So you’re considering purchasing CBD oil for your pet. That’s a stellar start, but understanding the potential benefits and finding a brand that can deliver them are two separate issues. Because the regulations about cannabis today are both conflicting and confusing, there are dozens of less-than-scrupulous brands that are selling products that don’t match the claims they’re making.
How can you cut through the chaos to determine which CBD product makes sense for you?
Below are ten questions to ask about any cannabis brand to separate their claims from what they can deliver.
1. Is the product a CBD isolate or a full-spectrum oil?
Most CBD oils are sold in two forms: a CBD isolate and a full-spectrum oil. A CBD isolate is precisely what it sounds like; a pure CBD concentrate that doesn’t contain any other active compounds or trace ingredients. Full-spectrum CBD oil, in contrast, contains more than one active plant-based compound and often includes other cannabinoids like CBL, CBN, or CBCVA. [i]
Which type is better? It’s not easy to give a clear answer.
Certain people and canines respond better to one type than another, but full-spectrum products tend to be the most preferred because of a principle called the “entourage effect.”[ii] This means that the presence of other ingredients can enhance the health effects of CBD.
As an example, our Full Spectrum CBD Oil For Dogs contains medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil to ease the absorptive process and improve the oil’s functioning.
2. Does the product actually contain CBD oil?
Strange but true, some “CBD” dog products contain just trace amounts of this critical compound.
Manufacturers can get away with this by labeling their packages with phrases like “hemp-infused” or “hemp-based.” These terms are meaningless from a legal perspective and don’t provide much insight into the potency of the product. A cursory look at FDA warning letters sent to companies caught falsely advertising the amount of CBD oil within their products should put you an alert to look closer at their claims.[iii] [iv]
For this reason, it’s important to seek out products with labels that disclose the quantity and ratio of both CBD and THC per dose, and then check to see if the dosage listed on the bottle matches what’s stated in the manufacturer’s lab report.
3. What dosage is recommended?
When it comes to administering CBD oil to canines, the dose you use is critical.
After all, dogs range in size from ten-pound chihuahuas to oversized Saint Bernards and everything in between. This means that the effective treatment size for each dog will be different, and a CBD product should be explicitly clear about how much you should use for any size. While the general rule is 1 mg of oil per ten pounds of weight, this amount can vary depending on the brand, oil type, and overall potency.
For our Full Spectrum CBD Oil For Dogs, we suggest using one dropper (1mg) for every nine pounds of weight.
4. Where is the CBD oil sourced from?
There’s a lot of contention around the cannabis plant today, and the variety that supplied your CBD oil makes a significant difference in its potency and legal status. Commercial CBD can come from either the marijuana plant or from industrial hemp, and the cannabidiol molecules are the same in both. What does change, however, is the amount of THC within the oil. All fifty states allow the sale of CBD oil that contains a 0.3 percent concentration of THC or less (so long as it came from a hemp plant), but many forbid its sale if the level is higher than that. [v]
Likewise, some unscrupulous brands are selling CBD sourced from overseas that is stripped from the byproducts of industrial hemp plants. These plants aren’t grown with a focus on their CBD content,[vi] and the resulting oil is usually a lower grade. Even worse, it might contain harmful added compounds that might affect your pet.[vii] One way to spot these inferior products is that they are often cut with low-quality carrier oils or other additives to cover up any unpleasant scents.
5. What is the extraction method?
Origin and purity are critical concerns for CBD oil, but you shouldn’t discount the importance of the processing method as well. The most common extraction method today is ‘super critical CO2’,[viii] which is the same methodology used for extracting essential oils and to develop commercial perfumes. This CO2 extraction method is preferred for safety reasons. It doesn’t leave a solvent residue behind, though it does compromise the range of compounds that you can pull out from the product. However, many extractors find the tradeoff worthwhile because the resulting product is purer than other forms of CBD oil.
The second most common extraction method is a lower cost process that relies on butane and food-grade ethanol.[ix] While these compounds don’t compromise the resulting oil, it’s smart to avoid any brand that uses toxic solvents for their extraction. These can include BHO, hexane, propane, and other kinds of hydrocarbons.
6. Are there artificial ingredients within the oil?
When it comes to buying quality CBD products, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients list beyond its active compounds.
For instance, sick pets shouldn’t be given treats or supplements that have ingredients that might worsen their symptoms or trigger allergies, including GMOs, trans fats, corn syrup, artificial colors or preservatives, thinning agents, and other dubious substances.
7. Is there evidence of third-party testing?
When it comes to buying CBD oil for dogs today, a lot of the information that’s revealed about any product comes down to the discretion of the supplier. For this reason, it’s best to look only at products that have valid third-party lab results.[x]
This helps you know whether the CBD concentration is significant if the product is free of mold and agricultural contaminants, and whether it is free of trace amounts of heavy metals. Since many pet owners give their dogs CBD on a regular basis, taking the time to ensure you’re buying a brand that’s invested in purity that will reduce the risk of your dog suffering from a toxin buildup.[xi]
Is a company reluctant to share any test results with you? Take this as a sign that they might be hiding something and shop elsewhere.
8. Is the oil organic?
When it comes to sourcing quality CBD oil, organic certification can’t be overemphasized.[xii]
Hemp is a known bio-accumulator of soil toxins,[xiii] [xiv] which means the plant pulls contaminants out of the soil and stores them within its leaves. Conventionally grown cannabis is at risk of contamination from pesticides, fungicides, and solvents that might adversely affect your dog, so it’s critical that you get it from a reputable source.
Non-organic oil is also a sign that the product might be an import. Industrial hemp is often grown overseas with little regard for plant health or soil quality, and the plant’s byproducts are often sold to CBD extractors in the United States for a low-cost oil supply. Unfortunately, the extraction process concentrates any adulterants or toxic ingredients and elevates the risk that the product might harm your dog.
A safer option? Look for CBD oil from suppliers that source their product from countries that monitor and prioritize soil health. Canada and the United States both tend to be smart options. Of course, the best choice of all is to seek out certified organic oils like our Full Spectrum CBD Oil For Dogs.
9. What is the CBD delivery method?
The more CBD oil, the better, right? It’s a common belief that the higher the cannabidiol concentration is in a product, the stronger its health effects will be. However, the truth is that concentration isn’t the only indicator of a CBD oil’s potency. Instead, the critical qualification is how bioavailable the compound is. In other words, you should care more about the percentage of the CBD that your dog can absorb in his system. This is the effective-therapeutic dose, or the amount that your pet can metabolize per treatment.
How you should give your dog CBD oil depends on the ailment that you plan to treat. For fast results, concentrated oils and tinctures tend to be best because they are readily absorbed into the bloodstream. You can boost the benefits further through sublingual dosing, a process where you administer CBD directly beneath the tongue so that it gets absorbed by those tissues.
This method of administration puts the active ingredient in close contact with the blood vessels in the mouth that are close to the surface of the skin.[xv] This is considered better for dogs than feeding them edible treats or applying the product topically, as it helps you streamline the dose. Dogs are far more sensitive to CBD than humans, so sublingual dosage lets you can use the minimum amount necessary and reduce any risk of accidentally giving your dog too much.[xvi]
Our Full Spectrum CBD Oil For Dogs comes with a dropper to ease the accuracy of measuring out each dose for your dog and to improve the process of getting your pet to swallow it.
10. What is the price point?
It’s tempting to go with the cheapest option when buying CBD oil, but you don’t want to subject your pet to problem ingredients or a weak formulation. When it comes to cannabis, you usually get what you pay for- so this is not a product worth price shopping for. Invest in quality, and your pup will thank you.
There are more options than ever for how you can administer CBD oil to your dogs. Does it matter what strategy you choose? The delivery method of your pet’s CBD oil is possibly the most critical factor to consider in the purchasing process.
While you can find CBD available as capsules, treats, and topicals … our #1 recommendation is tinctures:
CBD tinctures are a highly-concentrated form of CBD oil that typically comes in a glass bottle with an included dropper for easy administration. This makes it convenient to add the oil to your pet’s food, water bowl, or even directly below their tongue through sublingual dosage.
Tinctures are the quickest way to get cannabinoids into the bloodstream, which makes them well-suited for treating acute issues like seizures, muscle pain, nausea, and debilitating nausea. Regular use also seems to reduce the symptoms of some chronic diseases like cancer and heart conditions.
Likewise, liquid doses also have profound benefits compared to CBD dog treats or capsules because the digestive enzymes present within stomach acid can destroy the bioavailability of the active cannabinoids. Some reports state that as much as 90 percent of the compound is destroyed before it can make a difference for your dog.[xvii] This makes it significantly harder to measure and monitor the actual effective dose that your pet received, and how much they need to find relief.
We believe that CBD tinctures are the best way to administer the compound to your pet, which is why we’ve developed our Full Spectrum CBD Oil to help your dog get the best benefits for their health.
To reduce the risk of an adverse reaction, make sure you start your pet with a minimal dose of CBD. We recommend a dropper full of our Full Spectrum CBD Oil for every nine pounds, administered no more than twice a day.
When you first begin CBD treatment, it’s smart to document your dog’s experiences so that you can keep adjusting the dosage and delivery for better results.
Within no time, you will figure out the right way to treat your pet and will soon manage to determine whether CBD oil makes a positive difference for his health. Give cannabinoids a try today, and we think you’ll be impressed.