Pets are the heart and soul of many households. Most of us would do anything for them. But, would you give them Cannabis?
Cannabidiol (or CBD) has been receiving increasing attention for its miraculous properties, and now it is also reaching the veterinary clinics! Yes, you heard it right. Our hairy family members can hop on this CBD train and relieve their aches and pains.
For all of those who haven’t heard it yet: you and your pet posses an ECS! And before you think that is a new game, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in all mammals and is in charge of regulating many biological processes. The ECS contains two receptors (CB1 & CB2) that interact with endocannabinoids produced in our brains. However, these receptors can also interact with plant-derived endocannabinoids. And the one we are here to talk to you about is hogging ALL the news: CBD.
I am sure you have already heard about it, at least once! Being skeptic about it is ok. After all, it is relatively new, and the process of changing our views on Cannabis is slowly moving forward.
As I mentioned before, CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound in Cannabis and part of 113 known cannabinoids found in our endocannabinoid system. Not to be confused with THC, the psychoactive component cousin that gives you a head high you probably want your pet to avoid. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high, but it will unload a whole lot of medical benefits.
So, what benefits can our pets get from ingesting CBD? Well, similarly to us, they can enjoy CBD’s anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, pain relief, anticancer, appetite stimulation, anti-nausea & cardiac properties. Simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Did I mention it also helps regulate anxiety and depression-like symptoms? CBD affects serotonin levels by binding to the serotonin system’s 5HT1A, which is a receptor most commonly associated with addiction, anxiety, sleep, and pain. CBD acts as a moderate 5HT1A receptor agonist, which means it initiates a physiological response when it binds to 5HT1A receptors.
Moreover, in 2017 the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CFH) announced funding for a clinical trial to study the effects of CBD to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in dogs. The study will be concluded in 2020 but it is currently open for donations. If you want to check their site click here.
I have personally used it in one of my cats, Smokey, who has some form of anxiety. She is a cuddle bug, but it has to be on her terms; otherwise, the gentlest of hugs can trigger anxiety, and she becomes visibly stressed and frightened. We were concerned she might have been abused before, but we were unable to know for sure. I began adding some drops of CBD to her dry & wet food, and I have slowly seen the improvement in her demeanor when we pick her up. She is still the happy-go-lucky curious cat she has always been, but is able to enjoy herself when we pet her, which she loves!! She loves loves getting massages from her dad, who happens to be a massage therapist (lucky cat) ;)
Have you tried CBD on your pets before? Drop a comment and tell us your story.