There are many beneficial chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. Among them, CBD, or cannabidiol, is found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not cause intoxication (the high you get from marijuana), but it does have a myriad of health benefits that can make your dog calmer and pain-free — and it just might be a lifesaver.
Like humans, dogs have an endocannabinoid system. Found in the central nervous system, endocannabinoids and their receptors monitor the conditions outside the cells and transmit that information to the inside of the cell, which triggers an appropriate cellular response. Endocannabinoids are vital for regulating sleep, appetite, mood, motor control, pain, immune function and other important aspects of health.
As CBD research becomes available, more dog parents are incorporating the oil into their dogs’ health plan. Be sure to use CBD oil made especially for dogs, and check out the proper dosage. You can get CBD oil mixed with coconut oil, bacon flavored, organic, as treats, and unflavored.
Below are 15 ways CBD oil can help your dog. As with any medication, pet parents should consult their veterinarian or professional first before treating their dog with cannabis oil.
1. Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, general anxiety, PTSD, and depression. Whether the anxiety is a result of a chemical imbalance in your dog’s brain or it’s trauma related, CBD oil is known to affect these chemicals by normalizing and stabilizing them. It interacts with serotonin and adenosine receptors present in the brain, helping these receptors to work properly. CBD oil is known to be a relaxing stimulant that helps calm your dog’s anxiety.
Related: The Secret to Living With an Overly Sensitive Dog
2. Alleviate Arthritis
Dog parents, vets and studies on humans have reported that CBD can treat arthritis, which is an inflammation of the joints. When your dog has arthritis, the cartilage that allows the joint surfaces to move with little friction becomes damaged, and the joint’s increased friction causes swelling and pain. CBD oil is a natural pain reliever, and has been shown to help relieve chronic inflammation.
3. Treat Seizures and Epilepsy
When a dog suffers from a seizure, it is likely she will be put on phenobarbital, potassium bromide or another drug. While these medications can be effective (but not always), they aren’t great for your dog’s liver or other organs. Dog parents have reported that CBD oil can reduce or even eliminate the seizures of epilepsy, especially when conventional anti-seizure medicine isn’t effective. It can also be used along with pharmaceuticals to help reduce seizure severity and frequency.
CBD has shown to work in patients with epilepsy who are resistant to drug medications, or other treatments, with the FDA recently approving the first CBD drug to treat epilepsy in humans.
4. Reduce Neuropathic Pain
When the nerves are damaged, even a light touch can cause pain to run through the body. CBD oil has been shown to reduce pain that is associated with an injury, disease or nerve damage, called neuropathic pain in humans.
5. Prevent and Kill Cancer
CBD oil has been shown to have anti-tumor effects. Reports have shown that CBD can prevent cancer cells from growing and increases tumor cell death in humans It may also increase the effectiveness of traditional cancer treatment.
6. Reduce Nausea and Stimulate the Appetite
CBD oil may help dogs that have stopped eating regain their appetite, as the National Cancer Institute noted an increase in appetite in animal studies. It is known to reduce nausea and vomiting in cancer patients or in dogs that are sick, and helps them recover by increasing their nourishment.
7. Improve Cardiovascular Health
Human and animals studies have shown that CBD oil may improve heart health by helping heal damaged blood vessels, relax arterial walls, protect arteries from inflammation, normalize the heart rate, reduce arterial plaque and reduce high blood pressure from stress and anxiety.
8. Help Relieve Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It is reported that CBD oil may be a promising solution to help IBD and colitis, a chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract, in patients. It is known to aid the normal movement of the digestive system, and it also has antibiotic properties to help fight against bacteria like MRSA.
9. Help Treat or Prevent Diabetes
Some dog parents and vets believe CBD oil can help prevent diabetes. A clinical trial found that CBD can reduce inflammation and may also improves the metabolism, which aids in sugar absorption. It can also help prevent some of the complications of diabetes, including atherosclerosis and blindness.
Related: How a CBD Treat Line Changed the Life of Tater Tot, the Celeb Dog From ‘Pit Bull and Parolees’
10. Protect the Nervous System
CBD may help dogs with degenerative myelopathy, a devastating inflammatory autoimmune disease that eventually causes paralysis. Similar to ALS and Parkinson’s disease, studies have shown CBD works in humans suffering from these conditions. Studies have also shown it has helped those suffering from Alzheimer disease by protecting brain cells from toxins.
11. Relieve Skin Allergies
CBD oil increases essential fatty acids in the skin, possibly relieving skin allergies, dryness, itching, atopic dermatitis (a chronic inflammatory disease), while promoting healthy skin growth. Using CBD may also reduce the use of corticosteroids like Prednisone, which aren’t recommended for long-term treatment.
12. Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant
CBD is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins C and E in preventing oxidative stress, which creates free radicals that attack the cells and damage DNA, lowering immunity to disease and increasing the effects of aging. Antioxidants protect the body from this free radical damage.
13. Relieve Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the build-up of pressure in the eye. Not only has it been reported that CBD reduce the pressure of glaucoma in humans, but it may also protect the cells in the eye from developing the disease. In pets that have glaucoma, CDB may be an option for a long-term treatment.
14. Shrink Fatty Tumors
Dog lipomas, also called fatty tumors, are non-cancerous lumps that grow underneath the dog’s skin. They can cause extreme discomfort and reduce mobility. CBD is known to have an antitumorigenic effect, which means it can stop or slow the growth of tumors, or even shrink them.
Related: How CBD Oil Changed My Pup’s Life – and Can Change Your Dog’s Too
15. Promote Homeostasis
Homeostasis is the proper functioning of the body. When the body is in balance, your dog stays healthy. When the balance is off, the body gets sick. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in maintain this balance; CBD may stimulates this system, helping to promote homeostasis.
This should not be substituted for professional advice. Please contact your vet or pet professional before giving your dog CBD oil.