I hope you have already read my articles The Endocannabinoid System in Humans.
I encourage you to read it as it has more in-depth information about the ECS and it will help you to understand this article about the Endocannabinoid System in Dogs a lot better and you will learn why below.
Dogs Have An ECS!
You can imagine my excitement when I found out that Dogs have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), just like us.
In fact, all mammals, vertebrates, and invertebrates have an ECS.
In this article, I am focusing on dogs only.
I love dogs so much, so to find this out and that there are alternative ways to support this system is such excellent news for me to be sharing with you.
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in dogs?
ECS is the most important physiologic system in your dog’s body.
It is responsible for assisting a wide range of functions, with the focus of the ECS being on maintaining homeostasis.
Your dogs ECS continuously monitors the dogs’ functions and will make any adjustments needed when those functions become unstable because of outside factors.
The ECS in your dog is made up of 3 part: Endocannabinoids, Cannabinoid Receptors, and Enzymes.
The Cannabinoid Receptors are called CB1 and CB2. These are found all throughout your dog’s body.
There are two types of cannabinoids. There are endocannabinoids, and there are phytocannabinoids.
There are 2 Endocannabinoids: Anandamide and 2-AG, they are produced naturally by your dog’s body.
The other endocannabinoids are Phytocannabinoids these are produced in plants, with cannabis flowers being the biggest producer.
Cannabinoids work at a cellular level and relay instructions from the brain to major organs and your dog’s immune system.
Your dogs, ECS is just like yours, how about that!
How does dogs’ ECS work?
Just like in humans, the Endocannabinoids bind to Cannabinoid Receptors, activating them. A chemical response is triggered and it works to bring that part of the body back to Homeostasis.
So when your dog’s brain detects an imbalance somewhere in your dog’s body, it produces cannabinoid molecules that relay behavioural instructions to the cells and organs involved in the imbalance.
A good example of how the ECS works is when your dog detects danger. In this situation, your dog’s brain produces certain cannabinoids that get your dog prepared to fight or flee. Their senses and emotions are heightened, their heart rate and breathing are increased significantly.
Once your dog realises that the danger has gone, it’s brain produces another type of cannabinoid to tell its body to calm down again.
If the cannabinoids don’t work, and the dog remains in a heightened state, it would suggest that this part of your dog’s system, is out of balance. Having this imbalance in this area of the dog’s body can then cause anxiety issues, and affect sleep, digestion, inflammatory response, immune response and so on.
Just like humans, dogs ECS needs to remain balanced to ensure they are in optimum condition.
What does the ECS do for your dog?
In your dog, the functions that the ECS helps to regulate are:
- Movement and coordination
- Immune response
A properly functioning endocannabinoid system is crucial for maintaining health and wellness in your dog.
The ECS Studies on Dogs
The most recent study published in February 2018 is called
This study has revealed that the endocannabinoid system is the place to treat inflammatory disease in the central nervous system (CNS) of dogs.
They found that levels of endocannabinoids in dogs with inflammatory diseases in the CNS were significantly increased compared with healthy dogs.
They also found, and I quote “dogs with eosinophilic pleocytosis showed higher levels of endocannabinoids than those with neutrophilic pleocytosis. We also found unpregulated expression of CB2 receptors in SRMA (Steroid responsive meningitis‐arteritis) and IS lesions. (Eosinophilic pleocytosis in cerebrospinal fluid is an unusual finding that is often indicative of a parasitic infection of the central nervous system).
Such an unpregulation of Anandamide and 2-AG together with overexpression of CB2 receptors may indicate a dysregulation of the ECS and may be involved in the inflammatory response.
Therefore, the development of new anti-inflammatory treatment strategies in canine central nervous system inflammation should involve the Endocannabinoid System“.
This is pretty exciting research, and it means that CBD can work for your dog as well as you as CBD helps support the ECS in Humans and in Dogs.
Your healthy Dog
For your dog to remain in optimum condition, you need to make sure your dogs ECS is balanced.
So how do we do this for our beloved pet?
I have been doing some research on the ECS in humans, and have found the CBD has some incredible benefits to the human ECS. While doing that research, I also found CBD works on your dog as well.
I am going to look into this further so I encourage you to read more.
If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you below.