Do Cats Have Cannabinoid Receptors? As we prepare to soak in the many benefits of cannabis through a variety of products in our everyday lives, it’s time for us to expand our horizons and understand how cannabis can make our pet`s lives better too. Research suggests that cannabis can benefit cats in many ways, similar to that of humans.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for the interaction of cannabis with the body. The obvious question that follows is, do cats also have an endocannabinoids system? Well, the short answer is yes! The cats’ system is responsible for similar functions as in humans. What actually happens in the ECS? Let’s find out.
The System Behind It All
The endocannabinoid system was discovered by scientists researching the interactions between cannabis and our bodies. The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors, enzymes, and cannabinoids that regulate and control several functions such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, pain, inflammation, fertility, and reproduction.
What is more exciting is the fact that scientists could trace the evolution of the ECS in almost every creature that belongs to the animal kingdom. In fact, some believe that the origin of the system could date back to 600 years ago or more, indicating that it has been a critical part of evolution.
The ECS forms a crucial part of your pet’s body. It is responsible for
- Memory and recollection
- Feeling pleasure and pain
- Digestive health
- Reproductive health and wellness
- Balance and coordination
- Muscle or motor movements
- Blood pressure and heart rate regulation
- Mood control and regulation
- Appetite stimulation and suppression
- Mental development
The nervous system, along with several other systems in the body, come together to become a part of the endocannabinoid system. These systems work in unison to initiate several functions in the body critical to maintaining important parameters. For example, the central nervous system consisting of the brain and the spinal cord is a part of the ECS. The peripheral nervous system that connects the center to the area of stimuli also forms an important part of the ECS. We also have the gastrointestinal tract that controls the methods of nutrition extraction through digestion. Finally, we have our immune system which is critical to keep the body ready to fight any foreign bodies.
The ECS ensures good health and wellness for your pets. Any malfunction could cause a series of severe health consequences causing physical as well as mental ailments. So, what makes up your cat’s endocannabinoid system?
The building blocks of ECS in pets
The CB Receptors
Located on the surface of the cells, CB receptors interact with the endocannabinoid chemicals to signal the initiation of various functions to the rest of the body. They bind with the chemical and transfer the information to the cell that enables it to initiate an appropriate response. There are two major types of CB receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors remain concentrated in the spinal cord and brain regions specific to behavior control.
In the brain, these regions could be the hypothalamus that regulates appetite or the amygdala that controls emotions and memory. CB receptors are also present in nerve endings that regulate pain. CB2, on the other hand, is present in the peripheral nervous system and the immune system. It influences functions such as allergies and inflammation.
These are molecules naturally produced by the body. They bind at the receptor site to initiate specific actions, such as stimulating appetite or regulation pain. Our body creates endocannabinoids only when required, and the enzymes that are a part of the ECS are responsible for this task.
The enzyme network creates, transports, and controls the endocannabinoids. It is also responsible for regulating levels and destroying endocannabinoids upon completion of a task.
The Phytocannabinoids of Cannabis
Cannabinoids such as CBD or THC are known as Phytocannabinoids and are similar to endocannabinoids. Each of these cannabinoids comes with specific properties of their own such as in the case of THC that provokes a psychoactive high. These cannabinoids bind at the site of CB receptors and stimulate certain functions from the ECS. In short, cannabinoids such as THC perform the task of endocannabinoids and help regulate functions in the body.
In the case of CBD, this interaction is slightly different. CBD does not have an affinity towards the CB receptors. Instead, it interacts with a variety of other receptors such as GPR55, vanilloid, and serotonin to trigger several functions such as regulating bone reabsorption, controlling pain perception, appetite stimulation, and relaxing and calming the body to cope with mental stress and disorders. Each of these functions can have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of your pet. You can explore a wide range of cannabis strains at weedsmart to deliver the benefits to your pets.
What benefits can this interaction bring to cats?
There is quite a lot of information available online about the many benefits of using cannabinoids for your pets. The use of a safe cannabinoid such as CBD can help treat physical as well as mental ailments in a safe manner.
Pain and Inflammation
Cannabis can be an effective medication for treating chronic pain issues in cats. Animals suffering from arthritis, cancer, or joint pains due to old age can receive tremendous benefits from the use of cannabis. Both cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are effective treatments for pain. Yet, CBD from a well-known brand like high supplies is a preferred cannabinoid as it eliminates the psychoactive property and delivers analgesic properties to cope with pain and inflammation. It is hence a safer compound to use for your pets.
CBD binds with the receptors to reduce the sensitivity to triggers that cause inflammation. It can help ease the life of pets suffering from chronic pain. Also, the compound interacts with the body to reduce the perception of pain that is useful for your pets.
CBD can be a beneficial aid for your furry friends suffering from seizures. CBD has proven effective in treating certain forms of epilepsy in humans. These effects could extend to your pets, according to a study. The compound can reduce both the intensity and frequency of seizures in animal subjects.
Cats suffer from anxiety, triggered by several reasons that include a change in location, traveling, loud noises, losing an owner, illness, or pain. They tend to show erratic behavior such as littering around the house, crying, scratching, looking tired, trying to escape, or behaving aggressively. Pet owners can utilize the relaxing and calming benefits of cannabis to enable a safe and efficient treatment for anxiety.
CBD has borderline sedation properties, which, along with the relaxing feeling it creates, helps your pet feel calm. It helps them to achieve good sleep and helps them to cope with anxiety without having to worry about the side effects of medication. CBD can also help reduce stress in animals and ensure they feel safe and relaxed.
Your pet’s digestive health is critical due to its influence on nutrition availability. Even though you might be providing the right levels of nutrients through various foods and supplements, the digestive health of your pet determines how much of it is absorbed in the body. Also, inflammation or infection in the digestive system affects your pet`s appetite, and they might not be willing to eat. This could lead to weakness.
CBD and THC can both help stimulate a healthy appetite in your cats. It will help you provide them will all the necessary nutrients for a healthy body. CBD can also curb inflammation and treat certain digestive disorders to ease the pain and discomfort and naturally increase appetite.
It can also calm nausea in pets and ensure cats do not suffer from weight loss due to continuous vomiting.
Many ways of utilizing CBD for Cats
CBD has made a significant impact on the market for pet foods and health supplements. CBD infused dog treats, tinctures, oils, creams, and several other products by reputed brands are slowly turning up at pet stores. Also, with improved research to understand the safety of these compounds for their beloved pets, more pet owners are opening to new medications and cannabis-based treatment options that are certainly safe and efficient.
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