Much of the focus on the use of the cannabis compound cannabidiol (CBD) has been centered on human application, but research has indicated that it can be a natural alternative form of medication for pets. It is no secret that CBD had been touted as a natural remedy that has been associated with the treatment of inflammation, pain, muscle spasm, tumors, appetite stimulation, anxiety, and a host of other ailments. Like humans, animals have specific cannabinoid receptor sites in the brain, immune and central nervous systems, all of which makes up the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for a host of regulatory functions in the body. Veterinarians suggest that CBD may have the potential to help treat both acute and chronic conditions that your pet may suffer from, such as pain, skin conditions, and seizure.
How CBD Appears to Work in your Pet
Many individuals have a dog as a pet, and research has shown that cannabinoids are metabolized in dogs differently than in humans, but with similar positive effects. Side-chain hydroxylated derivatives of CBD-7-oic acid were particularly abundant in human urine, but much less so in dog that displayed significant oxidized metabolites through beta-oxidation with further hydroxylation at C-6. Anandamide and 2 arachidonylglycerol are the two vital endogenous cannabinoids in a dog’s brain that has an affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors that can activate a response to cannabis compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD). According to one study, after the administration of two iv doses (45 and 90 mg) and one oral dose (180 mg) of CBD to dogs, CBD was observed to have a large volume of distribution (100 liters), but results also show that CBD was barely absorbed after oral administration to dogs. The results indicates that a large dose of CBD is safe for dogs, avoiding the risk toxicity associated with conventional drugs.
CBD used to Treat Skin Conditions and Seizures in Dogs
There are more than 100 skin disorders that are dog related and some can result in chronic difficulties. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions that affect dogs, and CBD has been implicated as a potential treatment option in treating the condition. In a study conducted to determine the distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) in the skin of clinically normal dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis (AD), researcher concluded that CB1 and CB2 immunoreactivity was stronger than it was in skin samples of healthy dogs, which makes the endocannabinoid system a target for treatment of immune-mediated and inflammatory disorders such as allergic skin diseases in dogs. This finding suggests that cannabis compounds such as CBD could play an important role as a therapeutic treatment in this regard.
Some veterinarians also believe that CBD could be useful in treating seizures/convulsions. While scientific studies regarding CBD and epilepsy in animals are limited, researchers have embraced the potential of CBD and are in the process of conducting investigations into the subject. For example, Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital is conducting clinical trials with the aim of assessing the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD), low in the psychoactive compound THC, in treating canine epilepsy; in the study, a dog will be randomly assigned to either a control group or a treatment group, where they will receive the CBD oil or a placebo for 12 weeks. Furthermore, trial costs will not fall to the dog's owner. More studies like this are warranted in order to make the case for CBD in treating convulsions in pets.
Story of Pet’s Successful Treatment with CBD
Pet owners are also taking matters into their own hands and experimenting with CBD without waiting for scientific evidence to validate claims. Dr. Edward Bassingthwaighte, an Australian holistic veterinarian expressed his amazement at the success stories of some dogs being treated for various conditions with cannabis. He shares the story of a senior Staffy that had a fast-growing tumor in her mammary gland, which appeared to be metastasis based on X-ray results. Dr. Bassingthwaighte administered CBD oil treatment to the Staffy, along with some other herbal medicines, and over a three month period, the tumor decreased significantly, with no sign of recurrence.
CBD has been shown to possess the ability to treat various conditions in pets such as skin conditions, convulsion, and pain. While CBD is metabolized differently in humans than in animals, animals such as dogs possess CB1 and CB2 receptors that have an affinity to the nonpsychoactive compound CBD. CBD appears to provide a safe alternative for pets, by offering a natural plant based way to treat specific conditions. Today, the research related to CBD treating conditions in pets is limited, but current research offers much promise for pet owners who would otherwise be left with the only option of euthanizing their beloved, suffering pet.