We can all agree that the world is an increasingly progressive place and better for it. New thinking brings new ideas and new solutions. Our cultural acceptance and understanding of medicines and drugs, previously confined to the most niche of markets, continues to grow steadily.
And so, we once again cast our eyes onto the subject of alternative healthcare and more natural, herbal medicines.
The production and distribution of CBD oil is a vastly growing enterprise. U.S. sales of CBD oil products are said to have reached over $200 million, in 2018 alone. The medicine itself has a plethora of widely praised and commended healthcare benefits. It has an abundance of purported uses in human healthcare, from relieving the muscle spasms associated with Multiple Sclerosis, to aiding smoking cessation. Some of CBD oil’s most commonly attributed benefits include anxiety and pain relief.
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The actual science behind this natural medicine is quite simple to understand. According to studies such as this one. CBD oil works by inhibiting or activating chemical compounds in the endocannabinoid system, which are expressed throughout the central nervous system.
With regards to CBD oil’s pain relief applications, the drug regulates the body’s use of anandamide- a natural, pain relieving compound- blocking its absorption into the body. The name ‘anandamide’ itself is derived from the Sanskrit word ananda, meaning ‘delight’ or ‘joy’.
Simply put: more anandamide means more pain relief.
The human applications of such a beneficial, natural medicine are obvious, useful and far-reaching. The ability to relieve pain, without resorting to dangerous and addictive chemicals, such as opioids, is an incredibly exciting prospect. It is highly doubtful that any prospective medical patient would deny themselves the option to at least try CBD oil, as a natural and effective alternative to traditional pain relief.
But What About Our Pets?
The idea of a dog using any cannabis-derived project brings to mind- at least for this author- images of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy- the ultimate, 1960s beatnik dog and owner. But is CBD oil an okay Scooby-Snack? Or is it best kept in the Mystery Mobile?
Unfortunately, thus far, there have been no definitive scientific studies conducted on the canine applications of CBD oil. However, do not let that put you off. Depending on you and your pet’s situation, the use of CBD oil might be just what the doctor ordered.
The side effects of CBD oil are reportedly very minimal. In both human and canine users of CBD oil, the most common side effects include:
Drowsiness: Purportedly caused by CBD oil’s anti-anxiety effects. It seems that in some users, and at high doses, CBD oil causes the subject to become *too* relaxed.
Light-headiness: This is said to be caused by high-doses of CBD oil lowering the user’s blood pressure.
Noticeable decrease in saliva: This is an especially important side-effect due to its effect on thirst. It would appear that high-doses of CBD oil and hot weather might not mix well for dogs, as they could become increasingly thirsty and dry mouthed.
While Seemingly Quite Low-Risk, Is CBD Oil Right For Your Pet?
In this author’s opinion, I believe this question should be answered on a case-by-case (or dog-by-dog) basis- the same as it should be with human users. But it is clear that the potential benefits of CBD oil, for older and less than healthy dogs, are abundant.
As seen in human usage, one of CBD oil’s most useful benefits is in its prevention of seizures. This is an especially useful trait for dogs suffering from epilepsy or older, seizure-prone pooches. Indeed, some cases of canine epilepsy have proven to be drug-resistant, leaving owners with few options to alleviate their pet’s suffering. In cases such as these, CBD oil might be just the thing to help.
Furthermore, CBD oil’s pain-relieving applications have proven to be incredibly effective in dogs as well as humans. Does your dog suffer from arthritis or other, chronically painful conditions? Then CBD oil may offer your dog an incredible measure of relief. Remember those anandamides? Dogs use them too. In fact, dogs are reported to have an even higher number of cannabinoid receptors in their brain than humans.
A frequent issue that owners of older dogs often find is encouraging their elderly pets to eat. Many older dogs, and those in ill-health, have incredibly small appetites. It’s absolutely heart breaking to watch a beloved family pet struggle to chew down a few measly mouthfuls of kibble.
Well, as many a classic, ‘movie-stoner’ character would tell you- CBD oil gives you the munchies. That’s right, CBD oil acts as a natural appetite stimulant. This might be exactly what your dog needs to get their appetite up and their strength back. Not only that but CBD oil also helps with nausea. So your beloved older dog can get some food down themselves and keep it down.
Besides CBD oil’s many uses and benefits for older canines, what about younger dogs and puppies? Is there any benefit giving CBD oil to a younger dog? Well, there could be. It just depends on your dog’s behavior.
Is your canine companion overtly anxious or reactive? Do they respond very negatively to loud noises or express severe traits of separation anxiety? CBD oil has proven time and time again to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety in humans- both those suffering from anxiety disorders and in healthy individuals. With that in mind, CBD oil could very well help a younger dog with severe behavioral issues or acutely anxious behavior as well.
As we can see, CBD oil has many fantastic, potential benefits for your canine companion, depending on their current wellbeing. Would I give a healthy dog CBD oil? Probably not. But for older pups and those of ill-health, I believe the potential benefits of CBD oil far outweigh any potential risks.
Remember to always check with your veterinarian first to see if CBD oil is suitable for your doggo. I also recommend starting with a miniscule amount of the CBD oil product and carefully observing your pup for any negative reactions. While the risk is minimal, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.