It’s Easy as CBD

CBD.

Interesting topic.

What does it make you think of?

It has its fair share of assumptions and connotations.  But it’s extremely complex.  When I sat down with STL Dog Mom and Dad Lauren Nicholls and Cory Sanson, who have dedicated their lives to the advocacy and research of cannabis and its wide range of health benefits, let’s just say I was not intrinsically equipped to discuss their product.  But Cory and Lauren were so warm and personable about their products and CBD in general, and they so gently handled my many questions and tangents.  CBD is a very fascinating and important topic to me, and I couldn’t wait to share.

A History Lesson:

Named after a popular strain of ‘weed’ (Chem Dog), ChemDawgs LLC was born after Cory and Lauren found success using CBD with their Victorian Bulldog, Carl.  You can find Carl adorably gracing the product packaging, by the way.  Cory and Lauren explained that they have both seen health benefits in their own lives and had already been working in the cannabis industry for several years.  For a state facing legalization like Missouri, they feel pets are a great first discussion to have when discussing using cannabis products to heal.

“So they’re selling weed for dogs?”

No… Cannabis, Hemp, and Marijuana are not all one and the same.

A Botany Lesson:

Hemp and Marijuana both come from the Cannabis plant, but are very different.  Both have health benefits generating from CBD, but one produces a psychoactive effect.  Marijuana is abundant in THC (15-40% concentration levels) while Hemp is very low in THC (0.3% or less).  Because of the low levels of THC, hemp is almost exclusively grown for industrial purposes – until now. Hemp consumption is also completely legal as long as it contains these naturally low compositions.  (Marijuana is a different story.).

“Okay, so my dog isn’t getting high… Then what’s happening?”

As Cory explained, all animals (and humans, too) have an endocannabinoid system.

“Wait, an internal system just for cannabis?”

Not quite.  But I had to search for some explanation on this, and I feel the following quote captures the essence of the endocannabinoid system and how important this system is to our everyday life.

An Anatomy Lesson:

“The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health,” Dr. Dustin Sulak, a leading practitioner of cannabinopathic medicine. “In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks,” he said. “But the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.”

Turns out, our bodies produce cannabinoids of their own.  This internal root system was not known about until the late 1980s, and it’s extremely important to maintaining “normalcy” in the body.1

Sounds important, because it is.  And it’s honestly too good to be true.  A naturally growing plant that is underutilized for its health benefits with infinite potential to change lives and even save them.

Dogs who experience health issues ranging from anxiety to pain can find relief through the use of the dog supplements that ChemDawgs offers.  Their two oils, Calm-Ageddon and Hemp Heeler, are pretty self explanatory.  Calm-Ageddon is used to help calm your dog.  Typical uses might be car rides, separation anxiety or hyperactivity.  Hemp Heeler on the other hand is more for a chronic and painful ailment.  It might be up your alley if your dog has joint pain or arthritis and is definitely a favorite among the senior dogs.

I must say, I’ve been using Calm-Ageddon on Greta, our beloved German Shepherd, and I wish I had sat down with Cory and Lauren sooner.  It turns out that situational use is not really going to get you the best results.  It’s going to have a better effect if you are incorporating it into your dog’s routine on a daily basis.  While Cory understands the logic and doesn’t call it flawed, he stresses that it’s a lot like taking a vitamin.  You’re not going to cure a cold with one dose of Vitamin C.  But if you take a daily dose all through the year, you just may miss catching it altogether.

They’ve also recently launched two kinds of treats that you can find here. Similarly to the oils, one is more for relaxing and one is more for pain. But different from the oils, there is a version entirely without CBD.  The blue-labeled treat blend has hemp oil without CBD, but combined with chamomile, salmon oil and valerian root (AKA Nature’s Valium), it is designed to help relax your dog, treat digestion and tummy issues, relieve skin itchiness and repair muscle tissue (and more). The yellow-labeled treat blend is similar but with CBD, and additionally contains glucosamine and chondroitin for mobility.

As the mom of a German Shepherd, a breed that is stereotypically plagued by hip dysplasia, I’m all for treats with chondroitin and glucosamine. Going forward, I’m always going to keep these treats in stock at our home because you can’t reverse the effects, but you can prevent.

Since our interview, Cory and Lauren have answered multiple follow-up questions including dosage questions and whether or not you can cook with CBD.  I find myself every now and then experimenting with homemade dog treats.  I’ve found some very easy tried-and-true treat recipes that my dogs like, and if I can use the oils in the treats, then I’ve just produced more variety in the ways I can continue to give my dogs treats with actual benefit.  Stay tuned for recipes!

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to meet the masterminds behind this local dog business.  Give them a like on Facebook and a follow on Instagram (@Chemdawghempstl), and check out their product line.  It’s so wonderful to have them in our community.

Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first.

_______________________________________________

1. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bnp4bv/how-and-why-your-brian-makes-its-own-cannabinoids

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