CBD For Your Pet: Daily Immune Support
Many people address their pets’ chronic conditions and illnesses with CBD. But what about when our fur babies are healthy? Should we be giving them CBD even when they’re not suffering or in pain? Based on how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) interacts with the body - and how CBD interacts with the ECS - the answer is a resounding yes! Being proactive instead of reactive with CBD supplementation can help prevent future potential issues, and giving it to our pet every day promotes homeostasis: a state of internal physiological balance -- AKA our healthiest state of being. Our body is comprised of various systems communicating with each other in order to function properly. These systems are made of polar opposites, and that dynamic maintains a balance in the body. Sometimes those systems become imbalanced; and the body works to repair it, or it manifests as a chronic or acute illness.
So whether there’s a condition developing we don’t know about, or our pet’s entirely “healthy”, it helps many systems (that regulate our vital functions) communicate with each other more efficiently. When those systems are communicating and working efficiently, the body is regularly able to fight off infections, filter out bacteria, and have a healthy balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation. The ECS regulates all of these systems. Its main goal is to maintain homeostasis in the body, with cannabinoid receptors scattered throughout the body, bones, and organs. These receptors are heavily found in the central and peripheral nervous systems, brain, spinal cord, gut, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic, and immune systems. CBD interacts with these and other receptors, helping them speak to each other more clearly and do what they need to do.
All vertebrae mammals have an ECS, which means CBD impacts our fur babies the same way it impacts us and promotes inner balance in their cute little bodies. For whatever reason, some of our ECS are unable to produce their own cannabinoids, so supplementing with cannabinoids like CBD can help. Since they’re smaller and have more delicate systems, they likely don’t need as large of a dose. But like us, each pet’s body and needs are unique, so the ideal dosage differs and takes time to find.
As with any supplement, consistency is key. Daily use will always provide the most noticeable results. Even if your pet is healthy with no known condition or endocannabinoid deficiency, regularly giving them CBD not only encourages homeostasis through more productive bodily communication, but also through its interaction with the immune system.
With the immune system, there is always a balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation. Wait, what? It may sound contradictory to say the body needs inflammation, but inflammation is an important way it protects and heals itself from injuries. Inflammation is when white blood cells accumulate at the site of an injury. Most of these cells eat bacteria and other harmful stimuli, and clean out debris caused by the trauma. Inflammation’s purpose is to eliminate the initial cause of injury, get rid of damaged cells and tissues, and start the repair process. When the immune system is out of balance, people deal with chronic inflammation, which can lead to a whole host of problems throughout the body.
Cannabinoid receptors are found in the immune system, specifically the white blood cells. We know that these white blood cells fight infections by attacking bacteria, viruses, and germs. Thus, giving our pet CBD consistently helps these cells communicate consistently, so they can protect the body against daily threats to the immune system.
The large majority of commercial pet food is also made with inflammatory ingredients, which can build up over time and disrupt this balance. Buying from conscious companies and feeding them as little grains and dry food as possible can help avoid inflammation caused by nutrition.
Our medical system has gotten in the habit of treating symptoms instead of disease. In order to heal anything, it’s imperative to look at the root cause. Sometimes that root cause is simply endocannabinoid deficiency, which is resolved by supplementing with CBD. But often, the “root cause” is much more complex than that, and is a combination of factors.
Both humans and pets in today’s society deal with much unresolved trauma, affecting amygdala function in the brain, habitual patterns, and our environment. Trauma impairs the body’s vital functions, placing it in constant states of fight-or-flight and thus not allowing time to rest-and-digest, which is mainly when our body repairs and absorbs nutrients. Being in a constant state of adrenaline can cause a multitude of problems, including adrenal fatigue, endocrine, and digestive issues. This disrupts our ECS, so supplementing with CBD can be very helpful, but we still must address the other issues. Otherwise, it’s a vicious cycle, and who needs that when we could be snuggling with our stinky-breath babies?
Start by giving a dose of Bailey's CBD twice daily for 2 weeks, observe your pet’s behavior, and adjust the dosage accordingly. Respected Veterinarian Dr. Robert Silver suggests a starting dose of 1mg/10lb twice a day. If not seeing the desired results, increase the dosage after a week. Like with humans, there may be some trial and error finding the ideal amount, and some might need more than others.
Although CBD is not the magical “cure” for pets or humans, it can greatly support the healing process. It’s most effective when paired with a balanced nutrition and lifestyle. That means different things for different pets. It’s important to take the time to find out what’s best for yours.
Overall, being consistent with our furry children, like we would in any relationship, is most beneficial for their health. Maybe set a time of day where you both take your CBD together! Whether it’s for a medical condition, anxiety, or immune support, providing them with high quality CBD, lots of love, and maybe that extra piece of turkey once in a while (sorry, my cat got ahold of the keyboard) can sometimes be the best medicine. They’re family after all!