Understanding The Endocannabinoid System In Dogs and Cats

Posted on January 16, 2019
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Let’s talk about the endocannabinoid system in cats and dogs and how CBD oil works with this system to keep dogs and cats — and humans — healthy.

The endocannabinoid system — a big word for an anatomical system with an even bigger job. But a little knowledge can go a long way towards understanding how the CBD found in hemp essential oils interacts with this vital system to keep our bodies — and those of cats and dogs and other pets — in a state of balanced health and wellness.

The most common reasons that people take CBD oil — or give it to their pets — are to reduce anxiety and depression, reduce pain and inflammation, get a better night’s sleep, tame digestive issues, regulate immune responses, reduce involuntary movements and seizures that come with medical conditions such as MS, ALS, and epilepsy. The bodily systems involved in these conditions are all quite different. The big question is, how can this one substance effect so many different bodily systems?

Understanding The Endocannabinoid System In Dogs and Cats

What Is the Endocannabinoid System?

The answer to this question of how the ECS works in cats and dogs lies in the tiny microscopic world of neurotransmitters and receptors. A neurotransmitter is a molecule produced at the synapse (connection) of a neuron (brain cell) the function of which is to trigger a signal in a connecting neuron or to enter the bloodstream and find its way to other cells in the body. This system of signaling molecules and receptors found on the surface of cells is the brain’s way of transmitting brain signals as well as relaying instructions to other cells in the body telling them how to behave.

The brain produces a vast variety of these signaling molecules. Hormones are a type of a type of signaling molecule. Histamine, the molecule that produces allergic reactions is also a signaling molecule. Dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, melatonin — they’re all signaling molecules. The type of signaling molecule that we’re concerned with here — cannabidiol, or CBD — is one of a family of molecules known as cannabinoids.

There are two types of cannabinoids. There are endocannabinoids, and there are phytocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by humans and most other animals including mammals, birds, fish, and so on. Phytocannabinoids are produced in plants, with cannabis flowers being the most prolific producer.

As it turns out, the phytocannabinoids found in CBD oil can mimic certain endocannabinoids. They also produce unique effects of their own.

How Does the Endocannabinoid System Work In Cats and Dogs?

So, what is it that these two types of cannabinoids are actually doing in the body? Many cells in the human body have receptors of their surface that interact with cannabinoids. As mentioned, cannabinoids are relaying instructions from the brain to all the major organs and the immune system at a cellular level.

The way this works is that if the brain detects some kind of imbalance, it produces particular cannabinoid molecules to relay particular behavioral instructions to individual cells and organs. The process is meant to bring the system back into balance.

For example, when the brain detects danger, it produces signaling molecules that get an animal amped up and prepared to fight or flee. Heart rate and breathing increase, 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 cause chronic anxiety issues. The same goes with sleep patterns, digestive activity, inflammatory response, immune response, and on and on.

The way CBD fits into all of this is that it mimics the effects of certain endocannabinoids that are involved in all these processes such as reducing anxiety, keeping inflammation in check and many, many more.

So, as you can see, by supplementing your pet’s endocannabinoids with the cannabidiol found in Medipets CBD oil you can bring relief to a pet that might be suffering from one of the mentioned conditions and many others.

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