Can CBD Help Dogs Fight Cancer?
Cancer, regardless if it’s experienced by your pet or humans, is always a difficult condition to manage. If your dog is fighting this chronic disease, for instance, the pain and complications can take a toll on you. Depending on the kind of cancer that your dog is fighting and its progression, a veterinary oncologist can recommend several treatment options. The common treatment that’s given to ailing dogs are chemotherapy to shrink tumors, surgery to remove them, and auxiliary medicines to reduce treatment effects.
Unlike normal cells that die once they age or get damaged, cancer cells don’t die on their own. Instead, they grow, mutate, and divide to form tumors. For decades, cannabidiol (CBD) has allegedly helped with pain relief and boosting heart, skin, and eye health. It has also been associated with the prevention and treatment of cancer in dogs.
In human beings, CBD has been linked with reduced brain tumors. It may kill cancer cells and slow down, or even stop, the growth of tumors. The supposed ability of CBD to kill cancer cells makes it an ideal treatment for controlling the spread of cancer. If this is scientifically established, CBD can be one of the natural supplements that vets will recommend to pet owners whose dogs are fighting cancer.
Studies show that when included in an approved veterinarian treatment plan, CBD oil products may help dogs that have cancer in different ways, including the following:
- Reducing Inflammation And Pain
As your dog undergoes treatment and the cancer progresses, it’ll most certainly experience pain and inflammation. Managing the pain is a huge part of cancer treatment for dogs. However, most pain management medications have negative side effects on dogs. Opioid medicines, for instance, pose a high-tolerance risk and potential overdose.
On the other hand, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been subjects of scrutiny due to the severe side effects they have in some dogs. The side effects include kidney and liver failure, gastrointestinal (GI) problems, and, in extreme cases, death. Severe side effects pose more threat to senior dogs whose immunity is highly compromised.
Giving your dog CBD may help reduce inflammation and pain. CBD may also enhance the efficacy of other pain medications. This means that your vet can prescribe lesser amounts of such medications without affecting the comfort of your dog. Even more importantly, compared to other pain management medications that veterinarians prescribe, CBD has a stronger safety profile for dogs as reflected by fewer side effects.
- Enhancing the Effectiveness of Anti-Tumor Drugs
CBD may have the ability to support the reduction of tumor size in dogs. In humans, CBD may have anti-tumor effects on different cancers, including leukemia, lung, breast, colon, brain, and spine cancers. Studies show that besides having tumor-shrinking properties, CBD may also enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy to shrink tumors and possibly reduce its dosing, without decreasing its efficacy. This reduces the severe side effects of radiation therapy that can be harmful to dogs.
As more study findings on cancers emerge, it’s becoming evident that the endocannabinoid system in dogs is related to cancer. This means that parts of their complicated signaling process, which is controlled by the peripheral and central nervous system, are capable of responding to cannabinoids, like CBD.
- Enhances Appetite And Reduces Nausea
As their furry friend goes through cancer treatment, two major side effects that dog owners have to deal with are persistent nausea and a reduced appetite. Combined, these side effects can result in anorexia. Other than this, the dog may develop a metabolic disorder known as cachexia as a result of cancer. The disorder is capable of causing severe appetite losses and is associated with at least 20% of deaths among dogs that are fighting cancer.
The gut is filled with endocannabinoid enzymes, receptors, and transmitters. These systems play a key role in maintaining the right environment for good gut and brain-gut performance. These two elements are responsible for regulating various autonomic systems in the body.
Since endocannabinoid plays a major role in regulating metabolism and enhancing general gut health, adding CBD to your dog’s diet goes a long way in improving its nausea and appetite. In fact, it’s one of the key reasons that oncologists may integrate it into treatment plans for dogs that are fighting cancer.
- Improving Immunity
The immune system and the endocannabinoid system are closely related. The relationship between the two systems is extremely strong that it has been dubbed the immune cannabinoid system.
Due to its ability to decrease oxidative stress, which refers to a process that’s associated with the ability of the body to fight the pathogens that invade it without attacking or destroying healthy tissue, CBD improves the immunity of dogs that are fighting cancer. Further, may help in regulating gut functionality, which is an aspect that has been associated with a strong immune system.
- Improving The Ability To Sleep
While the endocannabinoid system is known to play an important role in moderating sleep, it’s still not clear how exactly cannabinoid plays this role. Even so, the two prevalent cannabinoids in cannabis–THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD–tend to have a positive effect when it comes to the quality of sleep.
The CBD compound serves as the waking agent, while THC serves as the sleep agent. These aspects may seem like they wouldn’t keep your dog from suffering and allow them to sleep better at night. However, by making their waking time better during the day, CBD enables your dog to experience better sleep at night.
Cancer is a chronic ailment that takes a toll on dogs due to the inflammation associated with it. As your dog struggles with cancer, you can use CBD to manage its negative effects, such as pain, nausea, loss of appetite, reduced immunity, and the discomfort that comes with ailment and the treatment that’s administered to the dog.
Other than managing these effects, CBD may have the ability to kill cancer cells, slows down the rate that the disease spreads, and may even stop the growth of cancerous tumors.