The Purr-fect Science Behind Cat CBD: Understanding the Benefits and Controversies

Today, we are looking at the purr-fect science behind cat CBD. We’ll look at many of the benefits and even some controversies surrounding CBD. What Is CBD For Cats?CBD products are hemp-based supplements associated with helping a long list of medical problems. They provide an excellent alternative to medical marijuana, sharing many of the same benefits without the risk of causing a high. When it comes to the ingredients in pet CBD, you typically only see two ingredients: hemp CBD extract and a carrier oil such as MCT or hemp seed oil. Because CBD products, especially the oil/tincture form, often have a grassy flavor, it’s becoming common to see catnip oil included. As well, CBD treats are available, which will include your typical treat ingredients. How Does CBD For Cats Work?Just as with us, dogs, and all other animals except for insects, CBD largely works by targeting the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is made up of receptor sites found on and within cells. To combat outside influences that stress the body, an organism will create special neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that bind these receptors, which tell the cells to carry out certain functions that promote internal balance. This internal balance, called homeostasis, is essential for optimal health and just for survival alone. Unfortunately, when under heavy duress, which can be caused by everything from extreme temperatures to fear to an injury, the ECS can experience a deficiency of these special neurotransmitters. Thankfully, we can combat this with cannabis, a plant that creates compounds that can not only bind to those receptors to trigger their homeostatic process, but can also push the body to create and retain more endocannabinoids. CBD Can Reduce A Cat’s AnxietyPet parents frequently cite giving their cats CBD to help with their anxiety. From introducing a new pet in the house to simply moving furniture around, there are a lot of stressors that can send our cats out in a nervous frenzy.  You can give your cat CBD to help reduce situational anxiety. For example, when you have people over and your cat isn’t a big fan of strangers. But you can also give them CBD daily to promote a calmer demeanor throughout the day. CBD Can Help With Appetite RegulationI don’t know about you, but when I hear the morning yowling for food when I’m trying to sneak in those last few ZZZs, I can’t help but wonder if my cat has an appetite problem. If you’re familiar with marijuana, you might be wondering how can CBD possibly help with proper appetite regulation when the munchies are a classic side effect. But that’s because marijuana is rich in THC, a cannabinoid that promotes appetite stimulation. CBD products aren’t rich in THC, however. This allows for other cannabinoids to shine. Many of these mildly reduce appetite while others mildly promote it, creating a perfect balance for proper appetite regulation. CBD Can Help Relieve Your Cat’s PainCBD can, directly and indirectly, relieve your cat’s pain. CBD can directly help modulate unhealthy pain signals caused by nerve problems, such as neuropathy (damaged nerves). Then, by reducing inflammation, CBD indirectly can help out with arthritic pain, pain due to swelling, and other inflammatory pains. And what’s exciting is CBD doesn’t just reduce pain through one pathway. By activating CB1 receptors, CBD can increase the firing rates of pain-inhibiting neurons. Then, by activating TRPV1 receptors, CBD products can block signals that cause pain and inflammation from reaching the brain.Your cat’s body will naturally create neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids to help keep pain and inflammation in check. However, heavy stress can cause a deficiency of these; thankfully, there is CBD to help counteract that.  Other Ways CBD Can Help Your CatThe benefits of CBD can be seemingly endless due to the regulatory system it targets, a system that provides a helping hand to over a dozen other systems. By reducing excessive inflammation, CBD can help reduce allergies and give your cat a nicer coat. CBD is also a powerful anti-convulsant known for reducing seizures even when other medications fail. While CBD should not be used to solely treat cancer, many of its benefits can enhance a cat’s quality of life and alleviate many of the side effects that occur when treating cancer. Similarly, this makes CBD an excellent supplement to give to your cat daily just for their overall health and wellness. Will CBD Get Your Cat High?Perhaps the biggest controversy about cannabis plants is that some cause a high, but only some. To avoid that, CBD products are derived from industrial hemp plants, which are grown to contain only minuscule amounts of delta-9 THC. These minuscule amounts are what also allow industrial hemp plants and products derived from them to be legal in the U.S. and many other countries around the world. To ensure your CBD product doesn’t cause your cat to feel high, you want to confirm it has been independently lab tested. If it has, it will come with a certificate of analysis (COA), which displays the true amounts of CBD and THC in the product. You can most often find a CBD product’s COA on the company’s website. Do Cats Experience Side Effects From CBD?Compared to many medications and other supplements, side effects from CBD are quite rare, but they are not non-existent, especially when first starting out. Minor side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and dry mouth. To help your cat avoid those, start them off on a smaller-than-normal dosage and work up to the recommended dosage. The one big area of concern is CBD’s ability to interact with certain medications, potentially raising or lowering their potency. Let’s look at that issue next. My Cat Is On Medication: Can I Still Give Them CBD?If your cat is on medication, you may still be able to give them CBD. However, you’ll likely want to check with your veterinarian first. CBD, like grapefruit, kale, and others, can cause interactions with certain prescription drugs due to them all being metabolized by the same enzymes. And while this isn’t an uncommon issue for us, our cats aren’t traditionally consuming grapefruits and other foods metabolized by the CYP enzyme system. Which CBD Is Right For My Cat?CBD products come in many shapes and sizes, with CBD oils and CBD treats being the most popular forms for giving to our furry best friends. Because CBD oil can be baked into treats at home or simply placed in their food if the flavor needs to be masked, they are generally recommended for those that have never used CBD before. The optimal dosage for your cat will vary based on their weight, their medical condition, and other factors unique to them, and this makes CBD oil an excellent option because you can make very small dosage adjustments to find the best dosage for your cat. Regardless of whether you choose CBD oil, a treat, or another form, there are a few things you always want your CBD product to be. First, you want your pet CBD product to be full spectrum, meaning it contains all the goodies (cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids) hemp plants have to offer. Second, make sure your CBD was derived from organically grown hemp due to these plants’ ability to absorb heavy metals and other nasty chemicals from their soil. Great for cleaning up dirty and polluted soil, but not so good for your cat’s health. Third, make sure your CBD product was created by using CO2. This solventless extraction method is vastly preferred to other methods, such as butane. The compounds in CBD products are found on the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the plant and require an extraction method, such as CO2, to remove them. Lastly, make sure your CBD product comes with a COA, which you can usually find on the brand’s website (most likely the product page). Now that you’ve learned about the purr-fect science behind cat CBD, you are equipped with knowledge that will greatly assist you in selecting the best CBD for your cat and their needs.

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