In episode 17 of the Raising Your Paws podcast, I was talking about the medical benefits of CBD oil, which is made from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. No, it is not medical marijuana. Listen here to the episode.
Cannabidiol, (CBD) relieves pain, kills or slows bacterial growth, reduces blood sugar levels, reduces vomiting and nausea, reduces seizures and inflammation, and inhibits cell growth in tumors and cancer cells to name just a few of the medical benefits. (Source: Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs, by Dr. Caroline Colie, PH.D.
I bet you’re wondering how can one little plant do all that?
Before I tell you, let’s start with a crash course on the cannabis plant.
Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids, which produce mental and physical effects when consumed.
THC is the chemical compound that acts on the cells in the brain, that results in people getting high, (psychoactive component).
There are different varieties of the cannabis plant: Marijuana is the name of the form of cannabis with high levels of THC. (Psychoactive)
And hemp, commonly used to make products such as rope and fiber, is another variety of the plant that has high levels of a different chemical, cannabidiol or CBD, the non-psychoactive component.
Since the 1960’s scientists have demonstrated dozens of therapeutic applications for CBD. It does not get you or your pet high, and it is totally legal for anyone to buy – without prescriptions.
This is also a supplement that is offering numerous health benefits for people. You may have heard it talked about in the news and on television lately.
How does it work in your dog’s body (and yours)?
You have a special system in your body that all mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have that is called the endocannabinoid system (named after the plant).
It is a group of specialized receptors in the brain and the nervous system. (Receptors are nerve endings in your body which react to changes and stimuli and make your body respond in a particular ways.) The system allows the cells in your brain and nervous system to communicate with each other and affects how almost every other system in the body works – especially the immune system.
And what is pretty remarkable is that these receptors are all over your brain and just about everywhere in your and your dog’s bodies!
Our natural, internal cannabinoids called, endocannabinoids regulate the chemicals (neurotransmitters) that carry messages from one nerve cell to another in your body, acting like a master of ceremonies, directing some to fight problems and others to restore the body to its normal state. For example, when we have an infection the endocannabinoids tell the immune system to turn up the temperature to fight it, and when the invader is destroyed, they signal it to turn back down.
Turns out that the chemicals found in the cannabis plant closely mimic the body’s internal cannabinoids and when you consume CBD it interacts with your body’s cannabinoid receptors to get the same beneficial response as your own naturally produced ones. This is why cannabis can positively impact and affect so many parts of the body and help relieve a number of different illnesses.
When you use CBD oil, putting the correct dosage of drops under your tongue or in the mouth of your dog, (the most effective way to ingest it,) the cannabinoids from the hemp plant fit into your body’s own cannabinoid receptor sites. What do you get? Health benefits!!
Cannabinoids are also found in other plants such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, flax and other vegetables but not to the extent they are in cannabis. You’d need to eat a whole ton load of veges to get the same medical benefits. In fact, cannabis in the industrial hemp form, is the most abundant plant source of CBD in the world and CBD is emerging as the most important cannabinoid for health.
Read more about it in the book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs. Natural Supplements to Support Healthy Living and Graceful Aging.
Show Notes for Episode 017
My guest, Dr. Caroline Colie’s website.
Order Dr. Coile’s, book, Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs.
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