The full extent of how the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) works in our bodies is still not fully understood; however, it is widely recognized for being important in modulating the brain, the immune system and the endocrine system and this holds true for our pets as well.
Cannabinoids “relay” instructions from the brain to all the major organs and the immune system at a cellular level. If the brain detects some kind of imbalance, it produces particular cannabinoid molecules to relay particular behavioral instructions to individual cells and organs. For example, when the brain detects danger, it produces signaling molecules that get us or our pets amped up and prepared to fight or flee. Heart rate and breathing increases, senses and emotions are heightened, and so on. When the danger passes the brain produces another set of signaling molecules that tells bodily systems to calm back down. If this system is out of balance, it can, in theory, cause anxiety issues and over time can become chronic. The same goes with sleep patterns, digestive activity, inflammatory response, immune response, and on and on.
For dogs, the ECS influences activity in the GI tract and affects the areas of the central nervous system that are responsible for appetite. The ECS similarly appears to play an important role in regulating hormones related to not only the reproductive system, but also the body’s response to stress.
Research also shows that the ECS regulates inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to damaged tissue or infection but when this response is not controlled properly it can lead to chronic inflammation. This inflammation is believed to be responsible for many chronic diseases, in our pets as well as us.
Scientists speculate that primary function of the ECS is to control a vital function of the body we call “homeostasis”, which refers to the maintenance and stability of internal conditions. If this is true then the ECS plays a significant role in regulating many bodily functions.
The Effects of CBD & The Endocannabinoid System
The ECS’s job is to respond to stimulation by the body’s own endocannabinoids, but the receptors can also be stimulated by cannabinoids from external sources, including cannabidiol (CBD).
Research has shown that the non-psychoactive CBD stimulates activity in both CB1 and CB2 receptors by triggering the release of the body’s natural endocannabinoids. This increases the effect throughout the entire body. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that CBD can slow the natural breakdown of endocannabinoids which acts to prolong the therapeutic effect.
While research into the effects of CBD continues, the list of uses and benefits is also ongoing. Some scientists are even predicting that the use of CBD to simulate the ECS in pets and in humans could revolutionize modern practices.
Exercise caution when dosing your pet because they have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brain, so they are more sensitive to the effects of CBD:
For a bottle with 1000mg concentration, a guideline for each 10 lbs of pet weight as detailed below (IMPORTANT: adjust for different bottle concentrations):
For every 10 lbs of pet weight, the guidelines state maximum DROPS per day: 18 DROPS based a 1000mg concentration.
Start lower than that and work up over the course of a couple of weeks until you notice a difference and adjust from there to the maximum dosage.
Our 1000mg Bottle Contains About: 990 DROPS
Concentration of the 1000mg CBD Bottle is: 33.33 mg/mL
Concentration is: 3.5% CBD
1000mg Bottle Yields: 55 Doses for 10lb dog
You should discuss any questions or concerns with your pet's veterinarian. For more specific weight-based and other animal calculations, you can do a general term search online for "pet dosing calculator"; but, be sure you are using a reputable source and again, check-in with your pet's veterinarian.
The FDA has not released guidelines for the use of CBD with pets, so each pet owner must work with his or her vet to help manage his or her pet's health.