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CBD is one of the active substances found in plants of the genus Cannabis. Although not much research has been carried out on it, there are specific 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 nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. However, you may not have heard of the endocannabinoid system. It is not a system that is often taught, yet it is arguably the most powerful system that influences human health maintenance.

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 the cannabinoid receptor CB-1.

This development was heralded by scientists' attempts to understand the method by which Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary 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 essential role in balancing the immune and nervous systems. 

What is CBD

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

In terms of abundance, it comes only second to THC. Unlike THC, however, CBD does not result in a “high”. It is explicitly extracted from a type of cannabis plant known as hemp, which contains negligible THC amounts. 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 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 legalised CBD - Albeit with varying levels of restrictions. On the other hand, the federal government still considers CBD to be in the same substance category as marijuana though this is not earnestly enforced.  

Is CBD right 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:

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 alleviating some of the side effects. It also helps the sick animal’s quality of life with improved weight gain, better appetite and energy levels. 

Animals are susceptible to pain (especially of the joints). Though we may not fully interpret their expression of it, it certainly harms 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 reduces chronic pain.

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 animals consume CBD,  it interacts with the CB1 as CB2 receptors of the brain, resulting in tension and stress. 

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