Just like people, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a network that helps regulate pain, memory, mood, immunity, and stress.
The body naturally produces endocannabinoids (endo = within, as in produced internally) which travel throughout the body and attach to receptors that are present in skin, muscle, joints, and in the brain. Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring lipid-based (suspended in a fatty acid) neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers in the body that send signals between nerve cells. Phew! That's a mouthful, but it's actually pretty simple.
The body produces them as necessary in an attempt to bring the body into balance. In cases where the body is not producing enough to deal with the condition, we can supplement them by adding CBD oil.
CBD (cannabinoid) molecules attach to the same receptors that the body’s own endocannabinoids do. These receptors are on the surface of cells throughout the body. When cannabinoids attach to the receptors they send a message to the ECS to jump start a response. There are two primary cannabinoids receptors throughout the body:
CB1 is primarily present in the central nervous system, which comprises the brain and spinal cord;
CB2 is primarily present in the peripheral nervous system and in the cells of the immune system.
Cannabinoids can attach to any of these receptors, and the results will be different depending on where the receptor is in the body. The cannabinoids are drawn to where they are required, which explains why it is effective for so many different issues. For example, they may attach to a CB1 receptor on spinal nerves to relieve pain, or to a CB2 receptor in an immune cell to fight inflammation. In the case of anxiety, CBD works by regulating the serotonin levels in the brain.
The body knows what’s out of balance. It also knows when nothing is required, which is why CBD oil is so safe for us and for our pets…if it is not needed it will simply not attach to any receptors and will be eliminated in the urine.
CBD has no significant side effects, but if your pet is already on medication for an existing medical condition, take a moment and ask your vet about adding CBD to their daily routine. As always, if you notice any unusual reactions discontinue use and call your vet, as thereis always the possibility of an allergic reaction to any treatment.