Big Dog at Small Table

How does cannabis work to help your pet feel better?

Deciding whether to pursue medical cannabis for pets requires a thorough understanding how it works. CBD works in much the same way, but with out the high. Check out CBD Dog’s website for more info. As part of the Cannabis Sativa L family, both marijuana and hemp have properties that function directly with our (and our pets’) bodies.

All of the magic lies within the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a group of receptors found activated by endocannabinoids (made in the body) or phytocannabinoids (made in plants).

Kitten SleepingThe ECS has multiple membrane receptors, largely found in the brain, central nervous system, immune system and GI tract. The location of these receptors controls what effect the cannabinoids have on the body. Conditions related to each of these systems are most effectively treated by medical cannabis.

Autoimmune disorders, GI upset, and neurological dysfunction can all be effectively managed with the use of this amazing plant.

All animals have an ECS, and it plays a vital and active role in the maintenance of a healthy, happy body and life. Even without the use of phytocannabinoids, the ECS is always working, responding to signals transmitted by endocannabinoids.

The functions of the ECS contribute to the maintenance of a healthy mind and body, and can be magnified through the use of cannabis. In the case of illness or injury, the stimulation of these systemic functions can make all the difference between complete healing or chronic illness or pain.

So how do the ECS and cannabinoids promote better health?


Cannabinoids promote relaxation, which allows the body to repair and restore itself. Sleep may also come more easily, which can be a huge relief for a restless pet. An animal that gets plenty of rest will spend more time healing.


Big Dog at Small Table

In order to properly rebuild itself, the body needs nourishment. Many illnesses, ormedications/treatments (like chemotherapy), cause appetite loss. When your pet is not taking in vital nutrition, he lacks the building blocks necessary to reconstruct healthy tissue and cells.

Cannabinoids combat nausea, as well as GI conditions like IBD. With a properly functioning GI system, animals are better able to consume and absorb valuable nutrients. You can thank the cannabinoid receptors found in the GI tract for this trick. They also stimulate the appetite, so Fido and Fluffy are more eager to chow down.

Steady nourishment is a MUST when it comes to healing and feeling well. When your pet is feeling hungry, make sure they are making the most of mealtime by feeding them a healthy, fully balanced diet like The Original CrockPET Diet.


The ECS protects both the body and mind from trauma, in more ways than you think. Stimulation from cannabinoids helps protect nervous tissue from damage and inflammation. Cannabis is considered a neuroprotectant, shielding brain cells from harm.

Cannabis has even been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, and effectively manage many other nervous conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis.


The use of the plant in the realm of the nervous system even extends to pain management. Activated cannabinoids receptors can help block signals of pain, and re-wire the response to it. Cannabis can be used in place of opioids, NSAIDs or other damaging pain medication to maintain comfort. This is great news for pets that suffer from chronic pain, arthritis, or have recently sustained an injury.

It’s no secret that those who frequently over-indulge in recreational marijuana use seem to suffer short-term memory loss. Cannabinoids help the brain to forget emotional trauma, and the memories of that trauma and related events. This, in turn, reduces the stress associated with the event, which can cause health risks and complications of its own.

Interestingly enough, THC has also been shown to stimulate brain growth and the ability to learn. Once again, proving the extreme range of benefits cannabis offers.

The medical use of cannabis for pets has endless possibilities. Through its activity with the Endocannabinoid System, medical cannabis carries potential benefits that reach into both physiological and emotional realms. Tapping into this resource requires a formula that balances THC and CBD ratios. We will explore this balancing act in the next installment of Cannabis for Pets, so stay tuned!

Dr. Ruth Roberts DVM, CVA

Dr. Ruth Roberts Holistiv Vet

Dr. Ruth Roberts is The Original Pet Health Coach, and has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies and cancer. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. Dr. Ruth created The Original CrockPet Diet, a balanced home cooked diet for pets, as the foundation of health. Dr. Ruth is now training passionate pet parents, and pet professionals to be Certified Holistic Pet Health Coaches so that more pets can be helped holistically.