Seeing your animal in pain or any kind of discomfort is one of the worst things about being a pet owner. They aren’t just animals; they’re members of the family, and seeing your loved one in pain is always difficult.
Much like children who can’t talk yet, our pets can’t tell us what’s hurting them. They can’t suddenly speak and say, “Mom! My hips are sore,” or “Dad! My belly is upset.” So, oftentimes, we as pet parents have to guess what’s going on with our fur babies before taking them to the vet.
Thankfully, there have been significant advances in pain management for our pets that doesn’t involve harsh chemicals or products with concerning side effects. That’s right; we’re talking about dog CBD.
What Is CBD, and How Does It Help Reduce Pain?
To answer this question, we first must dive into a science lesson. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, or ECS, throughout their body. The ECS consists of internal cannabinoids, their receptors, and metabolic enzymes. These components play a key role in keeping the body in homeostasis, helping to regulate the nervous and immune systems.
Whenever there’s something going wrong with the body and things aren’t functioning at the level they should be, the endocannabinoid system is what brings the body back into balance. The ECS receptors are found throughout the body and are activated when CBD enters the body.
Essentially, when CBD is introduced into the body, it helps it operate better by bringing the different systems that allow us to function into alignment. CBD makes up about 40% of the chemical structure of the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, the chemical compound that gets you “high”, CBD isn’t psychotropic.
When it comes to pain management, CBD helps the endocannabinoid system balance the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The latter two systems release neurotransmitters that point to discomfort. When there is an imbalance, there is an increased neurotransmitter response. As this happens, the ECS rebalances the transmissions helping to reduce the body’s response to discomfort or spasms produced by the body.
This is done by the ECS decreasing the production of inflammatory proteins and regulating the inflammatory response.
While our body already produces cannabinoids (endocannabinoids), introducing phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from a plant) offers a backup layer in the body, providing extra help to regulate and balance whatever is out of sync.
How High-Quality CBD Has Been Scientifically Proven to Help Manage Pain in Dogs
Now that you have a brief overview of how CBD interacts with the body, it’s time to start looking for brands that produce products you can count on as safe and effective for your dog.
Whenever we look for products to introduce into our dogs’ routine, we do extensive research on the company and its products. Therefore, it’s crucial that they are transparent with the ingredients used and the science behind their choices. While CBD was discovered in 1940, it’s only within the last few years have companies and researchers began experimenting and figuring out the positive benefits of CBD on dogs.
In 2017, a trial was conducted by Professor Dr. Joe Wakshlag at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to study the effects of basic oral pharmacokinetics. The study also gauged the safety and analgesic (pain-relieving) efficacy of a CBD and CBDA-based oil in dogs with osteoarthritis. The results were staggering, with over 80% of dogs in the study having a significant or dramatic positive response to two mg of CBD and CBDA twice daily.
The groundbreaking discovery was crucial for pet owners as pain-relieving medications frequently have concerning side effects, replacing one ailment for another. That was not the case with this study, and the trial has helped pave the way for different CBD-based medications like treats, other oils, and topical products.
How CBD Has Helped Dogs and Their Worried Owners
There is a plethora of anecdotal evidence out there about how CBD has improved the lives of dogs. For example, after two surgeries and limited mobility, an eight-year-old German Shephard was revitalized after starting a regimen of vet-approved CBD oil. He’s been taking it for two years, and his owner says he’s like a new dog.
Much like humans, when dogs reach a certain age, their joints start to hurt, making it difficult for them to get up and lay down. One owner stated that after giving her Lab-Sheppard mix CBD oil for six months, he is interested in taking walks again and doesn’t struggle to get up off of the floor.
Other testimonials mention their older dogs are acting like puppies again, and their owners realized just how much pain they were in before introducing CBD oil into their diet. The bottom line is CBD will be a helpful addition to your dog’s wellness regimen.