Can CBD Improve Brain Cell Function in Pets?
Can CBD Make Your Pet's Brain Healthier
CBD is the most famous cannabinoid these days, and for good reason. It has a wide range of therapeutic applications. For humans, one of the most prominent benefits of CBD is in treating epilepsy. Clinical trials showed how it can help provide relief for patients with epilepsy, which is caused by seizures in the brain. We can also see these epilepsy patients' CBD success stories all over the internet.
Now let's take a look at what it does to the brain of an animal.
How The ECS Is Linked To The Brain
If you know about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), then you probably already know how CBD and the ECS interact together.
The ECS is also linked to the brain, and this is how animals can benefit from CBD supplements.
How and when did we find out the ECS is linked to the brain?
It all started with a team of Israeli scientists led by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam. They made a huge breakthrough in the 1960s when they discovered the chemical structure of CBD and THC and uncovered the ECS.
We now know that the ECS is linked to the nervous system, which is linked to the brain. Chemicals (cannabinoids) have different reactions with different receptors. Cannabinoid receptors other than CB1 and CB2 bind well with CBD, and this is how CBD can improve brain function in animals.
How CBD can Improve Brain Function In Animals
Needless to say, brain science is really complicated, but there's been a growing body of research on how cannabinoids interact with the brain. Here are some of the ways that CBD can improve the brain function of animals.
- Epilepsy: dogs and cats can suffer from epilepsy too. It occurs most often in dogs from 6 months to 6 years of age. Animal studies revealed that CBD can antagonize CB1 receptors. This can likely reduce how often seizures occur.
- The 5-HT1A Receptor: this receptor is involved in serotonin neurotransmission. It regulates mood and might be linked to lowering anxiety and depression. CBD can possibly also boost the number of endocannabinoids in the body.
- Opioids: non cannabinoid chemicals can also be affected by CBD. Opioid receptors can be disrupted by CBD, making it a promising cure for opioid addiction. And yes, animals are affected by opioids (and can get addicted to them) just like we can.
- Hippocampus growth: CBD is believed to increase growth of neurons in the hippocampus. This would make the hippocampus grow larger, thus improving memory and providing relief for anxiety.
- Neurogenesis: CBD can promote neurogenesis. Neurogenesis can protect the brain from degeneration caused by aging, disease and trauma.
- Behavioral and learning improvements: In studies with depressed mice, CBD increased the quantity of serotonin and glutamine, both of which are neurotransmitters. Serotonin has a great impact on your brain's prefrontal cortex. This is the area responsible for controlling your personality, your mood, and executive functioning. Glutamate is mostly responsible for learning and remembering.
- Reverse Alzheimer's: success for this was seen in one study done on mice over a 3 week timespan. The mice were injected with Alzheimer’s. After that they received daily treatments of CBD. The results showed that it was effective in improving the cognitive abilities of the mice.
- Improve social recognition: one study discovered that with an 8 month CBD regimen, you can help prevent social recognition deficits. Researchers also discovered that it can minimize brain damage resulting from many different traumas.
- Increase viable brain cells: in one study where researchers looked at brain injury in animals, they saw that CBD increased the amount of viable brain cells and reduced the number of damaged brain cells by 50%.
CBD can improve brain function in animals and humans too. As you can see from the above points, both human and animal brains share many things in common, which makes CBD useful and possibly lifesaving for your pets too.