CBD For Dogs Pain

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Dog Pain Relief

It’s not easy living with pain–it’s even more difficult to watch your beloved pet suffer from chronic, debilitating pain. Whether your dog has arthritis, hip dysplasia or any number of ailments that can cause physical discomfort, finding a solution to help deal with their pain can mean the difference between a playful, active day or a struggle to end a nightmare of unrelenting despair.

Recently, great attention has been directed to the medical properties of phytocannabinoids present in the cannabis plant to treat pain in our beloved four legged friends. An increasing number of pet owners are using cannabis-derived products containing delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) to help eliminate their animals’ pain and agony.

CBD Oil For Dogs Pain

Over the last couple of years, CBD oil for dogs has become a popular form of treatment for pain management. It is currently thought to be so effective, that more and more pet owners are choosing it instead of traditional pain killers. Evidence suggests that cannabis has a much better ‘safety profile’ than prescription pain medications and there is no lethal dose with cannabis. Meta-data analysis of 25 studies suggest that cannabinoid-based pharmacotherapies may serve as effective replacement/adjunctive options regarding pain alleviation.

The major advantages of hemp-derived CBD oil compared to THC from cannabis is that it doesn’t cause the “high” feeling and it has no harsh side-effects that come with traditional prescription pain medications. Following a plethora of empirical evidence proving that CBD for dogs can have an extremely positive impact on overall canine health, Cannabidiol (CBD) is now being used by pet owners worldwide for a variety of specific animal medical conditions–including canine pain relief.

Unfortunately, analytical studies and medical references on the clinical use of cannabinoids in veterinary medicine are still limited, and the application of precise methodologies for determining proper dosage and direct therapeutic effects of cannabinoids in our canine companions remains woefully inadequate.

CBD dosage calculator

Pain Management In Dogs

CBD For Dogs Joint Pain

Anecdotal evidence affirms that CBD can have some very beneficial and often curative effects on a variety of serious canine conditions and diseases. Cannabinoids have been suggested as a possible alternative treatment for conditions like chronic neuropathy, canine arthritis, joint inflammation and more optimistically, eliminating the excruciating pain cycle associated with certain types of canine cancers.

There have been extensive scientific, randomized controlled trials showing that cannabis oil extract can effectively treat chronic pain in humans; likely due to it’s action on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System–which is also integrated into canine anatomy.

Canine Endocannabinoid System Infographic. CBD receptors in dogs
Primary types of Cannabidiol (CBD) receptor sites found in dogs are CB1 & CB2.

Cannabinoid receptors can be thought of as keyholes. And when the cannabinoid comes in, it fits into the receptor like a key and produces an effect on the cell, changing its physiology. CB1 receptors are present mainly in parts of the Central Nervous System (CNS) that affect cognition, appetite, motor activity, emotions, memory but is also found in peripheral tissues including testes, ovaries, prostate, salivary glands; CB2 receptors are found primarily in cells of the immune system in the GI tract as well as epithelial cells in the skin. Cannabinoids use these receptors as part of an intricate signaling system that regulate function of these cells, and have been implicated in easing the pain associated with several chronic neurological disorders.

All of the pharmacological effects of cannabis experienced by humans and inferred to dogs work through the action of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). More specifically, CBD works by activating receptors in the brain and nervous system that suppress pro-inflammatory prostaglandins in the COX-2 metabolic pathway, thereby producing a potent anti-inflammatory effect.

Even though there are differences in the receptors and in the metabolism of cannabinoids in dogs compared to humans, the potential value of using CBD as an alternative treatment for canine pain cannot be overstated.

Dogs Pain Medication

Apart from the fact that CBD Oil drops are extremely effective, they are also very easy to give to your dog. You simply place a few drops under your dog’s tongue and they are instantly absorbed into their system. CBD extracts can be absorbed within the first few minutes and take full effect within the first hour. When CBD starts to hit your dog’s bloodstream you begin to see a transition towards their normal, healthy state.

Lethargic and tired dogs, who may have aches and pains start to feel more loose and limber and start to regain missing energy. Meanwhile, over-reactive, anxious dogs may stop destructive behavior like chewing and clawing furniture, and they may seem more calm and grounded. It sounds counter-intuitive, but CBD really does help pets on both ends of the spectrum.

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CBD helps your dog maintain a healthy metabolic balance and supports internal harmony.

How Do Cannabinoids Work in Pain Modulation?

Research has found Cannabinoid receptors (CB1) to be localized into specific centers of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and indicate endocannabinoids play a key role in the transmission and modulation of pain signaling within the spinal cord. More precisely, activation of CB1 receptors by cannabis extracts suppresses neuronal excitability of cells through control of Calcium and Potassium transduction channels in the CNS.

Early studies performed on dogs using simple pin pricks determined cannabinoids are similar in potency and efficacy to that of morphine. However, cannabinoids can also produce profound motor deficits including immobility and catalepsy, so accurate dosing and vigilant observation is imperative. These studies also indicate that cannabinoids perform a specific physiological role in modulating perceived pain sensitivity.

So not only does CBD function to remove pain through specific actions at the level of the CNS by altering spinal neuron communication but can also alter the pain response threshold in tissues in the periphery by reducing pain sensitivity at the site of an injury or surgical location. This is obviously important in alleviating instances of short-term pain.

However, clinical evidence supports the use of Cannabinoids as a functional long-term analgesic by their effects on altering pain threshold outside of the CNS.

Neuropathy In Dogs

In cases where there was nerve damage (neuropathy) cannabinoids have been found to be superior to opioids in alleviating neuropathic pain. These studies demonstrate that cannabinoids are effective in suppressing pain signals within the brain but also have a direct effect on pain related signaling in the peripheral nerves as well.

Neuroanatomical studes have revealed that cannabinoids are effective for both acute pain transmission at a localized site or injury but also interrupt pain signaling at the level of the brain to alleviate persistent pain modulation in chronic inflammatory disorders like cancer by altering and/or interrupting pain signaling within the brain itself.

Moreover, synergism between cannabinoids and opioid analgesia has also been demonstrated for previously unchecked pain conditions. Collectively, these findings suggest that activation of cannabinoid receptors (and inhibition of deactivating enzymes) may be promising targets for the clinical management of intractable canine pain syndromes.

What Can I Give My Dog For Pain Relief?

CBD Oil For Dogs Pain Relief

Pain is very subjective and difficult to measure in dogs because dogs instinctively hide their pain to prevent potential predators from targeting them when they are injured. Pain assessment in dogs can be challenging and the outward demonstrations of pain will vary widely from dog to dog and from day to day.

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Not all dogs show obvious outward signs of pain–observing subtle signs or changes in your dog’s normal behavior may be an indication they are in need of pain relief.

Pain is a category of responses–it’s important to recognize that just because a dog doesn’t cry, limp, or show other obvious outward signs of pain, that doesn’t mean it isn’t suffering. Although the signs may be subtle, careful observation will often reveal signs of pain in most dogs. Dogs experiencing pain alter their behavior in some way. A dog may be reluctant to climb stairs, show decreased activity or willingness to play or resist being handled or picked up.

However, short of being handed a medical diagnosis of a pain-related disorder, observing subtle signs or changes in your dog’s normal behavior may be the only clue that they are hurting and in need of pain relief. Untreated pain is something that no pet should experience or endure–And using cannabinoids in combination with other pain relieving medications like opioids can result in a more effective synergistic reduction of pain.

Caution is advised when using OTC or prescription medications along with cannabinoids for treating your dog’s pain since there are known and unknown pharmacological interactions with these drugs. Cannabinoids may offer promise in clinical pain management both on their own and as adjuncts to conventional therapeutic agents; but the problem with combining analgesics with CBD is that the effective dose goes way down because cannabis potentiates the effect of opiate based drugs.

So although cannabinoid analgesics have generally been well tolerated with no side-effects when given by themselves; combining CBD with other pharmaceuticals may offer untold adverse events. Treatment with CBD shows great promise but caution is advised when incorporating other pharmaceutical compounds into a canine pain management protocol.

The last thing you want is your beloved pup suffering, but the desire to soothe your pet’s pain can lead to accidental poisoning or unintended drug interactions. Even when given the correct amount some pets may experience adverse reactions to these medical ‘concoctions’.

Dog Pain Treatment

CBD For Dogs In Pain

Every pet parent wants their dog to live a long and happy life. With advances in veterinary medicine and healthier dietary protocols the probability that your dog will live long enough to experience some form of aches and pains as they age is almost inevitable. Significant medical benefits can now be attributed to CBD oil for dogs. The analgesic properties of CBD for humans have been recognized for many years–it’s time now to apply that scientific foundation to help our furry friends live a happier, healthier, pain free life–one without deadly side effects.

Moving forward, empirical evidence and reviews from pet parents may still be the best measure of CBD success for alleviating pain in our canine family members. Be observant for subtle signs of pain or discomfort in your dog and if possible, start your dog on a well documented regimen of hemp CBD oil for natural pain relief.

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Curtis Barnes

Owner / Founder at K9 Medibles
Curtis has been passionate about the welfare of animals since his first dog rescue as a teenager growing up in Oregon.

After studying Sports Medicine & Biology at the University of Oregon, Curtis went on to excel in a career of Clinical Nutrition sales, later owning a healthcare company serving private-practice physicians.

Known for his expansive knowledge on natural health and alternative medicine, many physician friends came to expect they would receive an extended medical education when he detailed the latest clinical food-science-research.

Curtis believes that natural plant-based therapies can be applied to veterinary care which led him to study the science of Cannabinoid Medicine.

His expertise in Functional Medicine led him to formulate a unique hemp-based canine care product, Canine Support Formula, fulfilling a dream to combine natural pet-care strategies with the new therapeutic potential of medical cannabis.

In reverence for his own dog, Curtis has dedicated his company, K9 Medibles, to improving the health and longevity of all dogs. With a soft-spot for older, senior dogs, he affectionately calls every dog a "pup".

As a Native Oregonian, Curtis loves the beautiful scenery & outdoor activities of hiking and biking in his home State.

To learn more about Curtis and how he can help your dog, visit https://www.k9-medibles.com/about-us/
Curtis Barnes

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One Comment


    I LOVE IT! Thank you for the dosing guidelines! Absolutely Pro-Cannabis here in ATX!
    I’ve got 3 fur babies, 2 of which are getting a little long in the tooth & having issues now & a 5yr old with a torn ACL(saving for surgery ?) that is in pain & on Rx anti-inflammatory every 12 hrs.
    Fur babies need better, natural pain relief without all the crappy side effects too!
    Thanks for the article!

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