Our pets teach us how to love how to care. That’s because they love and care for us unconditionally. The kind of intimation we received from these friends is incomparable to anything in the world. This is the reason when they are in pain, we can feel it more than they do.
If your pet had not been feeling well lately, or you believe he doesn’t seem to be himself for quite a few months or even longer, you must be willing to try everything you can to make him feel better. One of the emerging treatment options you might have seen in advertisements is trying CBD for pets.
However, it is only natural to be wary of any new treatment options for a friend as dear as a pet. This is especially true when so much confusion exists about CBD being toxic. So, it is imperative that you educate yourself before giving any therapeutic remedy to your pet. The most important thing you might be concerned about is;
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
One of the biggest misconceptions about CBD for both humans and pets is that it creates a high. Well, where this might be partially correct, the truth is, CBD alone, without any other cannabinoids added to it, does not create a high.
While using a full-spectrum CBD product, there can be traces of substances like THC included in it to varying degrees. THC can be toxic for your pet and capable of creating a high. However, this depends a lot upon the source from which CBD is obtained. The marijuana plant is high in the concentration of THC and a number of other similar compounds. But the truth is, CBD today is not extracted from marijuana. This specific cannabis plant is actually banned in many parts of the world because of its high THC content.
CBD is extracted mostly from the hemp plant which belongs to another species of the cannabis genus. Hemp contains minimal to no traces of THC. Hence, the CBD extracted from hemp doesn’t accompany the compounds capable of creating a high.
Thus, CBD alone, extracted from hemp, is completely safe for your pet as it is not psychoactive. That being said, you must be curious to know how CBD works for your pet and if it is as beneficial for the pets as it is for humans?
How CBD Works for Pets
The reason why CBD is as beneficial for pets as for humans is that both have an endocannabinoid system i.e. ECS in their bodies. It works the same way in humans and other mammals and even in fish and most birds. This system works through a number of cannabinoid receptors distributed throughout the body. The endocannabinoid system works through these receptors and releases natural cannabinoids called endocannabinoids which activate the receptors. This system maintains a biological balance in the body. It helps maintain the healthy functioning of the body’s systems like the immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, and others irrespective of how external stimuli change.
Sometimes, this system might get upset and you may feel unwell. Since it regulates a number of functions like mood, anxiety level, digestion, cell growth, sleep, and memory, when it gets upset, a lot can get wrong with the body.
The plant-based cannabinoids like CBD introduced in the body help stimulate the ECS and it starts producing its natural endocannabinoids. This in turn helps restore balance in the body.
Let us now have a look at how CBD can benefit your pet and help him be himself again;
Benefits of CBD for Pets
CBD Helps Against Seizures
One of the most common and renowned uses of CBD is as a natural anticonvulsant. There are a number of studies, both on animals and humans, which back the positive effects of CBD on those suffering from epilepsy. It helps control seizures occurring due to some rare forms of epilepsy as well.
CBD, when used against seizures, has an edge over the commonly used anticonvulsants. Conventional anti-epileptic medications have a number of side effects associated with them. They can damage some organs in pets and can even pose a threat to their lives. Moreover, they might even not work at all for some pets.
On the other hand, studies have shown the efficacy of CBD in treating epilepsy. The continual use of CBD for 4 or 5 months shows significant improvement and reduction in the instances of seizures. One of the most commonly used CBD-based tinctures for spasms goes by the name of Charlotte’s Web. It is named after the young girl Charlotte Figi who was apparently the first one to be treated by CBD for seizures as often as 300 in a week.
CBD for Treating Chronic Pain and Inflammation
CBD-based medicines are very widely used today for pets to treat pain and inflammation. The pet owners using this alternative medicine are all praise for it. It halts the sensation of pain by reducing the absorption of a chemical called anandamide. This chemical is responsible for conveying signals of pain to the brain. When it is stopped from being absorbed, the pain is not felt.
Besides, CBD is found to be very effective in reducing inflammation. For example, it soothes the inflammation resulting from arthritis. This in turn reduces the symptoms of inflammation and the pain associated with it.
The best thing about the inflammatory properties of CBD is that it incites the body’s own immune system to act effectively against inflammation. CBD interacts with CB2 receptors of a pet’s immune system and helps the immune system to become active against inflammation.
Since CBD is really effective against inflammation, it is hence effective against a number of conditions causing inflammation and pain. E.g. it helps against the inflammation caused by irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, MS, and many more.
Moreover, it is also effective against autoimmunity whereby the immune system starts attacking its own cells, perceiving them as invaders. Besides, it treats issues arising from the over-sensitivity of the immune system. Moreover, it acts as an antioxidant, a really powerful one, and hence very much capable of quickening the healing process in case your pet is injured.
CBD Reduces Stress and Anxiety
If your dog had been persistently barking for no reason at times, showing aggression, biting on the household items, unusually urinating inside the house, or showing tremors lately, chances are that he is showing the symptoms of anxiety and stress. Pets can suffer from anxiety just as we do. They can have phobias just like humans.
Causes of anxiety might range from something as small as noise to something like separation, traveling, another new pet in the house, or anything else. Most of the time, it’s only the owner who can understand that the pet is going through some emotional distress. And only the owner can possibly find out what’s causing it because the cause can widely differ from one pet to the other.
Luckily, not only the physiological problems but also the physiological ones can be treated with CBD. However, the exact mechanism of how CBD reduces anxiety and treats stress is still ambiguous. It needs more research. But what’s known for certain is that it DOES reduce anxiety in a profound way. One of the common believes is that CBD does so by affecting a serotonin receptor in the body. It increases the release of serotonin in the body to make us, and our pets, feel better. This is how conventional medicines act. But the difference here is that CBD, unlike conventional medicine is not as addictive as an anti-depressant.
CBD Improves Appetite
Loss of appetite is a common problem in pets and it might be a result of some serious underlying problem. It may also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. It can cause your pet to be fatigued most of the time. The pet may lose weight and be dehydrated. The underlying causes may include some other medications, anxiety, or treatments like chemotherapy.
Some of the common medicines for pets against vomiting and nausea include aminopentamide, chlorpromazine, acepromazine, and others. These medicines are although effective against nausea and vomiting but don’t improve appetite. And these have a lot of side effects. They may cause your pet to be lethargic, cause diarrhea, sedation, and hypotension.
On the other hand, CBD improves appetite while curing nausea and vomiting at the same time. Above all, it doesn’t cause the side effects associated with conventional medicine. Thus, it actually works better than other medicine when it comes to improving appetite in pets and reducing the symptoms like nausea.
Controlling Cancer through CBD
The growth of tumors has become very common. Sadly, there aren’t any comprehensive treatments for cancer in pets. All that modern medicine can do is slow down the growth of tumors through chemotherapy and help reduce the associated pain.
However, it also results in a number of other serious side effects including fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite.
On the other hand, initial research has shown some promising results when it comes to curing cancer through CBD. We now know that CBD can not only slow down the growth of tumors but can also halt them and can even reduce their size.
A study at the University of Naples in Italy showed that CBD can be effective against colon cancer in rats. It helps slow down, stop, and fight against tumors. It can even make chemotherapy more effective when used in combination with it. It helps in the effective abruption of the chemotherapy agents in the targeted cells. Moreover, it protects healthy cells against the agents at the same time. However, further research is needed, and being conducted to fully comprehend how effective CBD can be against cancer in pets.
It Improves the Overall Health of Nervous System
One of the common problems in pets as they start getting older is the degeneration of nerve cells this degeneration is also common in humans and is a cause of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. CBD is found to be effective against the degeneration of nerve cells both in humans and other mammals. It does so by activating the CB1 cells in the nervous system and CB2 receptor cells in the immune system. It has been found particularly useful for dogs suffering from degenerative myelopathy and a range of other spinal and nerve issues. The death of nerve cells due to free radicals and toxins can also be stopped by the use of CBD based pet medicines.
CBD Improves Cardiovascular Health in Pets
According to the study by Dr. Bassingthwaighte, CBD can miraculously help restore your pet’s cardiovascular health. Studies show that the damaged blood vessels as a result of an injury can be healed quickly with the use of CBD. Moreover, it also strengthens the blood vessels against any further damage and injury. CBD is also found effective against hypertension as it is capable of reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels.
CBD, as a Supplement, Helps Improve Your Pet’s Health
CBD is not merely a treatment against various illnesses in pets. It is rather more of a supplement for achieving and maintaining good overall health. More than a treatment, it is a protection against illnesses. CBD has proven efficacy when it comes to maintaining homeostasis in the body. I.e. it helps maintain the internal balance. It helps our body’s metabolism work at its best. This is because the ECS has control over such a huge myriad of functions in our body, and by improving it, the overall health is bound to improve
Hence if you love your pet and do not want him to fall ill in the first place, CBD based pet products are your best resort.
Hunting for the Most Appropriate CBD Pet Products
Despite the myriad of benefits offered by CBD to the pets’ health, if the product isn’t chosen carefully, it can end up in great frustration. It is important that you choose the best product for the best results. While hunting for the most appropriate CBD medicine or supplement for your pet, there are a few universal rules to follow;
- Never go for the CBD products which do not mention the ingredients in detail. These might contain toxic amounts of THC or other cannabinoids which aren’t good for a pet’s health.
- Always try to go for those CBD products which are meant specifically for pets. These are tailored to pets’ needs and are obviously more useful than the ones tailored to the needs of humans.
- You should always read the potency of the medicine mentioned on its label. It is always advisable to start with a low potency dose and slowly move towards higher potency.
- Depending upon how your pet feels comfortable, you need to pick the appropriate way of administering the dose. For example, you have the options of CBD oil directly given through an oil dropper, infused into pets’ biscuits and crackers, or other pet food, or in the form of capsules. Or it can also be applied to the pet’s skin, depending upon the intended outcome of the medicine.
- Always try to go for those pet CBD products which are devoid of harmful sweets and chocolates.
- While reading the label, make sure you look for the THC content carefully. It should be the lowest possible. High concentrations of THC can cause a pet to be confused besides other side effects.
Deciding the Appropriate Dosage for Your Pet
Never start with a high potency medicine, especially when your pet is being exposed to it for the first time. It is always recommended to start with a smaller dose and slowly increase it until your pet becomes healthy again. Moreover, it is also a good idea to wait for a day or two after the first dose has been given. This will help you find out about any adverse effects of the medicine in the particular case of your pet. If your pet feels irritation in the skin or feels nausea, and drowsiness, it is good to see a veterinarian.
To start with, it is often recommended that in the case of dogs and cats, you should be giving around 1 to 5 mg of CBD medicine for every ten pounds of body weight.
In most cases, the effects of the medicine will be evident in around half an hour though it varies with the form in which the medicine is administered.