Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural product, derived from hemp and marijuana. It is NOT psychoactive, addictive, or toxic to dogs. In fact, CBD can be used to help treat symptoms of anxiety and reduce pain in pets, making it an option worth considering as your dog ages.
There are many benefits of CBD for older dogs, and this powerful substance even has the potential to improve your dog's quality of life by reducing anxiety, depression, and even cancer symptoms.
First things first, let’s understand your dog’s immune system
Inflammation affects many dogs and can lead to illnesses like arthritis and colitis. These are notoriously unpleasant and get worse over time, and they're caused by an overactive immune system that kills the body. Inflammation exposes the joints and bones when cartilage deteriorates in arthritis.
On the other hand, CBD may have anti-inflammatory benefits that are more potent and long-lasting than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). CB2 receptors are found in dogs' immune systems, and both anandamide and 2-AG can bind to them to modulate inflammatory impulses. These endocannabinoids' immunomodulatory properties lower inflammation while also maintaining the immune system's health and safeguarding the body from infection.
CBD's anti-inflammatory properties are dependent on its ability to decrease anandamide reuptake and breakdown. Anandamide is the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating inflammation. When inflammation can be regulated by the body, it’s more likely to return and remain in a state of homeostasis, or balance.
Furthermore, pain relief is beneficial in the treatment of a variety of inflammatory disorders. CBD possesses analgesic properties that are mediated via the CB1 and vanilloid receptors, the latter of which is not part of the endocannabinoid system.
1) CBD for cancer
In a research study, CBD inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells in mice. In 2018, researchers discovered that CBD helped mice with pancreatic cancer live longer. Other animal research has shown that CBD oil has cancer-fighting properties and can halt tumor growth.
In another investigation, cancer cells became more responsive to CBD therapy. As a result, CBD may help traditional cancer treatments work better.
CBD also destroys cancer cells by preventing them from producing energy. It can also prompt the immune system to create killer cells that kill cancer cells.
According to the researchers, CBD also inhibits the GPR55 cannabinoid receptor. This is significant since GPR55 accelerates cancer cell proliferation in mice.
Cannabidiol oil can also assist with the nausea that many cancer therapies cause. In addition, CBD has also been found in tests to considerably lessen cancer-related discomfort.
2) Alleviating joint pain and arthritis in dogs
If your dog is suffering from joint pain, your veterinarian may give NSAIDs or other pain relievers such as Gabapentin. However, NSAIDs can lead to joint and soft tissue degeneration, and they can also harm your dog's liver. Gabapentin can potentially harm the kidneys. Furthermore, it is ineffective.
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory with none of the negative side effects associated with pharmaceuticals. It operates by attaching to the brain's CB1 receptors. The immune system is stimulated by these receptors, which helps to minimize inflammation. The way the brain responds to pain is likewise altered by CB1 receptors.
CBD binds to CB2 receptors in the neurological and immunological systems, among other places. When this occurs, the body may naturally create more cannabinoids. This aids in further reducing inflammation as well as the pain that comes with it. Cornell University researchers discovered that dogs with arthritis who were given CBD were more active and experienced less discomfort.
3) CBD for hip dysplasia in dogs
Hip dysplasia is a malformation that appears in the ball and socket joint of the dog's hip during its growth. For optimal development, the ball and the socket must grow at the same rate. Hips do not expand in a constant manner.
As the dog ages, this joint laxity is followed by common degenerative disease (DJD) or osteoarthritis. As the body tries to stabilize the loose hip joint, several problems develop. Hip dysplasia is a genetic illness that is influenced by many factors, including the environment, activity, muscle mass, food, and hormones.
The illness is more common in large breeds, but it can affect any type. Labrador Retrievers, Bulldogs, German Shepherds, and large mixed breeds are among the dog breeds that are more typically affected than others.
Unfortunately, this disease frequently results in discomfort and inflammation that worsens over time. Owners may likely notice changes in how their dog sits or walks as the symptoms advance.
While hip dysplasia should always be treated by a veterinarian, inflammation around the joints is a common cause of discomfort in dogs.
Most veterinarians will prescribe a course of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) for the dog. Prostaglandins, which are hormone-like molecules, are frequently affected by these medicines (released in response to infection, injury, or irritation).
Using the body's endocannabinoid system, CBD modulates receptors to mediate inflammation, pain, and general immunological response.
When dogs experience NSAID side effects, CBD provides pain and inflammation relief via a different biological and pharmacological pathway. While CBD won't cure dysplasia, it can help dogs with pelvic problems significantly.
4) Your older dog’s skin and coat health
One of the most common reasons for senior dogs to visit their veterinarian is skin problems. As your dog ages, many of these issues can be resolved through a combination of CBD and other treatments.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis have been shown to soothe dryness in aging animals by increasing the hydration level of their skin cells, improving texture and elasticity throughout their bodies (including paws), and reducing itching around sensitive spots like ears or tail base areas where allergies are present (such as flea bites).
The skin contains a high number of cannabinoid receptors that interact with CBD to help dogs develop a sleek, glossy, and healthy coat. It can eliminate the peculiar pet odor while also lowering the risk of allergic reactions in pets.
5) CBD has a positive effect on sleep
CBD can also help with sleep apnea. This is a condition in which the dog’s tongue, throat, or soft palate falls back into the airway while they’re sleeping. As you might imagine, this makes breathing difficult and can lead to snoring and other problems. CBD can be an effective treatment for this disorder because it relaxes muscles in the throat and tongue, helping them stay put where they belong!
CBD is also well-known for its ability to reduce anxiety in dogs of all ages. CBD for old dogs, especially, can help them feel more at ease during those first few days alone when their owners go back to work each day—or even just when you leave for work each morning!
If you have an older dog who suffers from nighttime leg cramps (or even daytime ones!), then CBD could be helpful here too because it reduces inflammation throughout the body—including the joints!
If your senior dog fancies himself as a bit of a night owl but still wakes up feeling stiff, some relaxation with a favorite toy or blanket, along with some CBD, could significantly improve how he feels each morning.
6) CBD can improve mobility
Arthritis is one of the most common causes of mobility issues in senior dogs. It causes pain and stiffness in the joints, but without any other signs or symptoms. The exact cause of arthritis is unknown, but it’s thought to be an autoimmune disease that attacks healthy tissue when it shouldn’t be there anymore. The result is painful inflammation that affects how well a dog moves around his body.
Arthritis medications are designed to reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain so that your dog can get around better again. These drugs work great at treating arthritis symptoms, but they come with some serious side effects that can make them dangerous for older dogs with health conditions like kidney disease or heart failure.
CBD for senior dogs has been shown to be effective at treating joint pain without causing any dangerous side effects like liver damage or seizures, which are commonly seen among dogs taking NSAIDs like Rimadyl or Deramaxx.
CBD is a safe, natural supplement
CBD is a safe, natural supplement that can be used to treat a variety of conditions in dogs. It has been shown to have many health benefits and can be given as part of a regular treatment plan or as needed, to help dogs as they age.
Role of the cannabinoid system in pain management
Daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain
Chemopreventive effect of cannabidiol on experimental colon cancer
Inhibition of colon carcinogenesis by a standardized cannabis sativa extract with high content of cannabidiol
Effect of cannabidiol (CBD) on canine inflammatory response