I was wrong when I discounted the potential benefit of CBD in my patients. I didn’t wait long enough for results. I admit it. But I have had FOUR customers with verifiable results in their pets. That CBD has worked in ANY pet makes it something to consider for ALL pets. At least as ONE avenue to explore when other options are impractical, expensive or ineffective.
CBD [Cannabidiol] Explained
CBD oil and Hemp oil are different in composition and concentration, but the terms are OFTEN used interchangeably. Hemp Oil will often NOT have the CBD/THC concentration on the label. There are at least 20 ways to defraud the consumer or “buy the wrong thing” when assessing CBD/Hemp oils. Some cannabis oils contain ZERO CBD -OR-THC at all. You can get 1000mg CBD for about $21 and you can get a GALLON of Hemp Oil for less than $50. Having 0.0% THC in any oil is not a ‘plus’ for a pet; 0% THC Hemp or CBD oil is for a human who will be taking a drug test. THC in any small amount is good for dogs. Hemp oil without any THC or CBD should be considered no more valuable than an omega 3-6-9 anti-oxidant like a Krill Oil capsule.
It’s a “wild west” of oils out there. You need a Hemp (or other) Oil with the ability to get 0.25mg/lb CBD into your dog or cat twice a day.
This is the CBD that’s the best value for animals. It combines a good price point, a reliable manufacturer that’s well reviewed, I have first hand experience with the ordering process and product and dosing is easy with a syringe, by mouth. A cat gets a mere 0.10 ml by mouth twice a day.
The Meat of the Article
Marijuana is a useful plant with many functions as you may know. It’s impact encompasses arthritis, pain, anxiety, epilepsy, certain endocrine disorders and even fights cancer. None of that is ‘theoretical’ or held out by just the hippies and herbalists. It’s backed up by ridiculous amounts of research. (eriks.net/potbook)
“Marijuana” typically comes from “Cannabis sativa” and “Hemp” plants (a different strain of Cannibis sativa) but they are not that different.
Marijuana has been cultivated to produce a female flower that is very rich in THC.
Hemp has not been cultivated for THC, and mostly produces CBD and almost exclusively in it’s flowers.
Hemp is the twisted fibers of the actual plant. Hemp has many unique and desirable properties unavailable in ropes made of nylon, cotton and other textiles. As a rope, it’s different, not necessarily “better”.
Marijuana is illegal for it’s THC content. Hemp does not contain much THC at all. Neither the male nor the female plant.
THC is Tetrahydrocannabinol which is a major component of the female plant flowers and oils. THC has all the health effects above, PLUS it’s psychoactive, creating a pleasant “high” [and impairing the judgment and reaction time of the user] which can compromise their function in their day-to-day, (driving, behaving) hence the illegality of it.
CBD is Cannabidiol and is the primary active in the oil and flower from the male plant. The CBD compound in male plant oil is not psychoactive. At least not creating a ‘high’. CBD’s cumulative effects are anxiolytic if taken by mouth. It takes about a month to reap these benefits, so patience is indicated. Many people including myself have scoffed at the benefits of CBD because the impact isn’t recognized in a reasonable time frame. As a clinician I had been giving up on it before it had a chance to work. Actual dosages are given later in this article.
When you examine the (literally) thousands of products you can buy with purported CBD benefits, you realize that there is a LOT of chicanery in that market.
“Hemp oil” does not necessarily contain ANY THC or CBD. This is true for Hemp Oil from hemp seed. And they sell it for the same price as a full spectrum or PCR Hemp oil that actually does something.
Most ‘Hemp Oil’ does not specify ANYTHING about whether the product has CBD, THC or neither. It’s just “Hemp Oil”
What’s amazing is that these companies are able to sell a pretty bottle of “Hemp Oil” with NOTHING but claims about “may help” effects for $30 an ounce.
Did you know you can buy a GALLON (128 ounces) of pure Hemp (seed) Oil for FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS?
Some Hemp oil (PCR, Full Spectrum, phytocannabinoid rich) contains CBD, and 0.0% THC
Some Full Spectrum Hemp Oils (which means the whole plant including flower is used) are deceptively labeled. For example: “Our full spectrum hemp oil is an all-natural option extracted from the seeds of the plant.” Hemp SEED oil is not, and can not be: “full spectrum”.
Hemp SEED oil is not, and can not be: “full spectrum”
Some Hemp oil contains CBD, with traces of THC. (Always under 0.3% by volume to remain legal)
Let’s look at the way these labels represent or misrepresent what you’re buying:
You may find 1/2 a fluid ounce, but the bottle says 40 milligrams of CBD = It usually means that there’s 40mg in a “dose” (not the whole bottle) and a dose may be a couple drops. The bottle will share that information.
You could find 1/2 a fluid ounce, but the bottle says 2,000 milligrams of CBD* = It usually means the whole bottle contains 2,000 milligrams of active CBD. If you ingested 1/100th of a bottle you’re getting 20mg of CBD.
Sometimes you find a 1/2 fluid ounce, but the bottle says “15,000 milligrams” (of what?!) = It means they’re not reporting the active CBD but in fact have converted 1/2 a fluid ounce into it’s actual weight – 15,000 milligrams which says nothing about the actual amount of active CBD if any. Often not even an indicator of how much hemp oil is in it. There’s just literally 15,000 milligrams in a half an ounce of anything. Companies misleadingly create the impression of a concentrate.
You may also see a ONE fluid ounce of Hemp Oil, but the bottle says “8000mg”. (Of what?!) And what they’re actually saying is that in one ounce (15,000mg) of their Hemp Oil, it’s 8000mg Hemp Oil (the rest may be coconut or MCT oil)
Amazon has Hemp Oil at 1/2 a fluid ounce, but the bottle says “50,000 milligrams” = This is where manufacturers start really distorting the truth to create the illusion of providing MORE medicine for the money. A number like 50,000 milligrams may speak to a 2 ounce bottle, or straight-up chicanery, or some other twist on the truth.
One company produces a “50000mg Hemp Oil” but that’s *literally* just the product’s name!
Another company says that 1 ml of their Hemp Oil provides 33mg. (Of what?) Well they mean that 1ml of their “Hemp Oil” is 33mg of Hemp Oil and 66mg of something else; coconut / mct oils and other ingredients. But that leaves an enormous information-gap as to whether or not the product has ANY CBD/THC at all!
If your hemp oil comes exclusively from hemp SEED, it contains no CBD at all. Also, no THC at all.
*Some bottles of CBD / Hemp oil may contain pitifully little CBD but are sold at high, CBD prices. For example you may see a 1/2 fl. ounce bottle with a mere 300 milligrams of CBD in the whole bottle.
At Amazon, I’d rely (to an extent) on the reviews that a product gets, but look for the CBD code words*. (Note @ July 2019 – I wouldn’t buy CBD on Amazon at all.)
When purchasing a CBD, some other considerations:
- Is it manufactured by the company or repackaged from bulk?
- How old / respected is the company?
- Is the hemp organically grown?
- Are the plants raised pesticide free?
- Is the hemp farmed on a North American operation with FDA or USDA oversight.
- Cold pressed or extracted with safe reagents. “Cold press extraction process yields a pure, nutty-tasting, nutrient-rich oil that’s high in fatty acids and antioxidants without the use of dangerous and harmful chemicals, hexane, or heat.”
- Third party lab testing to verify purity.
- What is the actual CBD level in the product?
- Truth in labeling. Chances are if they misrepresent the product on the label, the actual oil is probably suspect as well.
Regulations on pet products border on non existent. There’s no need for peanut allergy labeling, and handling / storage may be drastically different. Purity is less likely to be verified and being the actual manufacturer of a pet CBD is less likely than just repackaging from a 350 pound wholesale barrel.
Luckily for the pets, the CBD content in a PET product is less regulated than for humans, making it easier to get. For example: On Amazon, it’s easier to sell Full Spectrum or PCR Hemp Flower Oil for pets than it is for humans. However, even that product contains no CBD.
Still, if you can afford it, I prefer customers to use a HUMAN GRADE unrefined hemp oil for CBD. While it should be pure Hemp Oil, (many companies usea superior Coconut / MCT oil) the company should have tested the active CBD content and report it. They should also report the THC content which should range from 0.0% up to 0.3% tops. As long as it’s under 0.3% THC it’s street legal in all 50 states. And that amount of THC can only help, not hurt the performance of the product. I would prefer a hemp oil with some THC residue.
The dose of CBD for dogs and cats is 0.25mg (one quarter milligram) per pound.
So a ten pound pet would get 2.5mgs per dose.
Typically, CBD is dosed by mouth, in the cheek or under the tongue – twice daily and results are typically unrealized for a month or more. From what I have started to see clinically, folks that tough it out and stick with it reap remarkable benefits after 6 weeks.
*https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/warning-letters-and-test-results-cannabidiol-related-products | FDA tests the “actual” CBD levels in some products and will issue warning letters to companies that misrepresent the CBD content of their products. MAJOR suppliers including Diamond have received letters like this. Just because a company is STILL SELLING a CBD product does not mean they have not had a warning letter.
Bought some Hemp Oil from hemp seed? It has no THC nor CBD.
Hemp oil from the whole plant, including the flower, will be as high as 20% CBD and contain traces of THC. That Hemp Oil will be veiled in code words like PCR, Full Spectrum, Phytocannabinoid rich,
However, misleading manufacturers will market a “Full Spectrum” hemp oil that’s made from hemp SEED – which is CBD-free and the term “full spectrum’ is false. (Here’s an example of that bull shite)
Dosing CBD In Pets
The dose of CBD (a starting point with considerable leighway on either end) is 1/4mg/lb (.25mg/lb) by mouth (in the cheek or under the tongue) twice a day x 6 weeks then 1x daily for the long term. Simply, divide the dog’s weight (in pounds) by four, and you’ve got the milligrams of CBD to give twice a day.
“Cheek dosing” is 30-40% more effective than “in food” dosing. And you needn’t pry the mouth open. See image at left.