18 Mar CBD and CBDA isolate for pets: What are the benefits?
- CBD and CBDA are bioactive compounds of the hemp plant, which potentially have numerous health benefits.
- CBDA is a raw precursor that transforms into CBD when the plant is harvested and heated.
- Using a combination of pure CBD and CBDA isolates offers optimal effects for pets without any toxicity concerns.
As the incredible potential benefits of phytocannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) are becoming more well-recognised, an increasing number of discerning people are embracing these natural substances as part of daily wellbeing for themselves and their pets.
CBD and CBDA are derived from hemp, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. Civilizations have cultivated hemp for thousands of years for its valuable fibre, oil, and seed. In fact, some experts believe that it’s one of the oldest existing crops. More recently, attention has turned to hemp for its multiple health-supporting compounds, and early research suggests that CBD and CBDA have incredible potential for wellness.
So what options do pet owners have for CBD and CBDA products? Previously, broad-spectrum CBD oil was the most favourable option. However, now, as the technology surrounding CBD and its extraction evolves, Naturecan Pet has moved beyond broad-spectrum CBD lines that focus on human wellbeing. While these CBD products deliver the full entourage effect for people, the terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds they contain are not safe for pet consumption.
Therefore, to best meet the needs of our animal companions, Naturecan has developed a proprietary blend of CBD + CBDA isolate that is guaranteed 0% THC and free of flavonoids and terpenes. Our focus is to bring your pet the safest and purest product available.
In addition to ensuring the purity of the extraction process as a key objective, Naturecan’s science and veterinary team also thoroughly researched the potential benefits of combining CBD + CBDA isolate for pets. The blend of these compounds provides a natural, double-pronged approach to support the health and wellbeing of your pet. Together, they help keep homeostasis in balance, regardless of any ailments your pet experiences.
In this guide, we’ll explore CBD and CBDA for pets and why isolate is the safest pet option. We’ll also discuss how these natural plant compounds may benefit dogs, cats, and other companion animals.
The optimal way for your pet to benefit from potent hemp cannabinoids is through a combined CBD + CBDA product. The reason being is that CBDA may increase the bioavailability of CBD and other cannabinoids by boosting their absorption and metabolism. As a result, CBDA may be able to increase the benefits of CBD.
It’s also important to select a product that does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary intoxicating compound of cannabis that produces a high sensation. Research has not yet confirmed the repercussions of THC in animals, but it can be fatal to cats and cause severe effects in dogs and horses.
Legally in the UK, CBD products must be made from hemp plants containing less than 0.02% THC, but broad- and full-spectrum products still contain trace levels. In addition, broad- and full-spectrum CBD oils contain terpenes and flavonoids such as alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myrcene, linalool, and limonene. These naturally occurring biological compounds produce the aromas, flavours, and colours associated with various plants, including hemp.
These terpenes and phytochemicals contribute to the entourage effect, meaning that they act together synergistically. Although this is an attractive property for humans, animals may be more sensitive to these aromas and chemical effects.
Because plants use terpenes as a form of chemical defence to ward off potential predators, it makes sense that animals are more susceptible to them. In fact, isolated terpenes and products with a rich terpene profile can be toxic to pets. Therefore, the best option for pet owners is to look for a CBD + CBDA isolate product.
Naturecan Pet uses a proprietary blend of 50/50 CBD + CBDA isolate, which is tested to contain 0.00% THC and no terpenes, flavonoids, and other potentially harmful compounds. Plus, every product is consistent thanks to our extraction innovations that are new to the CBD market.
What is CBDA?
CBDA and CBD belong to an estimated 140 phytocannabinoids found in the hemp plant. While plants are actively growing, they’re rich in raw CBDA and contain only small amounts of CBD.
The process of harvesting, heating, and drying hemp plants transforms CBDA into CBD through decarboxylation. This process slightly alters the chemical structure and pharmacological properties of CBDA by removing carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms, known as a carboxyl group (COOH). In simple terms, CBDA is an acidic precursor of CBD.
Both CBD and CBDA are non-intoxicating, meaning they have no potential to cause a cerebral “high” or intoxicate people or animals.
How do CBD and CBDA work in the body?
CBD and CBDA exert their beneficial effects through different pathways.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a critical signalling network that works throughout the body. It consists of naturally produced bioactive endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors type CB1 and CB2, and enzymes that break down the endocannabinoids once they have fulfilled their purpose.
Evidence suggests that all animals, including humans, have this transmitter system that’s essential for almost all bodily functions.
The ECS regulates and controls:
- Inflammatory and responses
- Nerve function
One of the primary endocannabinoids of the ECS is anandamide, or AEA. It’s named after ‘anada,’ the Sanskrit word for bliss or happiness, but it plays a much wider role in health and wellbeing.
For example, when the body senses pain, anandamide binds to the CB1 receptors of the ECS and eases pain by blocking the signal. Although this is a critical response, the effect is weak and short-lived as anandamide becomes metabolised rapidly. However, early research suggests that CBD may prevent the breakdown of anandamide, thereby prolonging its positive effects.
Because of this interaction with the ECS, CBD may support the health and wellbeing of your pet.
Although studies on its use in pets are limited, a 2018 study on dogs with osteoarthritis found that CBD may significantly decrease pain without causing side effects. Additionally, early research suggests that CBD may have the potential to support people experiencing pain, inflammation, anxiety, and sleeping issues. Moreover, it has no potential for addiction.
So, what about CBDA? How does it bring about its positive effects on wellbeing?
The CBDA benefits
Scientists do not consider that CBDA and other acidic forms of cannabinoids are pharmacologically active. In other words, they don’t affect the ECS in the same way as non-acidic cannabinoids like CBD. Because of this, most of the research focuses on CBD rather than CBDA. However, there are some positive indications that CBDA could support wellbeing.
Like CBD, CBDA appears to have the potential to suppress inflammation at various levels in the body, which produces a widespread and potent anti-inflammatory effect.
Inflammation is a natural and key part of the body’s defence mechanism to stress, injury, and illness. It helps the immune system target and remove harmful stimuli so that the body can heal.
However, ongoing chronic inflammation can contribute to various chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Therefore, substances that inhibit inflammation are invaluable for health management.
CBDA initially inhibits inflammation at the genetic level by suppressing the chemical messengers that trigger inflammatory genes. Both CBD and CBDA communicate with genes through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). These receptors regulate gene expression, which converts information stored in DNA into instructions for making proteins and other molecules.
Another way that CBDA may have the potential to dampen down inflammation is through its actions on cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2), an enzyme that promotes inflammation.
The body has two forms of the cyclooxygenase enzyme:
- COX1: This enzyme exists in most tissues and regulates cellular processes. It’s also involved in kidney and platelet function and helps the gut maintain a healthy lining to protect it against acidic digestive juices.
- COX2: The body increases the production of this enzyme during inflammatory processes, and it contributes to an increase in pro-inflammatory compounds called prostaglandins. It exists primarily at sites of inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen target this enzyme to ease inflammation and pain.
A 2008 study found that CBDA selectively blocked the COX2 enzyme and reduced its ability to synthesise prostaglandins and, consequently, the inflammatory process.
Both CBD and CBDA can control certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus. However, CBD may have greater potential for antimicrobial effect.
Antibiotic resistance is a major problem in veterinary and human healthcare settings as bacteria rapidly adapt, rendering many antibiotics useless. Unfortunately, this evolution has led to an emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius or MRSP.
Finding effective ways to address these infections is crucial, and cannabinoids like CBD and CBDA are a potential focus for future research.
Nausea and vomiting
Research in rodents indicates that CBDA may help with nausea and vomiting and is more effective in quieting digestive upset than activated CBD. Further studies show that CBDA may be an incredible 1000 times more potent at reducing acute nausea than CBD.
Additionally, CBDA may increase the effects of other serotonin receptor activators, including CBD, which may benefit conditions related to serotonin function, such as nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and depression.
CBD and CBDA are safe for pets
CBD and CBDA are suitable and safe for people to administer to their pets. In addition, CBD is gradually becoming more recognised by the veterinary industry thanks to its multiple benefits and clean safety record. For this reason, the government’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) now includes CBD in its list of appropriate animal medicines.
Furthermore, research also shows that CBDA does not produce any significant side effects in cats or dogs and is safe to use for these animals.
Not only are these natural hemp products safe, but they also appear to be effective. A survey from the American Animal Hospital Association found that more than 60% of respondents agreed that CBD helps support their pets’ health needs.
Using CBD and CBDA for your pets may have the potential to bring comfort from aches, pains, and digestive symptoms thanks to their potent anti-inflammatory effects and action on serotonin receptors.
However, choosing a high-quality product from a trusted brand such as Naturecan’s proprietary blend CBD + CBDA isolate is essential. You’re then assured that it’s free of potentially harmful THC and terpenes and can provide your pets with optimal benefits.
When you choose Naturecan, you can be assured that this veterinarian formulated and scientifically researched product is the best and safest option for your pet.
Disclaimer: There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of CBD in the condition(s) mentioned above and this text by no means reflects recommended uses. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you are taking prescribed medication or are thinking of using CBD for your condition.
Written by Zia Sherrell and reviewed by our qualified experts, Paul Holmes, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Manager at Naturecan, BSc Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, Member of UKAS/FSA CBD Food Product Approval Expert Group, and Moyra Cosgrove, Head of Nutrition at Naturecan, SENR Registered Nutritionist and DProf candidate at LJMU
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