The Endocannabinoid System and Your Pet: All the Facts

When pet owners consider CBD products for their four-legged friends, it is vital to educate yourself on how your pet’s endocannabinoid system works.

From a mutative point of view, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is quite old and found in most life forms. Besides our shapes and sizes, there are subtle differences between our endogenous cannabinoid systems and those of our furry friends.

If you have been speculating if CBD can be useful for your pets, let’s explore this versatile system and how it’s interactions can have a beneficial impact on the whole family. 

What Exactly is the Endocannabinoid System?

While not as infamous as our other systems, the ECS has been vigorously working since the dawning of man. It is only in recent past that light has been shed on this magnificent basic biological system when the hype around cannabis took off. This system is a complex network of cells, neurons, molecules, enzymes, and neural pathways within the body. It works hard to maintain a balance and homeostasis.

Check out this TED talk by Ruth Ross on demystifying the endocannabinoid system:

In essence, it is liable for two major body purposes: inflecting satisfaction, energy and on the whole contentment while restoring bodily balance. This is brought about by the composition of endocannabinoids that work among the peripheral and central nervous system. In order to regulate bodily functions such as inflammation, sleeping disorder, moods and emotions, appetite, and pain sensory.

It also plays a role in induced euphoria. This system is therefore simulated and activated and mediates the pharmacological effects and aspects of CBD.

Looking Closer at Your Pet’s ECS

Lisa Mastrud, a female researcher, started a movement in truly investigating and researching the multi-functional effects of THC within the body. How it affects the central nervous system and the endogenous system. While researching how THC works within the human body, Mastrud discovered receptors.

The first receptor is known as CBD-1. Only later was the second receptor discovered, which is now known as the CB-2. These receptors bind and connect to internal organisms. Click here for more information on the endocannabinoid system in animals.

CBD-1 And CBD-2 Receptors in Our Pets

Found in the central nervous system is CBD-1 receptors. These receptors connect to THC and other cannabinoid compounds to create the psychoactive effect.

CBD-2 is found in the immune system as well as in the peripheral nervous system. It’s within these systems that it regulates mental health and other health related functions. CBD-1 and -2 bind to cannabinoids derived from the cannabis sativa plant.

As an effect, when your pet takes a CBD oil it enhances the production of cannabinoids. This means that it binds to different compounds which as a result have different therapeutic effects on your dog.

Sniffing Out the Facts

Aside from size as mentioned before, there is a clear distinction between our EC system and those of our fluffy companions. One is THC sensitivity. Animals are MUCH more susceptible to THC than humans. Excess consumption can cause toxicity, which isn’t fatal, but unpleasant.

Ask fellow pet owners for a veterinarian reference in your area to be sure about dosing and the effects. This is why hemp-derived CBD products are favored for pets because they naturally have minimal THC. This doesn’t mean don’t give your pets THC at all- just start low and go slow.

Pets that suffer from cancer or arthritis will benefit greatly from THC.

Sniffing Out the Facts

CBD Products for Pets

Companies are expanding their product lines especially, so they include products for pets. Simply by searching for ‘CBD Products for Pets’, you will find tons of different forms of this product to ‘treat’ your pets with, for example:

  • Tinctures and oils

  • Capsules

  • Biscuits or chews

  • Topical salves and sprays


Many pet moms and dads globally are using CBD to treat ailments affecting their companions. CBD medicines combined with the effects of your pet’s natural ECS show unique effectiveness in treating different problems compared to other medicines.

It’s wise to remember as a parent the different types of CBD medicines on the market, and therefore consult your local vet on the dosing that would best fit your bundle of fluff.