In recent years, CBD has become a mainstream staple in households across the United States. This is largely due to the cannabinoid’s effectiveness as a versatile health remedy: it’s known to treat a wide array of ailments, and research into its many uses has only scratched the surface!
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many healing compounds derived from the hemp plant. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid was legalized and researchers and entrepreneurs alike took the opportunity to investigate its everyday potential further.
Some may be surprised to learn that human beings aren’t the only ones to benefit from CBD – your pets may benefit, too!
Like people, dogs’ and cats’ bodies contain an endocannabinoid system that both processes and produces cannabinoids like CBD. In fact, all mammals have an endocannabinoid system or ECS. Without this bodily system, your pet wouldn’t be able to benefit from CBD use.
Veterinary research indicates that CBD is safe for consumption by cats and dogs. This means that your furry, four-legged friends can enjoy the various health benefits of CBD, as well. Read on to learn more about our top seven ways CBD can help your pet!
One: CBD boosts immunity and can restore homeostasis
Just as pets and humans share an endocannabinoid system, we also share an immune system that works to protect our bodies from foreign attackers like bad bacteria or nasty parasites.
Several studies have found that CBD boosts overall immune function. This 2020 review, for example, concluded that CBD regulates the immune system by suppressing overactivity, inducing apoptosis, or cell death, of inflammatory cells, and producing regulatory cells. In addition, this study found that CBD and other cannabinoids help regulate chronic autoimmune responses, decreasing proinflammatory cells and the production of proinflammatory cytokines.
By stabilizing the immune system, CBD helps the body achieve homeostasis, or overall balance. It does this by triggering the body’s serotonin system, which regulates the hypothalamus. When the hypothalamus releases serotonin into the bloodstream, the body is able to achieve homeostasis.
Two: CBD mitigates stress and anxiety
Unfortunately, pets too undergo stress and can be especially prone to separation anxiety. If you’re like us, you hate to envision your beloved fur baby upset and anxious when left home alone, even for brief periods of time.
Luckily, numerous studies have found CBD to be an effective antidote to all kinds of anxiety. It reduces the stress response by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain, which play an important role in mood regulation.
Several studies have found a notable link between CBD and mood regulation. This study concluded that CBD positively impacted limbic and paralimbic brain activity and significantly decreased anxiety in patients with diagnosed social anxiety disorder (SAD). Another study found that CBD decreased anxiety scores within just a month of treatment.
Three: CBD may relieve pain and inflammation
While pets are often good at hiding it, they, like human beings, experience pain. Pets are also known to develop painful inflammatory conditions like arthritis, especially as they age.
One 2018 study concluded that CBD treatment decreased pain and increased activity in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. Researchers believe that CBD works to mitigate chronic widespread pain by interacting directly with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain that signal pain. More specifically, CBD attaches to the CB2 receptor, which manages pain and inflammation.
This 2017 study suggests that CBD reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in Alzheimer’s patients. Another study suggests that a general cannabinoid deficiency may be central to chronic inflammatory pain conditions. It seems that CBD helps reduce pain by triggering the CB1 receptors in the brain that regulate the body’s pain response. While these studies are focused on human subjects, it may be safe to assume that results would be similar for anyone with an ECS, including pets.
Four: CBD treats skin issues
Many pets, especially those allowed outside, encounter skin troubles like rashes or fleas from time to time. To make matters worse, pets typically scratch at bothersome patches of skin and prolong whatever issue they are experiencing. Luckily, CBD relieves skin problems, fends off fleas, and ultimately helps your pet avoid the dreaded cone collar.
This study found that dogs with atopic dermatitis saw a significant reduction or complete cessation of itching symptoms with CBD use. Additionally, this 2019 review found that CBD promotes skin homeostasis and skin barrier formation and regeneration, fighting chronic skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis, amongst others. We love this Everyday Skin Repair Stick from Bee’s Knees Wellness! It can be applied to your pet’s paws for instant relief and is especially helpful for soothing dry, cracked paws.
CBD additionally acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent, staving off bacterial skin infections. This 2020 study found that CBD, alongside other cannabinoids, acts as a potent antimicrobial against pathogens such as MRSA. Another study reported CBD to be a remarkable antimicrobial, research here indicating that the compound not only fights MRSA, but other resistant bacteria as well.
Five: CBD may repel fleas
Fleas can be difficult to get rid of and are extremely bothersome to you and your pet. Your pet may find themselves combatting a nasty infection without proper treatment, and exterminating fleas from your home is often an uphill battle. Rather than turn to toxic flea repellants, consider CBD as a natural alternative.
CBD may act as an effective pesticide and insecticide, defending against pest insects per this 2019 study. Many find that diluting a concentrated tincture, like this one from Bee’s Knees Wellness, with water creates a non-toxic spray that can be applied to your pet or even sprayed around your home to defend against a flea infestation.
Six: CBD may help alleviate chronic nausea
Does your pet vomit frequently, or do they struggle with persistent nausea? If so, CBD might just be the remedy you’re searching for!
Overwhelming evidence suggests that CBD treats the symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments, especially nausea and vomiting. One 2011 study found that CBD interacts directly with the serotonin receptors in the brain that regulate nausea and vomiting.
Another study boasted similar results: CBD again reduced nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Researchers concluded that CBD holds clinical applications for suppressing severe and ongoing nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. Again, while the subjects in these studies are human, it may be connected to anyone with an ECS, meaning that pets would experience the same benefits as we do.
Seven: CBD may reduce seizures
Seizures can be difficult to combat, and veterinary medications often come with side effects that induce further complications for your pet. CBD offers a natural alternative, acting as a powerful anticonvulsant that both treats seizures as they arise and prevents and reduces the occurrence of seizures altogether.
Idiopathic epilepsy affects 5% of canines, making it the most common neurological condition suffered by dogs. This 2019 study found that administering CBD to dogs with epilepsy significantly reduced the frequency of seizures. Another recent study concluded similar results, finding that the occurrence of canine seizures diminished significantly with CBD use when compared to those administered placebos.
CBD is not only safe for pets such as dogs and cats: it’s also incredibly effective! As researchers continue to explore the many ways CBD can help our pets, many manufacturers have similarly taken pets into consideration when crafting CBD products.
We love this botanical tincture from Bee’s Knees Wellness as an everyday pet boost! It’s formulated specifically for pets and is easy to add to their food, water dishes, and treats, or to apply to your pet’s skin to soothe dermatological issues.
We hope that, as you help your pet along their wellness journey, you consider CBD as a great natural treatment for your pet’s health needs!