Since its legalization in December of 2018, CBD has seen a meteoric rise in popularity and availability, and as a result, there are now countless different forms of CBD from chapstick to vape oil and even cotton candy.
But for animal lovers, the most exciting development in the CBD industry is the rapidly expanding selection of pet CBD products to help animals deal with a host of common ailments and issues.
These issues range from hip pain to hot spots, and whether you’ve got a dog, a cat, or a horse, specially formulated products are available to fit your pets needs. But before you rush out and buy a box of CBD dog treats, it’s important to learn a little bit about what CBD is and isn’t, how it works, and what benefits CBD could have for your pet.
What is CBD?
As popular as CBD products have become lately, most people still don’t really know what CBD is and how it’s different than its psychoactive cousin, THC. For starters, CBD is a cannabinoid, meaning it provides all the health and wellness benefits of the cannabis plant, but unlike THC, it will never get you or your pet high.
This information is especially important for pets because animals tend to have more cannabinoid receptors than humans. More receptors mean that CBD is even more effective in animals, but it also means that THC toxicity is a real threat if given cannabis products that contain high amounts of THC.
Luckily, CBD has been found to have virtually no side effects in animals or humans, which is a large part of why harnessing the power of this long-overlooked cannabinoid so crucial. The other large reason CBD is becoming a major player in the health and wellness space is because of the way CBD works with your pet’s body to maintain balance.
How does CBD work?
CBD has a unique relationship with the body because of the way it works hand-in-hand with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to regulate and maintain a variety of functions throughout the body such as the nervous, digestive, and immune systems among others.
If you’re like most people and have never heard of the ECS before, a full understanding of how it operates can be fairly complicated, but its basic functions are pretty easy to follow.
Basically, the ECS works as a regulator. It does this job by having a large number of receptor sites throughout the body’s various systems like the ones we mentioned earlier, and these receptors send and receive endocannabinoids – cannabinoids naturally produced by the body – to help make sure each of your pet’s body systems run smoothly.
However, the ECS itself gets out of whack sometimes, and when that happens, it has a hard time doing its job effectively, which can cause the whole body to suffer from things like inflammation, digestive issues, skin irritation, and more.
CBD + ECS
Fortunately, CBD works by binding to and modifying receptors in the ECS to allow them to freely and efficiently produce and uptake more endocannabinoids, allowing the ECS to get back on track and effectively do its job of keeping your pet happy, healthy, and well-rested.
So now that you’ve got a better understanding of the what CBD is and how it works to maintain balance and order in your pet’s body, I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit to find out some of the common issues people give their pets CBD:
3 Major Benefits of CBD for Your Pet
Whether its old age, genetics, or an injury, many pets deal with pain and inflammation – especially in their hips and other joints. And because of how prevalent of an issue it is, it’s something most pet owners will search for an answer to at some point.
And more and more often, owners are turning to CBD oil to help manage their beloved pet’s pain and inflammation without the potential side effects of pain pills and other prescription medications.
This all-natural pain relief option assists the ECS with repairing damaged muscles and modifying the brain’s pain response to allow for less pain and faster recovery, which has given many old dogs, cats, and horses a new lease on life.
Because of this, owners and pets alike are thrilled at the prospect of CBD as a way to manage both acute and chronic pain or inflammation.
This fact may come as a surprise to some, but humans aren’t the only animals that can suffer from anxiety. Dogs, cats, horses, pigs, and plenty of other animals are also capable of feeling a mix of emotions such as fear and anxiety, and just like humans, these negative emotions can cause health issues if allowed to persist.
The two most common types of anxiety in pets are situational anxiety and separation anxiety, and while they have different triggers, they affect the same parts of the brain and cause similar symptoms.
Situational anxiety is caused by specific things like fireworks, the vacuum cleaner, or car rides, while separation anxiety triggers from the animal being left alone for a prolonged amount of time. Both are exhibited through actions like destroying furniture, urinating in the house, and, in some cases, stomach issues like diarrhea and loss of appetite.
Determining which type of anxiety your pet is suffering from requires careful observation and may include the input of your veterinarian, but once you’ve identified the problem, you can begin working on a solution. And while there are many methods for treating anxiety in both pets and humans, CBD can be seamlessly added to any of them for a powerful combination of relief.
By allowing the ECS to produce and absorb more positive compounds in the brain, CBD helps to regulate mood and anxiety to give both anxious pups and scaredy cats the ability to live a normal, relaxed life.
Even though most pets enjoy a wide-open schedule with plenty of time to rest, relax, and recover, it isn’t uncommon for pets to suffer from insomnia or other issues that lead to a lack of sleep or reduction in sleep quality.
If your pet is dealing with sleep problems, it could be because of several issues like pain or anxiety, and unfortunately, the lack of quality rest only makes those problems worse. But because lack of sleep can be caused by so many different issues, trying to get on top of the problem can feel like a game of whack-a-mole.
However, because CBD can aid in the management of anxiety and pain as well as promote longer-lasting, higher-quality sleep, it’s a premium option for any pet owner looking to alleviate their pet’s chronic insomnia or late-night restlessness.
And combining CBD with a regular exercise regimen and safe, all-natural supplements like melatonin is a great way to ensure that your pet will be healthy, relaxed, and well-rested.
CBD – Your Pet’s Best Friend
From anxiety to insomnia, CBD has shown itself to be a useful and life-changing compound for pets and pet owners across the globe, and as the CBD industry continues to grow and find its footing, you can expect to see even more specialized products for a variety of health issues.
And as more research becomes done, CBD’s list of beneficial uses continues to grow, giving more people and animals a chance to try it for themselves. Fortunately, the recent legalization of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products means that research can now be conducted freely, which is great news for everyone.
So whether you’ve got a stressed-out cat or a pup in pain, consider the potential healing benefits of CBD as an all-natural approach to handling a multitude of common ailments and issues.
About the Author:
Tayler is a content writer for the cbdMD blog. Before joining cbdMD, he spent time in Atlanta as the editor-in-chief of a music publication, covering everyone from Future to Katy Perry to up-and-coming local rock acts. In his free time, Tayler enjoys sour beer, Thai food, and watching Arrested Development for the 18th time.