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Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil for Pets: What’s the Difference?

Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil for Pets: What’s the Difference?

As CBD becomes more popular, many pet owners might be curious about the benefits of this wellness resource not only for themselves but also for their cats and dogs. Because CBD oil is relatively new to the market, there is a lot of confusion about CBD oil vs hemp oil. The two are related, but they are not the same thing! Inconsistency around labeling and language with these two different products has caused confusion for many consumers, and we’re here to set the record straight for you and your furry family.

It’s important to understand the exact differences between hemp oil vs CBD oil for pets to become an informed consumer and a responsible pet parent. From how these oils are made to how they’ll affect your beloved animal, here’s what you need to know. 

What Is Hemp Oil for Pets?

To understand the differences between hemp oil vs CBD oil for pets, you need to start by understanding exactly what these substances are separately. We’ll start with hemp.

Hemp is a specific type of cannabis plant. The 2018 Farm Bill changed America’s federal laws to recognize hemp as different from other cannabis plants, such as the marijuana cannabis plant, which is high in the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Unlike marijuana, industrial hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC, meaning any derivations from the industrial hemp plant won’t get you – or your pet – high. 

How Hemp Seed Oil Is Made

Hemp seed oil is made by cleaning and cold-pressing seeds from the Cannabis sativa plant. The oil that is pressed from the seeds is then refined and put into hemp seed oil products. Hemp seed oil has no cannabinoids or terpenes in it, including zero THC and little to no CBD, because it is made from the seeds rather than other parts of the plant which contain that cannabinoid profile. 

The Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil

Specifically, hemp seed oil is a nutritional supplement made from refining the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil doesn’t offer the same array of benefits as CBD oil, but it still provides some natural wellness support.

Hemp seed oil is high in omega-6 and omega-3, which are essential fatty acids. It’s also a great dietary source of protein and contains high levels of vitamins B and D, as well as antioxidants. Hemp seed oil is added to many food products and body products for humans because of these qualities. Some folks also choose to use it on their pets for the same reason.

It’s important to remember that these are all benefits of hemp oil explored in humans. When it comes to pets, the studies are more limited. Perhaps the most important difference? Hemp oil contains little or no CBD, which is the compound that generates the wellness benefits that pet owners are buzzing about these days. 


What Is CBD Oil for Pets?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the hemp plant. It is derived from the plant through a variety of processes, the most popular of which are CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, a processing system shared by humans, dogs, and many other animals. The ECS affects many parts of our bodies and our pet’s bodies, such as skin, digestion, sleep, and appetite. 

Qualities of a Great CBD Oil for Pets

There are a few crucial label items that pet owners should look for in a high-quality CBD oil for pets. A quality CBD oil will be THC-free* – you don’t want Fido or Fluffy having any psychoactive side effects. The only way to know for sure that a product is THC-free is through a Certificate of Analysis provided by an independent, third-party laboratory. 

It’s also important that your pet CBD oil is made from domestically grown USA hemp. Since the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. has had very stringent requirements for growing and cultivating hemp, meaning that a product from America is closely monitored from seed to shelf.

A Note About Language With Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Pets

When it comes to this topic of hemp oil vs. CBD oil for pets, it’s often an issue of language. It’s not uncommon for people to use the terms hemp oil and CBD oil interchangeably, so sometimes the phrase “hemp oil” is actually referring to CBD oil rather than a true hemp seed oil. This language is slightly inaccurate and inconsistent, so pet owners need to pay close attention to the exact ingredients in any pet product they choose to give their furry friend. 

A brightly colored diagram shows the different chemical make ups of broad vs full spectrum cbd

Different Types of CBD for Pets

Once you understand CBD oil in a general sense, it’s vital to understand that not all CBD oils are the same. The hemp plant contains more than 80 cannabinoids – CBD, THC, CBN, and many others. CBD is just one of these compounds, and there are a few different types of CBD. So it’s not just an issue of simply hemp oil vs. CBD oil – it’s a bigger issue of what kind of CBD oil we’re discussing:

  • CBD isolate
  • Full Spectrum CBD
  • Broad Spectrum CBD
  • Superior Broad Spectrum

Just CBD: What Is CBD Isolate? 

CBD isolate is pure CBD molecules, meaning that the extraction process removed all of the other terpenes and cannabinoids. While isolate reduces the risk of THC appearing on a drug test for humans, it also denies consumers (animal ones, too!) the benefit of a wide range of other helpful terpenes and cannabinoids from the hemp plant.

Next Up: Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD oil contains CBD molecules along with an array of other compounds from the plant, including small amounts of THC. Because of the rules about how industrial hemp is legally defined, even a full spectrum product won’t have enough THC to create psychoactive effects. 

Another Choice: Broad Spectrum 

Broad spectrum CBD is the middle ground between isolate and full spectrum CBD. This form is made in different ways, but the common theme is that it includes some other cannabinoids and terpenes but no detectable THC. Before Paw CBD’s parent company cbdMD created Superior Broad Spectrum formula products, broad spectrum CBD delivered the most holistic wellness support on the market because it utilized the most powerful parts of the hemp plant without including the THC.

Superior Broad Spectrum

A special formula created by cbdMD (creator of Paw CBD), Superior Broad Spectrum is made with a selection of useful cannabinoids and terpenes carefully measured and tested to create a beneficial, consistent product. This formula is specifically designed to be conscious of our pet users, so it keeps the product THC-free* while also including components of the plant that are useful to your pet.

A bottle of 300 mg cbd oil for dogs sits in a bowl of dog food near a tennis ball

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs

There will be different benefits when considering these two wellness support for dogs. Here are some of the most common issues or daily stressors pets can experience that have led pet owners to consider CBD oil vs hemp oil for dogs:

  • Separation issues
  • Noise aversion
  • Physical discomfort

CBD Oil for Pets Can Help with Dog Separation Issues

Some dogs struggle when left alone and exhibit signs of stress such as barking, pacing, chewing furniture, cowering, or trembling when their owners are out of the house for an extended time, like during work or school hours. Some worried pet parents have heard from neighbors when their dog barks incessantly or have seen these behaviors on their pet cam for themselves, leading them to try CBD oil to help support a sense of calm in their canine companions.

Noise Aversion Can Be Mitigated with CBD for Pets

Ever noticed your puppy's ears perk up at the tiniest sound? Dogs have super sensitive hearing, and loud events like Fourth of July fireworks, parties, and thunderstorms can cause Fido to demonstrate some of those stress signals mentioned above. CBD, especially when combined with extra calming support like melatonin or L-tryptophan, can soothe your dog’s stress during especially loud events or experiences. 

CBD Supports Physical Comfort and Activity 

As dogs get older, you might notice they take a little longer to get down the stairs or stand up from their dog bed. Even younger dogs might experience muscle stiffness after a long, playful day at the dog park. Some pet owners have noticed that CBD oil for dogs helps ease their pet’s discomfort and supports freedom of movement. This is crucial because physical activity is part of keeping your dog happy and healthy for a long time.

How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs

There are several fun ways to give CBD oil to your dog! Here are some examples of the delivery methods and the benefits of each:

  • Tinctures
  • Treats
  • Wellness-supporting formulas
  • Peanut butter
  • Topicals 

CBD Tinctures Are Varied and Specific


CBD Oil Tinctures for Dogs offer an easy way to choose the serving size for your pet. A tincture is a great choice if you have more than one dog at home, and each needs a different serving size. Plus, you have some choices when you purchase a tincture – one option is to drizzle the oil on a treat or your dog’s food bowl. But if they’ve already eaten and you’re trying to get out of the house, you can also just feed them the tasty oil directly with the safe plastic dropper.


For Portability, Try CBD Treats for Dogs

Every pupper speaks the language of treats! CBD Treats for Dogs offer a simple, pre-measured method for administering the same amount every day. Plus, treats are a no-mess way to give your dog their CBD at any time and in any place – from the dog park to the hiking trail to the living room.

Unique Formulas Can Support Other Wellness Goals 

CBD doesn’t have to stand alone in your pet’s natural wellness regime. It can combine with other active ingredients, like the glucosamine hydrochloride that supports mobility in our CBD Hip+Joint Chews for Dogs, or the melatonin in CBD Calming Oil for Dogs, which helps with relaxation and maintaining a healthy, normal sleep cycle. 

Consider CBD Peanut Butter for Dogs

Peanut butter is always a good choice for a happy dog – especially when it’s infused with the wellness benefits of CBD. If you find yourself always adding your CBD tincture to a little bit of dog-safe peanut butter, you might consider just getting the peanut butter already infused with CBD so you can avoid the extra step of mixing. CBD peanut butter also makes a great, easy ingredient for homemade dog treats

CBD Topicals Are Precise and Soothing

Give your busy, hard-working dog (or your sweet-but-lazy pet) a nice paw massage with the natural comfort of CBD balm. Balms are wonderful because they can offer moisture and CBD support to specific areas like paws, noses, or hot spots. Especially if you think your dog needs some extra TLC for their muscles, joints, or skin, CBD balms are a wonderful application method. 

Another topical option is CBD shampoo for dogs, which can make bath time extra-relaxing and even soothe your dog’s itchy skin. 

A bottle of 150 mg cbd oil for cats sits next to a bowl of cat food and a ball of yarn

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Cats

When it comes to cats, some of the same benefits lauded by dog parents are also applicable. Cat parents have considered CBD oil vs hemp oil for cats to support their pets in the following situations:

  • Discomfort or struggles with mobility
  • Skin issues
  • Stress maintenance

Does Your Cat Appear Stiff or Less Limber? 

Even the healthiest, most active kitty can experience soreness and muscle stiffness at the end of a long day of chasing the elusive red dot. If you notice that Fluffy can’t crawl up her cat tower as easily these days, it might be worth checking out CBD oil for cats, which can support physical comfort and ease of movement. 

Many Cats Struggle with Skin Issues

Cats can sometimes experience dry or itchy skin. Some cat owners have reported that CBD oil for cats helped their pet struggling with skin issues feel more comfortable. CBD can certainly support your cat’s maintenance of calm, and a calm cat is less likely to excessively lick their fur and give themselves hot spots. 

Stress Maintenance for Cats with CBD

Just like people and all other animals, cats can experience stress. From nail trims and grooming to being in a carrier, or even just enduring a couple of dinner guests, your cat might tell you they feel stressed out with excessive, loud mewling or hiding under couches and beds. Some cat parents have said that CBD oil for cats helped reduce these stress signs during everyday situations. You want to give your cat every tool they need to stay happy and relaxed – CBD can support those goals.

How to Give CBD Oil to Cats

Kitties have super sensitive digestion, so it’s important to buy a product specifically formulated for cats. As with any animal, it’s important to start with the smallest serving size for your pet’s weight. Monitor your cat closely for 30 days and look for signs of CBD’s benefits. Shadow might chase his yarn ball a little faster or scarf down his dinner a little more quickly. If you haven’t noticed a difference after 30 days, increase the serving size by a small amount and continue to monitor. 

Don’t be afraid to try a few different delivery methods when introducing CBD to your feline friend – what works for one cat might not be best for another. Here are some choices to consider:

  • CBD tinctures for cats
  • Cat CBD chews
  • Bundles for a variety of products

CBD Oil Tinctures for Cats

If you have more than one cat at home and they have different serving sizes, or if you just want complete control over how much to administer to your pet, CBD oil tinctures make a great choice. Our regular CBD Oil Tincture for Cats is a great choice if you’re just starting out and want to see how your cat responds to CBD. Alternatively, if regulating your cat’s sleep and wake cycles is a health goal for you and Mr. Socks, you might try our Calming CBD Oil for Cats with melatonin.  

You can add these CBD oils to your cat’s food (wet or dry), or even place the right amount on a treat before handing it over to your feline friend. Our plastic droppers and tasty flavors also make it simple to deliver the oil directly into your cat’s mouth. 

Soft Chews for Tender Teeth

CBD Soft Chews for Cats are perfect for a cat’s sensitive teeth. Many cats struggle with dental issues and can’t handle a treat that’s too big, hard, or crunchy, so we designed our chews to be tender and small enough for any cat to enjoy. Chews offer pre-measured, mess-free, portable simplicity in your feline CBD routine

CBD Kidney Support Chews for Cats include licorice root and nettle leaf to help support kidney wellness. Kidney issues are common among cats and keeping their kidneys in tip-top function is crucial for their longevity and overall health. Using a specific formula like this allows you to provide multiple health benefits to your kitty in a single tasty bite, which is simpler for you and great for your cat, too!

Bundle for Curiosity and Simplicity

CBD Bundles make it easy for you to try a few different products to identify what works best for your pet. Whether you’re new to CBD for cats or looking to find a different product that will give your kitty all the best wellness benefits, bundles are a wallet-friendly way to try new products. 

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil: The Importance of Pet-Specific Products

In states where marijuana use is legal, some CBD products for people might contain additional THC if they are not hemp-derived. That’s part of the reason it’s important to use pet-specific CBD products always, regardless of what you think about the “hemp oil vs CBD oil for pets” discussion. 

When examining the differences in hemp oil vs CBD oil for pets, you need to think about your goals for your pet and your lifestyle. The conversation comes down to what you’re looking for and the quality of the product you use. No matter what, you want the best for your beloved animal friend!


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