Your liver absorbs cannabinoids like CBD, which is then released to receptors in your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS has receptors in your brain, lungs, spine, pancreas, spleen, colon, immune system, liver and more. Your ECS supports many different bodily functions, and CBD edibles may help by maintaining homeostasis aka provide you with a balanced equilibrium in your body’s systems that are crucial for optimal health and an overall sense of well being.
Life-threatening risks for dogs from medical cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Richter says, adding that toxicity more often occurs when a pet has eaten a product that contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins. “Even if the THC toxicity is not excessive, they can sometimes have problems due to these other ingredients.” That said, ingestion of large amounts of marijuana has been fatal in a number of dogs, so preventing overdoses with medical cannabis is still extremely important, warns Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor with petMD.
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It’s remarkable that the ECS didn’t come to attention earlier, since its receptors are practically everywhere. They can be found in the brain, spinal cord, skin, gut, liver, kidneys, and even the lungs and immune system tissues. This partially explains why CBD can be a viable treatment for so many health issues, even those which appear to have no connection.
One of the most expensive tinctures on the list, Pet Releaf’s full-spectrum CBD oil is carried in organic coconut (MCT) oil, and has a very light taste. You’ll be able to choose between 3 concentrations for both cats and dogs — just make sure to read their product pages closely so you know how much CBD is in the bottle. The numbers on their label refer to all the cannabinoids present in the tincture, not just CBD.
Like humans, animals can suffer from all manner of chronic pain, and this 2015 review of the scientific literature on chronic pain and cannabinoid usage found that seven out of eleven high-quality trials showed cannabinoids to have “a significant analgesic effect.” Researchers also reported that “several trials also demonstrated improvement in secondary outcomes (e.g., sleep, muscle stiffness, and spasticity).”
In terms of sleep, it stands to reason that a less anxious animal is going to be more ready to fall asleep than a hyper-vigilant one. Additionally, though, there’s evidence that CBD, in its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, can help establish and maintain a healthy sleep/wake cycle — which is what tells both humans and animals when to feel sleepy and when to be awake.