Updated: Aug 18
When you are considering cannabinoids for your canine companion, it is important to be aware that they may experience effects very differently from humans.
All animals species except for insects have been found to have an endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is a complex biological system of cannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes which regulates many essential processes in the body including pain, anxiety, inflammation, immune function, bone growth, and more. It is also responsible for promoting homeostasis, which is an overall state of stable equilibrium within the body. There are 2 types of cannabinoids that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. Internal cannabinoids that are naturally present in the body are called endogenous cannabinoids, while external cannabinoids such as those found in cannabis are called exogenous cannabinoids.
THC is an exogenous cannabinoid that works primarily by binding to the CB1 receptors found in the central nervous system. The number of these receptors found in dogs is far greater than the number found in humans. This is why dogs are much more sensitive to the effects of THC and can experience adverse reactions, including a condition known as ‘Static Ataxia’. This condition is related to sensory dysfunction and can produce loss of coordination in the limbs, head, and/or trunk. Symptoms include staggering, agitation, drooling, stupor, shaking, vomiting etc. This can be a very frightening and stressful experience for your dog. Effects will also last longer then those experienced by humans, anywhere between 24-48 hours on average.
CBD is an exogenous cannabinoid that stimulates the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD is unique in the fact that it doesn’t bind to these receptors, but instead acts more like a messenger, signaling them to release the body’s internally produced cannabinoids and then slowing the natural breakdown process of those cannabinoids. The most important of these internal cannabinoids is anandamide, also known as the bliss molecule. Anandamide has various major effects within the body, including its role in appetite regulation, memory, mood, and the reward pathway. In short, CBD supercharges the ECS by increasing and extending the effectiveness of endogenous cannabinoids in humans as well as dogs.
While there is more research to be done and more studies to be conducted, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid giving your dog THC. This includes CBD products that contain THC, as even in small amounts it may cause negative side effects for your furry friend. Our advice is to always err on the side of caution when it comes to the four legged members of our families and only buy Pet CBD products with Zero THC, like those available at New Age Herbal. Every CBD product we carry has been third party lab tested to ensure that it is 100% THC free, so you can shop with confidence for yourself as well as your pet! Stop by New Age Herbal in Caldwell, Idaho to browse our selection of safe and effective Pet CBD Products.