I know “hate” is a strong word, but I’m going to come right out and admit it: I hate allergy season. If you experience the tight throat, itching eyes, runny nose, and constant sneezing come springtime then you know what I’m talking about. But get this: Like us, our canine companions can also suffer from allergies.
If you notice your dog suddenly scratching, rubbing, and licking himself (particularly his paws) then he may be experiencing allergies. I recently wrote an entire article highlighting the warning signs of seasonal allergies in dogs and tips to offer your pooch some relief. You can check that out HERE.
Speaking of natural allergy relief, when it comes to atopic dermatitis (AKA allergies), experts say CBD oil proves extremely effective. To understand why, we must first dive into the Endocannabinoid System.
A Close Look At The Endocannabinoid System
All mammals have something called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). I know … it may sound strange that we have an entire biological system named after cannabis! That’s because it was first discovered in the early 1990s when scientists were exploring the cannabis plant. So, what is the ECS exactly? Well, let’s breakdown the word:
- “Endo” means “within”. This tells us it’s produced naturally within the body.
- “Cannabinoid” refers to cannabis.
So “endocannabinoid” simply means cannabis-like substances that naturally occur within the body.
The Endocannabinoid System consists of three parts:
- Endocannabinoids, which are naturally produced by the body
- Receptors, which are located throughout the body. Endocannabinoids bind to them in order to tell the ECS it’s time to take action. There are (at least) two types of receptors that endocannabinoids can bind to:
- CB1 receptors, found in the central nervous system (brain and nerves of the spinal cord)
- CB2 receptors, found in the peripheral nervous system (the digestive system and immune system)
- Enzymes that help break down endocannabinoids and cannabinoids once they’ve carried out their function
Experts believe the primary role of the ECS is to maintain homeostasis. Or, to put it simply, to help the body maintain proper balance. When something is “off”, your body activates the ECS to help correct it. As it responds to various triggers in your environment, the ECS communicates with its receptors using the endocannabinoids produced naturally by the body.
The ECS is also stimulated by phytocannabinoids (AKA plant cannabinoids). This includes Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound that derives from the stalks, leaves, and buds of the hemp plant.
While experts aren’t completely sure how CBD interacts with the ECS (they say they don’t bind to CB1 or CB2 receptors the way endocannabinoids do), CBD can help with multiple conditions. Enter: Allergies.
CBD For Dog Allergies
Let’s take a step back and talk about allergies for a second …
Like humans, canines have an immune system that helps protect them from harmful bacteria and viruses. But, sometimes a completely harmless substance enters or comes into contact with the body that the immune system perceives as a threat. These foreign substances are called allergens and when we’re exposed to them, the body releases a compound called histamines. This over-reaction causes inflammation, swelling, and itchiness. To put it simply, it triggers an allergic reaction.
When you give your dog CBD oil, experts say the cannabinoids inside help to reduce those allergy symptoms. They do this by supporting and supplementing the natural endocannabinoids in the body.
CBD is believed to help with allergy relief in a few ways:
- Balances the Immune System
- Reduces Inflammation – Various studies show that CBD oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory. So, it can help soothe itchiness and swelling caused by allergies.
- Promotes a Calming Effect
A Note On CBD
As you read up on the ECS, you’ll come across articles that focus on both CBD and THC. If you’re not familiar with CBD, you may be questioning, “Will this stuff make my dog high?” It’s a natural question. The short answer: No!
Here’s the thing: There are different types of cannabinoids found in cannabis—CBD and THC are two examples. Mind-altering THC is the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. CBD oil for dogs is non-psychoactive. According to Dogs Naturally: “Legally in the US, hemp CBD must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, whereas the THC in marijuana is usually over 5% and some strains contain up to 35%.”
The CBD brand that I give to my dog is 100% THC-free! I’ll talk more about that in a minute.
How To Choose A Good Quality CBD Oil For Your Dog
- Only go organic.
- Choose “full-spectrum” instead of “CBD Isolate”.
- Always take a look at the Certificate of Analysis (COA) — aka, the laboratory testing results of your CBD oil. You want to check the CBD and TCH levels. Plus, make sure there aren’t any additives, pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, yeast, mold, or residual solvents.
- To ensure maximum potency and purity — along with having full control over the dose — only buy as an oil vs infused treats.
- This isn’t a time to bargain hunt. Higher quality oils will cost more and lower-priced products are often a red flag for chemical additives, preservatives, or low amounts of CBD.
The Oil I Personally Use & Trust
Since sharing my Chihuahua’s positive experience with CBD Oil, I’ve received a lot of messages asking which brand I personally use and trust. I’ve been using Cannanine Organic CBD Oil from Hemp for just under two years and absolutely LOVE the product.
A few things that set Cannanine apart from other brands:
- Made from Organic, Non-GMO, Human Grade Ingredients
- Manufactured in the USA from organically grown Colorado hemp
- 100% THC-free (most CBD oils are not)
- It’s full-spectrum, which means it contains more than just CBD. It also contains other non-psychoactive cannabinoids that can work together to enhance the oil’s effectiveness.
- It’s been tested and found to be free of heavy metals, harmful bacteria, yeast, mold, and other toxins
- The company freely shares their Certificate of Analysis Test Results!
- Features Patented Nano-Sized Microemulsion for maximum bioavailability and absorbability (4x smaller particles vs other oils)
- Legal in all 50 states in the US
- It comes in 3 strengths
Another benefit? Every bottle purchased provides seven meals for shelter dogs in need!
To find out more about CBD for dogs, check out the following reads: