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

Hemp oil and CBD oil for pets are related, but they are not the same thing. Here’s what you need to know.

Hemp oil and CBD oil for pets are related, but they are not the same thing. Despite this, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Inconsistency around labeling and language with hemp oil and CBD oil has caused confusion for many pet owners, 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?


A bowl full of hemp oil with a spoon above it next to a scooper full of hemp seeds - Paw CBD


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.

Different Types of CBD for Pets

Not all pet CBD oils are the same. The hemp plant contains more than 80 cannabinoids – CBD, THC, CBN, and many others. When shopping for CBD oil for pets, you will see options like CBD isolate, full spectrum, broad spectrum, and our unique Paw CBD formula, Superior Broad Spectrum. These terms refer to how the CBD is extracted from the hemp plant.

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.

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.

Broad spectrum CBD is a middle ground: 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 is the best choice for pet CBD oil because it is made with a selection of useful cannabinoids and terpenes carefully measured and tested to create a beneficial, consistent product.

The Benefits of Paw CBD Oil for Pets

Here are some of the most common issues or daily stressors pets can experience that have led pet owners to consider CBD oil for pets:


  • Separation issues
  • Noise aversion
  • Physical discomfort


CBD Oil for Pets Can Help with Separation Issues

Some cats and dogs struggle when left alone and exhibit signs of stress such as vocalizing, 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 pet makes lots of noise or have seen these behaviors on their pet cam for themselves, leading them to try CBD oil to help support a sense of calm. A calming CBD oil for cats or dogs can be an important tool in dealing with separation anxiety in animals.

Noise Aversion Can Be Mitigated with CBD for Pets

Loud events like Fourth of July fireworks, parties, and thunderstorms can cause stress for your pet. Calming CBD oil treats, especially when combined with extra calming support like melatonin or L-tryptophan, can soothe your cat or dog’s anxiety during especially loud events or experiences.

CBD Supports Physical Comfort and Activity

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

CBD Oil for Pets Can Support Stress Management

From nail trims and grooming appointments to going on a road trip or even just enduring a couple of dinner guests, your pets have to deal with a lot of intense activity in their daily lives. Even the most relaxed animal can sometimes show stress signals. Some parents have found that CBD oil for pets helped reduce these stress signs during everyday situations. You want to give your furry friends every tool they need to stay happy and relaxed – pet CBD can support those goals.

How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs and Cats

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
  • Topicals


CBD Pet 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.

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.


A cat laying on a bed with soft chews 150 mg chicken and catnip flavor and a ball of yarn in front of it - Paw CBD


For Portability, Try CBD Treats for Dogs and Cats

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.

CBD Soft Chews for Cats are a perfect cat treat for your feline’s small or 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.

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.

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!



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.

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. Furthermore, you should find CBD for dogs and CBD for cats rather than a general pet CBD product. Cats and dogs are different animals with different issues and digestive systems, so it’s important to find a product that caters specifically to your animal’s design.

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!