CBD Oil for Cats: Uses, Side Effects & More

Posted by Joey DiFrancesco on

Orange cat laying down with hemp leaf

Many people in the dog world have been using CBD for years. But what about cats? This article will help you learn more about CBD oil for cats so that you can make informed decisions for your feline friend. 

Here are the most frequently asked questions cat owners often ask about CBD oil. Click the link below to jump to the answers you are most interested in learning about:

What is CBD?
How does CBD work?
Are CBD oil and hemp oil the same thing?
What does full-spectrum mean and is it good for my cat?
Is CBD oil safe for cats?
Do I need a prescription to give CBD oil to my cat?
How much CBD oil is right for my cat?
What if my vet won’t talk to me about CBD?
How do I make sure to get a high-quality CBD oil for my cat?
Is there any scientific research on CBD oil?

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the many cannabinoids found in plants from the cannabis family. 

As one of the two most-researched compounds found in hemp, cannabidiol has been the subject of hundreds of research studies over the last three decades. These studies include medical research on anxiety, inflammation, pain, sleep, appetite, mood, metabolism, a wide variety of skin problems, immunity, gut health, and more. 

Unlike THC, the compound found in marijuana that creates the psychological effect known as a “high,” CBD is not psychoactive. And, because the hemp strains of cannabis plants are legally required to have less than .3% of THC, CBD oil made from hemp is safe for pets, including cats.

Three Classes of Cannabinoids Infographic

How Does CBD Work?

CBD and the other natural compounds found in hemp interact with the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system was discovered in the 1980s, and scientists have learned that the ECS acts as a regulator for balance or “homeostasis” in a variety of bodily functions. 

The ECS works with the central and peripheral nervous systems to regulate processes including pain, inflammation, appetite, mood, memory, the immune system, digestion, sleep, skin health, and more. 

It’s important to understand that the ECS includes special receptors, transmitters, as well as chemicals called endocannabinoids which are produced by the body itself. 

Evolutionary scientists have argued that the Endocannabinoid System and the diets of early hunter-gatherers may have coevolved. They suggest that adding cannabinoids back into the diet may help mitigate some of the issues caused by modern diets packed with processed grains and carbohydrates.

And yes, your cat has an endocannabinoid system. In fact, all mammals on the planet have one!

The Endocannabinoid System Infographic

Are CBD Oil and Hemp Oil The Same Thing?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions from cat owners. The answer is a little bit complicated because the hemp and CBD industries are rapidly evolving right now. 

The short answer is that in many cases, hemp oil and CBD oil can refer to the same thing. In some cases, however, they don’t. That’s why it’s important to dig a little deeper and learn more about the quality of the product you’re purchasing for your pet. 

Most hemp and CBD oils are made by refining the hemp plant. Both usually contain the compound CBD. However, given that CBD is the active ingredient in such oils, you should only purchase products that have the CBD dosage clearly labeled, from companies backed up by third-party lab tests

On the other hand, beware of hemp seed oil for cats. Although it may be a healthy supplement for some cats, it does not contain appreciable amounts of the compound CBD since it is made from the seeds of the hemp plant. Many manufacturers on the market are misleading on this issue, so buyer beware!

What Does “Full-Spectrum Mean and Is It Good for My Cat?

If the products are labeled as “full-spectrum” they also have trace amounts of other cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. 

Many believe that full-spectrum oils are more effective because trace amounts of additional flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids found in these oils have a synergistic effect in healing processes, known by scientists as "The Entourage Effect."

For example, Lolahemp’s CBD tinctures, topicals, and chews are all made using full-spectrum organic hemp oil that is slowly processed using low temperature and pressure, producing a robust full-spectrum CBD oil for your cat. See our batch lab results to learn more. 

Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

Vets and pet owners alike have found that CBD is safe for cats. However, it’s worth mentioning that there have been no large-scale studies done on CBD for cats, and no CBD-based drugs have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of cat disorders or diseases. 

We recommend that you work with your vet or consult with a holistic vet to make sure you give your cat CBD oil safely. 

Does My Cat Need a CBD Oil Prescription?


CBD oil and hemp oil are now available for pets without a prescription. However, we recommend that you discuss using CBD oil for cats (as well as side effects from traditional medications) with your vet to determine appropriate dosing for his or her case as well as to avoid any potential drug interactions

In addition, please be sure to do your research to make sure you are getting high-quality CBD products made to be safe for cats.

CBD Oil Drug Interactions Infographic

What’s The Right Dosage?

Again, we recommend working with your vet to work out a dose that is best for your cat’s condition. However, as a general guideline, you can start at 1mg per 10lbs of cat weight, twice daily.

Since different CBD products on the market can have very different concentrations of CBD, you need to be careful about the dose in the actual product you use.

For example, with Lolahemp tinctures, 2 drops = 1 mg of CBD. Note that this dropper guideline will not be the same with other brands so be careful when calculating dosing. 

The general rule when using any hemp products is to start low and increase the dosage slowly until the desired effects are achieved. If you notice any side effects such as nausea, drooling, excess tiredness, or tremors of any kind, it is wise to stop giving CBD to your cat and consult with your vet. 

What if My Vet Won’t Talk to Me About CBD?

Up until just recently, hemp-based products had a questionable legal standing. However, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and hemp products legal in the U.S. 

Further complicating matters is the fact that many veterinarians are restricted from discussing CBD with their clients due to restrictive or unclear state veterinary licensing requirements. 

Some veterinarians, such as those in California, have even had to resort to legislative action to gain protection when discussing the potential therapeutic values of cannabis-based medicine with their clients. 

If your vet is unwilling to discuss using CBD for your cat, you may want to consult with a holistic veterinarian. These vets have additional training that includes the use of natural products, known as nutraceuticals, in their clinical practices. Because these vets are often more experienced in the use of CBD with pets, they can be a better resource for informed cat owners.

Orange cat laying down with hemp leaf

How Do I Make Sure I’m Using High-Quality CBD Oil?

One of the most important things you can do to help your cat is to do your research before buying any CBD or hemp product for them. 

The reason for this is that the demand for CBD pet products is exploding right now as word of mouth spreads. And, unfortunately, some companies are taking advantage of that by selling low-quality or even harmful products. 

Here at Lolahemp, quality is our number one priority. Here are some of the key features that make Lolahemp CBD the right choice for your cat:

  • We start with hand-harvested organic hemp grown at a family farm in Colorado. 
  • We test our products three times from seed to bottle. 
  • We offer third-party lab testing for every single batch of our oil, tied to a QR code on every product we sell. 
  • We offer a robust full-spectrum CBD oil made just for pets.
  • Our products contain no harmful additives like artificial flavors or sweeteners that can be toxic to pets. 
  • We include accurate and veterinarian-recommended dosing guidelines for our products.
  • We use MCT coconut oil for our carrier oils, considered ideal for optimal cannabinoid absorption.
  • We are a Pets Before Profits company with a strong commitment to animal welfare.

Is There Any Scientific Research on CBD Oil?

It is no surprise that veterinary medical research is often several years behind the human-based iterations of various supplements and drugs. However, research on CBD and hemp has been going on for decades. 

Below, you can find a list of links to helpful research studies on CBD. Each link goes to a primary scientific paper published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. 

CBD and Anxiety

Wright M, Di Ciano P, Brands B. Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2020.

Jurkus R, Day HLL, Guimarães FS, Lee JLC, Bertoglio LJ, Stevenson CW. Cannabidiol Regulation of Learned Fear: Implications for Treating Anxiety-Related Disorders. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:454.

Masataka N. Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2466.

Assareh N, Gururajan A, Zhou C, Luo JL, Kevin RC, Arnold JC. Cannabidiol disrupts conditioned fear expression and cannabidiolic acid reduces trauma-induced anxiety-related behaviour in mice. Behav Pharmacol. May 2020.

Zieba J, Sinclair D, Sebree T, et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces anxiety-related behavior in mice via an FMRP-independent mechanism. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2019;181:93-100.

CBD and Arthritis

Philpott HT, O’Brien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442.

Gamble L-J, Boesch JM, Frye CW, et al. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2018;5:165.

Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla PF, et al. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000;97(17):9561-9566.

CBD & Digestion and Gut Health

Izzo AA, Muccioli GG, Ruggieri MR, Schicho R. Endocannabinoids and the Digestive Tract and Bladder in Health and Disease. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2015;231:423-447.

Capasso R, Borrelli F, Aviello G, et al. Cannabidiol, extracted from Cannabis sativa, selectively inhibits inflammatory hypermotility in mice. Br J Pharmacol. 2008;154(5):1001-1008.

De Filippis D, Esposito G, Cirillo C, et al. Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28159.

Couch DG, Cook H, Ortori C, Barrett D, Lund JN, O’Sullivan SE. Palmitoylethanolamide and Cannabidiol Prevent Inflammation-induced Hyperpermeability of the Human Gut In Vitro and In Vivo—A Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Controlled Trial. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2019;25(6):1006-1018.

CBD Drug Interactions

Bornheim LM, Grillo MP. Characterization of cytochrome P450 3A inactivation by cannabidiol: possible involvement of cannabidiol-hydroxyquinone as a P450 inactivator. Chem Res Toxicol. 1998;11(10):1209-1216.

Full-Spectrum CBD & The Entourage Effect

Maayah ZH, Takahara S, Ferdaoussi M, Dyck JRB. The molecular mechanisms that underpin the biological benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain and inflammation. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2020;1866(7):165771.

Hecksel R, LaVigne J, Streicher JM. In Defense of the “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Found in Cannabis sativa Activate the Cannabinoid Receptor 1 In Vitro. The FASEB Journal. 2020;34(S1):1-1.

Russo EB. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Frontiers in Plant Science. 2019;9.

Ferber SG, Namdar D, Hen-Shoval D, et al. The “Entourage Effect”: Terpenes Coupled with Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Mood Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. Current Neuropharmacology. 2020;18(2):87-96.

CBD and Inflammation

Burstein S. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorg Med Chem. 2015;23(7):1377-1385.

Barrie N, Manolios N. The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease. Eur J Rheumatol Inflamm. 2017;4(3):210-218.

Maayah ZH, Takahara S, Ferdaoussi M, Dyck JRB. The molecular mechanisms that underpin the biological benefits of full-spectrum cannabis extract in the treatment of neuropathic pain and inflammation. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2020;1866(7):165771.

De Filippis D, Esposito G, Cirillo C, et al. Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28159.

Staton PC, Hatcher JP, Walker DJ, et al. The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 plays a role in mechanical hyperalgesia associated with inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Pain. 2008;139(1):225-236.

CBD and Nausea

Parker LA, Mechoulam R, Schlievert C. Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis and its synthetic dimethylheptyl homolog suppress nausea in an experimental model with rats. Neuroreport. 2002;13(5):567-570.

Rock EM, Bolognini D, Limebeer CL, et al. Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic component of cannabis, attenuates vomiting and nausea-like behaviour via indirect agonism of 5-HT(1A) somatodendritic autoreceptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus. Br J Pharmacol. 2012;165(8):2620-2634.

CBD and Pain Relief

Barrie N, Manolios N. The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease. Eur J Rheumatol Inflamm. 2017;4(3):210-218.

Staton PC, Hatcher JP, Walker DJ, et al. The putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55 plays a role in mechanical hyperalgesia associated with inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Pain. 2008;139(1):225-236.

Philpott HT, O’Brien M, McDougall JJ. Attenuation of early phase inflammation by cannabidiol prevents pain and nerve damage in rat osteoarthritis. Pain. 2017;158(12):2442.

Gregorio DD, De Gregorio D, McLaughlin RJ, et al. Cannabidiol modulates serotonergic transmission and reverses both allodynia and anxiety-like behavior in a model of neuropathic pain. PAIN. 2019;160(1):136-150.

Genaro K, Fabris D, Arantes ALF, Zuardi AW, Crippa JAS, Prado WA. Cannabidiol Is a Potential Therapeutic for the Affective-Motivational Dimension of Incision Pain in Rats. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:391.

The Safety of CBD

Bartner LR, McGrath S, Rao S, Hyatt LK, Wittenburg LA. Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol administered by 3 delivery methods at 2 different dosages to healthy dogs. Can J Vet Res. 2018;82(3):178-183.

Brutlag A, Hommerding H. Toxicology of Marijuana, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and Cannabidiol in Dogs and Cats. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2018;48(6):1087-1102.

Larsen C, Shahinas J. Dosage, Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol Administration in Adults: A Systematic Review of Human Trials. J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(3):129-141.

CBD’s Effect on Seizures

McGrath S, Bartner LR, Rao S, Packer RA, Gustafson DL. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2019;254(11):1301-1308.

Devinsky O, Cilio MR, Cross H, et al. Cannabidiol: pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia. 2014;55(6):791-802.

Tang R, Fang F. Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(7):699.

Jones NA, Glyn SE, Akiyama S, et al. Cannabidiol exerts anti-convulsant effects in animal models of temporal lobe and partial seizures. Seizure. 2012;21(5):344-352.

CBD and Skin Health (Dermatitis)

Petrosino S, Verde R, Vaia M, Allarà M, Iuvone T, Di Marzo V. Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2018;365(3):652-663.

Miltner, Noémi and Béke, et al. (Assessment of the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabidiol and its fluorinated derivative in in vitro and in vivo models of atopic dermatitis. International Investigative Dermatology 2018, 2018.05.16-19,

CBD and Skin Health (General)

Río CD, Millán E, García V, Appendino G, DeMesa J, Muñoz E. The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders. Biochem Pharmacol. 2018;157:122-133.

Bíró T, Tóth BI, Haskó G, Paus R, Pacher P. The endocannabinoid system of the skin in health and disease: novel perspectives and therapeutic opportunities. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009;30(8):411-420.

Want to Learn More About CBD for Cats?

We hope this guide to CBD for cats has answered all of your questions. We invite you to learn more about CBD through our educational blog. In addition, to hear from some of our verified customers about their success using Lolahemp CBD oil for cats, please visit our customer review page




























































← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment


Joey founded Lolahemp in 2018 after the success his own dog (Lola) experienced with hemp oil for her debilitating stress and anxiety. He has now made it his mission to educate pet owners everywhere on the benefits of holistic health and the therapeutic properties of the hemp plant. Joey is the visionary behind the brand, managing the director level team members and keeping the company's course. He enjoys long city walks with Lola, traveling with his wife Christa and spending time with family.
RuffRuff App RuffRuff App by Tsun