It is no coincidence that dogs, cats, and humans have become best friends over the centuries. Studies have proven that we are actually more alike than we think. Not only are both humans and pets mammals, we have a lot of the same bodily functions. 

Endocannabinoid System

A system recently found in both humans and pets is the endocannabinoid system. It’s a system rich in cannabinoids that helps regulate certain bodily functions. 

In short, the endocannabinoid system consists of enzymes, molecules, cannabinoids (CBD), and receptors. Once cannabinoids are released it binds to receptors. Enzymes within the system then break down CBD compounds. Once broken down it has various healing and balancing properties throughout the entire body. Read this article to understand how the endocannabinoid system works. 

Cannabinoid Products

To enhance the function of the ECS, many people have started digesting different kinds of CBD products. Cannabinoid products are made from hemp or Marijuana plants. By using different extraction methods, farmers can extract pure CBD from Cannabis sativa plants. 

This process eliminates the extraction of THC, which means that once digested, the user will experience all the therapeutic benefits without getting ‘high’. It’s important to note that THC is the compound that within the Marijuana plant that causes a psychoactive effect in the user. But CBD, is the compound that can connect with the endocannabinoid system and have a natural balancing effect on the body. 

The hemp plant has higher levels of CBD whilst the Marijuana plant have higher levels of THC. It’s important that, when looking for cannabinoid products, that you look for products derived from the hemp plant which contains less than 0.3% THC.

Products are sold as edibles, oils, tinctures, lotions, cigarettes, and vape juice. Depending on the milligrams, strength, and purity it will have a strong effect on the endocannabinoid system.   

Once it was discovered that pets also have an ECS, CBD products were introduced into their diets too. For additional info on different pet products, you can ask your vet or browse around on the internet. 

But how does your pet’s endocannabinoid system react differently to these products than yours? 

Difference Between ECS in Pets and Humans

What’s the Difference Between ECS in Pets and Humans? 

In both humans, dogs and cats, the endocannabinoid system is basically the same. It consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors, enzymes, and cannabinoids. The receptors are found in the brain and once connected with cannabinoid compounds it sends signals into the body. 

One of the biggest differences recently discovered by scientists, is that dogs actually have much more receptors than humans. As a result, dogs are more susceptible to CBD and THC than humans. 

Whenever humans digest too much THC (as found in space cakes and joints), they will experience psychoactive effects known as a ‘high’ feeling. When dogs digest too much THC, they will experience a condition known as static ataxia. Luckily this condition isn’t fatal, but it causes damage to the cerebellum, nerves, and spinal cord. 

If you do have some space cakes laying around, it’s best to keep them hidden and out of your pup’s reach.  

It’s best to buy products with less than 0.3% THC and derived from the hemp plant. Usually, products that are full spectrum will have the best quality extraction method and will contain less than 0.3% THC. In order for the CBD oil to have a beneficial effect on your pet, without experiencing static ataxia, you need to be very wary of where you buy products and what ingredients it has. 

Although our endocannabinoid systems are mostly the same. Your pet’s susceptibility is much more sensitive than your own. You can read this study by the national institute of medicine on the endocannabinoid system of animals: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770351/ for more information on it. 

In similar ways, the endocannabinoid systems in humans and pets can help treat the following symptoms:

  • Acute pain in joints, muscles, and other parts of the body
  • Arthritis
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders caused by stress
  • It can inhibit the growth of cancer cells and treat side effects of chemotherapy
  • Digestive problems

When you start using CBD products yourself or when you start giving it to your pet, it’s important that you monitor all responses. There’s no doubt that you’ll be surprised by the positive change it brings about. 

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