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CBD and Inflammation in Dogs

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Any excuse to use a picture of Indie as a puppy!

When it comes to helping our four-legged friends put their best paw forward, we get super excited about the potential of CBD for lots of reasons. And one of the biggest is the ability of CBD to reduce inflammation.

Inflammation is the body‘s natural response to trauma, toxins and infection.

But sometimes it's like a double-edged sword. On the one side, it REALLY wants to help. In dogs and cats (and us humans, too!), inflammation happens when an injury or invaders like germs or foreign bodies are spotted by the immune system. White blood cells rush to the scene, and all the nearby blood vessels expand in order to get as many of them there as fast as possible. This causes redness, swelling and pain, but that’s great! It just means the immune system is doing it's job. Without this inflammation, healing would take a lot longer and injuries and infections could get a lot worse.

On the flip side, sometimes the immune system gets confused thanks to diseases like dermatitis, arthritis or just plain old age. When this happens, it attacks otherwise healthy tissues and what comes next is chronic inflammation that causes our pets to suffer. That’s what we don't want, and that’s where CBD comes in like a knight in shining armour.

Cats and dogs have what’s called an endocannabinoid system, which produces CBD-like substances called endocannabinoids. Like a key in a lock, these molecules attach to special receptors (CB1 and CB2) located on the surface of many cells to control everything from pain, mood and appetite to stress, sleep and immune systems.

Science is still working out the intricate details (there's a very interesting article on the workings of the endocannabinoid system here), but CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory that doesn't carry the same risk of side effects as drugs. It works by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain and these receptors stimulate the immune system to reduce inflammation. 

CBD also binds to CB2 receptors that are found in the nervous and immune systems. When this happens, the body may produce more cannabinoids naturally, and this has the power to help stop things like chronic inflammation and the awful pain, stiffness and immobility that follow. CB1 receptors also change the way the brain responds to pain.

In fact, researchers at Cornell University found that dogs taking CBD for arthritis showed an increase in activity and a decrease in pain. And CBD may not be the only hero here. There’s evidence that the terpenes in cannabis play a role in curbing inflammation, too (that’s why we only use full-spectrum CBD in our biscuits and oils!)

The truth is, there’s a lot we don’t know. But what we do know is that our customers have seen such positive results for their furry best friends using our CBD treats and oil. I’ve seen the amazing results myself in Gizzy, Indie and Chloe. At 4 years old, Indie started limping and not wanting to jump up on the bed or play with Gizzy, two of her favourite things in the world (although I'm not sure he feels the same way 😂). After X-rays confirmed she had early-onset arthritis that would only get worse with age, I started her on CBD. Within a month, she was back to her old self – jumping up on the bed and wanting to play.

We can’t yet say exactly what’s happening or how, but speaking for ourselves (and our happy customers), a pain-free pup and kitty is good enough for us.

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