A Pet Owner's Guide to CBD
One of the hottest topics lately surrounding CBD is the regular use of CBD products for pets. The CBD industry is catering to the needs of dogs, cats, horses, and other animals by producing high-quality CBD products, including CBD pet treats, sprays, and CBD oils. What information do you need to know about CBD and your pet?
There are so many questions surrounding CBD oil for pets in the media right now. In particular, CBD oil for dogs and cats. But what is CBD oil for animals? Is it safe? Is it legal? The short answer is “yes”, but CBD for pets is much different than the CBD oil humans are using.
CBD Is Not Intoxicating
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound, or cannabinoid, that is found exclusively in the cannabis and hemp plants. Not to be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most prominent cannabinoid responsible for cannabis’ intoxicating properties. Most CBD oils contain no THC, allowing our pets (dogs, cats, and others alike) to benefit from the therapeutic properties of the cannabis plant without any intoxicating effect in a similar way as humans. In short, CBD oil can provide life-changing treatment with no unwanted affect.
What is CBD Oil for Dogs?
No matter the size or the breed, CBD for dogs is the hot topic on every pet owner’s mind. But what is CBD oil for dogs? Is it safe? Is it legal? The short answer is “yes”, but CBD for dogs is much different than the CBD oil humans are using.
In order to understand how dogs can benefit from CBD oil, it’s important to understand what CBD is and where it comes from. CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of many cannabinoids in a cannabis plant. And there are actually two different kinds of cannabis plants: marijuana and hemp. Each come with different properties and different levels of cannabinoids. Marijuana is higher in THC, while hemp contains more CBD.
CBD oil for dogs is not the same CBD oil humans use because dogs have smaller endocannabinoid systems.
Bonus: CBD Oil for Dogs (And Humans) Is Safe and Legal
Even with the magnitude of clinical studies demonstrating the numerous health benefits of CBD, the most encouraging finding is that cannabidiol appears to be completely safe, even when administered in high doses over prolonged periods of time. Keep in mind that it may decrease the activity of your pet’s liver enzymes that are used to metabolize many pharmaceutical prescriptions – so if your dog is on additional medications, you may want to consult with your veterinarian before administering CBD to your pet.
Most CBD-oil (for pets and humans alike) is derived from the hemp plant, therefore it contains virtually no trace of THC (less than 0.3%). This abides by the U.S. Agricultural Act of 2014, making hemp-derived CBD oil legal in all 50 states for human and pet products. When considering CBD oil, locate one that is both 100% organic and safe. More and more veterinarians and pet owners are being drawn to the therapeutic nature of cannabidiol (CBD).
FACT: All CBD products for dogs are made with less than .03% THC. Pet owners can check their retailer’s lab reports to verify the quality of their pet CBD oil.
It’s true that both dogs and humans come naturally hardwired with endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The ECS in dogs releases cannabinoids to regulate the same bodily functions that it does for people. Cannabinoids regulate things like pain reception and mood. CBD for dogs can even increase the amount of naturally-occurring cannabinoids and provide relief for things like arthritis and separation anxiety, even get finicky eaters to eat their dinner.
CBD oil for dogs is not the same CBD oil humans use because dogs have smaller endocannabinoid systems.
Humans simply have more cannabinoid receptors, and their ECS is bigger than that of a dog’s. Giving a dog human CBD oil can overwhelm the ECS and really throw a dog’s natural regulatory system off track. Due to this size ratio, CBD for dogs and other pets is specifically designed with smaller doses for their smaller systems.
To learn more about the science behind CBD, explore here.
Dogs should never get the same CBD oil used in vape pens, edibles, or tinctures designed for human consumption. Explore our collection of CBD oils for pets.
How to Administer the Right Dose of CBD for Dogs
CBD for dogs comes from the same plant as CBD for humans, but it’s the dosing size that’s different. High-quality CBD retailers provide dosage charts with each of their CBD pet oils in order to help consumers administer CBD for dogs with confidence.
Each dog is unique. Finding a pet CBD oil that works will depend on the content and dosage of each particular CBD product as well as the size and weight of the dog.
DID YOU KNOW? Topical applications of CBD can start relieving symptoms in ten minutes but will only last an hour or two. CBD dog treats can take up to thirty minutes but have more long-lasting effects - at least four hours!
Pet owners have a choice to administer CBD for dogs topically or orally. Most prefer to give their pups CBD orally, usually with a CBD dog treat or by adding CBD tinctures to water bowls a few times a day. Either way, a few milligrams can go a long way. Properly dosed CBD pet treats make it easy to give CBD to dogs that really need it on a daily basis. CBD dog treats give pet owners complete control over the dose of CBD that they want to give their dogs.
Because dogs have an ECS just like humans do, they experience many of the same benefits. CBD for dogs relieves everyday aches and pains and can soothe stressed-out pups.
How Can Dogs Benefit from CBD?
Reliable CBD retailers will offer different ways to use pet CBD, such as CBD dog treats or CBD pet sprays, so pet owners can find the best way to help their dog with CBD.
The demand for CBD-infused pet products has skyrocketed in recent years. More and more consumers are beginning to recognize cannabidiol as a viable treatment option for not only themselves, but for their pets as well.
A compound unique to the cannabis plant, CBD has been scientifically proven to be a successful treatment for a variety of conditions and disorders due to its effect on our endocannabinoid system – which is widely believed to be the most important physiological system, responsible for establishing and maintaining health.
Fun fact: all mammals share a similar endocannabinoid system, meaning even man’s best friend is able to benefit from its value.
How to Talk to the Vet about CBD for Dogs
Starting the conversation about CBD with the veterinarian can be intimidating. CBD is still a relatively new wellness product, and some vets may not be familiar with CBD for dogs. But that doesn’t mean the conversation is over. Talking about the differences between CBD and THC and focusing on how CBD for dogs interacts naturally with the endocannabinoid system can motivate vets to explore the different CBD options available for dogs.
In order to fully understand the full extent of CBD’s effects on dogs, pet owners should do their research and talk with their veterinarians about their options. The more pet owner’s understand about this natural medicine, the more their best friend can enjoy CBD for dogs.
CBD and Cats
Cat owners across the country from California to Connecticut are turning to CBD as part of their pet’s daily health regimen. There is a lot of buzz about CBD now and with that buzz comes a lot of misinformation. Here are some facts about CBD for cats that will set the record straight. Browse our collection of CBD oils for pets.
Talking To A Vet
Pet owners should talk to the veterinarian about CBD. More and more, veterinarians are keeping up with the newest CBD research, and many are aware of its health benefits. In general, veterinarians with a more holistic approach are going to more fully embrace CBD. Be open and honest with your vet about reasons for wanting to try CBD for your cat. Is it for a specific ailment, or is it as part of an overall wellness routine? Have an exchange of ideas. Pet owners can tell the vet about articles they’ve read, and ask the veterinarian for studies they’ve read, too. Ask the vet to what extent CBD has been incorporated into the veterinary practice. Before talking to a vet, pet owners should be as informed as possible.
How CBD Affects Cats
CBD has the same effect on animals as it does on humans. Cats also have an endocannabinoid system of neurotransmitters and receptors that send chemical signals to each other to keep the body in balance (homeostasis) and functioning normally. A cat’s body produces natural cannabinoids that create calm, relieve pain and relieve hunger. Plants have cannabinoids as well; they’re called phytocannabinoids, and they help the plant maintain health, ward off predators and fight diseases. CBD is a phytocannabinoid, and the interesting part is that CBD also works on human and animal receptors.
Cats also have an endocannabinoid system of neurotransmitters and receptors that send chemical signals to each other to keep the body in balance (homeostasis) and functioning normally.
Effective Use of CBD for Cats
Knowing how to give your cat CBD oil is as important as knowing why. Dosing is very important. Animals metabolize substances differently than humans, so you should never give your cat CBD intended for humans.
Only use specially formulated CBD for cats. The same amount of CBD that a human would need to calm anxieties would be too high of a dose for cats. Your vet can help you find the right dose. Most vets recommend starting out with a small dose, determining how your cat responds to it, and then ramping up if needed.
Cats respond individually to CBD. If they take too much, there are no negative side effects other than drowsiness. At higher doses, CBD has a sedative effect, but because it is non-toxic, it is safe for cats at prescribed dosages. The effects of CBD oil last 4 to 6 hours. It is safe for cats of all ages to take CBD, and the best part is that CBD does not cause a tolerance buildup. CBD pet products are also available as a pet spray.
Contrary to popular belief, CBD will not make your cat “high”. CBD is derived from hemp. Both the hemp plant and the cannabis plant naturally contain CBD, and CBD oil can be derived from either plant. Many companies including Diamond CBD extract CBD oil from hemp because the hemp plants have been cultivated specifically to have a high CBD concentration and only trace amounts of THC, the hallucinogenic compound marijuana is known for; THC creates the “high”.
CBD does not provide this effect and is much more therapeutic in nature. Any remaining THC in the oil is eliminated during the extraction process for a completely THC-free product. Even in small amounts, THC can make a cat very sick, but that is not a concern with Diamond products.
CBD works gradually, not rapidly. As the body gets used to CBD, effects will start to be seen in about a week. Cats will get back to normal activity and behaviors as the CBD benefits kick in. Cats with stiff joints become more mobile and anxious cats begin to relax and stop destructive behaviors. Again, it’s all about CBD putting the body back in balance.
How Do I Give CBD To My Cat?
Pet CBD comes in several formulations—treats, sprays and drops—so you’re sure to find one that suits your cat. If your cat will allow it, a spray or drops directly into the mouth can be done. Many cat owners add CBD directly to the cat’s food or use CBD treats. Just know that treats do take longer to absorb than oils, but treats generally provide longer relief.
Important Considerations When Choosing CBD
Dosing is a very important consideration, as discussed above, therefore clear product labels are very important so that pet owners not only understand dose, but also understand ingredients. Not all CBD oils are created equally. Pet owners should always choose an organic CBD product to ensure that the product is free of pesticides, toxins, solvents and other harmful agents.
Choose a product with third-party independent laboratory testing. Stringent test criteria has become the standard for the CBD industry. Many pet owners have concerns about “hidden” ingredients like THC that are lurking in a CBD supplement. Choose a product line for which the company posts lab results directly on the website, and choose a product that is consistent and therefore consistently has the same laboratory results. Companies that follow these practices for their CBD products ensure transparency for the consumer, who will know the exact CBD content of the product, know the other ingredients and be assured of a 100% THC-free pet formulation.
Using CBD for All Pets Means Using the Right Dose
Just because human beings and animals can both benefit from using CBD, they can never use the same CBD. The CBD oils and additives in vape pens or edibles are not meant for animal consumption, and the doses in human products are for exactly that - humans.
Pet CBD oil and pet CBD products are designed specifically for animal and animal-sized endocannabinoid systems. If a pet owner uses human CBD on any animal, it’s important to take them to the vet right away to make sure there are no negative side effects.
FACT: Negative side effects with pet CBD oil are rare. The most common symptom is drowsiness and it’s caused by improper dosing.
Dosing CBD for all pets is as easy as knowing the weight of the animal. Obviously, the same amount of CBD that is used on a large animal is not the same dose a bird would take. Balancing the individual dose of pet CBD with the size of the pet is the best way to insure there are no drowsy side effects.
To be sure, pet owners with tinier pets, such as birds or lizards, should start with .05mg of pet CBD per pound. Once they are sure of CBD’s effects, users can increase the dose to .125mg. Bigger animals can start with .25-1mg per pound and increase from there. It is not recommended to give animals CBD more than twice a day until owner’s understand how their pet’s react to CBD.
Because each pet is different, CBD will not affect all pets equally. Their individual endocannabinoid systems will determine how much CBD is necessary to notice significant changes in health and behavior. Some pets require more while others can do more with less. Talking with a veterinarian is necessary in order to determine how to best use CBD for all pets.
The Importance of Third Party Testing
Independent Lab Testing
Of course, just because a label claims to have certain ingredients does not mean the label is truthful. This is why it is important to choose a CBD company for pet products that has nothing to hide and that does independent third party testing of all its products. Preferably, choose a company that posts lab results right on the website for every product.
The goal of third party quality testing in the CBD industry is to have an unbiased party examine and assess the content and the quality of the product at hand to prove that the CBD products being consumed by humans and animals alike do not contain any harmful additives or THC.
Whether CBD oil is bought online or in a store, shoppers have probably seen “third party testing” written on labels everywhere. What does it mean? Why are third party quality tests necessary for CBD for animals? Aren’t all companies required to test all their pet products?
Lab testing of this nature ensures several things. First, the test results should ensure the CBD content matches what the label says. Secondly, lab tests should confirm a completely THC-free product. CBD oils derived from hemp plants mean that the plants are engineered to have naturally low levels of THC.
To learn more about CBD terpenes, click here.
Therefore, the CBD oils begin with very little THC, and the extraction process eliminates any remaining trace amounts of THC that might remain. If not readily available, always ask to see lab test results for any CBD product, and shy away from CBD companies that won’t share the data. Choose a company with transparency in its operations.
FACT: In order to be legally sold online and off, CBD oil must contain less than .03% THC.
Third party labs will test for potency and guarantee that the ratio of CBD to THC is well within the legal limits. But that’s only one dimension of third party testing. These tests examine all elements of CBD in order to guarantee the quality and the safety of each product that’s being tested.
What is third party quality testing?
First and foremost, the goal of third party quality testing in the CBD industry is to have an unbiased party examine and assess the content and the quality of the product at hand. In this case, these tests are looking at the quality, consumability, and potency of CBD.
Bringing in a neutral source to test CBD is essential to the American CBD industry. As current law stands, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the production of CBD or any other hemp products because cannabis is still - technically - federally illegal. Of course, the FDA is at liberty to pull and test any CBD product on the shelf, and they have, but it’s impossible to track down each and every CBD retailer in the country. That’s where third party quality testing comes in.
An industry without federal regulation is liable to fall victim to false advertising. Companies that display their third party test results are one way consumers can avoid shams and scams, especially from online retailers. Lab results also show consumers what’s in their CBD. Knowing the potency of a CBD oil or CBD edible is key to getting the most out of its health benefits. Regulating one’s dose of CBD is much easier when third party lab results deduce the potency of the CBD down to the last drop.
What are these third party quality tests looking for?
There are two main things third party lab tests are looking for - potency and contamination. There are many different kinds of quality tests CBD companies can perform, but the major things consumers are looking for are products with honest potency labels and no contamination from pesticides or solvents.
Users should only trust CBD pet products from reputable companies that include third party lab results with their products. Besides potency, regulations also protect CBD users from contaminants like pesticides, solvents, and bacteria.
Third Party Contamination Tests for CBD
Besides potency, regulations also protect CBD users from contaminants like pesticides, solvents, and bacteria. Different CBD companies have different methods or reducing, removing, or stopping these contaminants all together, but only third party testing can guarantee that these methods are actually working. Explore our collection of CBD oils for pets.
Pesticides are a common contaminant because hemp plants are grown outside or in greenhouses. They fall victim to bugs, rodents, even viruses so small that they can’t be seen by the human eye. Most pesticides used by CBD cultivators won’t harm humans, but not every one. Some pests are persistent and require forceful treatment. Third party tests insure that none of these treatments carry over into the CBD that is made from those hemp plants.
Solvents are another contaminant. They’re becoming more and more common as CBD oil continues to rise in popularity. In order to create CBD oil, it must first be extracted from the hemp plant first. Extreme heat is often used to do this, but butane or propane flames can leave behind nasty residues that are harmful to human health.
That residue is what’s known as a “solvent”, and third party tests guarantee that no solvents are left behind in the CBD oil or CBD tinctures people are using. The best CBD companies will use extreme pressure or supercritical CO2 extraction because it doesn’t leave behind any solvents, and their lab results will reflect that.
Microbials and bacteria are still more contaminants that plague CBD. While pesticides happen at the beginning of the cultivation process and solvents happen at the end, bacteria can strike at any time. Hemp can become infected when it’s growing or can be improperly stored when it’s cultivated. Extractors can use dirty equipment when pressing the hemp, or trimmers can use dirty tools when tending to the leaves. Because bacteria is an omnipresent threat, third party testing is the only way to protect consumers from getting their hands on contaminated CBD.
Remember - third party testing isn’t a requirement!
Users should only trust CBD products from reputable companies that include third party lab results with their products. Because it’s perfectly within legal boundaries to sell CBD products of various potencies in the United States, CBD users need to be sure they’re getting their doses right each time. Lab results can insure that.
More importantly, American CBD users should also remember that the FDA doesn’t regulate the hemp or CBD industry in the United States at all. In states with legal marijuana laws, there are regulations in place at the state level that protect users from contaminants. But in states where marijuana is still illegal and there is no state-level marijuana industry, there is no guarantee that each and every CBD product on the market is regulated or safe to consume.
That’s why it’s important to pay attention to third party CBD pet testing results. Companies that invest in their product and third party lab testing want to guarantee absolutely that their CBD is of the highest quality before it’s sold. Including lab results isn’t just bragging, it’s a promise that the CBD being sold is exactly what it promises to be - an amazing health supplement that can reduce stress, improve sleep, and create an overall sense of well-being every time it’s used.