The information contained herein should not be construed as a claim regarding any of the products referenced in this article, and there is no intention to make such claims. As always, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian when adding to or changing your pet’s regimen. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, and no claims regarding such are made.
You’ve heard of CBD. You may have even seen the benefits of CBD for yourself. However, did you know that pets may benefit from CBD, too? CBD for pets has a similar impact as CBD for humans. Of course, since pets do have different needs and metabolisms, there are some differences between pet CBD and human CBD. If you’re interested in trying CBD treatment for your dog, cat, or even your horse, here are some things that you should know.
CBD for Pets: The Basics
First of all, let’s take a look at some of the CBD basics. The CBD market has exploded in the last few years, so it’s important to explore the facts before getting started.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for “cannabidiol,” and it’s just one of possibly hundreds of compounds available in hemp plants. For humans, it’s sold as tinctures, gummies, teas, vapes, and several other delivery methods. When it comes to CBD for pets, you can find tinctures, capsules and treats that are specially formulated for animals. To be clear, while CBD also exists in cannabis plants, when you give your pet CBD, you are not giving your pet marijuana. Your pet’s CBD should always come from the hemp plant. You’ll find more on the subject in the next few paragraphs.
Why Consider CBD for Pets?
CBD uses the same mechanism in pets as it does in humans: the endocannabinoid system. “All animals have an endocannabinoid system,” Tyler Strause points out in Medium. “As human beings, we like to think of ourselves as special, but we’re not special for having an ECS. All vertebrates and invertebrates are known to have an ECS.”
The ECS is a network of cannabinoid receptors that work throughout the nervous system. Scientists are still studying the various functions of the ECS, but they know that this system impacts several functions throughout the body. The ECS impacts sleep, for example, as well as pain and mood.
CBD products work in conjunction with this system, both for people and for animals. When ECS receptors come into contact with CBD, those receptors are essentially empowered to maintain homeostasis by blocking certain negative impacts. For example, a study involving anxiety in mice revealed how CBD can interact with the ECS. In this study, CBD impacted these receptors, effectively blocking the anxiety-producing impact of chronic stress.
Now, human and animal bodies both naturally produce their own chemicals that interact with the ECS. After all, why evolve an entire system to interact with a chemical that bodies can’t produce? However, as studies like the one mentioned above indicate, CBD can also have profound impacts on this system, including in animals.
What Are Some of the Reasons People Give Their Pets CBD?
Because CBD helps the ECS maintain homeostasis, it can potentially help alleviate all sorts of symptoms in pets and people alike. However, some benefits and potential benefits have been more widely studied than others. Remember, research has shown that CBD has anti-stress and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, some of the most common reasons veterinarians cite for giving a pet CBD include:
- Arthritis and mobility issues
- More serious health issues
Is It Safe to Give My Pet CBD?
Just like any other type of treatment, it’s important to talk to your pet’s vet before starting your pet on any kind of regimen. Your vet can advise you on safe dosages and other important information, such as medication interactions. Generally speaking, however, in the right concentrations and with careful supervision, CBD is safe for pets, just like it is for people. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re only giving your pet high-quality ingredients. Avoid fillers and additives to make sure that your pet is getting the most effective dose possible.
Will CBD Make My Pet Feel “High”?
No, as already discussed, CBD will not make your pet feel high. CBD may make your pet feel more calm and relaxed, but your pet will not get high from CBD. While it’s true that CBD does come from the cannabis plant,(cannabis sativa, to be specific) it is not in itself a psychoactive compound. The cannabis plant, as stated above, has many compounds, but not all of them cause a “high” feeling. The compound that causes that feeling is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD products, including the ones that you can give to your pets, are refined from hemp and not marijuana. By law, hemp may contain no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, and therefore does not produce a high. Never give a THC-based product to your pet.
Is CBD for Pets Legal?
Provided that it comes from hemp and not marijuana, the answer is yes. The 2018 Farm Bill contains language that federally legalized hemp and de-scheduled CBD from the list of dangerous narcotics, hence removing CBD from the purview of the Drug Enforcement Act (DEA). As a consequence of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is now permanently removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). It is now deemed an agricultural commodity and not a controlled substance.
Furthermore, by redefining hemp to include its “extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives,” Congress explicitly removed popular hemp products – such as hemp-derived CBD -- from the purview of the CSA. Accordingly, the DEA no longer has any claim to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products as long as the THC level is at or below 0.3%.
How is CBD for Pets Different Than CBD for Humans?
As you’ve read above, CBD works within pets in the same way that it works within humans. Knowing this fact, is it safe for you to give some of your own CBD to your pet to see how it works before ordering a separate bottle for your pet? Technically, it’s possible, but you’re really better off keeping human and pet CBD products separate. While the CBD itself will be the same for both you and your pet, other factors such as dosages and product options will be different. Look at dosages, for example. In humans, adequate dosages are often measured by age, e.g., adults should take a larger amount than children. With pets, however, dosages are generally measured by weight. Droppers and measurements in CBD products are designed, obviously, for the intended recipient. If you mix and match products, you may mismeasure the dosage, giving your pet too much or too little.
Next, there are different product options, with formulations that are specifically designed for pets. At im·bue, for example, while we make tinctures for both humans and animals, we also make product options specifically for animal needs. Our products are available in tinctures, capsules and topical formulations to address multiple issues in our furry family members.
At the end of the day, while you might get away with giving your dog some of your own CBD, it’s ultimately a better idea to choose a pet-specific formula.
CBD for Dogs
When people search for CBD for pets, more often than not, they’re looking for solutions for their dog. CBD products can have an excellent impact on dogs, especially when it comes to inflammation and anxiety.
Maladies to discuss with your Veterinarian
People discuss CBD options for dogs with their veterinarians for several reasons. Here are just a few examples.
- Noise anxiety. Dogs have no way of contextualizing loud noises like Fourth of July fireworks. As far as your dog is concerned, everything was normal until loud, scary noises erupted for no reason.
- Separation Anxiety. Some dogs are more prone to separation anxiety than others. You hate to leave your dog for any reason, but when it’s necessary, certain medications including CBD can help your dog with the transition.
- Arthritis and other joint pain. According to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network, 20% of dogs will experience arthritis at some point in their lifetimes. While osteoarthritis is the most common type for dogs, there are lots of other reasons why dogs may experience bone and joint pain. Older dogs are the most susceptible to this type of pain, and large breeds tend to experience more inflammation than smaller ones.
- Chapped noses. Dogs rely on their noses, so when those noses get dry, chapped, and irritated, dogs can be extremely uncomfortable.
- Skin irritations. Some dogs are prone to breakouts, hot spots, and other skin irritations.
Types of CBD for Dogs
As stated above, CBD for pets, particularly for dogs, comes in a wide variety of types. Here are a few of your options when exploring CBD for your dog.
- Tinctures. You may already be familiar with tinctures if you use CBD products yourself. These tinctures have CBD distilled into a liquid form for fast absorption. Our tinctures come in 2 strengths to help address different levels of severity.
- Capsules. At im·bue, we’ve formulated our dog CBD capsules with extra strength for dogs who may experience more difficult challenges. The capsules contain the same carefully-formulated CBD that our tinctures contain, but in a higher concentration.
- Nose balm. We mentioned our nose balm above. This balm’s pleasant scent was designed to appeal to your dog’s sensitive nose. More importantly, the balm soothes chapped noses so that your dog can go back to enjoying all of the different smells that life has to offer.
- Salves. Just like humans, dogs experience skin irritations, and just like humans, dogs can use CBD-infused skincare products to soothe those irritations.
CBD for Cats
Of course, dogs aren’t the only animals that can benefit from CBD use. In some cases, when people search for CBD for pets, they want a formula specifically for a cat.
Just like dogs and people, cats have an ECS, and CBD works naturally with that system, providing relief for particular ailments. Here are some of the more common reasons why people look for CBD for cats.
Maladies to discuss with your Veterinarian
People discuss CBD options for cats with their veterinarians for several reasons. Here are just a few examples.
- Anxiety. Cats are creatures of habit. They love their routines, and deviations from those routines can cause trouble. When cats deal with anxiety, they’re not the only ones who suffer. “Signs your cat has anxiety can include everything from peeing outside the litter box to excessive grooming,” explains Brandi Neal in an article for Bustle. These behaviors can put stress on you as a pet owner. Just like with dogs, separation anxiety is a major culprit.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Like humans, felines can become infected with an immunodeficiency virus. Unlike with humans, however, there is no approved antiviral drug for the feline version of this virus. The good news is that with proper care and good nutrition, FIV-infected cats can live relatively long and comfortable lives. Symptoms for FIV include certain inflammatory symptoms, so products with anti-inflammatory properties may be prescribed by your veterinarian to help relieve some of these struggles.
- Degenerative Joint Disease. Up to 92% of cats show signs of DJD, but this disorder often goes undiagnosed because cats usually hide their physical discomfort. If your cat often hides, reacts poorly to touch, or has lost their appetite, then your cat may be in pain. Ask your cat’s vet about possible DJD.
Types of CBD for Cats
CBD for cats comes in similar varieties as CBD for dogs. They include options like:
- Tinctures. Specially-formulated CBD tinctures may make a big difference for your cat. They tend to be easier to administer than capsules for most pet owners.
- Capsules. Much like our capsules for dogs, im·bue’s CBD cat capsules are formulated for cats who are experiencing more difficult issues. It’s a highly-concentrated formula that can be sprinkled on your cat’s food or administered directly.
CBD for Horses
When looking for CBD for pets, you’ll find a lot of similarities between human CBD and dog and cat CBD. Earlier, we mentioned that you could, with caution, give human CBD to your dog or cat as long as you were sure about ingredient safety and knew that you were giving your pet the right concentrations. When it comes to CBD for horses, however, it’s not a matter of lowering the CBD dosage but raising it. A human-sized dose of CBD may have little to no impact on a horse. In this case, it’s far more economical to go with horse-specific formulas right from the start. In the right concentrations, CBD may help horses with various conditions.
Maladies to discuss with your Veterinarian
People discuss CBD options for horses and other members of the Equine family with their veterinarians for several reasons. Here are just a few examples.
- Arthritis. Arthritis is a highly common problem in horses. Usually, arthritis in horses is caused by a slowly progressing inflammation, and as a result, older horses are more susceptible to this problem than younger horses are.
- General soreness. Of course, soreness in horses can come from sources other than arthritis. Horses are athletic animals, carrying large amounts of weight and traveling long distances. Just like with humans, all of that exercise can take a toll on horses.
- Stress and anxiety. Some horse owners are giving their animals CBD for general stress and anxiety.
- Skin conditions. Horses are susceptible to a wide range of skin conditions, and certain CBD salves can help soothe the skin.
Types of CBD for Horses
Given their different diet from smaller companion pets, horses don’t need too much variety when it comes to their CBD products. At im-bue, we’ve formulated some CBD products with strong concentrations meant specifically for a horse’s metabolism.
- Tinctures. Our CBD tinctures for horses deliver the same potent ingredient as our CBD tinctures for dogs and cats, but our horse tinctures deliver 2000 milligrams of CBD.
- Salves. Our CBD salves for horses deliver soothing skin relief as well as antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, again in a high concentration specifically for horses.
How to Find CBD for Pets
Once you know the potential benefits of CBD for pets, the next step is finding the right type and brand. However, there are a lot of products on the market these days, and you’ll want to make sure that your pet gets the right one. Not all of these products are the same. Some deliver more potent relief than others. So, how do you make the right choice? You can start with the tips that we’ve listed below.
How Do I Know Which Product to Get for My Pet?
In a moment, you’ll consider how to choose between brands, but it’s also important to choose the right type of product. Between capsules, tinctures, and salves, which choice will work best for your pet? The bad news is that there are no hard and fast answers, but the good news is that as long as you choose high-quality CBD products, your pet can experience benefits.
Still, you can choose the right product from the start by considering your reasons for buying CBD for pets. For example, do you want CBD for your pet’s overall health and general wellness? In that case, a tincture should make the best choice. Likewise, for mild nervousness or slight inflammation, tinctures may get the job done.
For skin conditions, a salve is usually the best choice. However, if your pet’s skin condition comes from internal inflammation, you may also want to add a tincture to your pet’s CBD regimen.
For more acute conditions, a capsule can deliver the potent concentration of CBD that your pet needs. With im-bue in particular, our capsules are especially powerful.
Next, ask yourself what type of product your pet is most likely to take. Keep in mind that both capsules and tinctures can be added to your pet’s food. However, if your pet doesn’t tolerate changes to their food, you may need to get a bit more creative. Will your pet let you squirt their CBD tincture directly into their mouth? Or would it be easier for you to fold a capsule into a piece of cheese or something similar? CBD for pets can only be beneficial if the pet actually gets some of that CBD into their system.
Choose Quality Ingredients
As we’ve stated several times, quality matters when it comes to CBD for pets. You’ll want to look for potent and pure CBD products without any products or fillers. Remember that the FDA isn’t monitoring CBD products yet, which means that it’s up to the consumer to practice extra care when looking for products. How can you tell if you’re getting a good brand for your pet? First, avoid cheap brands. It’s one thing to look for sales and promotions, but it’s another thing to buy cheaply-made CBD pet products. These products are cheap because they contain cheap ingredients, i.e. fillers. You’re looking for pure CBD. How else can you tell that you’re getting a good brand? Ask yourself these questions when you do your research:
- Does this company grow and source its own CBD, or does it import CBD powder from overseas?
- Is this product organic?
- Is the product Full Spectrum?
- Is it extracted using ethanol extraction methodologies?
- Are their ingredients non-GMO? Are they vegan?
- Is the company transparent about its growing practices?
- AND MOST IMPORTANT, does the company post ALL the testing on EACH batch of product including: raw oil, potency, microbial contaminants, heavy metals and residual solvents? IF NOT, STAY AWAY!
CBD for Pets: Colorado Grown is by far THE BEST
At im·bue botanicals, we believe that Colorado is the best source for CBD for pets. We chose Colorado as our home for several reasons. First of all, Colorado’s land is perfect for hemp agriculture. It has plenty of sunshine and irrigation, giving Colorado’s fields the best growing conditions.
Recently, we were asked why we grow our hemp in Colorado instead of, say, Kentucky or California, and the answer is simple: It all boils down to altitude and latitude.
Colorado’s rise in elevation results in a thinner atmosphere, meaning less obstruction to the sun’s rays. If you’ve ever gone skiing in places like Colorado or Utah, you know how fast you can suffer a sunburn! As elevation increases, living things are exposed to more sunlight and in particular ultraviolet light, both UVA and UVB. In humans, our bodies’ response to these ultraviolet waves is to produce melanin ,which of course produces a tan to further protect against the sun’s harmful rays. In plants, the reaction is generally to produce more flavonoids for protection.
The increase in altitude produces a rather “geometric” increase in ultraviolet light. For every 1000 meters in elevation, UV light increases some 10-12%, according to the World Health Organization. This means that our hemp plants are exposed to nearly 20% more UV light where we grow our hemp. Studies have shown that UVA light significantly increases the production of cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa, making them more potent.
When it comes to latitude, scientists have known for some time now that cannabis plants that grow north (or south in the Southern Hemisphere) of 30 degrees latitude are higher in CBD than plants grown in the tropical or subtropical regions of the Earth, likely due to the increased exposure to UVB in these areas.
Therefore, growing our plants in higher elevation, north of 30 degrees latitude produces a plant richer in CBD and other cannabinoids. And that, we believe, translates into a better quality product for our pets.
At im·bue botanicals, we know that you’re passionate about the health of your four-legged family members. You wouldn’t give them anything less than the best, most trusted products. That’s why we invite you to take a look at our CBD for pets. Have questions? Then we’d love to answer them. You can always head over to any page on our website for a live chat session, or contact us for support. Your pets give you unconditional love and companionship. They deserve to enjoy their best possible health.