This article is not a substitute for veterinary diagnosis or treatment of any condition, symptom, or disease. Please consult with your veterinarian before using hemp products on your pet.
Here at Lolahemp, we want our customers to be knowledgeable about CBD oil and its potential health benefits. This article is meant to be your one-stop-shop for learning more about this natural product, how it works, and understanding the scientific research on CBD that has been going on for 3 decades.
We will start with some frequently asked questions about CBD for dogs. If you would like to click through to our comprehensive list of research on CBD oil, click here.
If you’re interested in learning more about CBD Oil for Cats, click here.
Answering Your Questions About CBD:
What is the difference between CBD oil and Hemp oil?
What does “full spectrum” mean?
How much should I give my dog?
Can CBD interact with other medications?
What if my vet won't discuss CBD oil?
Are there research studies about CBD oil?
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound that is one of 80+ “cannabinoids” found in the cannabis family. In particular, it is found in and often extracted from hemp, a set of strains in the cannabis family that are defined by law to have less than .3% THC, another well-known cannabinoid.
For pet owners, the fact that hemp is low in THC is important. This is the compound found in high concentrations in medical and recreational grades of marijuana, causing the “high” associated with this plant. It turns out that our pets are extra sensitive to large amounts of THC.
A large amount of CBD, on the other hand, does not have psychoactive effects. And, CBD has been the subject of decades of research as to its potential health and wellness benefits.
And, yes, CBD is safe for our pets.
Interestingly, cannabinoids are not just found in plants from the cannabis family. For example, plants in the cone flower and daisy families, among others, also contain cannabinoids. Many common foods such as chocolate, tea, turmeric, cinnamon, and oregano stimulate the body’s endocannabinoid system in ways similar to cannabinoids found in plants.
Per the chart below, there are actually 3 classes of cannabinoids. These include endocannabinoids that are actually produced by the body itself as part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is responsible for balancing many natural processes in the body including mood, sleep, immune system function, digestion, skin health, pain, and inflammation responses, and more.
The Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil
There is a lot of confusion about these two terms because the hemp industry often uses these terms interchangeably.
In most cases, both are extracts made from the hemp plant and both include the addition of carrier oils like MCT oil in order to balance the concentration of CBD in the product. Carrier oils help our bodies to regulate the CBD absorbed through the product.
On the other hand, hemp seed oil is a completely different product. Made from refining the oil from the seeds of the hemp plant, this oil has little or no CBD in it since the cannabidiol compound is not found in high concentrations in the seeds.
Hemp Seed oil is generally sold as a dietary supplement because it is high in fatty acids among other things. However, hemp seed oil will not provide enough CBD to give your pet the benefits associated with CBD products.
If you want to learn more about the differences between various oils associated with hemp & cannabis, read the following article: Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Oil, and CBD Oil for Dogs: What’s the Difference?
How does CBD work?
Most of the research studies on CBD oil concerning mental and physical functions in the body are focused on how the compound stimulates the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a system which is found in the body of all mammals.
This system, which was discovered in the early 1990s, is responsible for balancing a wide variety of other systems in the body including digestion, mood, skin, immunity, inflammatory responses, and more.
The ECS facilitates the body’s own production of endocannabinoids and hosts cannabinoid receptors and transmitters throughout the body. This system communicates with other systems in the body such as the central and peripheral nervous systems, the gut, the brain, and the skin.
When ingested, CBD binds to receptors in the ECS, which then adjusts its management of various systems in the body. Depending on the dosage, method of application, and the individual in question, this process will produce different effects.
Is CBD Legal?
Yes. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and hemp products legal in all 50 states. And, CBD for pets is available without a prescription.
That being said, there are strict regulations on the legal classification of hemp, farming, and labeling of hemp-based products. Many of these regulations are still being worked out as states transition from the prohibition of all cannabis products to the federal legalization of hemp, a special class of cannabis with less than .3% of the psychoactive compound THC.
What Does “Full Spectrum” Mean?
When it comes to dogs and CBD oil (a.k.a. Hemp Oil), there are two main classifications: Full Spectrum and CBD Isolate.
Unless a CBD product is labeled as full spectrum, it’s usually based on a CBD isolate formula. During extraction, chemical and mechanical processes are used to refine and isolate the specific compound CBD, usually into a powder, before adding this purified powder to tinctures, edibles, and topicals.
Products based on CBD isolate usually contain zero THC. This is often used as a selling point. However, critics of CBD isolate products point out that they lack the supportive healing effects of a whole plant cannabinoid profile, known by researchers as “The Entourage Effect.”
Full Spectrum CBD Oil:
On the other hand, full spectrum CBD products carefully refine the whole hemp plant with gentle methods to preserve the delicate balance of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes found in hemp. Broad spectrum is the same as full spectrum in most cases, although some companies might use the term “broad spectrum” if they’ve removed one or two compounds from their product.
There is research to support the idea that full-spectrum oils are more effective because, even in trace amounts, the other compounds found in hemp have a synergistic healing effect.
That said, not all full spectrum products are the same. Be sure to view a third-party lab’s examination of any CBD oil before you buy. Here at Lolahemp, our hemp oil for dogs is a robust full spectrum oil that contains a wide range of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes that are naturally occurring in the hemp plant.
Want to be sure? Check out our Lab Tests.
Is CBD oil safe for dogs?
The safety of CBD in people and pets has been tested in a clinical context.
It has been deemed safe for both with minimal adverse effects which can include a sedative effect and mild gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea. In fact, the side effects of CBD oil for dogs are often less severe than the potential adverse effects from commonly prescribed veterinary medications.
In other words…
Clinical studies have shown that CBD is safe for dogs.
That being said, major longitudinal clinical tests are still lacking. Many vets and pet parents alike need to weigh the risks and benefits in context. For example, many commonly prescribed veterinary medications have known side effects, some of which are debilitating and quite severe (see table below).
In addition, CBD can interact with other medications, similar to other foods and medications classed as CYP450 metabolic pathway inhibitors.
We go into greater detail in our article CBD Oil for Dogs: Potential Drug Interactions.
How much CBD should I give my dog?
At this time, there is no industry standard in terms of the concentration of CBD oil for pets (or people). This means that two drops of one product can have dramatically different amounts of CBD than two drops of another brand.
Be sure that you buy canine CBD oil from a company that offers clear dosing instructions for their product, such as Lolahemp. Below you will find dosing instructions for our full spectrum CBD oil for pets.
According to research, CBD has a wide range of safe dosing parameters. The general rule of thumb is to start low and increase slowly until the desired results are achieved.
How Do I Give It To My Dog?
CBD can be administered both topically or orally.
For example, if you purchase a CBD oil tincture then you can place the drops on your hand for your dog to lick up, or add their dose to some food so that they ingest it.
You can also administer tinctures or specially formulated CBD topicals directly to the skin to possibly reduce inflammation from allergies or hot spots.
Can CBD Oil be Applied Topically?
Benefits of Topical Use:
- Target the area of the skin or joints most affected by pain and inflammation
- Faster absorption, bypasses the digestive system
- Quicker relief from itchiness or stiffness
- Soothe and moisturize the affected area
You can either apply CBD oil tinctures directly to the skin or purchase a CBD oil balm made just for pets, such as the one offered here at Lolahemp. If you decide to go for a cream or salve, look for natural ingredients that have been added to support the skin-soothing properties of CBD.
Here at Lolahemp, we want only the best for your pet. Our CBD-infused balm starts with our full spectrum organic hemp oil with the following natural ingredients added to boost the skin healing support:
- Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
- Shea Butter
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice
Can CBD oil interact with other medications?
Yes. CBD can interact with pet medications.
If your pet is taking other medications, it is very important that you discuss using CBD with your vet first.
CBD oil, like many other foods and medications, is known as a CYP450 metabolic pathway inhibitor. That is, it can interfere with the metabolism of pharmaceuticals that make use of the Cytochrome P450 family of enzymes found in the liver.
For example, if you take heart medications, you may have been told by your doctor to avoid eating grapefruit within a few hours of taking your medications. This is the same kind of interaction we need to be aware of with CBD for dogs.
To understand more about CBD and drug interactions, be sure to check out our full article on the subject here: CBD Oil for Dogs: Potential Drug Interactions.
What if My Vet Won't Discuss CBD Oil with Me?
Although CBD oil for pets is available without a prescription, we still recommend that our customers talk with their vet about the use of our product. This is because not only can CBD interact with other medications, but we do not feel it is responsible to diagnose and treat your pet without the advice of a qualified veterinarian.
However, because veterinarian licensure is controlled at the state level, some vets are restricted from even discussing CBD for fear of loss of their license. And, because the use of CBD in human and animal health is relatively new, some vets prefer to wait until more research is done on dosing and treatment with CBD products.
One potential avenue to explore if your traditional vet will not discuss the use of CBD with you is to consult with a holistic veterinarian in your area. Not only do holistic vets have all of the same training as traditional vets, but they also have added training in the use of non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical options, such as nutraceuticals.
Many holistic vets have been using canine CBD in their clinical practice for years and have the experience with other pets in their care to give you solid guidance on the safe use of CBD as part of your dog’s overall wellness plan.
One other piece of advice that we can offer is that if your vet recommends traditional pharmaceuticals for your pet is to ask them thoroughly discuss the risks and potential side effects of the drug. This can help you make an informed decision based on what is best for your pet.
Research Studies that Explore the Potential Health Benefits of CBD Oil
Cannabidiol and the Endocannabinoid System have been the subject of scientific and medical research for 30 years. While veterinary medicine has been somewhat behind the curve, there are also some studies on pets, including a few clinical trials.
We want our customers and all interested people to educate themselves about the ongoing research on cannabis-based compounds, including CBD. Below this video, you can find links to dozens of peer-reviewed research studies.
Your Comprehensive Guide to CBD Oil for Dogs
We hope to have answered all of your questions about CBD for dogs in this comprehensive guide. However, we are here if you still have some questions left unanswered. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions. We are here to help!