Author: Lily Velez (Lily Velez is a holistic pet wellness expert) | Date: 11 August 2020
More and more pet parents are opting for holistic options when it comes to supporting their animal's health.
As a result, CBD is overwhelming the pet market--but buying into the popular cannabis arena should never be done on a whim. After all, it's always crucial to use caution when buying products that could affect your dog, cat, or horse.
Knowing the most important CBD facts therefore can help you better understand how CBD can support your pet's wellness and also help you make an informed decision about which CBD brand or product is right for your animal friend's needs.
There are still a lot of misconceptions out there about what CBD is, what CBD can do, and why more and more people are turning to CBD every day, so in this read, we're setting the most important CBD facts straight and answering your top 10 questions about all things cannabis!
What is CBD?
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is CBD, and where does it come from?
CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. This compound, and others like it, are called phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids for short.
The cannabis plant (and in this case, we’re referring specifically to the Cannabis Sativa L. species) comes in two varieties: marijuana and hemp. CBD can be extracted from both of these varieties.
Is CBD legal?
Since CBD can be found in both the hemp and marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant, the legality depends on the CBD's source.
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal in all 50 states, so you never have to worry about accessibility issues. You’re bound to find a health store in your state that sells CBD in fact, and if not, there are plenty of CBD companies online that are able to ship to all 50 states and to U.S. territories/U.S. military bases as well.
If your CBD is from the marijuana variety of the cannabis plant, however, then it is only legal in states where marijuana has been legalized.
The reason for this disparity is because of the different levels of THC between the hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis.
THC, which stands for "tetrahydrocannabinol", is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with "getting high."
Does CBD get you high?
As previously mentioned, the compound responsible for affecting the mind is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Since hemp-derived CBD products only contain trace amounts of THC (0.3% or less), you don't have to worry about you or your pet experiencing any kind of high.
Another significant CBD fact is that hemp-derived CBD is also non-addictive. Neither you nor your pet will develop a dependency to CBD and can instead simply profit from its many potential health benefits.
How does CBD work?
When cannabinoids like CBD are introduced into the body, they interact with something called the endocannabinoid system.
You can think of the endocannabinoid system as you would any other regulatory system in the body like the immune system or the central nervous system.
The endocannabinoid system in particular plays a role in regulating key physiological processes such as appetite, sleep, pain response, and mood.
And yes, our pets have an endocannabinoid system too! In fact, the system is present in all mammalian bodies, where its job is to remedy any imbalances in order to achieve homeostasis, a.k.a. optimal function of and steady equilibrium among our internal processes.
So how does the endocannabinoid system work exactly?
Simply put, the endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The below picture shows how these receptors are spread all throughout the body, located in important organs like the brain and lungs and in important systems like the immune system and vascular system.
When cannabinoids like CBD enter the body, they interact with the endocannabinoid system either by binding directly to and activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors, or by performing certain actions that influence the endocannabinoid system indirectly.
These interactions are what result in the potential health benefits a person (or animal) can experience when using CBD or other cannabinoids.
For example, the cannabinoid THC can modulate pain at the spinal cord and brain level when it activates CB1 receptors, while activating the CB2 receptors can help support the body’s normal inflammatory response.
What is CBD Used for?
CBD products are used for a variety of reasons. Some of the more common reasons include the following:
to support normal cardiovascular, immune, and neurological function
to promote relaxation and a calming effect on the nerves
to help maintain healthy joints and connective tissue
to fight free radicals and support cellular health
to enhance the body’s immune response
to help with occasional discomfort or joint stiffness associated with daily exercise or normal aging
...and the list goes on!
What is CBD oil?
Using a process called CO2 extraction, CBD and other phytochemicals are extracted from the cannabis plant, resulting in a pure quality oil that involves zero post-processing.
This oil, also known as a CBD tincture, is one of the most popular forms of CBD for consumption.
CBD oil can be full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or be packaged as CBD isolate.
While all three forms can offer potential health benefits, full-spectrum CBD contains the most cannabinoids, which all work synergistically in order to provide the most potent results for your health or your pet's health.
How do you use CBD oil?
CBD products come in all forms for human consumption and are, for the most part, intended to be taken orally.
The most popular CBD product is definitely CBD oil, also known as a CBD tincture. CBD tinctures typically come with a dropper that allows you to easily administer the oil directly into your mouth.
Other common CBD products include CBD capsules or soft gels and even CBD gummies. Just as well, however, CBD can also be applied topically, which is an option many people lean toward when supporting muscle recovery.
CBD also comes in forms unique to animals, which we'll discuss next!
Is CBD safe for pets?
CBD products are perfectly safe for your furry friend as long as they're derived from the hemp variety of the cannabis plant.
Products that contain CBD from marijuana, however, are NOT safe for animal consumption because they will contain high levels of THC and thus be toxic to animals.
CBD rarely produces side effects in pets, with most pet parents simply observing slight lethargy in the beginning of the introduction process. It's always best to start with smaller doses when you're first introducing CBD to your animal friend.
The good news is that today’s top CBD dog brands have developed creative, functional ways for our canine companions and feline friends to enjoy CBD in forms that are safe and, in many cases, already familiar to them.
Here are the most common CBD products for pets on the market today:
Again, CBD oils are commonly referred to as CBD tinctures.
The great thing about CBD tinctures is that they come equipped with a dropper (usually 1mL in size), which takes out the guesswork when administering CBD oil to your pet. With a tincture, you always know just how much CBD oil your animal friend is receiving and can easily adjust the dose as needed.
CBD oils are best administered sublingually (under your pet’s tongue). This allows the CBD to quickly diffuse into the blood through tissues located underneath their tongue.
Alternatively, with a pet tincture, you can also administer CBD oil at mealtime.
CBD Bites and Chews
What dog or cat doesn’t love a tasty morsel of goodness? CBD bites and chews make it easier than ever to introduce CBD into your pet’s health regimen. They come in various shapes and sizes and are usually formulated with delicious ingredients that pets already love—like coconut, peanut butter, and turmeric.
Not all CBD pet products need to be consumed. Sometimes, animal lovers seek out specific CBD benefits that can be achieved simply through topical application.
What is the best CBD oil?
Not all CBD products are created equally.
For this reason, it's essential to know your CBD facts when it comes to this particular holistic option. This is especially important considering the CBD space isn't regulated by any governing bodies, which means it's all too easy to come across low-quality products or even products that contain no CBD whatsoever despite what their labeling says.
Here are seven must-haves to tick off when you encounter a CBD retailer:
Hemp-derived CBD only! This ensures that it's legal and doesn't contain high traces of THC, which can be toxic to your pet.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is king! Not broad, not isolate, FULL! You want all those added benefits of the cannabis plant to be present in your CBD as opposed to a product that might eliminate other cannabinoids in order to put out a cheaper product.
CBD products should be natural and all organic. As with organic food, the cannabis plant quality is altered by the way that it is grown. Best practices mean plants that haven't been treated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. The method of extraction makes a huge difference as well, with CO2 extraction being the best option. It produces cleaner, purer and healthier hemp CBD oil. CBD pet products should be non-GMO and free of soy, dairy, corn, and gluten as well.
Buy from a CBD company that is compliant with The National Animal Supplement Council. The NASC ensures that retailers practice ethical behavior and are 100% committed to manufacturing only the safest and highest quality of products.
A Certificate of Analysis (or COA) will show exactly how much CBD a product contains. Any reputable company should be able to provide it and offer a guarantee on their products. This important document will also ensure that your CBD product contains no contaminants that can be toxic to your pet.
Play detective and research your chosen supplier. Make sure that the company of choice is in right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Simply search online for "FDA dog CBD," and you'll find a list of offenders. Reading client reviews will also give you a broad idea of brand reputation, and you should always check out a company's rating on Better Business Bureau.
Ensure the CBD has been lab-tested by a third party and not a company that the retailer is affiliated with. Along with this research, ask to view the Certificate of Analysis and do some digging into the lab who issued it.
Where can I buy CBD oil?
The internet is full of CBD companies and retailers who sell hemp-derived CBD products.
That said, consumers are encouraged to only purchase products that they have thoroughly investigated.
Do your homework, read reviews, and make sure you invest money in CBD products that will benefit your pet. Once you've found a company that ticks all the boxes in our buyer's guide mentioned above, you may have very well found the brand to be loyal to for life.
CBD Facts: Final Thoughts
CBD is taking the holistic world by storm, and it’s easy to see why.
People all over the world are turning to this holistic option for a host of reasons, from fighting free radicals and supporting healthy immune function to promoting relaxation and helping with occasional discomfort.
Fortunately, these days, our beloved four-legged friends can take part in the exciting world of CBD too, thanks to CBD pet companies like Honest Paws that are dedicated to crafting the best CBD products for our dogs and cats to support their health and happiness.
If you’ve been on the fence about giving CBD a try, why not make today the day you take a leap to see the results for yourselves?
Here at Honest Paws, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee -- that’s how confident we are in our all-natural, organic ingredients and in the rigorous quality audits we undergo to achieve the highest standards in the CBD space.
But don’t take our word for it. With over 1,000 glowing reviews across our CBD products, there’s a reason the Honest Paws pack is filled with happy dogs and cats who are living their best lives! You can browse our CBD collections here and read for yourself what our happy customers have to say about us!
And if you have any questions at any point, we're always happy to help! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-844-729-7790.