Our company mascot, Hemp (below), was sort of hit by a car when he was one year old. How can a dog be “sort of” hit by a car? Well, that was nothing short of a miracle. He ran across Melrose Avenue (in Los Angeles, CA – a VERY busy street where people drive like maniacs) at 5pm on a Monday. The event gave both of us PTSD. I watched him cross the street with 4 cars coming from opposite directions, and due to milliseconds he was okay, the only injury he sustained was a couple of scrapes on his back legs. Mentally, that was another story. After the accident Hemp refused to even go in the front yard due to the noises of the cars. But, after a dose of our pet CBD tincture, within an hour he was hanging on the front porch as he always had.
Forward to now, 6 months later, and the way Hemp interacts with the outside world has drastically changed. He hangs in the front yard, but on our walks he is now scared of cars, skateboards, buses, etc; he’s the scaredy dog. Sometimes he attempts to run home, which is dangerous for us both. He could put himself in danger if he did manage to break away, plus when he gets scared and darts away he could seriously injure my shoulder, wrist, back, etc. It’s also sad to watch him shake while his tail goes between his legs when we are crossing the street. I can only imagine what that puts him through everyday. It makes our walks much more stressful than they used to be.
Now, why haven’t I been dosing him with CBD everyday? I don’t know, I guess I thought things would just get better? But they have actually gotten worse and it just became the new normal. This was until 2 weeks ago when I left to run some work errands and gave him CBD so he wouldn’t be so freaked out that I was gone. (I think quarantine has given many dogs a slight form of separation anxiety.) When I returned home and took him for his daily walk, I noticed that he wasn’t running away at the slightest loud noise and he was even going up to befriend passersby. His fear was greatly reduced and I realized: I gave him CBD today!
Why is CBD helping him in this way?
“…it is clear that the endocannabinoid system is not just present in nearly all animals, but plays an integral role in maintaining homeostasis for a number of organ systems. The endocannabinoid system modulates the nervous and immune systems and other organ systems through a complex system of receptors and chemical signaling molecules to relieve pain and inflammation, modulate metabolism and neurologic function, promote healthy digestive processes, and support reproductive function and embryologic development.”
– Robert J. Silver,
The Endocannabinoid System of Animals
Of animals he explains, “All animals, including vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish) and invertebrates (sea urchins, leeches, mussels, nematodes, and others) have been found to have endocannabinoid systems…It has been theorized that certain chronic conditions, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), migraine, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel disease are the result of deficiencies in tonic eCB (endocannabinoid) signaling. Circulating levels of eCBs (endocannabinoids) are markedly decreased in these disorders. This diminished amount of eCBs (endocannabinoids) has been correlated to anxiety-like behaviors. It is known, for instance, that chronic environmental stress will down-regulate CB1 receptors as well as reducing levels of AEA (anandamide) at the same time as increasing levels of 2-AG .”
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids made by the body. CBD helps the body retain its own endocannabinoids and activate the CB (cannabinoid receptors). When endocannabinoids can become depleted, the body becomes unable to calm down, on a physiological level, in times of stress. Endocannabinoids are what calm the “fight or flight response” of the central nervous system when we experience a threat cue/stimuli. Exactly as with us, when animals endocannabinoid tone/levels become depleted, they are unable to physiologically calm down when they should. Hemp’s constant stress and fear? Was depleting his endocannabinoids! This only made him more unable to cope with stress and fear in the future. This is why a daily dose of CBD is not only making him better that day, but it’s re-supplying the endocannabinoid system and creating helping him cope with fear better mentally and at a physiological level.
There are other benefits of giving your pet CBD as well. CB2 receptors, the cannabinoid receptor that CBD works with, “modulates the release of cytokines” says Rober J Silver. Cytokines are the main actor of the immune system. You see CB2 receptors are all about the immune system. This is why cannabinoids are not only good for an already formed disease, but they are an amazing preventative. It’s much easier to treat a disease before it has formed!!!
Endocannabinoids are also important to heal injuries, they are able to speed up healing, lessen pain, and suppress unhealthy levels of inflammation. Dogs feel pain, especially with age, yet they cannot speak up for themselves. Cornell University just published a study where they used CBD for dog pain!
The results illustrated:
2mg/kg [ OR 1mg/lb ] of CBD 2x per day = significantly increased comfort and activity in dogs!
Not all dogs will respond to the CBD. Some will respond beautifully to low doses, while some won’t respond at all, so we must “start low and go slow.”
Do NOT give your dog THC!!!
Please don’t give your dog THC. THC works with CB1 receptors. The number of CB1 receptors that dogs have in the hindbrain is much more than in the human brain, and giving a dog CBD can create static ataxia. Static axia causes dogs to become unable to maintain a fixed position, balance, extend their limbs, and they will be tottering even if standing still with eyes closed. As you can imagine, that is not a pleasant feeling. Don’t do it to your buddy!
A final note: Dogs on Medications + Dosing Recommendations!!
+ Some images of where the CB receptors are located in your dog/cat/horse!
Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different. Some dogs will need more and some dogs will need less CBD. But make sure to always get a product formulated for animals, the oils and other ingredients put into human tinctures may not be good for your pet. We looked through so many companies to find our CBD pet products. Our
Below are our dosing recommendations. Additionally, if your furbud is on any type of prescription medication? CBD is metabolized by the P54 enzyme of the liver, which is where 60% of pet pharmaceuticals are metabolized—this can lead to the pharmaceutical medication staying in a pet’s body for longer than expected, and that can threaten their health – please speak to your vet if your pet is on any medications before giving them CBD!
An Article By Evie Louise
Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.