CBD oil is becoming a common part of conversations among pet owners. Dog and cat parents have reported that it has made their animals more comfortable and provided various wellness benefits. Whether you’ve experienced this firsthand or you’re new to the CBD conversation, you only want the best for your furry friend. So pet owners everywhere are asking: What is the best CBD for pets? How do you choose the best products when it comes to CBD for cats and dogs?
There are many ways to identify the best CBD for dogs and cats. Once you understand how to read the labels for these products and how CBD affects your cat or dog, you’ll know how to find the very best product for your beloved animal.
Understanding CBD for Pets
To become an educated, responsible consumer of the best CBD for pets, you first need to understand everything you possibly can about this wellness resource. That includes knowing:
- What CBD oil for pets actually is
- How it’s made
- How it impacts your pet
- The different types of CBD for dogs and cats
So What Is CBD, Exactly?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a compound found in the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has many other kinds of cannabinoids besides CBD – in fact, more than 80 of them. Another compound found in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which causes the psychoactive experience of being “high.” It’s important to be clear that CBD and THC are very different compounds with different effects on people and animals.
Marijuana cannabis is high in THC concentration. It also contains CBD. Industrial hemp is another type of cannabis plant different from marijuana because of its low concentration of THC. Industrial hemp plants make it easy to access the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC. All of the wellness, none of the other stuff!
The 2018 Farm Bill broadened the cultivation and sale of the industrial hemp plant, which by definition must contain less than 0.3 percent THC – not nearly enough to cause the user (human or animal) to feel high. When derived from hemp, CBD for pets is legal, and you can rest assured Fido and Fluffy won’t feel stoned.
How It’s Made
The best CBD for dogs and cats comes from the hemp plant. But how do we get from a leafy plant to an oil?
Most CBD oils are made through one of two extraction processes: ethanol extraction or CO2 extraction. Ethanol extraction uses high-grade grain alcohol (also known as ethanol) as a solvent to separate CBD and other compounds from the industrial hemp plant. CO2 extraction uses very, very cold and highly pressurized CO2 to strip the hemp plant of CBD and other cannabinoids.
There is a lot of discussion about which of these two extraction processes is better, and many say ethanol extraction creates the best CBD oil. It is safe and stable and can be done in warm and cold environments, and it’s also a very quick and efficient process. Alternatively, CO2 extraction can be somewhat volatile and has a greater room for error, which is why it’s often used exclusively by “luxury” or “boutique” CBD brands.
The process of extracting CBD oil from hemp, and what happens after, will determine the different types of CBD that are produced – an isolate or one of the various spectrums.
How CBD Impacts Your Pet’s Cannabinoid Receptors
When your dog or cat consumes CBD, it processes through the endocannabinoid system or ECS. This system is shared by all mammals – including humans – and other vertebrates like lizards, birds, fish, and frogs, to name a few. This remarkable system is made up of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. When the ECS processes CBD, it impacts various bodily processes, including but not limited to sleep, appetite, digestion, and skin health.
Different Types of CBD for Pets
When you start researching the best CBD oil for pets, you’re going to run into a variety of terms that might confuse you. To better understand the different types of hemp extract you might encounter when looking at CBD products, you’ll need to know about these different oil-related words:
- CBD isolate
- Full spectrum
- Broad Spectrum
- Superior Broad Spectrum
What Are Terpenes?
The hemp plant is made up of many compounds, including a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes. Terpenes have a number of beneficial properties, not unlike cannabinoids, and they also give cannabis that signature smell. Some of the terpenes you might find in the hemp plant include limonene, which is also found in citrus fruits, and myrcene, which is also found in lemongrass.
Why Isolate Isn’t Always Best
CBD isolate is exclusively pure CBD molecules. Sounds ideal, right? CBD and nothing else. But some studies have shown that the benefits of CBD for pets are better received when other helpful terpenes and cannabinoids are included in the delivery – this is called the “entourage effect.”
Full Spectrum CBD
A full spectrum hemp extract, unlike an isolate, gives your pet the entire lineup of terpenes and cannabinoids found in the plant from which the CBD was derived. It also means you might get trace amounts of THC, but the amount should still be below a concentration of 0.3 percent if the hemp extracts are derived from the industrial hemp plant.
Broad Spectrum CBD
This form is essentially a full spectrum hemp extract with the THC molecules removed. Broad spectrum products can also sometimes be inconsistent in their makeup.
Paw CBD Products Use Superior Broad Spectrum
Specially formulated by cbdMD (creator of Paw CBD), Superior Broad Spectrum is made by starting with an isolate and then adding the most helpful terpenes and cannabinoids back into the mix for a pure and consistent product every time. This is ideal for use in CBD for pets because it is consistent, it’s THC-free,* and it uses the best parts of the hemp plant to benefit your furry friend.
What to Look for on a CBD Product Label
Knowing how to read a product label will help you immensely in choosing high-quality, reliable CBD items for your pet. Here are some things you should look for in a pet product like Paw CBD:
High-Quality CBD for Pets Is THC-free*
To ensure your pet doesn’t experience any psychoactive effects from CBD, all products you use should be labeled “THC-free.” This label means the THC is undetectable at the lowest levels that can be found using valid scientific methods.
Look for a Certificate of Analysis
Great products will have results from a third-party laboratory attesting to their makeup. The results for each batch should be available on the site for you to peruse. A Certificate of Analysis, or COA, is proof that this test has been performed and the ingredient list is reliable.
Made from Domestically Grown Hemp
The U.S. has super stringent rules about how to grow and cultivate the industrial hemp plant. When you purchase CBD products made from domestically grown hemp, you can rest assured the farming practices were sound, and the plant has been closely monitored from the very beginning.
A Good Brand Will Provide Clear Use Instructions
The best CBD oil for dogs will be specifically made for dogs and offer different strengths and serving sizes for pets of different sizes. The best CBD oil for cats will be – you guessed it – made specifically for cats and also offer various strengths and serving sizes.
How CBD for Pets Benefits Your Cat or Dog
While there are limited formal studies available, anecdotal reports from pet owners suggest that CBD can benefit many different processes and experiences in a dog or cat’s life. Here are some of the ways your pet can benefit from CBD:
- It can help them maintain calm during stressful situations
- It can help them manage noise aversion and separation stress
- It can support them during change, like moving house or a new baby
- It promotes general physical comfort in your pet
CBD Can Promote Calm
CBD for pets can help your dog create a solid foundation and cope better with stressful situations such as separation. Does your dog whine or chew furniture when you leave the house? This behavior is your dog’s way of saying he or she is not comfortable with being away from you. While it’s a sweet sentiment, separation issues can be a bummer for both you and your pet – and that new couch you just bought! CBD can encourage calm feelings in your pet, which can make your departure more manageable for them.
Sometimes interacting with other dogs or people can be an unpleasant experience that causes your dog to act out. But the dog park can be a happy place if your pet can relax enough to enjoy it, and CBD can promote a sense of calm in your dog. For an additional boost of chill, try our calming products like CBD chews for dogs with L-tryptophan and CBD oil for cats with melatonin.
Noise Aversion Can Stress Your Pet
Thunderstorms, fireworks, loud parties – whatever it is, a noisy environment can make many dogs fearful and skittish. No one wants to see their pup feel this kind of emotional turmoil, but loudness is a part of life, so some owners use CBD daily to help their pets feel more comfortable during situations like this.
CBD Can Support Relaxation During Times of Change
All pets, but cats especially, are creatures of routine. They like to know their surroundings well, and they have expectations about how their day will progress. The habitual nature of cats means that changes like a trip in their carrier or a new pet in the house can be really upsetting. CBD has been known to promote calm and relaxation, and a chilled-out cat will have an easier time with change.
Provides General Physical Comfort
Senior pets and animals recovering from an injury or a procedure might experience muscle stiffness or slow movement. Activity is an important part of your pet’s healthy lifestyle, and CBD can be a great addition to any consistent wellness routine to maintain their active daily habits!
Choosing the Right Delivery Method
When you’re introducing new components into your pet’s daily regimen, the how is just as important as the what. Once you’ve found a reliable CBD pet formula, you’ll need to choose how you want to give it to your pet. Being healthy doesn’t have to be work – in fact, it can be a lot of fun for you and your furry friend! Your choices for delivering CBD include tinctures, balm, peanut butter, soft chews, hard chews, or a combination of those methods.
Choosing the Right CBD Product Strength
Paw CBD products are offered in a variety of strengths, listed in milligrams per serving. This strength will vary depending on the size and weight of your pet. For example, our CBD tinctures for dogs come in a 150 mg strength for small dogs up to 25 pounds, a 300 mg strength for dogs between 26 and 50 pounds, a 600 mg strength for dogs between 51 and 75 pounds, 1500 mg for dogs between 75 and 100 pounds, and 3000 mg for extremely large dogs over 101 pounds. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate concentration of CBD for your pet’s size, you have additional control over the daily amount you give them.
Choosing the Right Daily Amount for Your Pet
Choosing the right amount of CBD to give your pet daily is a process, and it takes some trial and error. Always start with the smallest recommended amount for your pet’s size. Tinctures are especially popular for finding out how much CBD your pet needs each day because they allow you very exact control. Most pet parents start with a single dropper of CBD for pets, about 1 mL. Depending on the strength you’ve chosen, this will be between 5 mg and 100 mg of CBD. You might need to reduce or increase this depending on your pet’s reaction, but wait 30 days for the CBD to build up in their system and really create an impact.
Try Tinctures for Simplicity
A CBD pet tincture can be a great choice for all pets because it’s easy to use and gives you specific control over the serving size. Our CBD Calming Oil for Dogs features the extra support of valerian root, chamomile, and melatonin to really support your pupper when they need a little extra TLC.
Try Topicals for Skin Application
Some of the best CBD oil for pets can be useful as a topical balm applied to the skin, noses, paws, and sensitive spots. This includes products like CBD Balm and CBD dog shampoo, both of which can support pets who have sensitive-skin issues.
Edible and CBD Treats for Pets
One of the best products for dogs is CBD-infused peanut butter. Cats will enjoy it, too!
For any animal with sensitive teeth, a soft chew infused with CBD will do the trick! For our feline friends, the CBD Kidney Support Chews for Cats features the kidney wellness support of licorice root, astragalus root, and nettle leaf. Senior doggos will love the comfort they get from CBD Hip+Joint Chews for Dogs, which features the added benefit of glucosamine HCL.
Most pet owners have a bag or two (or more!) of pet treats in their pantry. With CBD Treats for Dogs, a daily delicacy can be tasty and fun and also support your canine companion’s wellness.
How to Give Your Animal the Best CBD Oil for Pets
Once you’ve chosen a pet CBD oil product that you feel suits your purposes, it’s time to create a CBD routine with your animal. This involves:
- Talking to your veterinarian about CBD
- Reading everything on the label
- Maintaining the routine for at least 30 days
- Monitoring your pet
- Adapting the routine when necessary
Consult Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian should always be in the loop about changes to your animal’s daily wellness routine – and that includes the introduction of CBD. Veterinarians can also consult with you on how to find the best CBD oil for pets and how to introduce the new product to your canine or feline companion.
Read Everything on the Label of Your New Product
Your product should come with a detailed ingredient list and instructions. It should also include how much CBD to give to your pet. By reading the label carefully, you can better understand the best way to introduce CBD to your pet and how to apply it to their food or mouth.
Stick With It for 30 Days
Start with the recommended serving and stick with it. Thirty days should be long enough to see the desired benefits. This timeframe is very important because CBD needs time to accumulate in your pet’s system to be most effective.
Monitor Your Pet Closely
Some of the benefits of CBD for pets can be subtle, so pay attention. Is Shadow racing after the laser point with a little more speed? Is Sparky barking less when the mailman comes to the door? It might even be worth keeping a little journal or notebook and noting any changes in your pet’s behavior over the course of the 30 days.
Adapt Your Pet’s CBD Routine as Needed
If you haven’t noticed any change after a month, you can increase the daily amount of CBD you give to your pet and launch another 30-day period. Always consult your veterinarian again before changing your pet’s CBD routine.
Paw CBD for Pets Can Support Your Animal’s Best Life
Not sure where to start? CBD product bundles offer up a few different products specific to cats or dogs so that you can try out more than one option. Don’t worry if your pet isn’t crazy about the first thing you try. It’s important to be patient and remember that every animal is different. It might take some time to find out what works best for your picky pooch or finicky feline!
Whatever you do, give yourself a pat on the back now for being a responsible pet parent and doing your research. Your furry family member is lucky to have you looking out for them – and will be even luckier when they start to feel the benefits of the best CBD oil for pets!