CBD Oil and Pets: The Science Behind It
New evidence is popping up everywhere about the benefits of giving your pet CBD products to treat a variety of conditions. Both studies done by experts and anecdotal evidence from other pet owners seem to suggest that these products really do work!
We know CBD oil can be effective, but many of us ask the questions: how and why? What makes CBD special? How does it affect the body? We will go over that and more to give you a new insight into how this mysterious chemical can make the lives of both humans and animals better!
What Is CBD?
The first thing to know when discussing how CBD works is what it is.
CBD stands for “cannabidiol.” Cannabidiol oil is an ingredient derived from hemp, which is part of the cannabis plant – also known as the marijuana plant.
What Does CBD Do?
Some of you may be concerned about the fact that CBD is a component of marijuana. However, it does not mean that it produces that “high” effect found in most marijuana products. Actually, that is the job of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol.) CBD for pets should not contain any THC whatsoever.
CBD instead is known for:
- Relieving pain
- Calming anxiety
- Reducing inflammation
- Treating epilepsy
- Easing the pain and discomfort of arthritis
Other potential benefits of CBD for your dog can be found here.
What Can’t CBD Do?
Science supports the fact that CBD products have the potential to treat a number of ailments, but there is currently little to no evidence that it can do any of the following:
- Cure cancer. Cancer is caused by cells multiplying more rapidly than they should, causing tumors to grow and to impact the organs negatively. Some studies have suggested that CBD can induce apoptosis (the death of cancer cells), but they do not suggest at all that it can do so at a rate to completely eradicate the disease itself. While it may be able to treat cancer, it is not proven to cure it.
- Heal chronic conditions. Yes, the evidence we have seen so far is pretty convincing that CBD can reduce inflammation in chronic diseases, but again, it is not a miracle cure. All this chemical has been shown to do effectively so far is treat pain and some swelling.
How Does CBD Affect the Brain and Body?
To produce these marvelous effects on the brain and the body, CBD attaches to our natural cannabinoid receptors. Humans and some animals have what is known as the endocannabinoid system. The main system is comprised of CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are mostly in the brain, though a few can be present in the rest of the body as well. They deal with:
- Chronic Pain
CB2 receptors are what deal with the immune system and inflammatory responses. Instead of attaching to these receptors, though, CBD encourages the body to make more cannabinoids.
Studies on the Effects of CBD in Pets
Scientific researchers have recently been conducting trials and studies on the effects of CBD oil products in animals. Each explains what CBD treats and how.
- A study published in July of 2018 by several veterinary college researchers tested the effects of CBD on dogs with osteoarthritis. Half were given CB, and the others were given a placebo. After the treatment periods, these researchers observed that the dogs given the real product experienced less pain than the others. These dogs were also more active, and they experienced no side effects!
- In 2012, a large group of scientists and doctors studied rats and mice suffering from chronic inflammation. The results proved that some of these animals given CBD had significantly lower levels of inflammation afterward.
- A trial conducted by Dr. Stephanie McGrath showed evidence that 89% of dogs treated with CBD for epilepsy experienced seizures less often. Nine dogs were given real CBD, and seven others were given placebos. This sample size is admittedly small, but she believes that this is an encouraging sign that CBD can treat epilepsy.
Of course, there is a long way to go before we truly uncover what all CBD products for pets can and can’t do for our fur babies. However, it seems that more great news comes from medical professionals and animal scientists every day!