Owning a dog can quickly get expensive. With their sometimes-insatiable appetites and the inevitable vet bills that come with owning a pet for the long term, the costs can quickly and unexpectedly mount up. Because of this, more and more people are looking to treat as many issues as they can themselves rather than shelling out for another trip to the vet. Consequently, there is a booming market for remedies that can be administered to dogs at home by their owners, the various products range from legitimate treatments to herbal or homeopathic substances with questionable efficacy. One of the treatments currently gaining more and more attention is cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.

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What Is It?

CBD belongs to a family of compounds known as cannabinoids; which, as the name suggests, are found in plants of the cannabis family and exert their effects on people and animals via different cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body. There are two types of cannabinoids; endogenous cannabinoids known as endocannabinoids that are produced in the body to serve a variety of biological functions, and exogenous cannabinoids such as CBD and THC which aren’t produced naturally in the body but interact with the cannabinoid receptors. THC is the more well known of the two and is the compound most responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, mediates both the purported and the proven medicinal benefits of cannabis.

Is It Legal?

Yes. In the vast majority of countries, CBD is exempt from any laws which prohibit cannabis possession or cultivation. This is because, while it acts on the same receptors, CBD doesn’t exhibit psychoactive effects like THC does; there is no high associated with ingesting CBD. Hemp is a plant in the same family as the cannabis smoked recreationally, but with much lower THC levels and much higher CBD levels. Hemp has been used widely in many industries to produce paper, textiles and other materials. It has long been touted as a more sustainable and higher quality source for the production of fibrous materials such as rope. In recent years CBD has gained attention as an increasing body of evidence points to its various medical benefits in people.

How Can It Help My Dog?

The benefits of CBD for dogs are largely the same as for people owing to the fact that the endocannabinoid systems of dogs and humans serve similar biological roles. Of particular interest are their roles in painkilling and stimulating the autoimmune system. For treating pain, cannabis has been shown to be very effective and subsequent research has identified that the painkilling effects are due to the presence of CBD. In fact, in some studies CBD has performed as well as strong opioid painkillers in reducing pain and increasing quality of life in patients, but without the potential for addiction or the risk of overdose that other drugs like opioids carry.

CBD offers a safe and easy to administer home remedy for a range of conditions that commonly affect otherwise healthy dogs.

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Filed under: Dog Care

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