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What is CBD? Could it help my Pet?

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

With all the buzz about CBD, do you find yourself still wondering what it actually is...and whether it could be good for your pet, or just a bunch of hype? Me too! So, let’s get some clarity on that today from a vet (that’s me) who was once quite skeptic (before my dog Vinnie became proof of the positive effects). The first thing I can tell you is what CBD is not - it’s NOT marijuana. CBD comes from the hemp plant which must contain less than 0.3% THC.

What’s THC? It's the compound in actual marijuana that results in a high. It is TOXIC to pets in larger amounts. At the very low percentage found in full spectrum pet CBD oils, the THC works with other compounds to achieve the wanted effects on pain and stress WITHOUT resulting in a high or toxic effect in your pet.

CBD oil is NOT a “cure-all” but if you choose the right one, it could really help your pet live a more comfortable, lower stress life.

So, what IS CBD?

It stands for Cannabidiol and it is one of over 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in hemp plants, each having their own specific action, but also working together for best results. If you choose an oil for your pet that has only CBD, and no other cannabinoids or terpenes your pet will be missing out and will likely not experience any effect at all (unless you make it up...aka. Placebo!)

What are terpenes?

They are naturally occurring, aromatic compounds found in plants that are responsible for the positive effects of essential oils and aromatherapy. They have also been shown to have biochemical effects in the body such as: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-anxiety, antimicrobial, antiviral, neuroprotectant and regulatory in the case of certain endocrine diseases. Like cannabinoids, there are many terpenes and each has a unique set of effects. They can act synergistically with other terpenes and with cannabinoids to enhance positive effects for your pet.

How do I choose a CBD oil for my pet?

Chances are, if you’re looking at CBD for your pet, it’s because they are in pain, they are experiencing insomnia, or they get anxious. If you want results, you need to choose an oil that has the cannabinoid and terpene profile that matches their needs.

Things to look for when shopping CBD:

  1. The CBD oil is full spectrum - it has all of the goodies AND they are known to work for what ails your pet.

  2. Third party testing is readily available- to confirm the spectrum and amount of cannabinoids + terpenes and to eliminate worry about contaminants.

  3. The company provides provides education and personalized support.

For my own dog, I chose Dr. Hempdog CBD Oil. Check out our social media pages to read about his journey to a healthier, happier state in just 4 weeks!

—Dr. Nell


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