Can CBD Help Our Canine Companions?
Scientists have confirmed that every animal, with the exception of insects, has an endocannabinoid system within them that performs a regulatory role in their bodies. This system is crucial to maintaining the health of the body and keeping it in homeostasis, or a stable internal environment. This system is as important in humans as it is for our pets.
When this system and its receptors become damaged, it’s possible to use phytocannabinoids, specifically cannabidiol (CBD) to treat medical problems in a natural, non-toxic way.
Here we’ll examine ways in which CBD can be used as a treatment for dogs, ailments it can treat, and scientific proof that it is both safe and effective.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of at least 113 different phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike the THC compound, known for its psychoactive effects and its possible harmful side effects in pets, CBD has all the benefits and none of the interference with psychological functions.
CBD makes up about 40% of the cannabis plant extract and has been proven to be effective in an array of medical applications in several species.
How can CBD help my pet?
Specific to dogs, the compound can provide relief from pain, inflammation, health problems associated with cancer, and can be used to help make end-of-life diseases more comfortable. Dogs with arthritis, late-state cancer, inoperable tumors may benefit from CBD as an alternative for expensive veterinary pain medications like Rimadyl, which as been found to cause some serious side effects like liver and kidney damage.
Dogs with anxiety issues, including those who become skittish during thunderstorms, traveling in cars, when separated from their owners, in social situations, and even during visits to the vet, can also benefit from the calming effects of CBD.
While it is unlikely your veterinarian will be prescribing CBD as it is not a commonly accepted treatment yet, it is possible to legally purchase treats laced with CBD to treat your dog at home.
Claims that Support CBD Use in Pets
Medical applications for marijuana is a hot topic both in humans and in veterinary use, and research studies are gaining steam with confirming their applications. As cannabis, and therefore its derivative CBD are still classified as Schedule I drugs, there continues to be some fear around conducting research studies.
That said, evidence continues to emerge that supports medical marijuana for treatment in humans and dogs. Knowing that animals and humans share 70% of their biological homology and that cannabis is a well-researched treatment in humans, we have a strong basis to believe it could be equally effective in animals.
Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association shows support through published testimonials of pet owners who used cannabis and CBD to improve the quality of life of animals who were suffering from pain and ability issues.
There are a number of additional studies that show benefits with skin disorders, epilepsy and seizures, and osteoarthritis. These studies, combined with anecdotal evidence from pet owners who reported into an AHVMA survey endorsing the benefits of CBD-laced treats make a compelling case for the safety and efficacy of CBD as a treatment for our pets.
Simply put, CBD offers a safe, natural, and effective treatment to pet owners to help to manage their dog’s pain, anxiety, and to extend their lives while offering a good quality of life without suffering.