How CBD Helps Fight Off Symptoms of Aging in Pets
As much as we don’t want it to be true, our pets age.
While we can’t keep our pets young forever, we can help them out in the aging process a little.
Our pets often experience symptoms of aging as they get along in their years. Wear and tear can result in your pet developing osteoarthritis, inflammation, pain, and reduced brain function.
The good news is that CBD may be able to help keep your pet fit for longer.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is a type of compound called a cannabinoid, and it is, in fact, one of the major cannabinoids.
This major cannabinoid has had a boost in popularity recently, thanks to relatively recent evidence that has uncovered CBD’s range of therapeutic effects.
CBD induces these effects by binding to non-cannabinoid receptors and interacting with other receptor pathways.
CBD can be consumed in a range of forms but is most commonly found as an oil, which can easily be added to food, topicals, or inhalation devices.
Is CBD Safe to Give to Pets?
Most of the buzz around CBD’s effects is focused on how it affects humans, but that doesn’t mean that your pet can’t also benefit from this fascinating compound.
CBD has been shown to induce effects in animals, including dogs, mice, cats, and rats (1,2,3,4). Cannabinoid receptors are present in mammalian brains, indicating that cannabinoids and their pathways can be effective in mammals (5).
Aside from likely being useful in many different animals, CBD also has a high safety profile. Doses as high as 1,500 mg of CBD have been used safely and effectively (6). CBD tends to result in only mild side effects, if at all, with possible effects, including fatigue, diarrhea, and increased temperature (7).
A 2019 study investigating CBD-rich supplements’ safety on healthy cats and dogs found that CBD treatment resulted in no significant alterations to serum chemistry and no negative effects on biochemistry values (8).
How Can CBD Help Aging?
CBD shows potential in a range of therapeutic areas but mainly as an anti-ager. One of the main culprits of the symptoms of aging is free radicals.
Free radicals are a type of reactive oxygen species. When present at high levels, free radicals can damage DNA through oxidative stress, leading to alterations to RNA, lipids, and proteins crucial for healthy, normal cell functioning as they rush around looking to pair their free electrons. Antioxidants help to stop the damage caused by free radicals by donating them their unpaired electron (9).
CBD has demonstrated the ability to act as an antioxidant and enhance the antioxidant activity of other antioxidants, meaning that CBD may reduce the damage done by free radicals that contribute to aging (10,11).
Osteoarthritis is another symptom of aging that can affect your pet. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that results in joint cartilage deterioration. This deterioration leads to symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and a decreased range of motion.
As pets age, this condition worsens. The good news is that CBD may be able to fight this.
Pain is a common symptom of aging in animals. General wear and tear often lead to your pets experiencing higher levels of pain as they get older.
CBD may also help fight off this symptom of aging by acting on two different receptors: serotonin receptors and TRPV1 receptors.
Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter in managing pain because of its ability to both reduce pain levels and boost mood (14). CBD can activate serotonin receptors, with one study, in particular, finding that CBD was able to cause a reduction in pain perception by activating serotonin receptors (15).
TRPV1 may also play a key role in CBD’s analgesic properties. TRPV1 helps regulate your sensation of pain and heat, and a 2019 animal study found that CBD’s pain-reducing qualities were mainly due to CBD activating the TRPV1 protein (16).
Inflammation is another symptom of aging that is often responsible for many painful conditions. As immune systems age and stop functioning at peak performance, they can lead to increased bouts of inflammation. CBD shows a lot of promise as an anti-inflammatory, with research telling us that it can suppress inflammation by activating a specific glycine receptor called GlyR (17).
CBD’s anti-inflammatory abilities are so impressive that it has shown promise as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (18), inflammatory skin conditions (19), and even neurodegenerative conditions (20).
Seizures can also be more prominent in animals as they age, but specific research into seizures in dogs tells us that CBD may be able to help reduce seizure frequency.
A 2019 study found that CBD oil reduced the frequency of seizures by 33% in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. The animals in the study received CBD twice daily for 12 weeks, and in addition to the seizure reduction, their owners reported no adverse side effects (21).
How to Give CBD to Your Pet
It may seem a bit daunting trying to figure out how to incorporate CBD into your pet’s routine, but it doesn’t have to be. These days there are pet-specific CBD products that are easy to dose and that your animals will love.
These user-friendly products make incorporating CBD into your pet’s routine a breeze.
The Bottom Line
Aging can lead to a range of side effects in your pets. These side effects can be painful, debilitating, and hard to manage.
While we can’t stop time, CBD does show potential treatment for a range of aging symptoms. With its high safety profile and mild side effects, as well as its effectiveness in a range of animals, CBD could be an effective tool to stop some of the symptoms of aging in your pet.