CBD oil can take time to build up in the body and start working its magic. The key is a steady dosage over a consistent period, with some careful observation to see whether CBD is producing positive changes to your pup’s daily wellbeing. In this article we’ll talk about:

  • How CBD gets to work on your dog’s endocannabinoid system—a part of the body responsible for lowering inflammation and anxiety.
  • Go through some of the outward signs that may suggest your dog is feeling improvements with their symptoms thanks to CBD oil.

How does CBD actually work?

In humans and dogs alike, CBD (real name: cannabidiol) functions by boosting the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Endocannabinoids are signaling molecules that form an extensive network inside the body— connecting to all organs and systems. It’s thought that endocannabinoids are responsible for maintaining internal balance and harmony.

Cannabis products can both mimic endocannabinoids and boost natural levels of these transmitter molecules, which affect a sweeping set of behavioral, neuroendocrine, and autonomic functions. In other words, pain, inflammation, memory, stress, sleep, and the immune system.

“The endocannabinoid system is an important lipid signaling system that emerged before the evolution of vertebrates and is well preserved across species. In mammals, it has been recently recognized as a modulator of a large variety of physiological processes, including inflammation and pain, appetite, mood, and pre-and postnatal development…”

Brain activity of anandamide: a rewarding bliss?
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 2019.

Among its endocannabinoid-enhancing effects, CBD has been found to bolster supplies of anandamide—a neurotransmitter that gets its name from the Sanskrit for ‘joy, bliss, or delight.’

Anandamide receptors are thought to be the primary target of THC (the cannabinoid in cannabis that produces those mind-altering effects, or highs). So, you might think of anandamide as one of the body’s natural mood boosters. Some claim this CBD effect to be so profound that it could be used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

A failing endocannabinoid system is connected to a variety of disease states and chronic inflammatory conditions. For this reason, another benefit of supplementing with plant-derived cannabinoids is to ensure the body always has a steady supply of cannabinoids on tap. It’s this process that benefits most from a steady and consistent dosing of CBD oil.

Interestingly, cannabis isn’t the only source of plant-based cannabinoids. While CBD is the most highly concentrated source, carrots, cloves, black pepper, ginseng, and echinacea have all been found to produce their own varieties of these beneficial compounds.

Cannabinoids

For the citizen scientists among us: all of these cannabinoids are thought to affect the body’s endocannabinoid system, leading to reductions in inflammation. Source: Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils, (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Three signs that suggest CBD is doing its job

So how do you know when CBD is beginning to take effect on your dog’s endocannabinoid system? Here are three common signals that your pup is feeling a reduction in stress or inflammation:

A note on CBD oil application:

It’s worth mentioning that oil applied directly on the gums or into the mouth is usually absorbed much faster than when eaten as a treat or in a bowl of food. So in the initial periods, you may want to experiment with this more immediate form of application.

On the other hand, ingesting CBD with food may turn out to be less hassle for both you and your dog over time.

Summary

  • CBD works by boosting the endocannabinoid system. This system plays an important role in lowering stress and inflammation across the entire body. CBD is thought to mimic and/or boost naturally existing endocannabinoids.
  • Don’t expect to see results right away. While application to the gums may show a mild immediate effect, anecdotal evidence suggests that consistent dosages over a few weeks produce the best results. This should help the endocannabinoid system become saturated with cannabinoids.
  • Look for increased movement, a positive change in barking habits, or acute symptom reductions, as signs that your dog may be beginning to respond to the benefits of CBD oil. Trust your instincts—you know your pup better than anyone else does!

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