If you’ve become interested in the many benefits of CBD for pets, you might have some questions about the buying process. Because this is a relatively new substance, there are ever-evolving rules and regulations about how it is produced and sold.
Not only do you want to know you’re buying the most high-quality CBD oil for pets, but you also want to ensure the products you get are completely above-board when it comes to laws and safety. Here are some of our CBD buying tips to help you find the best CBD product for your dog or cat.
What Makes a High Quality CBD Oil
There are a few core characteristics of a high quality CBD oil for pets. These include:
- Made from Superior Broad Spectrum CBD
- Extracted from USA-grown hemp
- Doesn’t contain added fillers or artificial ingredients
- Comes in a variety of strengths with clear instructions
Superior Broad Spectrum: A Specific Formula
The quality of a CBD product will be determined by the quality of the CBD oil that it is made with. The hemp plant has a broad range of cannabinoids and terpenes, and these need to be carefully arranged and processed to create the best kind of CBD oil for your pet.
There are a variety of CBD extracts available, including isolates, full-spectrum products, and broad spectrum products. CBD isolates tend not to be ideal because they remove some of the other beneficial parts of the hemp plant, such as CBG or CBN, that can actually make the benefits of CBD more available to your pet. But, on the other hand, full spectrum products can be risky because they contain everything in the hemp plant – including the trace amounts of THC that are in there (and are not good or safe for your pet).
Our parent company, cbdMD, created a specific formula called Superior Broad Spectrum that extracts all the functional, useful parts of the hemp plant (including CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes), while removing all of the less functional or even harmful parts of it, including the THC. For this reason, the most high quality CBD oil for pets will be made from Superior Broad Spectrum CBD.
Why Domestic Hemp Is Better
When looking for the best CBD product for your pet, you should consider the life of the product from seed to shelf. CBD is derived from a plant, and the life of that plant will determine the quality of the final product. It’s all connected!
A hemp plant that was sprayed with dangerous pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals is unlikely to create a clean, healthy final CBD product. The rules about how hemp is grown domestically in the United States are very strict. Hemp farming is an involved, demanding process that farmers take very seriously.
In other places, the rules about what kind of farming techniques and tools can be used are less clear or more lenient. This is why the best CBD oil for pets will be made from domestically grown USA hemp.
No Added Fillers or Artificial Ingredients
In the same way, you don’t want pesticides in your CBD product, you don’t want fillers or artificial ingredients, either. Simplicity is a good thing when it comes to the recipe for a CBD oil product. The fewer unpronounceable words that are in the ingredient list, the more likely the product is wholesome and supportive for your canine or kitty companion.
The use of fillers in a CBD product indicates a laziness in product development. If you need to add a binder or something artificial to the product for volume, you could just as easily use one of the many ingredients that add nutritional value for a cat or dog. Likewise, the use of artificial ingredients never offers any benefits over the use of natural ones (other than being cheaper for manufacturing). Seek out a CBD product for pets that is thoughtfully designed for your pet’s health.
Clear Instructions and Different Potencies Indicate a Company’s Commitment
Another way to identify a high quality CBD oil product is by the instructions and strengths. The potency of a CBD product is measured in milligrams, and every animal will need a different amount depending on their size. Any CBD company that is reliable and trustworthy will not only recognize this but explain it clearly and obviously to their customers with straightforward labeling and instructions.
The best CBD oil for pets will not only come in a variety of potencies to accommodate all different sizes of animals, but it will also be species-specific. CBD products should be made for cats or dogs or humans or other animals, and the formulas and added ingredients will be different for each species. This species-specific design demonstrates a commitment to your pet’s health and high quality standards.
CBD Buying Tips: Look for These Important Label Terms and Certifications
In addition to finding CBD that has the core characteristics mentioned above, you should also look for a few certifications and label terms to ensure you’re getting the best product possible for your furry friend. Make sure your CBD for pets has:
- A Certificate of Analysis (COA)
- The words “THC-free*” on the label
- A NASC Quality Seal (for applicable products)
High Quality CBD Oil Products Will Have a Certificate of Analysis
A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a non-negotiable for a high quality CBD product. COAs demonstrate that a company’s label and ingredient list is accurate. A company that doesn’t offer a COA on its products or doesn’t make the COA easily accessible to consumers and potential customers should be examined with wariness.
COAs are a relatively simple way for CBD companies to prove that what they claim about their product is true. Unfortunately, there are a lot of discrepancies and misinformation in the labeling and ingredient lists of CBD products. COAs provide a quality standard that allows a third-party laboratory to test the product independently and verify the company’s claims. Be sure any CBD product you buy has a COA and make sure you know how to read it and understand the results.
THC-Free Is Especially Important for Pet CBD Oil
Another label term you should look for while shopping for CBD is the phrase THC-free.* You definitely want a product that avoids THC as much as possible, because this substance causes psychoactive impacts that can be unpleasant and even dangerous for your pet.
THC is a natural part of the hemp plant, though it appears at a much lower concentration in hemp than in marijuana. In fact, for a cannabis plant to be considered hemp in the US, it has to have a concentration of less than 0.3 percent THC.
While this amount of THC is very unlikely to impact your pet, it’s still safer to find a product that’s certified THC-free. This means the company has gone the extra mile to remove any remaining THC so that this cannabinoid is undetectable at the lowest level which can be consistently detected using valid scientific analytical tools.
NASC Quality Seal Indicates a Product Met Rigorous Standards
Another label item that can help you differentiate quality CBD oil from less trustworthy products is the NASC Quality Seal. This certification is very difficult to obtain because it requires strict labeling compliance, extensive documentation of quality control and production procedures, and an independent ingredient list review, among many other functions.
The NASC Quality Seal not only demonstrates quality in a CBD product but also consistency. Products with this seal must submit to consistent auditing every two years as well as random testing to ensure each product is as high quality as the next. This is not the kind of certification that is given and then forgotten, so you can rest assured any product with this seal is maintaining high standards.
Where to Buy CBD Oil for Pets
Knowing what to look for in a high quality CBD oil for pets is very useful, but then comes the next part of the equation: where can you buy CBD for pets? There are a few options:
- Online stores are an easy way to get exactly what you need
- PetSmart and PetCo now sell CBD oil for dogs and cats
- Some general hemp and CBD stores, geared towards human customers, may carry pet products
Buying CBD Online Is Easy and Legal
Online pet stores and CBD-specific sites or stores are an easy and legal way to purchase these wellness tools for your animal. Buying online affords you the availability of a larger inventory, so you can find exactly what you want for your animal’s specific needs. Furthermore, the product gets shipped right to your door, and you have all the verification you need right at your fingertips: a company’s awards and certifications, COAs, and any other product questions you might have are answered right on the website. Engaging directly with a company through their website, rather than buying through a third-party seller, is often safer and more informative.
Does PetSmart Sell CBD Oil for Dogs?
Large-scale retailers like PetSmart and Petco have started selling CBD oil for dogs and cats in recent years. While these sales started in only a few states (because there are federal rules and regulations about hemp-derived CBD products and also state-specific laws), they are likely to spread nationwide before long.
If you’re looking to purchase a CBD product for pets at one of these stores in your area, you should call beforehand to ensure they carry what you’re looking for. Both Petco and PetSmart only carry a few select brands of CBD products, so you won’t have a wide selection. Do your research to ensure the brand they carry meets your needs and standards.
PetSmart sells hemp-derived CBD products for pets in a few states – Colorado, Oregon, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee – with plans to expand in the coming years. Petco sells hemp-derived CBD products in these states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
Stores Devoted to CBD for Humans Might Sell CBD for Pets
If there is a local hemp store in your neighborhood, you might find some pet CBD products there. The rules and regulations for human CBD and pet CBD are quite different, though, so ensure that any pet CBD you buy at a hemp store is being held to the same quality standards we’ve discussed in this blog.
It’s worth noting here that you should never give human CBD to your pet. In many places, much higher levels of THC are permitted in human products than products made for animals. If you give human CBD to your dog or cat, you not only risk them consuming too much THC but they also might be exposed to some ingredients that are unsafe for pets but fine for humans (such as xylitol).
Remember: Hemp Oil Is Different from High Quality CBD Oil
While many stores might sell hemp oils and hemp-derived products, these don’t necessarily contain CBD for pets. There are hemp products for pets that contain no CBD and therefore don’t deliver the same benefits as a CBD oil. It’s important to look closely at the label to understand if the product actually contains CBD – this should be relatively clear.
When you start shopping for this new wellness resource for your pet, use our CBD buying tips to ensure you’re giving the best products to your furry friend.