One of the fastest growing health trends in the pet care niche, you may be seeing CBD oil made from hemp showing up on the shelves of your local drugstore and even at your veterinarian’s office. What is this product and are the potential benefits just hype? This article will answer these important questions.
CBD Oil for Dogs Starts with Hemp
Most CBD oil, and especially those made for dogs, has been refined by extracting the oils found in hemp, a special strain of cannabis that is both non-psychoactive and legal in the United States. Some owners are concerned about products made from cannabis…after all…isn’t it toxic to dogs?
In fact, dogs can have severe reactions to high amounts of THC, the compound found in recreational and medicinal strains of cannabis. However, by law, hemp actually contains less than .03% of this compound. However, it is packed with the compound cannabidiol (CBD), which has been shown to be safe for dogs, although research on precise dosing is still underway.
The Endocannabinoid System: How Does CBD Oil Work?
You may have heard that CBD oil is used by many pet owners for several different issues including anxiety, inflammation, digestion, skin health, pain, and even as part of a comprehensive and vet approved treatment plan for seizures and cancer. In fact, it just sounds to good to be true, right?
Well it is important to understand that CBD oil isn’t a cure for anything, at least not that we know of through science. However, the reason that it may have some important benefits that run such a wide range has to do with the fact that they activate a very important bodily function in all mammals: The Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Discovered by cannabis medical researchers in the early 1990’s, the ECS includes special neural receptors, transmitters, and specialized enzymes that work to regulate several body functions. These include mood, appetite, skin cell regulation, gut health and motility, and motor coordination. The ECS seems to work to provide “homeostasis” in several of these systems, which basically means it can promote balance.
The body produces its own endocannabinoids, in other words, natural compounds that activate this system. But the ECS is also responsive to cannabinoids produced in cannabis plants, and few of these have been more studied than CBD.
Scientists are Taking Note of CBD (Even for Cancer)
Research on how CBD interacts with the ECS and offers potential therapeutic benefits has been the study of intense research over the last three decades. In fact, studies on tissues, animals, and humans have show, that even some cancer types can produce results. Some other health issues include:
- Reducing anxiety
- Relieving pain and inflammation
- Improving skin health
- Promoting gut health
- Reducing frequency and intensity of seizures
- Boost tumor shrinking properties of some cancer treatments
Talk to Your Vet
It would be dangerous to try to diagnose or treat your dog’s health conditions on your own. It always makes sense to consult with a vet before trying to treat any symptoms, even with natural products such as hemp extract.
For example, sometimes symptoms can be warning signs of an underlying condition that needs immediate medical attention. In other cases, CBD may interfere with other medications your dog may be taking.
However, it may be worth talking to your vet about whether or not CBD might be a helpful addition to your pet’s health and wellness program.