Cancer is a word we never want to hear, especially about our loved ones, including our furry friends. But what if there was a natural solution for dogs to help with cancer? ⠀
What is cancer?
Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases and is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells in the body. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old or become damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. That is not the case with cancer. When cancer develops and cells become more abnormal, damaged or old cells survive when they shouldn’t and new cells form when they are not needed. These extra cells can divide without ceasing and may form growths called tumors.
What kind of cancer are dogs prone to?
Sadly, cancer is one of the most common diseases among dogs and is the leading cause of death in roughly 47% of dogs. Here are the types of cancers most common:
- Skin cancer
- Breast cancer (female dogs)
- Head & neck (as well as mouth cancer)
- Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes)
- Testicular cancer
- Abdominal tumors
- Bone cancer
What options do I have?
Treating cancer in dogs traditionally involves chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or a combination of the three. The treatment recommended by your veterinarian will depend on the type and stage of cancer your dog has, as well as their overall condition. Veterinarians tend to suggest surgery to remove a tumor or at least part of it, if possible; however, sometimes chemo or radiation may be necessary.
But what if you don’t want to put your dog through those measures? Or you want your dog to be more comfortable through these treatments?
CBD for cancer and how it can help
Preliminary research shows that CBD may help fight the spread and development of some tumors, as well as it has been shown to help the symptoms of cancer.
Just like us, dog’s have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a group of cannabinoid receptors that are located throughout the body and are responsible for maintaining the natural balance in the body. The ECS is stimulated by endocannabinoids, which are produced internally. However, the ECS can also be stimulated by external cannabinoids, such as Cannabidiol (CBD). By stimulating the ECS, CBD goes to work in producing all types of benefits. These benefits can include:
- Reduced pain and inflammation (CBD can help after any surgeries or treatments)
- Reduced vomiting and nausea (chemo often affects appetite)
- Antioxidant & neuroprotectant
- Relieves anxiety
Moreover, when your dog has a short supply of naturally producing endocannabinoids in their system, bad inflammation increases, your dog comes more anxious, more things get set off, and before you know it, your dog’s cells become more susceptible to mutations. When they are more susceptible to mutations, they are more susceptible to disease. CBD (as an external cannabinoid) can stimulate your dog’s ECS and help fill in those gaps to help keep the bad inflammation at bay so that your dog is less susceptible to disease.
Most importantly, there has been preliminary evidence that CBD may help fight the growth and spread of cancer cells. That is huge! CBD can help cut off nutrition to cancer cells which helps stop them growing and further developing. Scientists have also seen CBD and other phytocannabinoids kill cancer cells by forcing them to signal for programmed cell death (known as apoptosis) because CBD acts as a neurotransmitter (it helps make sure cells are sending proper signals). When cells are sending proper signals, it is less likely that the body will produce an abnormal growth of cells. Like mentioned before, this evidence is preliminary, and CBD should not be classified as a cancer cure. But CBD may help your dog suffering with cancer.
Do I need to increase the dosing of CBD for my dog?
Well, let’s just start by saying; there really isn’t one simple dosage that will work for every dog and their condition. Just like humans, the physiology of each and every dog is different; therefore even subtle differences in dosage can have varying effects in terms of productivity and efficiency. However, we always recommend starting small and moving your way up if necessary. The idea is that if you start off small enough, you will be able to pinpoint the exact threshold where the effect of CBD becomes noticeable. Then after a week or so, you can increase the dosage as necessary. Don’t know where to start? Check out our CBD dosage recommendations here (6).
Hearing that your dog may have cancer is devastating news. They are part of the family and they become our best friends. Though CBD is not a cure for cancer, it may provide comfort and relief for your dog while going through this awful disease. CBD can provide hope, for you and your dog. And hope is a powerful thing.