With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, CBD (cannabidiol) oil has become a hot topic, including CBD oil for dogs.
Holistic veterinarians and some pet owners have advocated the use of CBD oil for the treatment of various diseases in dogs. But does it really work and is it safe to use on our beloved pets?
What is Cannabis (CBD) Oil?
Easily said; CBD (cannabidiol) is a liquid that is usually extracted from the cannabis plant. The main ingredient that we are looking for is cannabidiol.
Now here’s an important distinction – there is CBD oil and there is hemp oil.
Let’s break down the difference between the two because it’s important to know that many products labeled as hemp oil for dogs are technically CBD oil for dogs, but have been misbranded/mislabeled.
Both hemp oil and CBD oil are derived from the same plant, Cannabis sativa L. That part is easy to understand.
Hemp seed oil (or hemp oil) is extracted from the seed of Cannabis sativa L. Hemp oil contains a low concentration of cannabidiol (CBD) and no traces of THC.
What is THC? THC is also known as tetrahydrocannabinol and is the agent responsible for causing a “high”. Because hemp oil does not contain THC, there is no high associated with it.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is extracted from other parts of the Cannabis sativa L plant such as the leaves, stalk and flower. Different parts of the plant contain different levels of cannabidiol and contain varying levels (although relatively low) of THC.
You can extract cannabinoids through a number of means, such as CO2 extraction, butane extraction and ethanol extraction.
Aftеr ѕераrаtіng thе cannabinoids from other parts of the plant, thеу аrе formulated tо dеtеrmіnе thе perfect rаtіо of саnnаbіnоіdѕ (there are at least 113 different types of cannabinoids).
Cannabis contains at least 80 cannabinoids, with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), psychoactive plant and cannabidiol (CBD) being most common. CBD is the cannabinoid that is mainly used for medical purposes.
Now, let’s go back to talking about CBD oil for dogs.
When looking at hemp oil products for dogs, you might notice the product mentions “full-spectrum hemp”, “phytochemicals” and “hemp seed oi”.
These are things ingredients that can indicate to you that you have purchased quality CBD oil.
However, some manufacturers will try and sell Hempseed oil that will not have the same benefits of CBD oil as the hempseed oil comes from a different part of the plant. However, consumers usually aren’t aware of the difference.
CBD oil for dogs contains very small traces of TCH (less than 0.3%). It’s always important to talk to your vet before making a purchase.
So now what is the difference between CBD oil and hempseed oil?
Because both oils are extracted from different parts of the plants, they contain vastly different levels of cannabidiol (which is the ingredient we are after). True CBD oil can contain up to 6,000 times more of cannabidiol than hempseed oil.
For our dogs, we want to be giving them hemp oil (also known as CBD oil) which is different from hempseed oil.
Now that you know the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, let’s continue on!
Can You Give Dogs CBD Oil for Humans?
In short, no, you must be giving your dog something that is specifically formulated for animals and approved by your vet.
The Best CBD Oil For Dogs
When deciding what CBD oil to purchase for your dogs, there are a few things you should make note of:
- Where the plant is grown
- The extraction method
- Third party testing
- What part of the plant the oil uses
Where the Plant is Grown
It’s best to get oil from plants that were grown local to your country. While there are many countries that can grow and produce CBD oil for cheap, these plants are often grown in dirty soil with conditions that are not up to high standards.
Look for plants that were grown in the USA or Canada.
Like mentioned above, there are many different extraction methods for CBD oil. When purchasing one for your pet, look for one that uses a CO2 extraction method.
This leads to a more natural extraction method and there will be no traces of extra chemicals left behind for your pet to ingest.
Third Party Testing
To avoid biased information, look for CBD oil that has been tested by third parties.
Part of Plant Used
If your CBD oil for your dog is only extracted through the seeds, then you are not buying true CBD oil. Instead, you are buying hempseed oil.
Make sure that your CBD oil is true CBD by being extracted from various parts of the plant.
How Does CBD Oil for Dogs Work?
When it is consumed, CBD interacts with the body via the endocannabinoid system. Humans and other mammals, such as dogs, have specific cannabinoid receptor sites.
These receptor sites are found in the brain, the central nervous system, peripheral organs and immune cells.
Cannabinoids work by initiating compounds that are naturally produced in our body, called endocannabinoids, which, once activated, help maintain internal health and stability.
In simple terms, they facilitate communication between cells when there is a shortage or a problem.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs
As mentioned earlier, cannabis oil is useful in the treatment of various medical conditions that affect dogs such as and can help:
- boost appetite
CBD Oil Dogs: Seizures
One of the worst health problems that a dog can suffer is an epileptic seizure. Attacks cause violent and involuntary tremors.
The last thing you want to do is to be a silent onlooker while your dog is going through such a torment. Fortunately, CBD oil is an excellent treatment for this. It helps not only to reduce the intensity of seizures but also to regulate the electrical disorders in dogs’ brains.
CBD Oil Dogs: Pain and Inflammation
Another area where CBD oil excels in treating dogs is to reduce pain and inflammation. Cаnnаbіdіоl works bу іntеrасtіng wіth thе nеurоnѕ іn your dоg’ѕ brаіn, blосkіng thе vаnіllоіd receptors thаt саuѕе pain.
CBD Oil for Dogs: Anxiety
Does your dog have signs of anxiety? The way cannabis oil helps your dog is by interacting with his endocannabinoid system – a series of receptors that flow through his entire body.
Cannabinoids in medical cannabis interact with receptors; help regulate and alleviate aspects such as pain, anxiety and nausea.
CBD oil for dogs can help anxiety due to:
- car rides
- vet visits
- grooming visits
- being left alone
or any other reasons your dog may begin to feel anxious.
Fighting Certain Cancer with CBD Oil for Dogs
CBD oil has been shown to stop cancer cells from growing in neoplastic cancers. While CBD isn’t proven to be a cure for all types of cancer, it’s a step forward in fighting neoplastic tumors.
Boosting Appetite with CBD Oil for Dogs
If your dog won’t eat, using CBD oil can increase appetite so your dog can have a healthy diet and keep up their health.
Forms of CBD Oil for Dogs
When looking to buy CBD oil for your dogs you will come across various forms of it including:
- CBD tincture
- Dog treats
CBD tinctures can be directly added to your dog’s food or directly in their mouths. You may find that your dog doesn’t enjoy having you put the tincture in their mouth and might not eat their food if they can detect something else is on it, so you might have more success with treats.
Risks of using CBD Oil for Dogs
As is the case with medicines for people, an overdose is a big risk for your pets. If your dog eventually takes too much THC, he may feel an inflammation.
Depending on the amount of overdose that your pet takes, side effects can take a long time from a few hours to several days.
If you suspect that your dog overdoses medical cannabis, take him to a veterinarian immediately.
Ingestion of large amounts of marijuana can have debilitating effects on your dog, such as lethargy and drowsiness. That is why you should always check and prevent an overdose. In addition, you should consult a pet specialist or veterinarian before using cannabis oil to treat your dog.
And like anything, you must consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any new supplements, even CBD oil.
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About the Author:
Dana is a Sheepadoodle owner and expat in Germany. While living in Europe, Dana and her husband always make sure that when they go on road trips, their pup Kaya gets to come along. Dana loves to highlight dog-friendly places you can travel to with your pooch so that your entire family can have fun together!