Cannabidiol (CBD) is increasingly becoming one of the most popular and effective herbal extracts.
CBD is one of the over 480 compounds in cannabis, which also happens to be the most therapeutically beneficial compound. In fact, CBD accounts for many of the medicinal properties of cannabis. It differs from its closest cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in that CBD doesn’t induce euphoria.
Although cannabidiol has been used mostly to manage medical conditions in humans, it’s now emerging that the substance can also impact our pets’ health.
This post shall highlight the five excellent benefits of CBD for senior dogs, but first things first.
How Does CBD Impact The Health Of Senior Dogs?
All animals have a complex cell-signaling system called the endocannabinoid system. The system is responsible for regulating various homeostatic and physiological functions. It also plays a role in boosting an animal’s immunity. Some of the medical conditions that the endocannabinoid system can manage include pain, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, to mention but a few.
The endocannabinoid system relies on its series of cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids or endogenous cannabinoids, to function optimally. These cannabinoids seamlessly bind to endocannabinoid receptors in a complex mechanism that results in relief from numerous medical conditions.
CBD is considered an exogenous cannabinoid, also known as phytocannabinoid. When you administer CBD to your senior dog, you’re ramping up the number of cannabinoids in his body, thereby boosting the overall immunity.
Cannabidiol impacts the functions of the endocannabinoid system by changing the basic chemical structure of certain endocannabinoid receptors. That way, it enhances the efficiency with which your dog’s endogenous cannabinoids bind to his endocannabinoid receptors. And the more effective the binding mechanism, the more effective his endocannabinoid system is.
5 Amazing Ways CBD Impacts Senior Dogs
1. CBD Can Treat Pain
Pain is the most common medical condition for which medical experts often recommend cannabidiol. Various studies have shown that using CBD oil for pain might help with both nociceptive and neuropathic pain.
Nociceptive pain refers to the pain that results from physical injury. On the other hand, neuropathic pain refers to the pain that’s due to an underlying medical condition, particularly diseases that affect the nerves.
Older dogs are more prone to physical injuries than their younger counterparts. That’s mostly due to their degenerating muscles and bones. Senior dogs are also more susceptible to chronic pain diseases, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Either way, CBD oil can help lessen their suffering by masking the feelings of pain resulting from injury or disease.
2. CBD Might Relieve Anxiety
Besides their tendency to suffer physical injuries and chronic pain diseases, senior dogs are also highly susceptible to anxiety.
The most common types of anxiety among senior dogs include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and separation anxiety.
PTSD affects dogs that experienced traumatic events at some point in their lives. The disorder is common among dogs adopted from rescue shelters, who may have undergone some rough patches before they ended up in the rescue homes. On the other hand, separation anxiety affects senior dogs who spend a substantial amount of their time alone, without enough physical and mental stimulation.
Whichever form of anxiety your pooch is suffering from, it’s reassuring to note that cannabidiol can make a world of difference. CBD can relieve anxiety by improving the levels of feel-good hormones like serotonin in the dog’s system.
3. CBD Might Improve Sleep Quality
Insomnia is a common problem among senior dogs. While the condition usually occurs without an underlying cause, it could also result from or increase because of certain medical conditions, such as pain and anxiety. Insomnia can significantly interfere with your dog’s sleep-wake cycle, leading to symptoms like fatigue, memory loss, and poor concentration.
Cannabidiol has shown promising results as far as improving sleep quality goes. CBD mostly works against insomnia by reducing your dog’s sleep latency. After administering CBD to your aging pooch, you’ll realize that it now takes considerably shorter for the dog to drift off from a complete state of wakefulness to sleep.
CBD can also improve sleep for senior dogs by relieving some of the core symptoms of insomnia, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lastly, cannabidiol eliminates or reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM refers to the stage during sleep when your dog is most mentally alert but physically inactive. Many dreams occur during this stage. So, by eliminating REM sleep, CBD ensures that your canine friend dreams less but sleeps more.
4. CBD Can Keep Senior Dogs More Active
As dogs get old, they become more lethargic and less active. With reduced activity, your pet is at higher risk of developing weight-related diseases like obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease.
Part of the reason behind the diminished activity for senior dogs is their degenerating muscles and bones.
Thankfully, CBD can help keep your aging pooch more active by addressing his fatigue and boosting his energy levels. The substance also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can lower degenerative bone and muscle diseases like osteoarthritis.
What’s more – CBD can promote cell repair, which is crucial in reversing muscle and bone degeneration. Further research indicates that supplementing with CBD could facilitate the healing process in a bone fracture.
5. CBD Might Help Manage Your Dog’s Appetite
Appetite issues are common concerns among aging dogs. While a huge proportion of senior dogs often battle chronic appetite loss, others could be suffering from runaway appetite. The good news is that CBD can stimulate your dog’s appetite or suppress it, whichever is desired.
As with pain, anxiety, or insomnia, CBD affects your dog’s appetite by impacting his endocannabinoid system.
To effectively regulate your dog’s appetite, you’d need to offer him full-spectrum CBD products. Full-spectrum CBD refers to products that come with the compounded benefits of CBD, THC, and lots of other cannabis extracts.
The THC in full-spectrum CBD products binds to endocannabinoid receptors near your dog’s brain and central nervous system. As such, it triggers the regions of the brain responsible for the body’s reward system, resulting in increased appetite. On its part, the CBD in full-spectrum products modulates THC’s effects, ensuring your dog doesn’t become intoxicated from the compound.
CBD isn’t just therapeutically-beneficial for humans. It can also benefit the health of your dog, particularly senior dogs. The substance relieves pain, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation and helps manage appetite, all of which are common medical issues affecting aging dogs.