Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active constituents of the cannabis plant, has profound healing and balancing effects on all mammals. Pet owners have used it for a broad spectrum of medical and behavioral issues — cancer pain, arthritis, muscle spasms, seizures, neurological and digestive disorders, anxieties, obsessions, past traumas, withdrawal, mood, and memory. During recovery from illness or surgery, CBD can stimulate appetite and speed healing. At the end of life, it can ease the pain and fear your pet may be experiencing. CBD does all this by stimulating the endocannabinoid system.
Named after the plant that led to its discovery, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors located throughout the body. Short-lived natural endocannabinoid substances are synthesized on demand by the body to maintain homeostasis, a stable internal environment. When these internal mechanisms lag behind the body’s needs, supplementing with extra CBD can help. Research also suggests that supplementing can coax the body to build more receptors so natural cannabinoids will work more effectively.
Two types of receptors have been identified: CB1 receptors, predominantly in the brain, nervous system, glands and organs; and CB2 receptors, found mainly in the regulatory cells of the immune system. Many tissues contain both receptors, each linked to a different action. A key role of the endocannabinoid system is controlling inflammation by up-regulating or down-regulating the immune response. An overactive response can lead to allergies and auto-immune problems; an underactive one can leave the body susceptible to infections and the unchecked proliferation of cancer cells.
Although hemp and marijuana are both classified as cannabis, they are distinctly different varieties. Recreational marijuana is very high in euphoria-producing THC, while hemp plants contain virtually no THC but have high levels of beneficial CBD. Hemp-derived CBD is not psychoactive and won’t make an animal high. It has no unpleasant side effects, and hemp products containing less than .3% THC are legal for sale in all 50 states. CBD from hemp is not regulated as a drug and has no known toxicity level.
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