CBD for Dogs: Your Questions Answered
There’s a section of our boutique at Cold Nose Lodge that’s been getting a little extra love lately. We see the wheels turning, our clients’ faces transforming from curious to bemused, the questions forming. All of our receptionists have gone through a specialized training program, ready to answer your questions, the first of which is usually:
Will this get my dog high?
The answer: absolutely not
I even went so far as to try it myself. Read more about my experiment below!
If you’re a regular client, you know that we stock our boutique very consciously, and only with products that you can trust. This includes nutritious high-quality foods, treats, and chews for all budgets, positive reinforcement training tools, and safe supplements. The Lodge has recently started to carry a variety of CBD products. The CBD products we carry are lab tested, organic, and full spectrum from US farms (they use the whole plant, rather than an isolate). We’re proud to be able to offer our clients the very best. Chances are, you’ve heard the buzz about CBD! We believe that all dog owners should take a little time to educate themselves about any product that they are considering using with their dogs to make an informed decision about if it’s right for their pup. So today, let’s talk about what CBD is and how it works. If you have any questions, or you use CBD with your dog, let us know in the comments here: https://www.facebook.com/cnlodge/posts/2029098630446343
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound with tremendous therapeutic potential in both humans and animals. Another cannabinoid that I’m sure you’ve heard of is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the principal psychoactive compound in cannabis. Again, CBD is not psychoactive and therefore will not cause a high like THC does. CBD can be used to help alleviate a variety of ailments including chronic pain, cancer, anxiety–including separation anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, sleep disorders, seizures, cardiovascular disease, and neurological issues. CBD also has neuroprotective, neurogenic, and anti-cancer properties that are currently being studied at several US academic research centers.
If you’re like me, you noticed that the list of ailments that CBD treats is long. Initially, the skeptic in my smelled snake oil. However, once I took the time to read about how CBD works, it makes total sense, and is backed by science.
How does CBD work?
Both humans and dogs have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a homeostatic regulator, or balancing system. This system consists of neurotransmitters (messengers), and receptors. The brain naturally produces and sends out neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that travel to the various ECS receptors all over the body. These neurotransmitters are checking to make sure all processes in the endocannabinoid network are running smoothly. If they find a problem, they tell the brain, which then adjusts how to feel and think in order to return to homeostasis, or balance.
So what does the ECS check up on?
- Immune function
- Appetite and the digestive system
- Motor control
- The reproductive system
While endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters naturally created in the body, phytocannabinoids like CBD also fit into the receptors in the endocannabinoid system. So when CBD is administered, the cannabinoid compound acts like the neurotransmitters, traveling to the ECS receptors all over the body. They’re a perfect fit for the receptors and prompt the body to check up on the processes and systems listed above and adjust the body and mind as necessary.
An example of information gathered from a dose may be that the subject is feeling anxious and suffering from some joint pain. In response, the body will naturally adjust, changing the way that the brain and pain receptors are responding to the pain and anxiety producing stimuli. CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties, helping the process of soothing the joints along its way.
My experience with CBD
You won’t find me taste testing the salmon oil I pump onto my dogs food, nor will you find me evaluating the chewability of their No Hides, but designed for both human and pet use, I was super excited to give Colorado Hemp Honey’s Chill Sticks a try! The dosage for humans is 1-2 sticks at a time. I originally planned to mix the honey into my (not too hot) tea, but after trying a little bit straight, the Tangerine Tranquility stick was so tasty that it was a treat in itself. Sticky honey coats the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat, aiding in absorption, so I just let the honey stick do it’s thing!
Still skeptical about its efficacy, I didn’t expect too much. I can confirm, it didn’t make me feel ‘funny’ in any way, however, I felt a general sense of well-being. Each of the varieties–Tangerine Tranquility, Ginger Soothe, and Lemon Aid, absolutely helped with what they purport to, and with each try, that general sense of well-being returned. They results are subtle, but I found the product effective. More and stronger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to treating our pets. After my experiment, I felt comfortable giving the honey to my 3 dogs. My dogs are huge fans of keeping us “safe” from “intruders”–including the mailman, the car parked half a block away, and the noise that was made by the cat knocking something off the dining room table. When I gave my dogs their appropriate doses of the honey, the incidences of them teaming up in a mob of huffs and barks was definitely decreased for the day. I’ll be saving the sticks for instances that make my dogs very anxious–ie. fireworks, having company over, thunderstorms, but I was very satisfied to know that the honey made a real, noticeable improvement, and I’m glad to have it as an option in my calming arsenal.
Why haven’t I heard about the ECS before?
If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of the endocannabinoid system, you’re not alone. Both human and canine bodies are incredibly complex and we are still discovering new things about them. Another neurotransmitter/messenger system you are probably familiar with is the opioid system that monitors pain. A phyto compound from the opium poppy fits into the receptors in the opioid system, helping to control pain. Unfortunately, the system also rewards addictive behaviors, a dangerous combination. As we know, our country is facing an opioid crisis. These compounds from the opium poppy that stimulate our opioid receptors are psychoactive, meaning they cause a high. They are also extremely addictive.
Again, CBD does not cause a high and is non-addictive, that’s why it’s so amazing!
Along with helping to treat chronic pain, and a variety of diseases and disorders, CBD has become an indispensable tool for many owners who have anxious dogs, especially as we near the holiday season. Cold Nose Lodge carries a variety of organic, full spectrum CBD products including infused honey, tinctures, oils, and treats from Colorado Hemp Honey, Grizzly Pet Products, and Suzie’s CBD treats. Stop in and we would be more than happy to walk you through these products to see which would be a good fit your your pet — or you! Visit us at 235 W Penn Ave. in Alburtis.