How CBD is Believed to Work Inside Dog’s Body

Before reading warning: CBD is not a miracle drug. The science is still under research. Please consult with your medical doctor when considering if you or your animal should take CBD or CBD-derived products.  This article is for general educational purposes and we are not making any medical claim about healing or treating illnesses. Smoke Shop Delivers is not responsible for any issues or complications that may occur while using CBD. This article is mainly for educational purposes and should not be taken as medical advice or diagnosis. 

Often touted as the modern magical elixir, CBD has fast become a mainstream panacea. CBD has been used by many for a wide range of canine and feline issues from allergies to anxiety. There are many possible benefits of CBD for dogs. More science needs to be done before being able to say for sure so please take this article for educational purposes. We are not making any medical claims.

CBD is believed to help variety of ailments in both humans and animals. Some studies claim It can help relieve from inflammation to pain, anxiety, depression, and possibly even cancer. Others include acne, post-traumatic stress, etc.

Dog CBD Flower and Oil Image

CBD has been sought for its healing properties so much that it pops up in everything nowadays. Despite these, almost nobody understands the science behind how CBD works for dogs.

This article will help explain the science of CBD for dogs and how it may benefit pets.


Benefits of CBD for Dogs; Research Shows Promise:

As with humans, the practice of using CBD oil to improve a dog’s health is a common but complicated one. Before now, there wasn’t much research going into the therapeutic benefit of CBD.

This is because the Drug Enforcement Administration considers marijuana a Schedule I drug. A classification which puts it in the same class as heroin and LSD. As a result, researchers need a special license to study CBD.

But, things are changing thanks to the growing availability and interest in CBD. Scientists studied the effects of CBD on dogs with arthritis for the first time ever in 2018. The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

The study was led by Dr. Joseph Wakshlag of Cornell University. Dr. Wakshlag and his team discovered that CBD improved mobility and reduced pain over 80% of the dogs.


Understanding CBD in Dogs

As in humans, CBD works in dogs through its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The Endocannabinoids are molecules that bind to and activate cannabinoid receptors. Much like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). They help the brain process and respond to what the body is sensing, and vice versa. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by body cells.

ECS helps the body to maintain most balance. It works to support a stable internal environment regardless of changes in the external environment. This process helps to keep your pet healthy. ECS comprises of three components that include endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.

CBD Dogs Pets Molecule image

When you give CBD to your dog, it supplements their endocannabinoid system. This enables CBD to course-correct deficiencies and over-expression of specific characteristics of disease.

You can think of the endocannabinoids as the keys within your dog’s system. On their part, the receptors act like locks. Whenever the key fits into the lock, it induces a response in other body parts.

Enzymes Speed Up Reactions in any Organism

An enzyme is any substance within the body that speeds up reaction. Enzymes produce a chemical reaction or speed up a reaction that is already taking place. CBD supplements the dog’s own endocannabinoids to enable them to function properly.

Enzymes help to synthesize and break down endocannabinoids. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol are the two central endocannabinoids in a dog’s body. Anandamide plays a significant role in a pet’s memory, appetite, and others. 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) helps to protect your pet from seizures and emotional states. It also helps to maintain cardiovascular health.

Both neurotransmitters are built from fats or oils (lipids). This makes them much like the phytocannabinoids in cannabis.


Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. The lipid-based structure of cannabinoids makes CBD fat-soluble. It is also the reason why CBD is delivered in an oil base like coconut or butter.

CBD products block out enzymes within the endocannabinoid system. This gives the endocannabinoid system more endocannabinoids to work with. It also enables the endocannabinoid system to work more efficiently and create more balance throughout the body.

On their part, cannabinoid receptors (CB receptors) are cell-surface receptors. They wait for a specific neurotransmitter to bind them and activate their proteins. When cannabinoids get together with CB receptors, they tell the body to feel and act a certain way. When a neurotransmitter binds a receptor, it can affect sensation, mood, and immunity.

Dogs Have Receptors in Every Part of Their Body


These receptors guard different types of cells and responses. Each cell type has a different receptor. There are two main types of endocannabinoid system receptors – CB1 and CB2.

The Different Types of Receptors

CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and nervous system. They help the brain to function as they should. They also regulate memory, mood, and perception of pain. CB1 receptors are responsible for the psychoactive properties of hemp. Although this only occurs when THC binds to them. CB1 help to promote hormone production, cardiovascular health, and digestion.CBD For Dogs and Pets Vet Image

CB2 receptors are found mainly on the cells of the immune system. They are concentrated in the spleen and the gastrointestinal system. The receptors bind best with the endocannabinoid 2-AG and cannabis’ CBD.

CB2 receptors help to regulate appetite, inflammation, and pain management. Some other benefits of CBD for dogs include immune and intestinal.

They especially combat conditions of an overactive immune system. These include arthritis, allergies, asthma, autoimmune disorders or inflammatory bowel disease.

CBD inside Their Body

When you administer CBD to your dog, the solution floods the dog’s body in search of receptors (locks). When it finds the receptor that fits, the cannabinoid clicks with the receptor. It then sends messages to the rest of the body.

Enzymes work to transform fatty substances into anandamide and 2-AG. As such, they get to work when the body gets the signal to produce endocannabinoids.

While cannabinoids are fat-soluble, your dog’s body is mostly composed of water. Hence, it uses endocannabinoid transport proteins to send cannabinoids to target areas. Once anandamide and 2-AG have transmitted the messages, the body finds a way to prevent them from continuosly stimulating ECS.

The system moves endocannabinoids to storage sites to achieve this goal. Either that or it uses enzymes to degrade endocannabinoids. The two most well-known enzymes in the ECS are FAAH and MAGL. FAAH degrades anandamide, while MAGL breaks down 2-AG.

Happiness decreases as FAAH enzyme breaks down and removes extra anandamide from the system. CBD helps prevent FAAH from doing that. CBD leaves out more endocannabinoids out for consumption.

This, in turn, increases the body’s levels of feel-good anandamide and 2-AG. It also helps ensure that pain relieve and the other benefits of CBD kick in.

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