The marijuana plant has been the topic of many pieces of research lately. Its primary component, the psychoactive THC, graced many studies that lead to the discovery of its controversial medical benefit. With a lot of limelight focused on THC, scientists almost overlooked the medical advantages of its non-psychoactive counterpart—the hemp.
Hemp has been around since 1545, during the reign of the Spaniards (read more). Ancient civilization cultivated and used it as cotton, rope, and paper. It is only during the 21st century that researchers took a second look at the medicinal benefits of the miracle plant.
Now, the amber-bottled hemp oil can be seen everywhere. They are incorporated into several commercial products such as essential oils and skincare solutions. They are used as additives in some of our common beverages like coffee and tea. They are even marketed as doggy treats in some pet stores.
Its multiple health advantages do not only benefit humans. Hemp oil has also proven its medical efficacy towards our neighboring species—our furry cats. Despite their aloofness, our beloved cats mean the world to us. We want the best, natural treatment for them that can ease and cure any health problems and conditions.
So, let us dive into the world of the plant-derived alternative treatment and know its origin, benefits, and safety for our furry friends.
What is Hemp?
Hemp is often confused to be THC-infused since it is sometimes linked to the popular marijuana plant. To break down this confusion, let us take a look at the family tree of the Cannabis sativa species.
The Cannabis sativa plant is a big and complex family with many plant varieties and over 400 chemical components. See reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736954/. Two of their kind are the popular marijuana and hemp plant.
A Cannabis plant varietal that contains an average of 17 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is referred to as a marijuana plant. While a varietal that only contains less than 0.03% of THC is known as the hemp plant. Lastly, a varietal that does not contain any trace of THC is at the seed part of the plant.
Aside from THC, another chemical constituent of the Cannabis sativa plant—the cannabidiol (CBD)—was found to be medically beneficial without inducing psychoactive side effects to the user.
An average of less than 0.15% CBD can be extracted from the marijuana plant. The hemp plant, on the other hand, provides an average of 12 to 18 percent of cannabidiol, extracted without any trace of THC.
Hemp oil is often interchangeably used with the term CBD oil, which is okay but ONLY if the CBD oil is extracted solely from the hemp plant. A monitored plantation and extraction process is done to ensure the purity of CBD oil.
What are its benefits?
There are still pending experiments and researches regarding the benefits of the plant-derived oil to both humans and animals. But, there are a few published ones that contain credible evidence of its efficacy.
Cat epilepsy and seizure
The use of CBD to manage and relieve the symptoms of two rare forms of epilepsy has already been approved by the FDA.
CBD acts as an anticonvulsant medication for patients suffering from epilepsy and seizures. A single dose brings back the normal brain activity and motor function of an epileptic patient. It can also maintain a normal brain rhythm to prevent the frequency of epileptic episodes.
The plant-derived oil acts upon the endocannabinoid system to treat epilepsy—a system that is also present in cats and other animals. This suggests that CBD is also capable of bringing back the normal brain electric activity of our cats.
Hemp is an organic constituent that has undergone a natural and non-toxic extraction process. Thus, ensuring that there will be no adverse effects when used to treat your furry felines.
Stress and anxiety
Since cannabidiol targets the central nervous system, researchers found it to be a potential treatment for several neuropsychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorder.
It acts upon the endocannabinoid system by decreasing fear expression and reducing anxiolytic and stress hormones. It also prevents the production of anxiogenic chemicals in our brains.
Like humans, cats also experience anxiety caused by unknown triggers. CBD can help alleviate anxiety by activating the 5-HT1A receptor that induces an anti-anxiolytic effect in their feline brain. It also boosts the production of GABA neurotransmitters, which in turn helps in increasing the levels of serotonin in their body.
What hemp products are available for cats?
Hemp is available in several forms such as oil, tincture, cream, and treats. Only buy legitimate products from your trusted pet hempcompany to ensure the safety of your feline pets. Different forms of it exist to accommodate different cat problems and conditions.
Before administering CBD oil or any of its derivatives, make sure to consult your veterinarian to help you in prescribing the right dosage, form, and amount of any CBD products.