How CBD Could Help Your Pets

Pets have an endocannabinoid system too, and that's why your pet could benefit from using CBD products.

Anyone who has owned a pet knows how difficult it can be to watch your pet suffer.

Whether that be general pain, some form of arthritis, or mobility issues, seeing your companion struggling is something that no pet owner wants to go through.

Studies suggest that roughly 20% of dogs over the age of one year old suffer from some form of canine osteoarthritis (OA), which can leave your dog unable to run, or even walk in some cases.

Naturally, in response to these ailments, pet owners will begin looking for some form of treatment for their animal, such as taking them to the vet or giving them a medication.

This is always the best route to take, given that most people aren't veterinarians and therefore won't always know what's hurting their pet. However, one of the components of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), may provide a viable treatment for some of your pet's issues.

Does giving cannabis to your cat or dog sound crazy? Well, read on.

The Endocannabinoid System

Before getting into why CBD might help your pet, we must first understand how the compound interacts with our bodies.

The Endocannabinoid System, or ECS for short, is a widespread receptor network that is responsible for many phenomena in our bodies such as sleep, appetite, mood, and memory.

The term "endo" means "within," and so our Endocannabinoid System refers to an internal system of receptors that are affected when we consume products containing cannabinoids.

The Endocannabinoid System was discovered in the late 1980s, roughly two decades after the discovery of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in 1964.

Upon identifying THC as the main compound within cannabis, scientists then began to explore why it had such a profound effect on people who consumed the compound and conducted studies on mice to find out.

In a 1988 study, researchers found out that mice had receptors for THC in their brains, which were then named cannabinoid receptors, or CB1 receptors. These receptors actually turned out to be one of the most abundant networks of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Our ECS isn't simply there to enable us to get high but rather serves an integral purpose in preserving our body's natural homeostasis – making sure all cylinders are firing and we're in the "Goldilock's Zone" of optimal health.

It's when our body falls out of its natural state of equilibrium, or homeostasis, that ailments and diseases begin to occur, which is why our ECS is so important.

However, it isn't just humans that have an Endocannabinoid System – rather, virtually all animals have one. This is why you can achieve similar benefits from CBD use when given to either a human, or a pet.

Can CBD Medicines Help Our Pets?

Due to the historical illegality of cannabis, studies on the compound are limited and are not yet as conclusive as studies surrounding other medicines. Moreover, studies surrounding cannabis use on canines are even more limited.

However, of the studies that have been carried out regarding the canine use of CBD, there are some things to be optimistic about.

One study, undertaken by the PAIN Journal administered varying doses of CBD to canines over a 4-week, randomized placebo-controlled, double-blinded study. 

Both the low-dose CBD and placebo groups of canines exhibited no alleviation of their symptoms, while the high-dose CBD "significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion among animals with an affirmative diagnosis of OA."

Additionally, the study found "no significant detrimental impact of CBD administration over the 4-week analysis period."

Another study conducted by the Frontiers in Veterinary Science Journal, which was a randomized placebo-controlled, veterinarian, and owner blinded, cross-over study, similarly found that "2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA."

Which CBD Should You Give Your Pet?

One company producing hemp-derived CBD products for pets is Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH), through their anibidiol® range of CBD hemp oil-based Complementary Feed for companion animals.

According to Creso Pharma's website, anibidiol® "promotes well-being by supporting the immune system and natural response. anibidiol® Supports behaviour balance, the normal psychological function, and the nervous system, [in addition to] contributing to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue."

Creso has secured regulatory approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Feed in Uruguay through its commercial partner Adler Laboratories, Uruguay for its anibidiol® line of animal health products.

The company expects to deliver its first purchase order for anibidiol® 8 to occur in this first quarter of 2021, which would make Creso the first company to supply approved CBD hemp-based complementary feed for pets in Latin America.

Additionally, CPH supplies anibidiol® throughout Europe, including a recent shipment of anibidiol® Plus to Virbac S.A. International's headquarters in France, worth $215,000.

In total, the company generated nearly $1 million in sales of its animal-focused CBD range in 2020. For perspective, Grandview Research states that the global CBD pet market size was valued at USD 27.7 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.3% from 2020 to 2027.

"We are pleased to be able to ensure ongoing supply to a growing base of veterinary doctors and pet owners who are using our anibidiol® line of products throughout Europe," Creso Director, Co-founder, and Head of Technology & Innovation Dr. Miri Halperin Wernli said to Stockhead.

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Louis O'Neill
Louis O'Neill

Louis is a writer based in Sydney with a focus on social and political issues. Having interviewed local politicians and entrepreneurs, Louis now focuses on cannabis culture, legislation & reform.