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How CBD Can Improve Your Dog’s Health

By: in partnership with CBD Genesis

Last Updated:


Much of the attention that cannabidiol (CBD) has received has been concentrated on the benefits that it can offer humans, but we aren’t the only species that have endocannabinoid systems – dogs do as well! Here is what you need to know about why CBD is safe for your dog, the benefits of endocannabinoid system regulation, and which products may be best suited to enhancing the overall wellbeing of your pets.

How CBD differs from cannabis

Cannabis is a psychoactive drug, and this is mostly because of the hefty concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in strains, a potent cannabinoid with mind-altering properties. While most humans are fine with a small dose of THC, just a small amount of this substance can cause serious health problems for your four-legged friend. At best, it will just make them uncomfortable for a short while, but worst-case scenarios include seizures, hyperactivity and depression. In short, don’t let your dog get high.

CBD, on the other hand, is much safer, primarily because it is a non-psychoactive chemical. One reason that THC is so potent is because it is an agonist of the CB1 receptor, which is responsible for the psychotropic effects. In contrast, CBD is an antagonist of the receptor, and even suppresses psychoactivity. In humans, CBD is being explored as a potential antipsychotic medicine to treat illnesses such as psychosis.

CBD is an endocannabinoid reuptake and breakdown inhibitor, which means that it can increase levels of the body’s endogenously-produced endocannabinoids, such as anandamide. Think of anandamide as a natural THC. The cannabinoid binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, but it is nowhere near as strong as THC, hence why the effects are subtler. Both humans and dogs produce anandamide. Another important, albeit less researched endocannabinoid, is 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) – this chemical appears key to reducing inflammation.

How your dog can benefit from endocannabinoid system regulation

Optimum health is achieved when all of the systems in a dog’s body are operating in balance. Getting this balance right has become more possible since the discovery of the endocannabinoid system.

Reduced inflammation

Many dogs suffer from inflammation, which can cause conditions such as arthritis or colitis. These are notoriously painful and worsen over the time and are a result of an overactive immune system which destroys the body. In the case of arthritis, inflammation exposes the joints and bones as cartilage wastes away.

However, CBD may provide anti-inflammatory benefits which are more potent and sustainable than those offered by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Dogs have CB2 receptors in their immune systems – both anandamide and 2-AG can latch onto these receptors, to regulate inflammatory messages. The immunomodulatory properties of these endocannabinoids reduce inflammation, while keeping the immune system strong and protecting the body from infection.

The reuptake and breakdown inhibiting effects of CBD are crucial to this anti-inflammatory effect.

Furthermore, relieving pain is also helpful for treating many inflammatory conditions. CBD has analgesic effects, which are exerted via the CB1 receptor and the vanilloid receptor – the latter is not a part of the endocannabinoid system.

Treating anxiety

Dogs can become anxious for many reasons. It may be down to separation from their owners or moving to a new location, or because of unexpected loud noises, such as fireworks. As with humans, anxiety can be very psychologically tormenting for dogs, causing restlessness, pacing, aggression, excessive barking and other hard-to-watch symptoms.

CBD’s anxiolytic properties could be the perfect panacea for anxious dogs. The substance works to address chemical imbalance in the brain which causes overexcitation. By increasing the amount of available gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), neuronal impulses are decreased, which has a calming mental effect.

CBD products for dogs

The two most popular CBD products for dogs are edible treats and sprays. Many pet owners find that while tincture oils are effective, they can be difficult to administer due to the challenge of keeping their dog still while they medicate them.

Koi CBD manufactures flavored, veterinarian-formulated soft chews which your dog is sure to become a big fan of! The spray is also very efficient, as it can just be added to dog food. Bigger dogs need a higher dosage – the packaging will typically have guidelines.

Never give your dog CBD that is meant for humans – the dose will likely be far too potent and there may also be other ingredients that aren’t safe for dogs. Always be sure to choose a CBD product formulated especially for pets.


Last Updated:

By: in partnership with CBD Genesis
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