ingestion nearly impossible.
CB2 receptors are abundant in peripheral tissues, mostly affecting the immune system and inflammation. The process of inflammation is believed to be significant in the progression of most chronic diseases. Cannabidiol oil acts on the CB2 receptors of your pet to relieve symptoms of disease.
The major endocannabinoids in the body of your pet are Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG). These endocannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain and throughout the body. Once they bind they set off a chemical process that helps in restoring homeostasis.
Endocannabinoids are synthesized on a need basis and are quickly degraded by metabolic enzymes afterwards.
These are cannabinoids found in plants such as cannabis. They abound in the resin produced by plant trichromes. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most abundant cannabinoids found in cannabis. THC binds to CB1 receptors and is able to act on the brain to cause euphoria. CBD on the other hand does no bind to CB1 receptors in the brain; this makes it safe for your pet.
Supplementing the Endocannabinoid System with phytocannabinoids:
The ECS may get destabilized by disease processes; in this case it may be necessary to introduce phytocannabinoids to restore homeostasis.
Giving your pet hemp derived cannabidiol has been proven safe and effective in the treatment of various medical conditions. CBD oil is absorbed into the bloodstream where it stimulates the endocannabinoid system to regulate different physiological processes.
Most pet owners use CBD oil to relieve anxiety in their pets. CBD oil may help to calm down a hyperactive pet, it can also be used to treat a depressed pet. Animal studies have also shown that CBD oil is effective in taming digestive issues in pets and treating insomnia. Other studies have shown effectiveness of CBD in treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions that pets may suffer from as they age.
CBD Products To Consider:
Should you consider giving CBD oil to your pet, you have nothing to worry about as many other pet owners are doing the same with great results. However, it is good to consult with your veterinary first.
The market is flooded with CBD products geared towards pets; the most common include CBD tinctures for pets, vegetarian capsules, hard and soft chews and topical sprays.
You will also find that most manufacturers offer full spectrum CBD oil. This just means that the CBD is infused with terpenes and flavanoids that work synergistically to improve the therapeutic potency of the CBD oil. As long as this does not contain THC, it should be safe for your pet.
The CBD oil may also be infused with herbals that may include: chickpea flour, pumpkin, tapioca, coconut oil, molasses, turmeric, cinnamon etc
Science is making great strides in understanding the endocannabinoid system by the day. These discoveries are poised to revolutionize how modern human and animal medicine is practiced in the 21st century.
The endocannabinoid system, A look back and ahead
The endocannabinoid system in canine Steroid-Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis and Intraspinal Spirocercosis.
Cannabinoid receptor type 1 and 2 expression in the skin of healthy dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis.
Cannabinoid Receptors in Regulating the GI Tract: Experimental Evidence and Therapeutic Relevance.
Anandamide: The molecule of extreme pleasure.
How the Endocannabinoid System was Discovered.
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