CBD oil and other products have been pushed into the mainstream for the many health benefits, from helping people sleep better to reducing pain, anxiety, depression, and a host of other health issues.
Since it’s tied to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a communications system for the brain and body, and affects many functions, it’s easy to see how CBD can help. But what about our pets? Can CBD also be beneficial for our furry friends? While many ongoing studies are looking at how CBD affects pets, current studies show it can benefit dogs, cats, and other pets.
What is CBD?
CBD. or cannabidiol, is one of about 113 different chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. It can be taken both internally and topically depending on its use. CBD acts on the endocannabinoid system of pets the same way it does in humans; it helps regulate how pets feel, react and move.
CBD can be given to pets in a number of different methods from topicals to chews. It’s important to note that while CBD oil can be beneficial, these benefits are not medical claims and you should confer with your veterinarian before introducing CBD to your pets.
1. Pain Reduction
As your pets get older, they may develop various ailments that can cause chronic pain, like arthritis or hip dysplasia. This pain can be debilitating for some pets and for others it may cause extreme discomfort that prevents them from living happily. Treating your pet’s pain with CBD oil may help reduce pain and make them feel better. For pain in a specific area, a topical CBD product may be more effective than an oral product.
2. Reducing Inflammation
Your pets can get inflammation that hinders their wellbeing, just like humans do. Inflammation is common from ailments like arthritis but can also manifest from an injury. One recent study suggests that CBD oil has the potential to ease pain and reduce inflammation in dogs. Using CBD to help your pet’s inflammation can be done orally or topically.
3. Reducing Seizures
CBD oil’s effect on reducing seizures is an area where there is more evidence. A small study at Colorado State University showed that 89% of dogs treated with CBD had a reduction in seizures. While more studies are certainly necessary, if your pet suffers from seizures, CBD oil may help reduce the frequency of those seizures.
4. Immune Health
As with humans, an overactive immune system can wreak havoc on your pets. The results of a compromised immune system can be widespread, and most cause inflammation that manifests as arthritis. Some studies have made a connection between CBD and strengthening the human immune system. As the ECS in animals is very similar to that in humans, some researchers have noted that CBD may boost the immune system of animals as well.
5. Treating Anxiety
Your pets can become anxious for various reasons from loud noises like thunder or separation from their owners. Just like humans, the results can be tormenting for your pets. Your dog may bark incessantly, or your cat may over-groom to the point of hurting themselves, or they may become restless. CBD oil may help increase the amount of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in your pet, which has a calming effect. It can help your pet feel better and help owners relax.
6. Heart Disease
Some pets develop heart disease just like their owners do. Stress can cause heart issues in both humans and our pets. A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown that treatment with CBD can help reduce the human cardiovascular system’s response to various kinds of stress. It can help with cerebral blood flow, which can lessen the impact of strokes and can help alleviate the damage of high glucose in the system. The results of this study on humans may be the same for pets since they have a very similar ECS.
7. Better Digestion
Inflammation can affect many areas of your pet’s body. The gastrointestinal system can get inflamed through various ailments and cause further issues. CBD products can help lower stomach discomfort, decrease any pain in the intestines, and help keep them calm while reducing incidences of diarrhea. Additionally, it can help boost your pet’s appetite to get them back to their regular eating habits.
What Products Are Available for My Pet?
More and more CBD products have become available to help your pets feel better in recent years. From CBD oil balms to infused treats, some products make it easy for your pet to get some relief for their symptoms. Be sure to test these products and speak with your veterinarian to ensure they don’t interact with your pet’s other medications.
In the end, we want our pets to live healthy and happy lives. CBD may give both you and your pet better peace of mind.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily WeSay.