About this Episode
In the first part of this two-part episode, Slavko Komarnytsky, PhD, answers all of the most commonly asked questions about the endocannabinoid system, hemp and marijuana, and phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC. In part two, veterinarian Shelia Dodson, DVM, CVA, talks more specifically about hemp and the endocannabinoid system for pets, endocannabinoid education for veterinarians, and working with pet owners to identify the best hemp solutions for each pet.
>> Audio bookmark: Some acronyms to call out… (00:38)
Endocannabinoid system (ECS)
Cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2)
Both hemp and marijuana come from cannabis. How are they used differently (01:45)? Marijuana is defined as all parts of the cannabis plant – with the relevant exception being the stalk and seeds, which are separately defined as hemp, as long as these parts contain less than 0.3% THC. While state laws are rapidly evolving in the direction of legal marijuana, federal law and many state laws still say marijuana is illegal. A product derived from hemp – again that’s the stalk and seeds of the cannabis plant – is not marijuana.
Historical uses of marijuana were associated with medicinal and recreational use, religious and spiritual use, and emotional and psychological wellbeing (03:58). Cannabis contains phytochemicals, which are largely responsible for the physiological effects in the body (05:19).
>> Audio bookmark: What is a “phytocannabinoid”? (06:07)
CBD vs. THC (06:27)
- Both are phytocannabinoids; there are chemical differences between them
- THC is psychoactive, and CBD is not
- Cannabinoids have different effects on the body
At what point do you think people started to realize the existence of what would eventually be called the “endocannabinoid system” in the human body? (10:18)
How did people first discover that it was partially the cannabinoids in plants like cannabis that were responsible for the effects cannabis products have on the human body? (11:41)
How does the THC/CBD amount differ in marijuana versus hemp? (16:43)
- There are differences in THC and CBD content among strains of marijuana and strains of hemp
- It’s important to understand the ratio of THC to CBD in cannabis products (18:40)
What are terpenes? (20:26)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids & the ECS (26:28)
ECS & Immunity (28:56)
What is the role of the ECS in the human body? (31:29)
How is the ECS different in animals and humans? How is it the same? (38:17)
- Virtually all animals have an ECS
Like the ECS in humans, omega-3 fatty acids are also super important for the ECS in dogs – and likely other animals too (40:30).
- Many pets’ diets are high in omega-6 and low in omega-3, not too different from the Standard American Diet
- Omega-3s are important for balancing the ECS
The most common conditions in pets where she recommends using hemp include: (42:55)
- Epilepsy in dogs
- Lower urinary tract disease in cats
- Inflammation of osteoarthritis
- Much more
Do you recommend hemp for cats as much as you use it in dogs? (44:02)
- Sometimes cats just won’t eat hemp supplements
Do you think veterinary schools will eventually add education on the ECS to their curriculum? (47:06)
Is it legal to give my pet hemp products? (49:27)
- Hemp became a legal agricultural product, with the passing in the farm bill at the end of 2018
How often do you have the pet owner asking for it before you even have a chance to recommend it? (51:27)
Hemp for Pets: Understanding the Endocannabinoid System in Veterinary Medicine
Endocannabinoid System Education Hub
Agricultural Policies and the Impact on Plant-based Eating in the U.S.
The music track featured in the WholisticMatters Podcast Series is a track called “New Day” by Lee Rosevere.
Please note: During the recording of this podcast, our hosts transitioned from live studio recording to remote recording from two different locations.