CBD for Autoimmune Disease

Many of the common diseases in our dogs and cats have an autoimmune basis – the immune system responds inappropriately and actually “attacks” itself.

Skin disease such as allergy, lupus… polyarthritis, hemolytic anemia, thyroid disease (autoimmune thyroiditis)… organ dysfunction which can have an immune basis to it  (i.e. glomerulonephropathy).

There are not many conventional veterinary options asides from steroids, stronger immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclophosphamide (some are also Chemotherapy drugs).

Then there is CBD, which is emerging to be a natural anti-inflammatory and may help with an overactive immune system.

 CBD (Cannabidiol) as a ‘natural’ immune modulator

Autoimmunity is an “attack on self”, where the immune system gets triggered and thinks that the body’s healthy tissues are invaders.

In an autoimmune response, T-cells take action as if your pet’s own cells were foreign in order to bring the body back into homeostasis. 

This self-attack is known as “molecular mimicry” and is the root of any autoimmune disease.

The location of the autoimmune attack will vary based on the condition. For example, if there is autoimmunity in the joints, autoimmune polyarthritis may result.

In general, immunosuppressive therapy is incredibly expensive and not always effective. The aim should be to modulate the immune system and bring it back into balance, not to turn it off completely.

Holistic Options

What options exist for a dog or cat with an autoimmune condition if you do not wish to use traditional medications? 

Holistic approaches for autoimmune conditions are to decrease inflammation, repair the digestive tract, and regulate the immune system. 

This includes getting rid of stressors and sensitivities on the broad spectrum, including environmental, food, chemical, and others. Managing autoimmune disease requires dietary and lifestyle changes, which have been reported to help reverse these conditions.

A dog or cat with an autoimmune disease may consider cannabinoid therapies as an option for their ability to decrease inflammation, modulate the immune system, and help to bring the system back into balance.

CBD and Inflammation

Decreasing inflammation

Inflammation is the root cause of many illnesses, and autoimmunity is no exception. Extensive research has been performed on the anti-inflammatory properties of THC, CBD, and other cannabis components. 

If inflammation response is regulated, there will be less likelihood of an autoimmune attack. More investigation is needed to examine the particular role of cannabinoids for autoimmune disorders.

Cannabinoid therapy has the potential to assist those with autoimmune conditions by decreasing systemic inflammation, with little to no side effects. Preclinical evidence has found that cannabinoids can attenuate autoimmune inflammatory response. In an animal model of multiple sclerosis, CBD decreased the gene transcription that promoted inflammation.

Why is CBD oil so effective for dogs?

CBD oil is a plant source of cannabinoids that can act as a booster for your dog’s own endocannabinoid system and can help support all its functions.

All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. Functions the endocannabinoid system support include appetite, memory, stress response, sleep, body temperature and the immune system.

Cannabinoids are the building blocks of the endocannabinoid system and are naturally occurring substances in your dog’s body.

Perhaps the most important systems CBD can support are the central nervous system (which includes stress response) and the immune system. These two systems work together to keep your dog in a state of homeostasis (or balance) and CBD oil helps lubricate both.

Doses

A typical Dog Dose would be 3mg / 10lbs of body weight daily – this means a 50lb dog would take 15mg (5 drops of my Ultimate CBD) per day. 

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. Will this be effective for every pet?

No.

But is it a viable option worth trying.

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