Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active constituents of the cannabis plant, has profound healing and balancing effects on all mammals. Pet owners have used it for a broad spectrum of medical and behavioral issues — cancer pain, arthritis, muscle spasms, seizures, neurological and digestive disorders, anxieties, obsessions, past traumas, withdrawal, mood, and memory. During recovery from illness or surgery, CBD can stimulate appetite and speed healing. At the end of life, it can ease the pain and fear your pet may be experiencing. CBD does all this by stimulating the endocannabinoid system.
Named after the plant that led to its discovery, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors located throughout the body. Short-lived natural endocannabinoid substances are synthesized on demand by the body to maintain homeostasis, a stable internal environment. When these internal mechanisms lag behind the body’s needs, supplementing with extra CBD can help. Research also suggests that supplementing can coax the body to build more receptors so natural cannabinoids will work more effectively.
Two types of receptors have been identified: CB1 receptors, predominantly in the brain, nervous system, glands and organs; and CB2 receptors, found mainly in the regulatory cells of the immune system. Many tissues contain both receptors, each linked to a different action. A key role of the endocannabinoid system is controlling inflammation by up-regulating or down-regulating the immune response. An overactive response can lead to allergies and auto-immune problems; an underactive one can leave the body susceptible to infections and the unchecked proliferation of cancer cells.
Although hemp and marijuana are both classified as cannabis, they are distinctly different varieties. Recreational marijuana is very high in euphoria-producing THC, while hemp plants contain virtually no THC but have high levels of beneficial CBD. Hemp-derived CBD is not psychoactive and it has no unpleasant side effects. Hemp products containing less than .3% THC are legal for sale in all 50 states. CBD from hemp is not regulated as a drug and has no known toxicity level.
CBD is available in many convenient forms. Extracts can be given from a dropper bottle directly into the mouth, added to food, dropped on a treat, rubbed into bare skin or inside the ears, or dropped on an animal’s paw so they will lick it off. You can also find hemp CBD biscuits, hemp CBD capsules and gel caps, and topical hemp CBD ointments.
Dosage can vary quite a bit from one situation to the next. It may be necessary to experiment a little to find the right amount, and how often to give.
Typical suggested starting dose: 1 mg – 5 mg per 10 lbs. of bodyweight
Cats: 1 – 5mg
|Dogs:||10 lbs||20 lbs||30 lbs||40 lbs||50 lbs||60 lbs||70 lbs||80 lbs|
|1 – 5mg||2 – 10mg||3 – 15mg||4 – 20mg||5 – 25mg||6 – 30mg||7 – 35mg||8 – 40mg|
Start with a dose in the middle of the range. Changes usually occur within 30 minutes. If there is no change after an hour, increase the dosage. Occasionally improvements will take more than one treatment. To control pain, give approximately every 8 hours. For other uses, or to break unwanted behavior patterns, give once or twice a day.
When determining which variation will work best for your pet, keep in mind that each has its benefits. Full-spectrum CBD products are the least refined and contain the greatest amount of beneficial plant matter in the form of terpenes and cannabinoids. These compounds work together with the CBD to create an entourage effect that can boost effectiveness. However, it does have a grassy flavor that may be off-putting to pickier animals. In comparison, CBD isolate is pure CBD; the most refined option. It contains no plant matter, so it has no flavor, making it a good choice for the pickiest pets. Broad spectrum CBD is the middle ground; it still contains just enough plant material and terpenes for an entourage effect but has a mild taste. Full-spectrum CBD has virtually no THC (less than 0.3%) and the both broad spectrum and isolate CBDs lack THC completely, making all options non-psychoactive.
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