All mammals, including man’s best friend of course, have endocannabinoid systems with active CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The cannabis plant has a variety of compounds that include flavonoids, terpenes, and phytocannabinoids. These compounds interact with specific receptor sites found in the brains and central nervous systems of all mammals, including dogs. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions the same in all animals that have one. Whether you’re talking about humans, dogs, horses, cats, rabbits, dolphins, monkeys, or elephants, the ECS is largely responsible for bringing balance and homeostasis to various systems in the body. This is why CBD is looking like a potential treatment option for dogs suffering from various ailments.
How CBD Can Help Your Dogs
Just like in humans, CBD can be used to treat multiple chronic conditions in dogs such as inflammation, anxiety and other stress-related disorders, aggression, digestive issues, and arthritis. Studies dating back to 1988 show that cannabinoids can reduce seizures in dogs. Additionally, it can help relieve injury-induced pain from bone breaks, torn ligaments, and strains and it’s often used as a post-op treatment to expedite the healing process.
CBD allows pet owners to treat their pups with natural remedies as opposed to pharmaceuticals that often have little research to back up their safety. It’s also worth noting that CBD is generally considered safe for dogs, however THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is said to be toxic for our four-legged friends. Most of this research is preliminary, but promising none the less.
So promising in fact, that a handful of veterinarians and even more pet owners are starting to treat man’s best friend with CBD products. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, 72% of pet owners claim to have used hemp-based products on their dogs, 64% of which state the treatments have been highly successful. In 2018, a report published by American Veterinarian says that medical cannabis research for pets is a top priority for veterinarians.
Why Veterinarians Are Reluctant to Suggest CBD
A 2018 report measured cannabis knowledge and views in a total of 2,130 vets from the Veterinary Information Network, Colorado State University, and North Carolina State University. According to the results, 61% felt comfortable discussing CBD with their colleagues but only 45.5% were willing to discuss their views with pet owners.
Vets who were practicing in states with legalized recreational cannabis were more likely to suggest and encourage the use of CBD, but typically only those who had been practicing for multiple years. Recent graduates were more cautious about mentioning cannabinoids. The survey did note a common theme, which was a lack of information. From the study’s abstract section, “Participants felt their state veterinary associations and veterinary boards did not provide sufficient guidance for them to practice within applicable laws.”
Some Helpful Tips
If you’re interested in trying CBD for your dogs, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, always do your research before buying products. Look at reputable companies that provide a detailed ingredient list and publicly posted lab results. Also, make sure to keep CBD products out of your pet’s reach, especially if it’s in the form of treats. Regardless of how safe CBD is considered to be, you don’t want your dog taking more than the recommend dose.
That being said, if you’ve ever used CBD products for your furry friends, we’d love to hear from you. Was it successful? How fast did you notice a change in your pet? Let us know in the comment section below!
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