The Endocannabinoid System in Pets

What is the Endocannabinoid System in Pets

The Endogenous Cannabinoid System (ECS) is an ancient mammalian system that acts on many peripheral systems within the body.Graphic of dog endocannabinoid system and different cannabinoid receptor sites.

Example: Central Nervous System (CNS). Look at the endocannabinoid system as a conductor of an orchestra. There are many different instruments playing in a symphony, but in order to keep all of these different functions in harmony the conductor must guide and signal the entire group.

The ECS’s primary goal is to promote homeostasis or balance. This system produces the same compounds that are found in the Organic Hemp Extract used in Earth Buddy. By introducing phytocannabinoids or plant-based cannabinoids from Organic Hemp we can engage the Endocannabinoid System and promote calming, brain health, joint health, immune support and many other benefits the body requires for balanced health. As cats and dogs age the endocannabinoid system can become deficient, which is why so many pet owners see a profound response in their furry friends when they supplement full spectrum hemp extracts that contain cannabinoids.

Cat & Dog Endocannabinoid Systems

The cat and dog endocannabinoid system regulates or engages almost every chemical function that occurs in the body. It modulates sleep, mood, focus, cognition, appetite, discomfort, and central nervous and immune systems. Endogenous cannabinoids are continuously being discovered in almost every chemical pathway in the body. The endocannabinoid system comprises of receptors that are found throughout the body, but most abundantly in the GI tract and brain (Central Nervous System). When the endocannabinoid system is activated naturally or from plant based cannabinoids, it signals pathways to help balance disfunction.

Cannabinoid Receptors in Pets

The most well known endocannabinoid receptors in the body are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system (CNS) and help balance mood, behavior, focus, and motor skills. The CB2 receptors have been discovered through scientific literature throughout the entire body, with a large concentration of them being found in the digestive system. Both receptors play a vital role in overall health and well being of dogs and cats. Let's look at each cannabinoid receptor further...

CB1 Receptors:

Central Nervous System Function

The CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the CNS and in the brain. CB1 receptors in the cat and dog endocannabinoid system are primarily regulating functions like mood, appetite, and their perception of discomfort.

Discomfort Perception

When CB1 receptors are activated, they help cats and dogs modulate their perception of discomfort. This is promising for veterinary medicine, as it will allow for veterinarians to target these receptors to help alleviate discomfort.


When the CB1 receptors are activated this can engage various chemicals in the cat's and dog's body that balance mood or stress.

Motor Skills

Activating CB1 receptors can help cats and dogs with basic coordination and movement. This is especially important in aging dogs and cats that often suffer from mobility issues.

CB2 Receptors:

Immune Function

CB2 receptors are found throughout the entire body and in most cells. Specifically, immune cells, which allow the body to modulate normal inflammatory responses and immune function in dogs and cats.

Tissue Repair & Recovery

Activating CB2 receptors will play a major role in repairing damaged tissue and recovery. Cats and dogs recovering from injuries or surgeries can begin the healing process due to role of CB2 receptors.

Cat & Dog Gut Health

Digestive health of cats and dogs is a major sign of overall health. Our pets rely on digesting nutrients efficiently and lead to healthier skin, coat, eyes, joints, and dietary & environmental sensitivities. CB2 receptors in the digestive tract of cats and dogs play a major role in promoting a healthy inflammatory response in the gut.

How do Cannabinoids Work in Cat & Dog Endocannabinoid System?

Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, or in this case, cannabinoids from hemp producing CBD, CBDa, CBG, and more engage the ECS. Cannabinoids act in retrograde in the body to create balance or homeostasis. Think of a lock and key concept where the cannabinoids are the key that fit into or encourage receptors to signal healthy functions. By supplementing cats and dogs with cannabinoids from hemp, we as pet owners, can naturally promote healthy bodily functions.

Different cannabinoids can interact and activate different receptors. Understanding this relationship of how the various cannabinoids work in dogs and cats can be extremely important when choosing a pet hemp product. Some cannabinoids are better for specific issues in pets like CBDa has shown to better absorbed through the digestive tract and help with joint discomfort. Cannabinoids like CBD for dogs and cats has shown to be a great pet supplement for relaxation and calming. Cannabigerol or CBD for dogs and cats can be a useful tool in relaxing muscles and promoting healthy inflammatory responses in the gut.

Regardless of which hemp extract formulation you choose for your pet, it is important to understand all pets are different. The cat and dog endocannabinoid system is uniquely individualized! Different breeds, ages, sizes, and health concerns are all factors to take into consideration. For this reason, we have created multiple different formulations that specify their different uses. There is no "one size fits all" product for pets, contrary to what many pet CBD brands are marketing these products for.

Do dogs have an endocannabinoid system? Read this article to learn more.

Best course of action is for pet owners to journal their hemp extract use and titrate dosage gradually. Equally important is to use whole plant or "full-spectrum" extracts that contain a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes that naturally occur. This ensure that there will be a synergistic effect, as cannabinoids also work better together. This concept, known as the "entourage effect" has shown that even small doses of full spectrum hemp extracts can out perform single molecule or isolate forms of cannabinoids.

Pet owners can also be at ease when using a full spectrum product, like Earth Buddy, knowing that we do not use harsh chemicals that are environmentally toxic. Using very safe and clean methods of extraction to yield the entire medicinal extract from hemp plants ensures pet owners they're using a quality product!

Much more research is needed in the field of endocannabinoid systems of dogs and cats, as recent scientific studies have discovered new cannabinoid receptors and other metabolic functions. The endocannabinoid system will continue to increase as a focus in veterinary medicine offering new technology on how to improve our pet's health and longevity.

Infographic detailing the dog endocannabinoid system and what is the endocannabinoid system.