In recent years, CBD oil has become quite popular for its anti-inflammatory and calming effects for both humans, as well as dogs. Hemp oil has also come into attention as an excellent way to reduce joint pain in pets and also a great source of fatty acids.
As a pet owner, if you are planning to manage your furry pet’s chronic pain, anxiety or physical and emotional conditions by using CBD or hemp oil and you’re confused about which is a better option for your pet, then you’re in the right place.
In this post, we will discuss all there is to know about CBD and hemp oils, the differences and benefits of each for your pet so that you can decide what is the best option for your pooch.
What is CBD Oil?
Derived from various parts of the hemp (Cannabis sativa) plant such as leaves, stalks and flowers, CBD or cannabidiol is extracted and pressed into an essential oil.
Essentially a cannabinoid, CBD is one of the active ingredients in cannabis. CBD however, is free of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant) and does not affect your pet’s cognitive functioning and perception.
CBD is being recognised as a natural and safe remedy for various problems without any harmful side effects and this has been confirmed by the WHO (World Health Organisation) too.
In fact, the cannabinoids in CBD have therapeutic effects and can help in anxiety and stress relief and can also help to reduce chronic pain, inflammation and seizure in dogs. Daily or occasional doses of CBD can help your pet find relief from car sickness, noise phobias (such as thunder, fireworks, etc.), separation anxiety, joint pains and other medical conditions.
CBD oil comes in various forms i.e., broad-spectrum, full-spectrum and isolate oils and are available as dietary supplements for your pet in the form of CBD oil treats and oil tinctures. Usually, CBD oil is mixed with a carrier oil like coconut oil to dilute it. CBD is also available as topical formulas to offer pain relief and treat skin conditions.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Hemp seed oil or simply “hemp oil” is a derivative of the hemp plant too like CBD. It is derived by cold pressing the seeds from the hemp plant and removing the oil. However, the difference is that hemp oil is not a cannabinoid, which means that it does not contain terpenes, THC or CBD like CBD oil and so, works differently on the body.
Hemp seed oil with its distinctive, nutty flavour has been used for cooking and for medicinal products for decades. In fact, hemp is used for paper, clothing, etc. and hemp oil is used as a salad dressing, an antioxidant supplement and a skin supplement too.
Hemp oil is often used as a dietary supplement for dogs and is called a superfood because of the loads of nutritional benefits it offers.
Hemp oil is chock full of omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), powerful antioxidants, vitamin D and loads of amino acids and protein.
This blend of healthy nutrients is excellent for your pet and can help to improve their coat and skin, boost the immune system and reduce joint pain. Hemp oil also helps to control cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular health.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs
CBD oil offers several health benefits for your pet such as:
Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis is a major problem for dogs. This condition affects over 80% of dogs that are over 8 years old, while larger, purebred, male dogs are at risk of some form of joint damage.
NSAIDs meant for humans such as Tylenol, aspirin, etc. can be very toxic to your pet and often, pet owners rely on vet prescriptions for pain relief for their pets.
CBD oil has verified anti-inflammatory effects and works via the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which affects swelling, stress and other bodily homeostasis contributors. Since it works through the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil is quite a stable and safe treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
CBD oil is a natural and safe alternative that you can give to your pet without worrying about the side effects. Often, it is recommended to use topical treatment of CBD oil or cream for joints. This can be combined with oral CBD snacks or treats for effective treatment.
Dogs can suffer from separation anxiety and their anxiety can be triggered by various factors such as loud noises, etc. CBD oil has shown to reduce stress and anxiety and increase calm in humans, especially when taken regularly over a period of time. Many pet owners have reported the same effects of CBD oil when given to their anxious dogs.
According to a study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal, it has been seen that CBD oil is equally or more effective compared to regular medications for treating anxiety, discomfort and restlessness in dogs.
Epilepsy is usually triggered by the overexcitation of brain signals, which can cause a seizure. Depending on the form of epilepsy, the frequency and severity of the condition vary.
Usually, drugs can help to minimise the effects of epilepsy in dogs; however, CBD oil is an excellent preventative measure, which helps to reduce the severity of epileptic episodes and soothe them before they occur.
Reducing IBS Symptoms
Dogs can suffer from IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome), which causes their digestive system to get inflamed. However, as we have already seen, CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to ease the symptoms of IBS and restore your pet’s gut health. CBD also has antibiotic properties that make it a good remedy for bacterial infections.
Dogs can suffer from pain resulting from old age, injuries or health conditions. Studies reveal that cannabinoids can relieve pain effectively and CBD oil can help to ease the pain if your pet is suffering from painful conditions including:
- Pain due to ageing
- Pain due to general inflammation
- Nerve-related pain
- Oxidative stress resulting in muscle degeneration
Reducing the Effects of Autoimmune Diseases
Dogs are commonly affected by autoimmune diseases like arthritis and it is seen that CBD oil has medicinal properties that can help to reduce inflammatory cytokines production that cause inflammation and allergies.
Also, CBD oil helps to reduce the levels of auto-antibodies and the antioxidant properties of CBD oil help to destroy free radicals, all of which make CBD oil an excellent remedy for autoimmune diseases.
Protecting the Nervous System
CBD oil has neuroprotective properties and has been seen as beneficial to manage neurodegenerative diseases and can be used to treat spine and nerve issues in dogs.
CBD oil helps to minimise the risk of toxicity in brain cells and since it promotes regeneration of the brain cells, it is an excellent option for senior dogs.
Some of the other benefits of CBD oil for dogs include:
- Helps in cognitive dysfunction
- Improves appetite
- Improves mood
- Relieves emotional distress
- Improves general wellness
- Treats skin problems
- Reduces cardiac problems
Benefts of Hemp Oil for Dogs
Hemp oil offers several health benefits for your pet such as:
Improved Coat, Skin and Joints
Hemp seed oil is packed with healthy fats like omega-3, omega-6 and other nutrients that help to make your pet’s coat, skin and joints healthy. It is common knowledge that omega fatty acids are an excellent way to get healthy fats into your diet; however, what is less well known is that dogs can benefit from these healthy fats too and help oil is an excellent natural source of these.
Treating Skin Allergies
Hemp oil can offer excellent therapeutic benefits for many allergies and skin conditions. The fatty acids in hemp oil help to soothe the skin and also treat any deficiencies.
According to a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatments, consuming hemp oil regularly can help to reduce the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.
CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil for Treating Pain in Dogs
When you consider treatment of pain or managing pain in dogs, then both CBD, as well as hemp oil have different areas of focus. While hemp seed oil is more of a dietary supplement that can help to support and manage painful conditions like arthritis, CBD oil is more effective for the treatment of aches and pains and is often used by pet owners in combination with other pain relief medications.
CBD Oil vs Hemp Oil for Treating Anxiety in Dogs
Hemp seed oil does not offer a lot of relief for dogs in terms of anti-anxiety. However, it has been seen that hemp oil when used regularly can help dogs to regain their mobility and the lack of mobility can aggravate anxiety in pets.
However, if you’re looking for an option to calm your dog, then CBD oil, with its cannabinoid properties is more effective and a better option as compared to hemp oil.
Are CBD Oil and Hemp Oil Safe for Dogs?
As a pet owner, the potential benefits of CBD oil and hemp oil for your pet may excite you; however, you want to be absolutely sure that they are completely safe, have little or no side effects and will not harm your furry friend. Both CBD oil and hemp oil are quite safe for dogs and work in the same manner as for humans.
However, before giving your pet CBD oil or hemp oil, make sure to read the instructions on the package for the dosage and other details. It is also recommended that you speak to your vet before you start giving your pet CBD or hemp oil.
Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil and Hemp Oil on Dogs
As discussed earlier, both CBD oil and hemp oil are quite safe for dogs. While they don’t have any serious side effects; however, you may notice side effects such as:
- Dry Mouth
- Reduced Blood Pressure
If you notice any of the above side effects, then you must stop giving your pet CBD oil or hemp oil and consult your vet immediately. You must remember that the dosage guide for CBD oil or hemp oil for dogs has not been approved by the USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and it is not known what dosage would be toxic for your pet.
Any medication or supplement always has the risk of side effects and it is always recommended that you check with your vet before giving any of these products to your pet because they may be suffering from some pre-existing condition that can be affected by the CBD oil or hemp oil. When starting out, begin with small amounts and monitor the effects closely before you continue.
What to Look out for When Buying CBD Oil and Hemp Oil Products
If you decide along with your vet that you want to try CBD oil or hemp oil for treating your pet, then here are some things that you should remember when buying CBD or hemp oil.
Since all oils on the market are not the same, you should ensure that the CBD or hemp oil that you’re purchasing is of the highest quality to make sure that it works effectively.
- Try and purchase organic CBD oil or hemp oil and if the oil is not organic, make sure that it doesn’t contain any pesticides or solvents.
- Avoid cheaper options. Remember that the higher the quality and the purer the CBD oil or hemp oil is, the higher the cost will be. Cheap options may contain heavy metals, pesticides or herbicides, which can be toxic to your pet.
- Purchase a product that certifies the amount of CBD in the product. Also, make sure that the oil contains very little or no THC.
- Always buy the CBD in liquid form. While you can buy dog treats containing CBD; however, in the form of a tincture or oil, you can adjust the dose very easily.
As a pet owner, you’re always on the lookout for ways by which you can keep your four-legged friend healthy and happy. It is not very easy to make health decisions for your pet. And, if you have decided to use CBD oil or hemp oil to treat your pet for any ailments, you may be confused about which one is a better option.
It is just the question of comparing the two and determining which will offer the desired or better results for your pet. Fortunately, both CBD oil, as well as hemp oil are safe choices for your pet without harmful side effects. All it takes it time and a bit of patience to find the dose that is best for your pooch’s specific health needs.