Although a lot of pet owners have begun trusting the effects cannabidiol has on the lives of their pets, many know little about how it works and how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
So, throughout this article, we are going to be discussing what CBD is and how it affects the endocannabinoid system in pets.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabinoid and is gotten from the leaves and flowers of a hemp plant. Though this compound is obtained from a hemp plant, it has little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers believe that cannabidiol has about 0.3% THC, which is considered safe for your dog or cat. I’ve started giving my anxious cat, cat treats CBD.
Though cannabidiol is gotten from a hemp plant, it doesn’t have any psychoactive effect. This means that your pet doesn’t get that “high” feeling associated with cannabis. The reason for this is because of the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in CBD.
The Functions of CBD in Pets
CBD is used to treat many medical conditions that pets may suffer and there are as follow:
- Inflammatory conditions; such as arthritis and hepatitis
- Severe pains
- Joint pain
- Epileptic seizure
- Liver and kidney disease
- Muscular pains
- Cancer; especially in dogs
- Anxiety and stress
- Digestion problems
- Heart disease
- Skin allergies
Now you know what the compound is especially useful for, let’s now talk about how it affects the endocannabinoid system in your pets.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a very complex system for transmitting cell information. Studies have shown that the ECS was discovered in the 90s. During this time, researchers inquired about the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol THC that was produced by the cannabis plant and how the body reacted to it.
Experts still believe that the study of ECS is still in its preliminary stages. But they’ve been able to detect that the ECS influences the performance of certain body functions such as sleep, memory mood, and even reproductive system. There is additional info here on holistapet.com on the ECS in animals.
How does the ECS Work?
The ECS is made up of three major components, which are the endocannabinoids, the enzymes, and the receptors.
These are chemical compounds that are similar to cannabinoids, just as the THC and the CBD. But these are produced by the body. That is why the body creates the ECS to control its use.
The body produces two primary endocannabinoids, namely the Anandamide (AEA) and the 2-Arachidonoyglyerol (2-AG). Both of these compounds are what keeps the body running to good effect.
There are millions of receptors found in the body. Each one of them connects with the endocannabinoids like the THC and CBD. When the endocannabinoid compound locks on to a receptor, the ECS reacts and provides a function.
There are different receptors dispatched around the body, but only two of them are most significant. They are CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptor is located in the central nervous system, like the brain and spinal cord. The CB2 receptor is located in the peripheral nervous system. There is additional info here on cannabinoid receptors.
The endocannabinoid can choose to lock on to a receptor, and then the ECS will provide a function depending on where this is attached.
As soon as the ECS completes its task, the body is then required to get rid of the endocannabinoids. The form through which the body disposes of these is through the enzymes. The enzymes break down the endocannabinoid immediately they are through with their functions.
There are two major enzymes in the body responsible for the objective of breaking down endocannabinoids. They are Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase and the Monoacylglycerol Acid Lipase. The former is responsible for breaking down AEA, while the latter is responsible for breaking down 2-AG.
All three components of the ECS work interchangeably to ensure that the body functions properly without any difficulties.
How does CBD interact with the Endocannabinoid System?
As discussed earlier, CBD is gotten from a hemp plant. But also, is marijuana, and that’s why pet owners may get skeptical when it comes to using CBD for their pets. Experts refer to CBD as a useful cannabinoid.
The reason for this is that it doesn’t possess any psychoactive substance that marijuana possesses. Even though it doesn’t have the psychoactive substance, it still provides you with the positive characteristics that grass offers.
The significant difference between CBD and marijuana is that the CBD doesn’t attach to the receptors in the ECS that pot attaches to. The CBD doesn’t bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, whereas marijuana binds with both.
The information provided in this article is a sum up of the little we know so far concerning the endocannabinoid system in domestic animals. More findings need to emerge in order to conclude how the ECS functions and its major role in the body of humans and animals.