Part 2 of our mini-series introduction to CBD for Pets
Summer is here and its big bangs—summer parties, Fourth of July fireworks, thunderstorms and more—may have many pet owners concerned about their furry friends’ stress. Hemp extract (more specifically, cannabidiol or “CBD”) is one natural supplement veterinarians and pet parents alike are recommending for its calming and de-stressing effects. In this article, the Earth Buddy team breaks down how this supplement can help calm our pets.
This article is the second of 3 which make up a mini-series introduction to CBD for pets. To get a better understanding of CBD for pets, visit Earth Buddy’s blog for the prior article, How to Use CBD for Pets and for the final article in the series (coming July 2022).
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Since federal approval for over-the-counter purchase in 20181, CBD has been used widely for its support to an array of both human and pet health conditions such as:
- Bone & Joint Discomfort
- Health inflammatory response
- Promotes relaxation
- Supports antioxidant function
- Helps maintain a normal & relaxed disposition
- Immune enhancing effects
CBD is non-intoxicating and non-addictive.
These benefits, along with minimal side effects2, make CBD an appealing option for wellness.
Research on CBD’s Calming Effects
If you have made it to this point in our article, chances are you are a go-gettin’ pet parent who, prior to purchasing CBD for your pet, wants to understand more details on pet CBD calming effects and how it works.
As such, you have likely done some digging online and realized that since CBD has only been approved for over-the-counter sale since 2018, a) formal studies on its supplementation are sparse, and b) of the studies out there, their language might be tricky to understand.
At Earth Buddy, we want to contribute to the understanding of CBD as a supplement, its effects, and break down some of its most compelling literature to date.
The following are a few of what we consider the most informative reports related to CBD’s benefits for soothing stress and promoting a state of calm:
Research Finding #1: Research Survey3
- Overview: 442 human participants were surveyed to determine the mood balancing effects of CBD, and to determine which strains were most effective
- Findings: Participants reported a level 8.03 (out of 10) effectiveness of CBD’s relief of their stress
Research Finding #2: Scientific Study4
- Overview: Mice were observed with and without administration of various doses of CBD during activity tests to determine if CBD would produce mood balancing-like behavior
- Findings: Administration of 30mg of CBD contributed to relaxation like behavior during forced swim tests, as well as exploratory behavior in open-field arena tests
Research Finding #3: Scientific Study5
- Overview: In response to the previously-mentioned mice test, 57 male participants were subjected to a simulated public speaking test (a well tested stress-inducing method) to determine the effects of different doses of CBD on humans
- Findings: CBD produced mood balancing effects congruent with the results of the animal studies, with a bell-curve effect at the middle dose being more effective than a low or high dose
Research Finding #4: Scientific Study6
- Overview: Human patients diagnosed with generalized social stress underwent brain imaging with and without CBD to assess its mood balancing effects
- Findings: CBD promotes relaxation, further demonstrated in imaging by having effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas
How CBD Calms Your Pet
While a deep appreciation of these findings is warranted, we are excited to share even more to marvel at: the biology behind just how calm CBD results happen in pets.
It all begins with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). An ECS exists in all mammals’ bodies, and its whereabouts spread quite extensively from the brain and other organs to tissues, glands and cells.
The ECS’s primary function is to bring the body to a state of homeostasis. The ECS is a “great balancer,” one could say.
Now, you may have noticed the name, endocannabinoid system, gives an immediate impression that this inherent body system might be related to CBD—the cannabidiol extract from the cannabis plant.
And you would be correct.
Exactly how the ECS brings the body to a state of homeostasis is through communication between receptors called endocannabinoids, which tell the body what to do and how to regulate.
These endocannabinoids do not have to always be made in the body; in fact, they can be brought into the body from outside sources such as plants, in which case they would be called phytocannabinoids–one of which is CBD.
When it comes to stress and behavior, the ECS has a specific type of receptor called CB1, which is found in the central nervous system.
When CBD is supplemented in the body, it speaks to the CB1 receptors in a way that helps adjust the brain’s response to serotonin.
This adjustment actually allows for more activated serotonin receptors, which have been associated with mood balancing and relaxation effects.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT: Sleep Support 300mg CBN:CBD
Cannabinol (CBN) is a heat activated molecule that has shown to help with restlessness and promotes a calming effect for pets. The combination of high CBN and low CBD provides a unique and abundant blend of plant molecules creating a synergistic effect that cannot be achieved by single-molecule products. CBN is mildly psychoactive, which can help pets cope with external stresses.
- Helps maintain contentment during separation, travel, motion sickness, and tension caused by changes in your pet’s daily routine
- Supports normal recovery from stress
- May reduce hyperactivity & promote relaxation
- Whole Plant Hemp Extracts with a full-spectrum of CBD, CBN cannabinoids and terpenes are blended into organic MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil from coconuts and grapeseed
- Plants grown at high-elevation under the rocky mountain sunshine with clean water from glacial melt
- All products subjected to rigorous third-party lab testing for potency and impurities
The Entourage Effect and Other Benefits of Whole Plant Extract
Scientists and researchers have reported cases in which, when CBD was isolated from the rest of the plant’s constituents, CBD was effective at alleviating certain symptoms up until a certain dose. After having reached a certain dose, no further increases in dose were reported to be effective.
However, when the scientists administered the full spectrum cannabis extract to their patients, with the same amount of CBD as prior, there was no ceiling effect to its efficacy.
This phenomenon was named “the entourage effect,” and is continuing to be studied by industry experts.
CBD experts are looking into further benefits of keeping as much of the plant intact as possible, including plant components such as:
- Terpenes: The “essence,” or smell and taste, specific to each cannabis plant. A plant’s specific terpene makeup is created in response to the plant’s exposure to light’s spectrum and intensity. These terpenes interact with the cannabinoids within the plant, thus, including them in a supplement affects the supplement’s overall support to the body.
- CBN: A cannabinoid like CBD which has been shown to have specific beneficial effects in discomfort, restlessness, brain function and health immune function.
- CBG: A cannabinoid shown to have beneficial effects in immune function, supports normal bowel function and maintains calmness.
For more on the entourage effect and other beneficial components of the cannabis plant, stay tuned for our next blog.
Footnotes & Sources:
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