CBD May Help Protect Fido’s Brain
If you have an aging dog, you probably already know how dementia presents itself in our furry friends. They get disoriented and lost, even in the backyard they grew up in or the park where you’ve thrown the ball a million times.
Dementia affects nearly one-third of dogs aged 11-12 years and two-thirds of dogs aged 15-16. It can lead to anxiety and even aggression, too, because it’s a scary thing for any creature to not know where they are. It can also lead to isolation, as dogs show less interest in interacting with people or their environment. They may become fearful or needy, or they may be up for much of the night barking or pacing.
There are some medicines that vets prescribe to help with the symptoms, but they can be cost-prohibitive and can cause some pretty serious side effects. CBD, however, which has yet to be approved by the FDA, has shown promising results in not only helping aging dogs with the symptoms of dementia but also preventing the dementia itself.
According to a 2018 study done by Surgical Neurology International, CBD may reduce degenerative damage in aging brains, facilitate neurogenesis (new neuron growth), and increasing communication among cells. And because dogs have more CBD receptors in their endocannabinoid system than humans do, the compound may be even more beneficial for them. There are also very few—if any—side effects.
The same study noted that CBD has also demonstrated anti-depressant benefits, which may help calm anxiety, and it reduces neuroinflammation, which is widely implicated in dementia. The compound has also been shown to reduce inflammation elsewhere in the body, which may help with joint pain associated with arthritis. In short, the study says, “CBD research in animal models and humans has shown numerous therapeutic properties for brain function and protection, both by its effect on the ECS [endocannabinoid system] directly and by influencing endogenous cannabinoids.”
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