Updated: Nov 28, 2020
As we can all see in their faces when we say goodbye every morning, Dogs are particularly prone to anxiety when their owners are away. It is quite surprising that this is not a bigger problem then it is.
Will CBD Oil Help manage my dogs Anxiety? Let’s get into it.
Dogs are pack animals
They’re doing what is natural in nature. They want the pack to stay together, safety in numbers it makes complete sense! it is unnatural for them to be alone. if your dogs high strung. You can find solace in knowing your little bundle of stress and their genetic traits would of save many rear ends back in the day, before domestication.
The second most common reasons after pain management a person would be using CBD oil for their dogs or cat is for anxiety related issues. Which makes sense as it is only natural for these tendencies to spill over from the human world on to our pooch’s.
Many pet owners use prescription medications to treat them, according to two different independent reports (1a)
It is a more common practice then you would think for a veterinarian to prescribe dogs anti-anxiety medications. (1) The Two approved antidepressants for canine separation anxiety can produce vomiting and lethargy in between 45% to 85% of the animals that use it. CBD may be a safer option for this condition, as well as being a treatment option for pets with general anxiety that comes from travelling and hearing loud noises, such as fire works or thunder storms.
There is always a need for these medications and many peoples and dogs entire lives have been changed with the use of substances like these.
Unfortunately these can also have some unintended negative side effects. There is no question that when absolutely needed, anti-anxiety, When used in this conservative way, they can save a life. But in many cases, this urgency is not present and only increases risk to life.
A comprehensive new Canadian study that looks at 12 years’ worth of Statistics Canada.
The Data has concluded that taking medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases mortality risk by 36%. (2)
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry / https://Nationalpost.com
We never want to discredit these powerful drugs but feel they should be as last ditch effort not the first line of defense. These drugs were never create to be used as long term solution.
They are also not a cure. In fact, there are many questions about their long-term effectiveness. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, benzodiazepines lose their therapeutic anti-depressant effect after 4 to 6 months of regular use. And a recent analysis reported in JAMA Psychiatry found that the effectiveness of SSRIs in treating anxiety has been overestimated, and in some cases is no better than placebo. (1b) (1c)
What’s more, it can be very difficult to get off anxiety medications without difficult withdrawals, including rebound anxiety that can be worse than the original problem your dog started with. I know this sounds crazy, How the heck do we know all this, and still feel comfortable handing them out like candies.
Antidepressant Use In Canada Among Highest In World: The OECD found that nine per cent of Canadians take antidepressants.
Diet, exercise and purpose are a great place to start, whether you have two legs or four. We all need Healthy food rich in nutrients, A Loving well rounded Community and life with purpose that launches us out of bed everyday, ready to start the day!
CBD oil is another natural alternative you may want to consider to help, it works by relaxing our dogs and raising their spirits.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil (Cannabidiol) is a natural substance found in the hemp plant. For 1000s of years, people have been using the hemp plant for everything from rope to medicinal purposes.
One of those medicinal purposes is anxiety relief in people and pets, but not for the reason you might expect.
There’s a lot of confusion between CBD and marijuana. This is because they both come from the same source, the hemp plant, but they’re not actually the same at all. While both are derived from the hemp plant, CBD doesn’t contain the levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the ingredient that makes you “high.” Instead, research shows CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system to soothe and calm anxiety naturally.
The endocannabinoid system is a newly discovered and complex biological system. The body has cannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system, the organs and the brain. These receptors are known as the endocannabinoid system.
When the body naturally releases endocannabinoid chemicals (or you ingest them through a tincture) they connect with the receptors and that stimulates the body’s natural ability to create natural mood stabilizer.
Scientists think CBD affects the way that these receptors respond to the signals that they receive, possibly helping reduce anxiety.
If we stop and think for a moment… The Endocannabiniod system helps to regulate the body’s management of stress.
When all is well this systems anxiety is only felt when there is a stressful or irritating situation, but we know there are conditions where our dogs feel stress or anxiety in the absence of such stimuli, in some cases, it is believed that the endocannabiniods is out of balance and a lack of endocannabiniods is often cited as a contributing factor to this.
This formula is designed to help alleviate stress & anxiety.
Calming ingredients such as ashwagandha and tulsi combat stress, while chamomile can help sooth your dog.
CBD oil potentially offers a alternative route to triggering the cannabiniods receptors in place of the endogenous endocannabiniods.
You could see CBD oil as a way of correcting an endocannabiniod deficiency and activating the cannabiniod receptors so as to reduce the stressful signalling messages to your dogs brain, This stress response might be a reflection of a imbalance in the endocannabiniod system. (3)
It was found that it wasn’t just humans who exhibited an endocannabinoid system, all complex animals have one too. It’s primary role is to achieve homeostasis between all systems in the our dogs bodies.
The endocannabinoids are derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids, and due to this fatty nature, they do not travel well through the body with all its watery mediums! Dogs, like humans, are made up of nearly 80 percent water. For this reason, cleverly, endocannabinoids are created as they are needed, and are made where they are needed and then act locally. In other words, they don’t have to travel throughout the body – the act in the region they were made.
We see this ‘local’ production very clearly at the synapses between nerve cells. Endocannabinoids are synthesized and released into the local synapse so as to control the release of neurotransmitters at the synapse, and by doing so they help to maintain homeostasis, keeping nerve impulses flowing for as long as they’re needed. The endocannabinoids are very quickly taken back up from the synapse once their work is done and metabolised within the nerve cell. They are made, released and removed quickly, so as to maintain that all-important homeostatic balance.
The endocannabinoid system has a part in regulating:
- Stress Response
- Motor function
- Neural tissue protection
- Blood Pressure
This system is composed of cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoids which interact with them, and the enzymes which create and breakdown these endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids are our own endogenous versions of the cannabinoids.
By now you must be wondering why do our dogs we have cannabinoid receptors in their bodies in the first place. In fact, they are among the most numerous receptors in our brains.
Our dogs also have opioid receptors and pain receptors that are lock and key with opiates and Pain. The body makes its own endogenous “keys” for all these receptors. As for the benzodiazepine receptor, the brain manufactures the calming neurotransmitter GABA, which binds very close to the benzodiazepine site, the place where anti-anxiety drugs like Valium also bind (act upon the same channels)
There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2. Such receptors are scattered throughout the central nervous system (and brain) and, within the immune system too.
Cannabinoid receptors have also been found in the:
- Digestive tract
- Cardiovascular system
- Respiratory system
- Endocrine System
- Urinary Tract
- Reproductive System
Just like in humans, the brain of your pet has different regions that have cannabinoid receptors. They include:
- The cerebral cortex: controls memory, thinking and alertness
- The hypothalamus: controls metabolic processes and apetite stimulation
- The amygdala: controls emotions
- The hippocampus: aids in short term memory
- The basal ganglia: controls motor skills
- The cerebellum: controls coordination
The brain stem has a low concentration of cannabinoid receptors; this partly explains the reason why fatal overdose from cannabis ingestion nearly impossible.
CB1 And Its Role In Stress Response
CB 1 receptors are found in both the peripheral and the central nervous systems, but also in the kidneys, the liver and the lungs. They are involved in the regulation of pain, mood, sleep, memory, appetite and a number of other bodily functions.
These receptors also offer an alleviation of feelings of depression and anxiety when activated. Animal tests suggest that in the absence of CB1 receptors animals aren’t as inquisitive, brave or social in new situations.
Anadamide, The Feel Good Endocannbiniod.
Anandamide works on the endocannabiniod system in the central nervous system, it interacts with the CB1 receptors within the peripheral nervous system, it interacts with the CB 2 receptors (largely found in the nervous system immune cells).
Considered as the body’s natural anti-depressant and drugs which impact its levels (such as FAAH inhibitor are researched for the treatment of anxiety and depression. In fact, Researchers found that some of the happiest people share a genetic mutation which leaves them with less FAAH and therefore more anandamide, In contrast, Lowered levels or fluctuating levels of anandamide have been linked to schizophrenia and depression. (4)
Though CBD oil is certainly a option to increase the anandamide in your dogs body, a free option to increase your pups levels is to go for a run! Running (or exercising) for around half an hour shows the levels of this endocannabinoid rise in the body, hence the natural high we get from exercise (Runners high), its the same for our doggos….. Maybe even more so!
2- AG The endocannabinoid systems guardian against fear, anxiety and stress.
2-AG activates both CB1 And CB2 receptors also, but it is most commonly active at the CB2 receptors. It is present in quite high levels in the central nervous system (in fact, it’s the most abundant endocannabinoid in the body), and it has also been found in Human and Dogs breast milk! Its is a essential building block for the starting of life.(5)
Being most involved with CB2 receptors, those associated with the immune system, 2-AG is an important endocannabinoid for the orchestration of immune responses, responses which are balanced. But because it can act on the other cannabinoid receptors too, it is also associated with the regulation of our appetite and pain. (6)
Trials involving rodents found that when the animals lacked CB1 receptors they exhibited more anxious behaviour when they were put in stressful situations (but not when they were in a peaceful environment).
As we can all see in their faces when we say goodbye every morning, Dogs are particularly are prone to anxiety when their owners are away.
In studies, low doses of cannabinoids acting at CB1 receptors are associated with an anxiolytic activity, but high doses are associated with the promotion of feelings of stress and anxiety in some scenarios. For that reason, if you are using CBD oil for stress or anxiety it is wise to take a low dose approach of between 2.5 and 10 milligrams of CBD a day. In serious cases of anxiety, with symptoms such as panic attacks, doses can increase up to 20 to 40 milligrams per day without the risk of tipping the dose too high and potentially exacerbating the stress or anxiety.
When all is well this system’s anxiety is only felt when there is a stressful or irritating situation, but we know their are conditions where our dogs feel stress or anxiety in the absence of such stimuli, in some cases.
It is believed that the endocannabiniods is out of balance and a lack of endocannabiniods is often cited as a contributing factor to this.
The Endocannabinoid system in pets is fast becoming a subject of interest, as studies are proving that pets interact with phytocannabinoids in the same way humans do.
Actually most of the scientific studies carried out to understand the ECS have been based on animal studies.
Cannabinoids, both endogenous and phytocannabinoid, interact with receptors to influence how your pet feels.
These receptors are embedded in cell membranes spread throughout the body. Your pet has two kinds of cannabinoid receptors, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the nervous system of your pet. You can also find them in connective tissues, glands and organs. It is here that they are stimulated to alter physiological processes.
These endocannabinoids are our own endogenous versions of the cannabinoids.
CB 1 receptors are found in both the peripheral and the central nervous systems.
but also in the kidneys, the liver and the lungs. They are involved in the regulation of pain, mood, sleep, memory, appetite and a number of other bodily functions.
These receptors also offer an alleviation of feelings of depression and anxiety
Anandamide is a considered as the body’s natural anti-depressant
and drugs which impact its levels(such as FAAH inhibitor are researched for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Though CBD oil is certainly a option to increase the anandamide in your dogs body, a free option to increase your levels is to go for a run! Running (or exercising) for around half an hour sees levels of this endocannabinoid rise in the body, hence the natural high we get from exercise
2-AG activates both CB1 And CB2 receptors also, but it is most commonly active at the CB2 receptors. It is present in quite high levels in the central nervous system (in fact, it’s the most abundant endocannabinoid in the body), and it has also been
found in Human and Dogs breast milk! Its is a essential building block for the starting of life.(5)
There are two main types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2.
Such receptors are scattered throughout the central nervous system (and brain) and, as you’ll remember, within the immune system too.
An analogy to help you think of how CBD oil combats stress and help to manage unnecessary anxiety in your dogs, might be the analogy of a business office. Let’s say that inside this office, there are several individuals, but each individual is limited to one role. So, there are people in charge of social media who operate behind a computer, people whose job it is to fax or e-mail documents to other departments, people doing research, and people writing.
CBD oil is essentially the boss who comes into the office, takes one look around, and immediately knows which worker needs to produce more, which ones should produce less. CBD is able to get these workers to do exactly what he/she needs them to do. In other words, the CBD oil is the one worker in the room who has access to the bigger picture, and is not just limited to one micro-role.