This guest post was written and provided by Joy Smith of Joy Organics.
We love our pets. This goes without saying. In fact, we’d rather spend the day with them than many of our two-legged family members! Yet, when our less awesome two-legged family members need care, we would bend over backward to see them comfortable. The same kind of love should be shown to our four-legged babies too. Now that CBD products are legal in all 50 states, our dogs can also benefit from the same relief that many humans did in 2018. Here’s how CBD products can help your dog find their inner pup again!
Benefits of CBD Oil Products
Seeing as dogs are part of the family, we’re going to lump them in the same category as humans. That’s because the way CBD affects humans is similar to how it affects dogs.
“All disease begins in the gut.” Those are the famous words of Hippocrates, a Greek physician born in 460 B.C. With time, we learned that inflammation was the root of many diseases. Based on inflammatory responses in our gut, bad bacteria grows.
Just like us, bacteria is a living being. Naturally, harmful bacteria will spread. Depending on what these microbes are, we (and our dogs) will develop a health condition.
When we feel the symptoms of a condition, these are our body’s warning signals. That’s because the inflammation triggering these symptoms is setting off receptors throughout our body. Let’s learn a bit more about these receptors and how they can help our dogs.
Inflammation and Receptors
As inflammation festers, it lets out pungent vapors. These harsh vapors stimulate the neural tissues attached to receptors.
Receptors send neurons as messengers to let the brain know what’s going on. Based on the brain’s interpretation of the threat at hand, we (and our dogs) experience the symptoms associated with the conditions we suffer from.
The body is equipped with a load of these receptors. However, a good portion of them can found in critical areas including:
– Under skin
– Facial tissues
– Peripheral nervous system
– Immune cells
You name it, a receptor is latched on it. These receptors survey the area for inflammation. When one breaks out, you know almost immediately because a rash will pop up, or you’ll feel nauseous, or your nose will start to run.
As long as the inflammation is in your system, you will feel these symptoms. There are many over-the-counter remedies that will address the symptoms you experience. However, these instant fixes will just mask what’s going on while the problem continues inside. This is where CBD products come in handy.
How CBD Products Work
Remember how we said the odorous nature of inflammation sets the receptors off into a tailspin? CBD works to put out those fires.
CBD is derived from hemp, the non-psychoactive member of the cannabis family. While it can be derived from marijuana, hemp is a much safer bet for your pet as it is legal and contains only trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC.
The purpose of CBD is to bring homeostasis to the system in your body known as the endocannabinoid system. It goes into your bloodstream blindly, seeking out the distressed receptors. Whether it be pain in a knee joint, an upset stomach from food poisoning or an anxiety attack from loneliness, CBD senses the receptor sending the negative signals.
When CBD finds the unhappy receptor, it influences it indirectly by interacting with your body’s natural cannabinoids, as well as other non-cannabinoid systems.
As a result, the message coming from these receptors’ axion changes. When this happens, your brain receives a less frantic message. Following this realization, the symptoms associated with your condition should decrease, if not come to a halt.
In the meantime, CBD works two-fold. Studies have shown that CBD is a strong anti-inflammatory. Seeing as inflammation is the cause of so many conditions, CBD may cause the symptoms to almost disappear!
Differences Between CBD for Humans and CBD for Dogs
Now that you have a better understanding of how CBD works on humans, we’re going to transition a bit here. Going forward, we’re going to refer to CBD for dogs only.
Many of the benefits of CBD for dogs are the same as the benefits of CBD for humans. However, their bodies are a bit different. As a responsible owner, you should understand how CBD works on a bigger scale, and then cut it down to a smaller scale for your fur babies.
CBD Benefits for Dogs
As we mentioned, a lot of the same benefits for humans can be carried over to dogs. Studies on CBD have shown effectiveness in alleviating symptoms associated with conditions such as:
– Appetite Growth
– Appetite Suppression
– Bowel Diseases
– Injury Pain
– Post-Op Care
This sure covers a lot of ground and the list is expected to grow even more. That’s because one of the final acts of the 2018 Congress was to enact a new Farm Bill. In this Farm Bill, the production and sale of hemp products was legalized on a federal level.
With this monumental act will come an increase in demand for CBD products. Due to the long-standing prohibition on hemp, studies on CBD haven’t been extensive. With hemp products out-of-sight-out-of-mind, there was no need to research the potential benefits for consumers.
Over time, people caught onto the benefits of CBD. This opened the door for research on important ailments like the ones listed above. That means the already robust list above will only get larger with time.
Hemp breeders are already cultivating species that contain high levels of CBD and other beneficial hemp molecules. Now, they can begin to focus on targeted problems and offer even more personalized care for our four-legged loved ones.
How to Give Your Dog CBD Oil Treats
There are two primary forms of CBD treatment for dogs: tinctures and treats. The easiest of the bunch are treats, but both have benefits and potential. Let us explain the differences. We’ll begin with the easiest — dog treats.
CBD dog treats are great because, well, they’re treats! With CBD dog treats, the relief won’t be instantaneous. First, your dog needs to digest the treat. The treat itself is not all CBD, but will be infused with CBD oil.
Anytime a living being consumes food, it goes down the little pathway and into our stomach acids. Just by the word acid, you know that it can do some damage. This acid works on digesting the CBD treat.
When the solid material starts to dissolve upon reacting with the acid, the CBD molecules inside are released. Like any gas, the cannabinoids will dissipate. However, the CBD is contained within your dog’s body. Therefore, it will float about until it finds any of the following:
– A distressed receptor
– Festering inflammation
– Immune cells in need of a boost
– Tissues that are oxidizing
– Free radicals growing
When CBD enters the bloodstream, it’s fair game. The grand prize? Relief. However, that relief doesn’t come quickly. Depending on the size of your dog, s/he may not feel relief for a few hours.
With that being said, this relief will last a long period of time. That’s because their body is constantly breaking down the solid material. Each time more solid material is digested, more CBD breaks off into the bloodstream. Consuming a CBD treat is like taking a time-release pill for extended relief.
Now that you have an understanding of how CBD dog treats work, let’s get to the more difficult of the two — CBD tinctures.
How to Give Your Dog CBD Tinctures
What’s handy about CBD dog treats is that they have a specific serving size ready to go for your dog. With CBD tinctures, you take this important step into your own hands.
CBD tinctures are the quickest way to provide your pup with CBD relief. Underneath the tongue lies capillaries. These little blood cells soak up the CBD tincture. Instead of waiting for the food to digest, the dog’s body gets the CBD benefits almost immediately.
With that being said, they will also burn through the CBD quicker. Since their body doesn’t have that built-in time-release it had when breaking down a treat, your dog’s symptoms may return at a faster rate.
However, tinctures do work two-fold. Depending on the serving size, your dog will also swallow some of the tincture. Therefore, some of the CBD does get digested like the dog treats. However, the quantity in the system will minimize as the hours pass.
Side Effects of CBD for Dogs
This isn’t the first time a human and dog can have the same treatment. Let’s take Enalapril. Enalapril is a heart med for both two legs and four. However, the dosage is different.
Think of a child. Would you give them the same amount of Aspirin you would take? No. You’d get the Children’s Aspirin that is properly dosed for their size. This rule of thumb goes for CBD and dogs.
Dogs are smaller. Their livers can’t metabolize CBD at the same level as us. That’s why CBD dog treats are so handy — these products have set serving sizes. You know exactly what you’re giving your dog.
With tinctures, it’s on you. You are choosing the serving. Plus, administering the tincture might not be as easy for you (or tasty for the dog). So, you might lose some of the tinctures due to spillage or spit. This can lead to administering the dog even more of the CBD tincture, resulting in a wasted product or giving the dog too much.
Giving your dog the correct serving is extremely important. Remember the receptors we mentioned before? They are all a part of a network known as the endocannabinoid system. Studies have found that dogs have a more sensitive endocannabinoid system than humans.
Therefore, a little CBD goes a long way for a pup. Too much may lead to some adverse side effects. There are no documented cases of a CBD overdose, but you still don’t want your pup to feel sick or uncomfortable. If your dog displays any signs of lethargy or odd behavior, contact your vet immediately.
With that being said, these moments are not common. Just always keep an open line of communication with your vet, especially when trying new and unregulated products. However, the future of CBD for dogs is bright!