If you’ve taken CBD before, there is a high chance — pun intended — that you took it for either pain or anxiety. This is because not only are these two health issues incredibly common, cannabis has long been attributed to having significant effects on mending and healing them.

Today we are looking at what hemp CBD, a non-intoxicating derivative of cannabis, can do for our pets. In particular, we’re talking about how CBD can help our canine best friends with the anxiety and pain they experience.

According to Innovepet, anxiety is frequently touted as the number 1 health issue dog owners say they struggle to help their puppers with. Then, from poor breeding practices to older age, many dogs will experience chronic pain at some point in their lifetime, often due to mobility issues.

So does research back up the many claims saying CBD can help our dogs with pain and anxiety? We’ll be looking into that and more. 

What is Pain?

Pain occurs when pain receptors (nociceptors) detect damaged tissue. From there, they will stimulate the nerve cells, which will create a signal for the brain. This signal sends a message that tells the brain of this damage, and voilà the brain reacts by creating the lovely sensation we call pain.

This mechanism is very important to understand because we can understand why some feel less pain than others, while others more. As well, it explains how cannabis and CBD can help safely mediate pain.

Common causes of pain in dogs include injuries, dental disease, surgeries, some cancers, genetic mobility disorders, arthritis, and ear, skin, and urinary tract infections. 

Symptoms of Pain 

While our furry best companions experience pain in the same way we do, they often don’t show it in the same fashion. This is especially the case when you don’t see how the injury happened or when the pain manifests due to a health condition like cancer.

  • Changes in behavior
  • Limping
  • Shaking
  • Obsession over a particular area
  • Panting
  • Whimpering or excessive vocalization 
  • Aggression or reluctance to be touched 
  • Nervousness 

Traditional Treatments For Pain

From ice and heat packs to medication, while pain is common, there is good news. There is a multitude of treatment options for dogs who are struggling. And thanks to hemp CBD, we may have another great way.

If you notice signs your dog is experiencing pain, your best bet is to make an appointment with your veterinarian. 

How CBD May Help Pain

Pain is a combination of direct stimulation (sensory pain) that’s amplified by mood and mental state (affective pain). Research indicates that CBD can absolutely help with affective pain by essentially making the pain less unpleasant. Think of gnawing pain, where the constant ache is the issue, not the direct pain itself.

However, CBD may also help with reducing the volume of pain felt by increasing the bioavailability of endogenous mediators of pain, like serotonin. 

What is Anxiety?

Feelings of dread, apprehension, and uneasiness, anxiety is a reaction of the nervous system to a perceived threat. Anxiety can be good, warning you to stay away from dangers. But it can also become a major issue for many, rearing its head up even when there is nothing to worry about or any dangers present.

Common causes of anxiety in dogs include noise and environmental sensitivities, separation from others, and fear of strangers and the unknown. 

Symptoms of Anxiety 

Signs of anxiety in dogs often overlap with symptoms of pain, however, with a keen eye, you’ll quickly be able to distinguish between the two. The most notable difference is symptoms of anxiety tend to be significantly more high-energy in nature.

  • Panting
  • Pacing 
  • Excessive barking (especially when the owner isn’t home)
  • Aggression / destruction behavior  
  • Urinating or defecating in the house

Traditional treatments For Anxiety 

Despite its common occurrence, many pet owners find treating their dogs’ anxiety, in the long run, is easier than treating their own. Training, toys, and medication are all common methods for helping a dog with anxiety. 

How CBD May Help Anxiety

Like all cannabis products that still retain the cannabinoids and terpenes, CBD can help mitigate the severity of anxiety by working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — a network of receptors. As well, it can work with receptors in the brain like serotonin 5-HT1A receptors which regulate fear and anxiety. 

This multi-directional approach to reducing anxiety appears to be the key to CBD’s success in relieving anxiety, stress, and nervousness. So much so that research is indicating that no anxiety condition can resist CBD’s ability to reduce it. Be it fear for us when engaging in public speaking or our dogs’ fear when we leave them alone.