The Endocannabinoid System of Animals

cbd for dog cat

Posted on May 11th, 2022 to CBD for Pets

There has been talk about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) being vital for a healthy and balanced body. Cannabinoids derived from plants have a similar effect on the ECS compared to endocannabinoids within our bodies. Hence, they can promote balance and wellness. With the emergence of CBD for pets, it is important to understand the endocannabinoid system of animals.

There has been extensive research on this subject and scientists have been able to plot out a map of the several endocannabinoid receptors in animals. The discovery of the ECS in almost all animals, except insects and protozoa, has enabled us to find holistic approaches for pain management, cancer therapeutics, neurologic disorders, stress reduction, anxiety management, and inflammatory diseases. The exact determination of the distribution of cannabinoid receptors in animals is ongoing. However, we have a considerable amount of data for dogs and cats.

Components of The Endocannabinoid System

  • Endocannabinoids: Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that the body produces. There are two primary ones, Anandamide (N-Arachidonoylethanolamide) and 2-AG (2- arachidonoylglycerol), which interact with the cannabinoid receptors.
  • Cannabinoid receptors: Just like humans, cats and dogs have CB1 and CB2 receptors and CBD fits like a lock and key into these receptors.

CB1 receptors: These receptors are among the most abundant receptor types in the brain and spinal cord. CB1 receptors are in charge of cognitive function, pain perception, and information processing. They also regulate memory storage, hunger, mood and appetite.

CB2 receptors: The CB2 receptors are primarily in the immune system. These receptors are involved more when CBD is ingested. They are activated when CBD enters the body and when CB2 receptors bind to the CBD, your pet’s immune system is balanced. This can help decrease inflammatory symptoms and help your pet gain energy.

  • Enzymes: FAAH and MAGL enzymes are molecules that accelerate chemical reactions in the body, completing the homeostatic regulation within the endocannabinoid system. These enzymes ensure that the body uses endocannabinoids  as needed.

cannabinoid receptors in dogs cannabinoid receptors in cats

How does CBD work on the ECS in animals?

Now that you know about the endocannabinoid system of animals, it’s time to understand how the cannabinoid receptors work to maintain a balance. The receptors are in charge of uptake and processing of cannabinoids made within the body. When this happens, many vital functions are regulated and a balanced ECS is promoted. Research has shown that a balanced ECS helps with brain development, memory, mood regulation, appetite, pain perception, sleep, immunity, vascular health, digestive health, reproduction and fertility in both humans and animals. When there are not enough endocannabinoids in your pet’s body, an imbalance can lead to your cat or dog having stress, anxiety, digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea, appetite and sleep problems, pain, inflammation and lack of energy.

Cannabinoids derived from plants such as hemp can interact with the ECS very similarly to cannabinoids made within the body. If your pet is under distress due to a lack of endocannabinoids, CBD derived from hemp has shown to produce effects similar to endocannabinoids and hence can provide your pet with relief.

Out of balance? Let CBD support your pet.

Now that you’ve learned more about your pet’s vital endocannabinoid system it’s time to see if CBD may help them. Contact us for a free consultation from our in-house licensed pharmacist, Dr. Peggy, to discuss the best options for your pet. We specialize in custom compounding to meet your pet’s specific health needs.

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