Exploring the Canine Endocannabinoid System: How Cannabis Can Help Your Pet

Let’s be real: man’s best friend is dog and man’s best bud is cannabis. Thanks to growing research, we know CBD (the non-intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis) works wonders for humans, but increasing evidence points to CBD as a powerful remedy for puppers.

A dog owner’s CBD story

National-puppy-day-Arnold

This is Arnold. Arnold has issues. CBD helps.

Many dog-owners have presented anecdotal support for using CBD to treat a number of canine maladies, including everything from inflammation to anxiety. My corgi Arnold takes CBD twice a day and I’ve noticed an improvement in his health and happiness. At the ripe old age of two, Arnold has both congenital hip dysplasia and separation anxiety. CBD soothes the inflammation in his hips and keeps him calm when his family’s away at work.

The Endocannabinoid System in puppies

Cannabinoids like THC and CBD affect the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which all mammals (including puppies) have. The ECS plays regulatory roles in many body functions, such as in the body’s immune and central nervous systems. Recent research indicates that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in memory, appetite regulation, anxiety, immune function and inflammation.

The remedial potential of CBD is of particular interest to the medical community — even the World Health Organization thinks it shouldn’t be a scheduled substance.. CBD acts on the CB1 and CB2 receptors and provides a variety of anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-anxiety and analgesic effects without the signature intoxication associated with THC.

Veterinary research turns to cannabinoids

Increasingly, consumers and the medical community are turning their eyes toward CBD in veterinary medicine. While most information regarding cannabinoids’ effects on animals comes from pre-clinical testing on laboratory rodents, these studies and those touching on larger mammals show promising evidence.

National-puppy-day-Bandit

Hey humans! I’m Bandit!

A December 2017 study published in the journal Vet J concluded that the introduction of cannabinoid analogs showed significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity and represent an advantageous therapeutic approach in veterinary medicine. Another area of research examines cannabinoids’ potential in dermatological remedies: another study in 2001 showed a significant reduction in histamines induced by anti-canine IgE when treated with cannabinoid analogs. Cannabinoids also show potential in oncological care to encourage eating habits in canines with cancer.

A market for pet cannabis products

As the cannabis industry expands, more companies are creating cannabinoid options for suffering pups. CBD tinctures and infused dog treats of all shapes and dosages, made with pet-safe oils and often lab tested for quality assurance are readily available in the retail cannabis market. Consumer reviews of these products share stories as to how CBD affected their pet. Veterinarians are also petitioning to state and federal medical boards for further veterinary cannabis research.

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