CBD Oil for Pets
Unless you’ve been in a remote cabin in the woods for three years, you’ve probably been hearing about the benefits of CBD Oil for Pets. But, there are a few things you MUST understand prior to adding this natural supplement to your pets routine.
Before we get too far into this, I want to tell you that you can’t go out and get your marijuana medical card, and start dosing your animals with marijuana or THC-based products. To do so would result in major complications and you could even kill your pets. CBD is very different from THC and its very important to know the difference.
CBD oil can help pets, THC oils can hurt pets.
Animals react quite differently to this natural remedy and it’s important to understand the pros and cons, as well as how to source and what parts of the plant are valuable.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oils for dogs is derived from industrial hemp, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant.
Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants in existence. It has been around for thousands of years and for many good reasons! Here are a few facts you probably didn’t know about hemp:
- Hemp thrives in nearly any type of climate.
- Hemp naturally “cleanses” the soil it’s grown in (which makes sourcing organically grown hemp very important).
- Hemp is naturally resistant to parasites and doesn’t require pesticides to grow.
- Nearly every part of the hemp plant can be used.
- Hemp is 100% biodegradable.
- One acre of hemp can produce as much fiber as 2-3 acres of cotton
- Hemp is durable, ecofriendly and fast-growing (it can be ready to harvest in just 120 days!)
- Hemp is naturally antibacterial, anti-microbial, and mildew-free
- Hemp is nearly twice as strong as cotton.
These are just a few of the reasons why hemp is so popular. We’re seeing it in every part of the pet industry, from hemp toys and collars to Cannabinoid (CBD) supplements and calmants for dogs, cats, horses and more.
Forward thinking companies (like Honest Pet Products) have been using hemp for years, but you’ll soon be seeing manufacturers taking it in a whole new direction.
Hemp in Pet Products
You know those shredded rubber and plastic toys you have lying around the yard? They will take hundreds of years to decompose. Plastics and rubbers are really tough on the environment.
Hemp toys, on the other hand, are ecofriendly and the remains of hemp-based products will naturally be reabsorbed by the soil in a matter of months. Hemp products are a wonderful way to be environmentally friendly pet owners.
Hemp toys are eco-friendly and will naturally be reabsorbed by the soil. Plastic and rubber toys will take centuries to fully decompose.
Since hemp is twice as strong as cotton, it makes perfect sense that we would start using this soft natural fiber for leashes. We have several of the collars and leashes and wouldn’t trade them for anything. Best of all, when we’re done, we know they are completely biodegradable.
- Pet Toys: See companies like Honest Pet Products, Purrfect Play, From the Field, and others to continue their excellent eco-friendly policies by producing new and improved hemp toys. I suspect thousands of other manufacturers will enter the playing field as well.
- Pet Equipment: Many companies are already utilizing hemp as way to manufacture collars and leashes. Hemp is very soft, easy to process, and naturally antibacterial, mold-resistant and anti-parasitic. Check out two of our favorites who have been doing this a long time: EarthDog and Planet Dog.
[Note: The Planet Dog Hemp Harnesses and uber-soft hemp leashes are some of the most comfortable harnesses on the planet!]
- Pet Bedding: Start looking for soft, recyclable hemp-based products in your pet’s bedding (as a replacement for pine or other types of natural bedding products).
- Pet Litter: I suspect we’ll be seeing some hemp-based cat litter showing up soon!
[Update: Look what I just found – hemp cat litter]
CBD Oil for Pets
The legalization of industrial hemp has created a huge sub-category of natural pet products. CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC (which is the psychoactive component of marijuana).
Cannabidiol (CBD), is not psychoactive (will not create a “high”) like the more commonly known compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex network of cellular activators and receptors help regulate many of our pets (and our own) natural processes. Examples include:
- sleep cycles
- stress levels
- pain levels
CBD binds to our ECS and helps regulate whichever system components are out of balance. How it does this is still a bit of a mystery, thanks largely to the US declaring a war on drugs. Because it was illegal, the benefits of marijuana were not heavily studied, and certainly not promoted, for many years. But the legalization of industrial hemp has created an entirely new market and thousands of studies are being conducted as I type this article.
CBD contains naturally occurring compounds that have been proven extremely effective in human patients with epilepsy, behavior disorders, pain management, and other neurodegenerative disorders. As a result, it’s believed that CBD offers amazing benefits to pets, particularly senior pets or those with chronic pain and health conditions. We’re seeing this therapeutic compound appear in treats and supplements designed for all species, including dogs, cats and horses.
Dosing and Administering CBD Oil to Pets
You’ve probably already heard of the new line of pet supplements from Canna-Pet, and the “CBD cookies” from Treatibles. This year, you can expect to see hundreds of new supplements that are focused on CBD. This includes:
- Tinctures: Usually an alcohol or oil-based mixture that ranges in the 100mg-1000mg dose for pets
- Extracts: Usually an alcohol based extract that ranges in doses
- Capsules: Easy to add to food and range from 10-25 mg
- Concentrates: NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PETS
- Topicals: Salves, balms, and more to help relieve stress, reduce pain and decrease inflammation
- Sprays: Ranging from 1-3 mg for pets
- Treats: Ranging from chewables and crunchies to gummies
- Infused foods: Pet food, supplements and treats
- Bath Products: Everything from shampoos and conditioners to soaking salts and bath bombs.
Treating Pain in Pets with CBD Oil
Sourcing CBD Products
When finding a treatment for your pet, it’s more important than ever to know WHERE the product sources its CBD. This is why:
Hemp is a phytoremediation plant. Phtyo (meaning plant) and remediation (meaning balance). Hemp plants naturally cleanse the ground they are grown in, unlike crops like cotton, which have to be rotated from fields every few years to avoid the ground being depleted from minerals.
Organic Crops ONLY: here’s why…
There are many companies coming out that offer CBD products, but it’s very important you pay attention to sourcing before you buy.
Hemp cleanses the ground by rapidly absorbing toxins (like manmade pollutants, heavy metals, etc.). It stores these toxins in the plant tissues (most heavily in the leaves).
The LAST thing we want to do is give these contaminated plants to our pets. This is why it’s very important that the CBD is extracted from plants grown organically (without the use of fertilizers, chemicals, weed killers, etc.).
If you’re considering adding CBD supplements to your pet’s daily care, it’s important to do your homework on choosing a reputable supplier.
How Much CBD Does My Pet Need?
While several studies are currently underway to assess the benefits of CBD in pets, official dosing has yet to be established by the FDA.
Most companies operate on the 616 rule (6 mg per 100 pounds every six hours). This is not scientific, FDA-approved, or even proven to any extent. It’s important to understand this before you start giving it to your pets.
616 rule: 6 mg per 100 pounds every six hours
What Individual Companies Report for Usage
If you’re worried about a pet overdosing on CBD, don’t be. According to Canna-Pet®, one of the first hemp (CBD) products designed specifically for cats and dogs, “a pet would have to ingest the equivalent of 1.25 times its own weight (approximately an absurd 60,000-120,000 Canna-Pet® capsules), before the THC level would approach toxicity.”
Auntie Dolores is an eight-year old company who is well-known for creating a marijuana edibles brand for humans that’s sold throughout California. They now produce Treatibles brand CBD pet treats.
“Treatibles was created because we wanted to make treats for dogs and we’re in the business of infusing medicine into treats,” said Julianna Carella, founder and CEO of Auntie Dolores and Treatibles. “Our metric is 1 mg per 10-20 lbs of dog weight.”
Proven Benefits of CBD for Pets
While we know that there are many benefits to using CBD in pets, it’s going to be difficult to prove until studies are completed. We mostly have to rely on our own experience since:
- Companies cannot legally share health benefits due to FDA regulations.
- Veterinarians cannot legally counsel you on CBD as an option for pets if there are still conventional methods of treatment available to try.
There are many potential benefits to using CBD supplements with your pets. But, do your homework and weigh the pros and cons before you start administering.