CBD for animals

May 18, 2020
Hempco Administrator

CBD is one of the active substances found in plants of the genus Cannabis. Although not a lot of research has been carried out on it, there are certain beneficial properties that early studies have suggested. It has been found that just as in humans, all mammals with endocannabinoid systems can benefit from CBD in similar ways.

What Animals Have Endocannabinoid Systems

In schools, you would have been given a basic understanding of the human body and therefore heard about systems like the nervous, cardiovascular and digestive. However, one you may not have heard of the endocannabinoid system. It is not a system that is often taught about, yet it is arguably the most significant system that influences the maintenance of human health.

The endocannabinoid system is not very popular because the scientific community has only been aware of it for 25 years. The first discovery occurred in the 90s by L.A. Matsuda. Dr Matsuda was the first person able to describe the structural and functional manifestations of what was named the cannabinoid receptor CB-1.

This development was heralded by attempts of scientists to understand the method by which Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant was able to exert its effects. Through this, they found that the body possesses a highly complex, intermingling network of cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are expressed on the nerve cells in both the central and peripheral nervous system. 

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, just like they have nervous systems. It has also been found in invertebrate species as primitive as the hydra. Insects and Protozoans are an exception to this. They appear to be complete without this ubiquitous part of life forms that play an important role in balancing the immune and nervous systems. 

What is CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound that is found in varied concentrations throughout the flowers and leaves of cannabis. It has one of the most powerful effects out of the over 100 different cannabinoids. It is known to help the mind and body in different capacities.

In terms of abundance, it comes only second to THC. Unlike THC, however, CBD does not result in a “high”. It is extracted specifically from a type of cannabis plant known as hemp which contains negligible amounts of THC. The World Health Organization has even reported that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”

So far, there has been no evidence of public health issues that are related to the use of isolated CBD. Despite this, its legal status is evolving with new research and government acceptance. The 50 states of the United States have legalized CBD – Albeit with varying levels of restrictions. The federal government on the other hand still considers CBD to be in the same substance category as marijuana though this is not earnestly enforced.  

Is CBD good for animals? 

CBD has noticeable healing properties with animals. Animal owners have used it for different kinds of therapeutic applications. Some of the more popular ones include:

  • Malignancy:

Research shows that CBD has some ability to halt the proliferation of malignant cells. It is also found to enhance the effects of chemotherapy while ameliorating some of the side effects. It also helps the sick animal’s quality of life with improved weight gain, better appetite and energy levels. 

  • Pain:

Animals are susceptible to pain (especially of the joints), and though we may not fully interpret their expression of it, it certainly has a negative impact on their quality of life. The pain might even be bad enough to cause changes to their appetite and slow them down. Early evidence has found that the relationship between CBD and CB1 receptors helps in the reduction of chronic pain.

  • Anxiety:

CBD studies have shown us that it can be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety. The endocannabinoid system has not been studied very expansively but it is supposed that the endogenous cannabinoids produced by our bodies improve the body’s release of serotonin. Serotonin is also known as the happy hormone is a mood-stabilizer.

When CBD is consumed by animals,  it interacts with the CB1 as CB2 receptors of the brain and this results in the easing of tension and stress. 

A lot of people are wary of giving CBD products to their pets because of their relationship with THC. It should be noted that CBD can not result in a high. However, it is still wise to read the product description in detail before administration.


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