Learn all about the natural plant medicine, cannabidiol (CBD) and how it benefits your pets.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the plant species called Cannabis Sativa of the hemp variety. It makes up about 40% of the cannabis extracts and has antipsychotic effects. Studies show that cannabidiol has many medicinal uses and is considered alternative medicine in some cultures. Many people are becoming aware of the health benefits of cannabidiol not only to humans but to animals as well.
The practice of holistic treatment using CBD is getting popular since the US FDA approved the first drug that contains cannabidiol last June 25, 2018. The FDA News Release announces the approval of “Epidiolex (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and Dravet syndrome, in patients two years of age and older.”
Unlike the main active ingredient in cannabis identified as the delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. It has no known toxicity or overdose level, so you do not get the ‘high” feeling or euphoria if taken orally. It provides treatment for other illnesses such as dystonia, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia to name a few.
The cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) found in all mammals. It is involved in a variety of biological processes such as immune response, memory, sleep, sexual functions, emotions, and behavior. It interacts indirectly with the endocannabinoid receptors of the body, the CB1, and CB2. The body produces CB1 predominantly in the brain while the CB2 is mostly in the immune system.
Benefits to Cats, Dogs and Other Animals
Since humans and animals have similar endocannabinoid receptors, CBD can also alleviate various ailments of your furry and huggable family member such as inflammation, cancer effects, seizure, arthritis, loss of appetite, anxiety and aggressive behavior. These are only some of the validated cases, but for sure cannabidiol provides solutions to a lot of aches and pains your pets may encounter.
Many pet owners embrace cannabidiol as a medicine because it’s affordable and non-toxic compared to other treatments. You can also administer CBD as a supplement in the form of dog and cat treats you may have personally made, bought online, or bought from a pet store. The label of the product must read as “treats” which contains zero to less than 1% THC, and a CBD dosage required for your pet.
- Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Majority of high-strung pets suffer from separation anxiety and noise phobia. Dogs hear up to 4 times louder than humans with normal hearing, so no wonder a booming sound distresses them. It feels awful when your dog scurries away when he hears a loud sound such as fireworks, thunder, gunshots, sirens or blaring music. Not only are dogs sensitive to noise, but other animals are too, such as cats, birds, elephants, and horses.
Dogs have been known to be depressed and extremely anxious if you leave them alone or in the company of other people they are not as familiar with. They manifest this by chewing on your shoes, sofa, socks and other objects. They also pace back and forth anxiously, urinating where they shouldn’t be, non-stop barking while running around, or showing aggressive behavior. You could not just turn a blind eye or try to find a cure to reduce their anxiety.
The CBD treats and CBD oil-infused pet biscuits relax your dog because it acts as a stimulant that calms him and relieves his stress. How CBD works as a stimulant? Cannabidiol activates the adenosine and serotonin receptors that stimulate a relaxing effect at low doses. However, at high doses such as ingesting a CBD-rich tincture or extract, it can cause drowsiness.
Many dogs, cats, and other animals can experience a seizure, spasm, tremor or tic. It’s an inner struggle when the medication fails to provide relief for your beloved pet. You might feel helpless when you see your pet shaking and drooling. But there’s hope. One of the wonders of CBD oil is its ability to manage a seizure from epilepsy. Your dog or cat will be close to its old self again.
One point to keep in mind, however, is CBD does not eradicate epilepsy and not all animals will respond to it the same way. It only reduces or removes the symptoms and helps to ease them off more harmful drugs that have serious side effects. There’s no definite explanation of how CBD works as an anticonvulsant. It seems that the abnormal activity of the brain’s neurons triggers the seizure and the low dose of CBD controls and keeps them in order.
- Antiemetic and Boosts Appetite
When your dog or cat refuses to eat, there can be several reasons. It could be due to nausea which leads to vomiting and results in a loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, dehydration, or fatigue. Medications given include acepromazine, chlorpromazine, or aminopentamide. While these prescriptions are effective, they show a wide variety of side effects such as hypotension, lethargy, lack of appetite, strong sedation, or diarrhea.
The CBD, on the other hand, proves to be a superior and effective antiemetic. It controls not only nausea and vomiting, but it also boosts appetite. Your pet has two-way benefits when taking CBD. What’s more, it does not have side effects, so the recovery is faster than the traditional antiemetic drugs. It activates the serotonin receptors in the intestines and the brain to reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting reflex.
- Relieves Arthritis, Chronic Pain and Inflammation
Arthritis, chronic pain, and inflammation go hand in hand and last for several months but can also last a lifetime. When your pet has arthritis, his joints exhibit redness, inflammation, tenderness, and stiffness. His movements are limited and forever in pain which makes him miserable and weak. You may not notice the early warning signs because dogs tend to hide discomfort and soreness until the symptoms become severe.
Other diseases characterized by inflammation and pain are irritable bowel movements, multiple sclerosis, bacterial and fungal infections, and tick-borne disease. Your pet also needs an anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents for post-operative care and to prevent cancer effects. CBD interacts with the CB2 receptors of the immune cells to evoke responses to antigens and produce antibodies to fight inflammation and pain.
CBD maintains the well-being of your pet by promoting homeostasis or the proper functioning of the body and restores its balance. Take for example the hemp seeds which contains loads of micro and macronutrients. It is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and phosphorus. It has vitamins and other minerals such as manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin B, and vitamin E as well as proteins, and carbohydrates including dietary fiber.
So, aside from its healing benefits, CBD improves nutrition to aid in the body’s metabolism thus keeping your pet healthy and alert.
Author: My Edibles Chef
MyEdiblesChef.com is your online source for finding and learning about cannabis-infused recipes, connecting with an online community of cannabis-infused food lovers, and learning about professional cannabis chefs around the world.