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Pups, Endocannabinoid System + CBD

Jun 24, 2021 | Hemp + Heart Journal

Dogs are truly a blessing to the world. Their wagging tails, warm cuddles, and playful personalities make them such a joy to be around. While we love our furry friends more and more each day, it’s important that we also take the time to understand their health and wellness. Did you know that dogs have striking similarities to humans?

Like humans, dogs appear to possess brain systems that are devoted to making sense of vocal sounds, and are sensitive to their emotional content. Dogs can experience fear, anxiety, depression, and stress the same way we do. Dogs even have the hormone oxytocin, which, in humans, is involved with feeling love and affection for others. With the same neurology and chemistry that people have, it seems reasonable to suggest that dogs also have emotions that are similar to ours.

Our endocannabinoid system is a molecular system responsible for regulating and balancing many processes in the body, including immune response, communication between cells, appetite and metabolism, memory, and more. Dogs, too, have an endocannabinoid system, including cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes.

Continue reading to learn more about a dog’s endocannabinoid system and why it is important:


The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in processing various bodily functions in dogs. Research suggests that a balanced ECS promotes sleep, mood regulation and stability, appetite, pain perception, memory, body temperature, immunity, reproduction, and fertility in both humans and pets. When the ECS is out of balance, it can lead to a variety of health problems including digestive troubles like vomiting, irregular bowels, diarrhea, poor appetite, poor sleep quality, stress, anxiety, fear and aggression, fatigue, poor coordination, pain and inflammation.

According to researchers, many conditions like the ones above may be due to a lack of endocannabinoids. In these cases, some dog owners have seen benefits from trying out plant cannabinoids like CBD.


How CBD Affects Dogs

When CBD enters a pup’s body, it indirectly interacts with the ECS to help utilize more of their body’s naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoids. Whether it is pain, anxiety, cancer, or inflammation, CBD works naturally with the ECS to keep them healthy. CB1 receptors are most abundant in dogs’ central nervous systems, and can have a great impact on stress and anxiety. CB2 receptors are more concentrated in the immune system and govern a dog’s immune responses. CBD also interacts with enzymes that are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids like anandamide, which is typically thought of as a short-lived molecule that helps with mood and happiness. Because this molecule is broken down fairly quickly, consuming CBD can encourage anandamide to stay in the system longer.

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