More and more pet owners and veterinarians are turning their attention to non-psychotropic cannabinoid CBD. Like humans, cats, dogs and other mammals have an endocannabinoid system.
This has led people around the world to administer CBD to sick, elderly and healthy pets. But is CBD as versatile for dogs as it is for humans? And besides, how does cannabinoid affect the physiological functions of our furry friends?
Could CBD be the alternative solution veterinarians have long been looking for?
Within the medical community, there is a lack of substantial research on the safety and efficacy of CBD in animals and humans. This has created a similar scientific impasse between humans and pets, where preliminary results are encouraging, but large-scale trials are lacking.
Even so, preliminary evidence (coupled with the rise of CBD companies involved with pets) has encouraged many to administer the substance to dogs suffering from anxiety, pain and inflammation. Is this the right decision?
EFFECTS OF CBD ON DOGS
Today, CBD is an ingredient in many dog products. As a non-psychotropic cannabinoid incapable of causing a high, pet owners can be confident that they are not giving their dogs an intoxicating substance like THC. Everything from chewables and treats, capsules, oils, topicals, and more has undergone a re-evaluation and makeover in the field of pet care.
As mentioned above, both dogs and humans have an internal endocannabinoid system (SEC). This regulatory system plays an important role in many physiological functions and is one of the main molecular targets of cannabinoids in the body.
With cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system and in the mammalian immune system, the endocannabinoid system ultimately contributes to the homeostasis of normal body functions.
Since dogs have an ESA, it is logical that cannabinoids can be used to benefit dogs that need them. Although CBD is not prescribed as a treatment for these symptoms, preliminary research points to the potential of CBD in the areas of nausea, pain and inflammation, and seizures.
Anecdotal evidence on CBD for dogs is difficult to contain; some pet owners claim that cannabinoid has successfully eliminated their dog’s symptoms, while others feel that it helps their dog on a more holistic level.
Because veterinary science has not yet fully explored CBD as a real treatment option, the responsibility for deciding what is right for the dog lies largely with the pet owner.
That said, always consult your veterinarian if you are considering giving your pets CBD. It is essential to first assess any contraindications, existing diseases and other factors that may affect the efficacy or viability of CBD.
THE SCIENCE OF CBD IS BEHIND THE DOGS
Although there have been no conclusive studies on CBD for dogs, several clinical trials are underway in veterinary schools, and early results look promising.
The Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is conducting a study to evaluate the efficacy of CBD in epileptic dogs , with encouraging initial results. A total of 16 dogs were recruited into the study, 9 of which received CBD. Early results indicate that 89% of the dogs treated with CBD experienced a decrease in seizures.
Meanwhile, a recent clinical trial evaluated the pharmacokinetics of CBD oil, along with its safety and analgesic efficacy in dogs with osteoarthritis . Most dogs showed a significant decrease in pain and increased activity during treatment with CBD oil, with no side effects reported by owners.
Long-term studies with larger populations are needed to identify the sustained effects of CBD on canine osteoarthritis and related pain; however, short-term results appear to be positive.
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