Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has been gaining popularity as a potential remedy for various health issues in dogs, from anxiety and pain to seizures and inflammation. But how exactly does it work in their bodies? This article will delve into the science behind CBD oil dogs and its interaction with the canine endocannabinoid system (ECS).
What is CBD oil?
It is a natural extract derived from the hemp plant. Unlike its cousin, marijuana, hemp contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use. CBD oil is non-intoxicating and does not produce any mind-altering effects.
Works through animals' endocannabinoid system
Like human beings, dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that helps regulate various physiological functions in their bodies. The ECS consists of three main components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds in the body that bind to cannabinoid receptors found throughout the ECS. The two primary cannabinoid receptors in ECS are CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mainly present in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 is more abundant in immune cells and peripheral tissues.
Enzymes break down endocannabinoids once they have fulfilled their functions, thereby regulating their concentration in the body.
CBD oil interacts with the ECS by indirectly influencing the activity of endocannabinoids, primarily by inhibiting the enzymes that break them down. This, in turn, allows endocannabinoids to bind more effectively to cannabinoid receptors and exert their effects.
Can help alleviate anxiety and stress
One of the most common uses of CBD oil for dogs is to manage anxiety and stress-related behaviors. Studies have shown that the medicinal drug can interact with serotonin receptors, which play a crucial role in regulating mood and anxiety levels.
This plant-based drug may also increase the levels of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate emotional responses and promote feelings of happiness and well-being. The oil may help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in dogs by modulating the activity of serotonin and anandamide.
Can reduce pain and inflammation
CBD oil has also shown potential pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties in dogs. These effects are mediated by its interaction with both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
CB1 receptors are involved in the modulation of pain perception and the central nervous system's response to painful stimuli. By activating these receptors, the drug may help reduce the intensity of pain signals and improve the dog's quality of life.
CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mainly located in immune cells and tissues involved in inflammation. By activating these receptors, the oil may help reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and promote a more balanced immune response.
May help manage seizures and epilepsy
Studies have shown that CBD can interact with voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels, which are involved in regulating neuronal excitability and initiating seizures.
It may also modulate the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter, which plays a critical role in inhibiting excessive neuronal activity. By reducing the hyperexcitability of neurons and increasing inhibitory signaling, CBD may help prevent seizures and improve the quality of life of dogs with epilepsy.
CBD oil has shown promising results in managing various health issues in dogs, from anxiety and pain to seizures and inflammation. Its effects are mediated by its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, a complex cell-signaling network that regulates various physiological functions in the body.