Any health issues that inflict your family, whether two or four-legged, can bear heavily on your shoulders. Yes, life happens, but finding wellness support for your nearest and dearest is your top priority. There is nothing quite like having a healthy and happy dog curl up on your lap or excitedly greet you in the yard after a long day. After all, we all know dogs are man’s best friend.
So when your neighbor, your doctor, and your friends start to talk about cannabis products that are taking the world by storm, it’s not unusual to wonder if this holistic option can help your dog as well.
CBD is a naturally occurring plant compound (phytocannabinoid) extracted from the cannabis plant. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is prominent in the hemp plant species (which is something of a cousin to the marijuana variety). CBD is one of the many non-psychoactive cannabinoids of the hemp plant.
When the plant is soaked in vinegar or alcohol, the active ingredient is pulled out and concentrated into a liquid, resulting in CBD oil.
So, what happens when you or your dog come in contact with CBD oil? All mammals have something called an endocannabinoid system. When phytocannabinoids like CBD are ingested, they trigger a healthy response in the body’s endocannabinoid system (more on that in a minute).
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
The question on a dog owner’s mind is whether CBD oil products will get their pooch flying high. CBD oil is entirely safe for your pet and has no psychoactive effects if derived from the hemp plant and not the marijuana plant.
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the plant compound that is responsible for changes in behavior and 60s-style swaying. CBD oil from organic hemp, however, only contains THC levels at 0.3% or less. This makes it legal in all fifty states, and also means it won’t induce a high in your dog.
THC, on the other hand, is derived from marijuana and is only legal in states where marijuana has been legalized. Steer clear of any CBD oil products that list THC on their ingredient list, which can be harmful to dogs, big or small. As for addiction, hemp CBD is non-addictive, but keep any CBD kibbles or treats in a safe space anyway, as we all know that pets love to binge their favorite snacks!
CBD Dosage for Dogs
The correct CBD dosage for your dog depends on three main things: weight, product potency, and the problem you’re targeting.
The potency of the CBD hemp oil is different from one company to the next, but you’ll generally see a range from 125mg – 3000mg and diverse strengths in between. Generally, the standardized recommended dosage is 1-5mg of CBD per every 10lbs of body weight.
The product you purchase should indicate on the packaging how many milligrams of CBD are in every full dropper of CBD oil or in every dog treat. This makes it easy for dog owners to give their four-legged friend the right amount of CBD each time.
That said, some pet owners will opt for a higher dosage at times if their dog needs it. This increase could be if the pet is experiencing chronic pain or discomfort, or is needing support for their physical and mental wellbeing. A medical condition can necessitate a more potent boost for their endocannabinoid system as well.
Whatever you decide, start slow! Assess your pet’s reaction and increase the dose slowly and safely. Don’t let chronic pain rush your process, but remain patient. Speak to your vet if you have any concerns or if any side-effects raise their ugly heads.
Best CBD Oil for Dogs: Buyer’s Guide
Introducing holistic options to promote your wellbeing depends on the quality and purity of products that you use. CBD oil is much the same, and using more refined products will have a better effect on the problem from which you are seeking relief.
Let’s dig into what differentiates a quality product from a substandard CBD oil. Here are some guidelines for buying the best CBD oil for your four-legged friend. If a brand can tick all of these boxes, you know it’s a match made in heaven.
1. Only Purchase Full-Spectrum CBD
As a newcomer to hemp oil products, dog owners will come across CBD labeled as CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full spectrum. CBD isolate products are ones in which the CBD has been isolated from the other cannabinoids in the hemp plant, leaving other beneficial compounds behind. This is like picking one food group, rather than enjoying the benefits offered from a variety of food.
The hemp plant has a significant amount of secondary cannabinoids like CBC, CBG, CBN, and more. Selecting a CBD isolate means that you’re missing out on an entire platter of wholesome and beneficial compounds. (The reason many companies sell CBD isolate, however, is because it’s cheaper to produce). With full-spectrum CBD, however, you get all of the hemp plant’s cannabinoids, and all these compounds work together synergistically to provide a more effective and potent oil.
2. CBD Derived from Hemp, Not Marijuana
CBD is found in both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant. However, you should only purchase CBD for your pet that is derived from the hemp plant. The marijuana plant simply contains levels of THC that are too high.
Due to its behavior-altering effects, THC products are still illegal in many states. To remain on the right side of the law, companies must use cannabis oil derived from the hemp plant. Also known as hemp oil, the traces of THC are minimal and irrelevant at less than 0.3 percent. Substantial doses of THC are incredibly harmful to animals.
3. Quality Transparency and CBD Testing
Who best to trust than the professionals, right? The National Animal Supplement Council works tirelessly to protect the animal supplement industry by ensuring companies adhere to standardized regulations. A CBD pet product from an NASC-compliant company (our Editor’s Pick Honest Paws is one such company) has a golden star for ethical, safe, and high-quality CBD. If that doesn’t convince you, then you’re at danger of purchasing CBD from dodgy home-brewers.
Trustworthy CBD companies will also happily provide a Certificate of Analysis. The issued certificate comes from an accredited lab and provides an overview of the chemicals in the product in question. With a detailed description of cannabinoids and terpenes, you can confirm whether the THC levels are less than 0.3%. You’ll also tell if toxins, heavy metals, pesticides, or microbes are present. Remember, you don’t want these in organic hemp.
The last thing you want to check is whether the lab that did the quality testing was a third-party lab. There should be no affiliation with the CBD Company from where you’re buying your pet’s products. Accurate test results are essential in ensuring a quality product. Pet owners should not doubt that they’re offering the best possible hemp product to their furry friends.
4. Organic and Natural CBD
The hemp plant has a fantastic ability to draw up toxins from the soil, so make sure to purchase CBD derived from hemp plants that use organic and ethical methods. No chemical modification, no pesticide treatment, and no radiation processing are the best practices that ensure a toxin-free plant.
Many companies will state that they use CO2 extraction. This extraction method provides cleaner, purer, and healthier hemp oil by killing microbial bacteria, mold, mildew, and insect mites. To further support your dog’s health in an allergen-free way, CBD pet products should be non-GMO, soy, dairy, corn, and gluten-free too.
5. See What Others Are Saying and Pick the Best
Reading dog owner reviews is always a great way to assess the reputation of a product. Interact with customer service as well to get a feel for how helpful the company’s representatives are.
As well as seeing what customers are saying, disgruntled or pleased, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can issue warnings if CBD companies make false claims about their products. Nonexistent research to boost sales will also taint their name. Running an online search for “FDA dog CBD” will list past offenders.
CBD Oil for Dogs: Final Thoughts
After reading all the facts about CBD, it’s good to know that dog owners can also benefit from this incredible plant compound. Our final words of wisdom would be to source a full spectrum CBD provider that you can trust to give you the best CBD oil for dogs. You want the highest quality for your four-legged friend. Get your puppy’s tail wagging with delicious, beneficial, and holistic CBD oil?