As CBD for humans continues to gain popularity around the world, so too does CBD for pets. As people come to recognize the value of this natural substance for their own health and wellness, more and more are sharing it with their animals.
And that’s wonderful.
Maybe you already use it as part of your pet’s daily supplement regimen. If so, that’s amazing! Or, perhaps you’ve been considering using CBD with your own animals. Maybe you’ve been doing research about which oils are best, or how to use it. And that’s really great – the more information you have, the better!
No matter what stage you’re at, these are some important things you should know about CBD oil for pets.
How CBD for Pets Works in your Animal’s Body
Dogs and cats (almost all animals in fact) have an endocannabinoid system just like humans, so CBD for pets works just the same in animals as the CBD you would use for yourself.
This is an intricate system that runs throughout the body. It’s is made up of different cannabinoid receptors.
These receptors are classified in two distinct categories – CB1 and CB2 – and they’re found all throughout your pet’s body – in the brain, the major organs, the bones, the skin, and the immune system.
When you give your pet CBD, it heads out into this system and interacts with those receptors. If something is going on in the body, messages are sent to those receptors and they deliver the cannabinoids where they need to go. That’s why CBD is considered so valuable for so many different things – the body decides where it’s most needed, and puts it to work.
THC vs. CBD
Now, this is important. As cannabis becomes legal in more places around the world, we’re seeing a rise in the number of vet visits related to marijuana ingestion.
But it’s not because of the CBD in the marijuana (yes, most strains do contain at least some CBD). It’s because of the THC.
Pets can become intoxicated by cannabis in various ways; by inhaling second-hand smoke, eating edibles, or ingesting it directly. Most of the time, this is accidental as curious pets go sniffing around. The problem is, dogs have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains, which means the effects of cannabis are more dramatic (and potentially more toxic) when compared to humans. Just a small amount is all it takes to cause toxicity in cats and dogs.
So – does that mean CBD is a no-no for pets? NO! CBD and THC are two completely different cannabinoids. CBD does not have the same chemical composition, and it isn’t intoxicating like THC. As long as you get a product with less that 0.3% THC (that’s the legal limit in most states), you’re good.
Will CBD make your dog high? No, since CBD itself is non-intoxicating, so that’s not something you need to worry about. The most it will do is cause some mild sedation – and if you’re using it as a calming mechanism, that’s not necessarily a bad thing!
Tips for Choosing the Right CBD Oil for Your Furry Friend
So, how do you choose the right CBD for your pet?
- Look for Organic CBD Oil. This is one of the most important things to look for. Hemp absorbs toxins from the soil, toxins which can then be transferred to your pet. You want to make sure that the CBD oil you’re buying comes from organically grown hemp. That way, you can be sure it’s free from pesticides or fungicides, which can be harmful to your pup’s health.
- Check the Certificate of Analysis. Any legitimate CBD company will offer up a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a third party laboratory. This certificate outlines all of the testing done on the CBD oil to ensure it’s pure and that it contains what the label says it contains.
- Look at How it’s Made. There are several safe methods for manufacturing CBD oil. Our top pick is Supercritical CO2 extraction. Some companies, however, use cheap methods and potentially toxic solvents, like propane, hexane and butane, which can then remain in the oil, potentially making it unsafe for your pet.
- Check that THC Content. Checking the THC content is important for legality, since some States still require limits of no more than 0.3%. That said, it’s also important to check the levels to ensure the safest use for your pet.
How to Use CBD for Pets
If you’re just starting out, we recommend using a basic tincture made with a carrier oil (coconut oil, hemp oil), and putting it right into your pet’s mouth. The carrier oil makes it more bioavailable, and putting it in your pet’s mouth gets it into the bloodstream faster.
That being said, we know not all animals will like that, so you can also add it to their food. With this method, it needs to be digested first, so it can take longer to work.
How much should you be giving? The right dosage of CBD for your pet can vary depending on the situation. Some animals have more receptors in their bodies than others, and you may need to experiment to find the right amount and how often.
In general through, a decent guideline to follow is 1-5 mg CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight.
- X-Small dog or cat (up to 10lbs) = 1-2MG per day
- Small dog or large cat (10-25lbs) = 2-3MG per day
- Medium dog (25-50lbs) = 3-5MG per day
- Large dog (50-75lbs) = 5-8MG per day
- X-Large dog (75-100lbs) = 8-10MG per day
Start out slowly, and work up to the recommended doses. That will help you find your pet’s sweet spot!
CBD for pets is a great natural substance that we’re so happy more and more people are using. And we hope that these points give you even more information about this amazing compound!