Chances are if you’re a pet owner, you’re aware of the growing trend of CBD products for pets. In fact, the CBD pet market is expected to hit $399 million by 2027!
As with any holistic trend, it’s important to separate the fact from the fiction. That’s why we’ve put together our easy guide on buying the right CBD product for your pet.
What are CBD Products for Pets?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants that is extracted and used by both humans and pets alike.
Don’t worry about the ‘high’ effects associated with cannabis as they come from the THC compound in the plant. Few CBD extracts have THC in them because it’s most often extracted from hemp plants.
Benefits of CBD for Pets
It’s worth pointing out straight away that a lot of the claims around CBD for pets (and people!) are currently anecdotal. This isn’t because it’s much ado about nothing. It’s because of how new CBD is to the market.
As cannabis remained largely criminalized up until recent decades, research on its potential benefits has been minimal. Only since the legalization movement took hold have studies been given more funds and prominence.
What we do know for sure about CBD is how it interacts with mammals. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, found within the central nervous and peripheral nervous systems. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating lots of processes throughout the body such as appetite, memory, metabolism, and immune response.
When we consume CBD, the compound interacts with our endocannabinoid system. So the potential benefits of CBD are not yet known for certain but could be plentiful. For example, a recent small study showed that CBD reduced seizures in 89% of dogs.
Besides this study, there are indications and anecdotal evidence that CBD could treat a variety of conditions including:
- Lack of appetite
- Chronic pain
- Skin conditions
Even more surprisingly, for all these potential benefits, CBD has minimal side effects. They include dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness. Most of these side effects can be mitigated with proper CBD dosage alongside these other helpful tips for buying the right CBD product for your pet.
1. The Right Product
There are many different CBD products for pets. In fact, there are so many it can be a little overwhelming when you first start your research!
There are three main kinds of CBD pet product:
- Oil tinctures
- Infused treats and chews
CBD oil comes in a bottle with a dropper. You can give it directly to your pet, under their tongue is best practice, or you can add it to their food.
CBD capsules are similar to other supplements for pets, though they look most similar to fish oil capsules. These can be given as is or hidden away in food or a treat.
CBD treats have CBD infused into them during production. There is a huge variety of CBD treats for pets including chews and even catnip.
There’s no right or wrong product choice, though many experts recommend oil. What works best will depend on what your pet prefers.
2. The Right Dosage
As we mentioned above, getting the right dosage is really important for your pet. A good general rule of thumb is to start small and build up, stopping if you notice any side effects.
Reputable companies will give you their own dosage guidelines and you should definitely opt for these companies wherever possible. This said it’s helpful to know the calculator for ideal CBD doses for pets.
For dogs, this is all based on weight, so first, figure out your pet’s weight. From here, it’s safe to say 0.2mg of CBD per pound is an okay dose. So for example, a 25-pound dog could have 5mg of CBD.
For oils, you’ll also need to consider how many milligrams of CBD is in each milliliter of oil. This varies from product to product. For example, common formula strengths include 75mg which has 2.5mg of CBD per milliliter of oil.
For cats, you may want to also use this CBD cat guide for more detailed advice.
3. The Right Quality
We know we said above that there’s no wrong CBD pet product to buy, but that’s not strictly true. Due to the burst in popularity of CBD, there has been an influx of new products to the market. Many of these products are low-quality.
When it comes to CBD products for your pets, you shouldn’t be going for the cheapest product available. These products may be unreliable and not have gone through the rigorous quality controls other CBD products go through.
A good general rule is to shop organic. Organic CBD products will be free from solvents, fungicides, pesticides, and all other manner of horrible things you don’t want your pet to ingest!
You’ll also want a product that is labeled full-spectrum, ideally full spectrum hemp extract. This is because full-spectrum hemp extract contains an array of cannabinoids.
These compounds, like CBD, don’t have the high effects associated with THC but do have a whole host of potential benefits. Full-spectrum extract also has lots of essential minerals and vitamins, as well as fatty acids. All these are great for your pet’s health in general.
One of the best ways to avoid THC in your CBD product is to buy an organic product homegrown in the USA. This is because the Farm Bill prohibits the growth of hemp with detectable levels of THC.
Finally, you’ll also want to purchase a product with a certificate of analysis. All high-quality CBD products have these. They ensure the product has been tested by a third-party laboratory, so you know the product contains what it says it does.
Do Your Research
As with all things, sometimes finding the best CBD products for pets will take time. Follow our tips on finding high-quality, organic products but also make sure to check online reviews and speak to your local pet store and vet.
We have lots more advice on CBD for both pets and humans on our blog, so make sure to check it out.