Lately, CBD (cannabidiol) has been getting increasingly popular. People use it for a wide variety of purposes. But did you know you can also administer it to animals? On the internet, many people report positively about treating their pets with CBD.
The way CBD works for animals is quite difficult to explain. However, in this article, we will explain it to you. In addition to that, we offer some advice on how to treat your pet with CBD. If you are interested in doing so – or if you just want to know more about the subject, make sure to read this article.
Why does CBD work on animals?
In the 1990’s, scientists discovered how cannabinoids work. They found that the human brain produces cannabinoids. Although these cannabinoids resemble the ones present in cannabis, they are not exactly the same.
The human brain produces cannabinoids through what we call the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates important functions like memory, sleeping pattern, motoric functions, mood and appetite.
Most animals also have an endocannabinoid system. We don’t know everything about it yet, but it seems to be the case that mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have a similar system.
Cannabinoids produced by the body interact with the body by attaching to receptors, which results in a certain physical effect. When humans or animals with an endocannabinoid system take external cannabinoids (for instance from a cannabis plant), a similar effect occurs. But in case one takes CBD, something slightly different happens.
This is because CBD works slightly different from the most cannabinoids. Research showed that CBD barely attaches to receptors in the body. The total picture is complicated, but it boils down to this: CBD stimulates the receptors in the brain to function optimally. This means that CBD supports the function of all other cannabinoids, both cannabinoids produced by the body, or other, external cannabinoids. Therefore, CBD can help treat several health problems.
However, there are some major differences between how CBD works on humans, and how it works on animals. For example, research showed that when dogs take CBD, it attaches less strongly to the brain, but it stays attached for a longer period of time.
Unfortunately, not a lot is known about how exactly CBD works on animals, as not enough research has been done. The results so far seem to indicate that it’s safe for animals to take CBD.
How to supply CBD to pets
American vet Dr Robert Silver has done a lot of research on the effects of medicinal cannabis and CBD on animals. He recommends a maximum dosage of 1 mg of CBD per kg of body weight. So the maximum dose for a dog that weighs 10 kg would be 10 mg of CBD per day.
Humans who want to take CBD should start off with a low dosage, and slowly build up until they get the desired effect. Keep in mind that you'll have a build-up period of 10 to 14 days, as CBD needs time to build up inside the body. If you don’t notice any effect after one week, this could be the reason why.
The same goes for animals. Start with a very low dosage, and only increase the dose if you still don’t notice any result after the build-up period. Pay close attention to your animal’s behaviour; you will be the one who has to assess whether it has an effect on your pet.
Since you should start off with a low dose, it’s advisable to take a CBD product with a low percentage. Keep in mind that young animals need less CBD than older ones. Heavier animals, like horses, can handle higher dosages of CBD. However, you should still not exceed the maximum dosage of 1 mg per kg of body weight.
Read more about CBD in our encyclopaedia.
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