Your dog scratches an itch as a response to noxious stimuli. Certain nerves in your dog’s skin are sensitive to the inflammatory messenger chemical histamine. Histamines cause the itchy sensation and the redness and swelling of an allergic reaction that induces scratching. But this process can be interrupted.
Anti-Histamines block production of the ‘itch chemical’
When your dog’s scratching won’t stop, it’s generally due to an overproduction of histamine. If your dog suffers from allergies, his body detects a potential threat and overreacts in an attempt to defend itself, flooding his system with histamine and causing him to uncontrollably scratch an itch that won’t stop. Antihistamines block the production of this chemical, bringing his body back to more normal functioning. There are numerous pharmaceutical antihistamines, but also many natural alternatives – like bromelain and quercetin, local honey and cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids can interrupt the ‘itch message’
At its core, an itch sensation is a message produced by certain nerve cells because the chemical histamine has bonded with its receptors. Among its many other benefits cannabinoids can block the itch message by bonding to those same receptors, but doing so in a way that does not trigger the nerve to send the itch message to your dog’s brain – soothing the itching sensation he experiences. Additionally, cannabinoids have been shown to increase the levels of other chemicals in your dog’s body that trigger the ending of the histamine response cycle associated with allergy and inflammation.
By reducing the amount of histamine in your dog’s system, interrupting the itch signal and hastening the end to the allergy response, cannabinoids can provide relief to your dog’s constant scratching – and when they feel better, you’ll feel better!