A new train of thought about CBD for pets
As the decriminalisation and legalisation of cannabis and hemp sweep across the USA, and the wider world, pet owners have begun to consider giving it to their “fur children”. Whether it’s for general health maintenance or to tackle specific health conditions, use of CBD for pets is enjoying growing acceptance.
Like humans, our animal companions possess a complex system of cellular communication known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS), due to its resemblance with the cannabinoids found in hemp1. The main difference is that our pets cannot tolerate more than trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid that is not produced in significant amounts by hemp, so just CBD for pets is the solution (and many humans).
CBD might alleviate temporary discomforts in dogs
Additionally, the Chicago blog Mommy Mayhem had an amazing story to tell this year. When a 7-year-old Great Dane named Leah developed a severe condition, her owner was advised to administer hemp oil in conjunction with her health regimen, and within days she was back to running around. Anxiety may be another problem dogs experience that can be managed with hemp, as described by a woman whose dog couldn’t stand 4th July fireworks2. Research on humans has found that CBD could relieve temporary symptoms of anxiety, such as that caused by public speaking.
Other animals may benefit from CBD
Maybe you don’t have a dog; maybe you have birds instead. Including hemp seeds in your bird’s diet can be a great way to improve their nutrient intake, and therefore their health. If you keep chickens, a study has found that feeding them hemp seeds increases the omega-3 fatty acid content of their eggs. Omega-3 fats are required by our bodies to produce anti-inflammatory substances, which protect us from all sorts of damage. Hemp seeds are also rich3 in vitamin E, which also protects our cell membranes from oxidative damage, and magnesium, which is involved in hundreds of cellular reactions and prevents our muscles from getting too stiff.
Dogs and THC do not mix
Despite the potential benefits of hemp, it is absolutely imperative that your dog does not consume THC5. Studies in the 1970s found that dogs have a very high density of THC receptors in the hindbrain. The hindbrain controls vital functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and breathing6, and overdoses of THC have even been reported to kill dogs. This is through a similar mechanism to how opioids suppress breathing in high doses. While veterinary medicine still needs to run clinical trials, CBD for pets appears to be promising.