Everyone knows how annoying a persistent itch can be. Well, pets suffering from skin allergies or dermatitis deal with these kinds of irritations daily. The only problem is they cannot verbalise exactly what the issue is!
By now I'm assuming most of you reading this have heard about cannabis products for pets and the multitudes of benefits that can be seen using them. But if not, keep reading as we will touch on the benefits of using CBD and cannabis products for your pet's skin problems.
First things first… What causes itchy skin in dogs? What are some symptoms?
The most common causes of itchy skin in dogs are:
- Fleas or mites.
- Fungal infections (e.g. ringworms).
- Weather changes (e.g. dry indoor environment during cold/warm months due to heaters and air conditioners).
- Sensitivity to certain grooming products.
Symptoms of itchy skin:
- Alopecia (hair loss).
- Red and/or flaky skin.
- Excessive licking and/or scratching.
- Lesions from scratching and/or licking.
- Rashes or hives.
Some common areas affected by allergies:
How Can Cannabis Products Help?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Healthy Skin
ECS stands for the endocannabinoid system. Both you and I have one, so do our much-loved pets! The ECS has receptors (CB1 and CB2). These receptors play a role with different processes in our bodies (including everything from memory to pain management).
The newly discovered ECS is a biological system found in just about any living thing with a backbone. Receptors in the brain, organs, connective tissues and immune cells respond to cannabis and cannabinoid compounds in our bodies and bind to these receptors. Inside the tissue in our bodies, the cannabinoid system performs different functions, with the end goal always being the same: Homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment. This discovery has increased our understanding of health, disease and human biology. The ECS is arguably the most essential biological system in our bodies to establish and maintain optimal health. Some of those processes directly involve and affect the skin.
A research paper published in 2009 reviewed the growing literature around the relationship between skin health and the ECS. The study showed that recent research has found that the activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors causes specific reactions in a variety of skin cells. CB1 and CB2 receptors have also been observed directly in keratinocytes, one of the predominant cell types in the epidermis (which is the outer layer of the skin). Endocannabinoids have also been found in rodent skin and human hair follicles.
These findings show that the ECS exists in various parts of the skin which could make it a reliable target for skin treatments. In fact, the research discussed in the above paper suggests that the ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining skin "homeostasis." Studies indicate that the endocannabinoid system can help support this balance by regulating skin cell proliferation, survival, amongst other things. In fact, some studies go so far as to suggest that fine-tuning the ECS in the skin is key to stimulating healthy skin growth and development!
Things to Look Out for When Choosing Cannabis Products for Your Pets
While hemp products or CBD products that contain little to no THC can be beneficial to animals and in particular dogs - THC is not. THC can be very good for reducing chronic pain in humans, but a little goes a long way for animals, and it's hazardous to dose them with this particular psychoactive cannabinoid. Always check with your medical professional first as there are no known drug interactions for cannabinoids that the industry is aware of, but this could change at any time.
Visible effects from cannabis toxicity in animals can be quite severe, including lethargy, dilated pupils, drooling, being off-balance, muscle twitching, vomiting, involuntary urination and even unconsciousness. If this happens to your dog or animal, please take them to your vet immediately.
What is Safe for My Pet?
An effective option - without the worries of THC or CBD content - is Hemp Seed Oil. Hemp Seed Oil will not make your pets ‘high’ and is considered a nutritional health supplement. This oil has just enough cannabis-derived goodness in it to make a noticeable difference to your pet’s skin & fur health while staying well within the Australian laws surrounding hemp products.
"My 4 year old Collie X has had what my family and I call "puppy danfruff" on and off since he was a few months old. He has been having this daily for the past 2 months and his skin has been doing so well! Not to mention his coat (so shiny!) My mum's dog who is a Bulldog X has skin issues and this has helped them so much!
Would highly recommend!" - Sarah, QLD.