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Beginners Guide to CBD Oil for Dogs

Golden Retriever Standing in a field in front of mountains

In recent years the uses of the hemp and marijuana plant have been explored for human and animal use. Until recently all parts of marijuana were illegal to consume. Now with an increase in research, doctors are learning of the helpful uses of hemp, marijuana, and CBD.

What is CBD

Cannabidiol or CBD is found in hemp plants. Unlike what many people believe CBD does not contain THC. THC is the compound found in marijuana responsible for the euphoric state. In recent years CBD has been explored for potential medical uses with success in both human and veterinary medicine.

Husky mix on a hike in front of a river

Is CBD oil for dogs safe?

CBD oil is very safe for dogs. Many dogs show improvement with their condition after taking CBD for a few weeks. Many people have reported that CBD in their dog or cat has significantly reduced or eliminated pain from arthritis or helped with seizures and other neurological problems.

What do you need to know about CBD Legality?

Lab being given a CBD dog treat

CBD is the non-psychoactive part of the plant and depending on what state you live in dictates if it is legal or illegal. THC is the psychoactive part of the plant and at this time is illegal for a veterinarian to prescribe to patients. Marijuana is currently listed as a controlled substance schedule 1 drug meaning that it has no medical benefit or that the benefits from the drug greatly outweigh the side effects with a very strong potential for abuse or addiction. Schedule 1 drugs are illegal for all veterinarians to prescribe and can only be used in research purposes. In human medication, there are certain instances where human doctors can prescribe marijuana to their patients. Hemp Based CDB is the better option due to these complications and commercial grade hemp is legal due to the 2018 farm bill.

How it works

Long Haired Black Dog Playing In Grass With A Blue Frisbee

CBD affects the endocannabinoid system. This system is found in all mammal’s bodies. The endocannabinoid system is a very complex system that contains multiple different receptors which play an important regulatory role throughout the body. Cannabinoids are chemical substances which act on specific receptors. There are three different types of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids, phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are naturally found in the body and are formed in response to an increase in calcium in the cell. Phytocannabinoids are produced by the female marijuana plant. Synthetic cannabinoids are manufactured compounds. Both phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids act in the body just like naturally occurring endocannabinoids. This chemical substance acts on two different receptors CB1and CB2. CB1 is found mostly in the brain and parts of the nervous systems responsible for pain, movement or memory. They can also be found it a lesser degree on the pituitary gland, immune cells, reproductive tissues, intestines, heart, lungs, bladder and adrenal glands. CB2 receptors are found in immune cells, tonsils, and spleen. The psychoactive effect is caused by the CB1 receptor.

What are the benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?

German Shepherd standing on a hill with trees

Colorado State University Veterinary School has published studies showing the benefits of CBD oil in reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis. The information that we have regarding the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine has come from recent studies done on laboratory rodents (mice, rats, and Guinea pigs). Studied on laboratory animals has shown benefits for disorders of the cardiovascular system, cancer, pain, disorders of the respiratory system or metabolic disorders. There has been very little published studied on cannabis in dogs, and cats. Most of the studies in companion and large animal medicine are on the toxic levels, effects, and treatment rather than therapeutic applications. Currently, some of the most frequent studies of cannabis in veterinary medicine are for the treatment of glaucoma, pain, skin disorders and cancer.

Cannabis has been shown to have a wide variety of beneficial effects on the body in laboratory and companion animals. Most cannabis has psychotropic properties which can cause behavior effects in animals and can become addictive. However, there are many other medications that have these same effects and are used for medical purposes today because the benefits are much greater than the side effects. Pet owners have reported the successful use of marijuana with their pets for both large and small animals. Studies are being performed to prove the benefits of cannabis in animals as well as products being produced that limit the THC content to help decrease the potential for toxicity.

Are there side effects of CBD oil?

Beagle being pet while chewing on a stick

There are studies published that show that CBD given to dog over a long period of time at very high dosages have little to no side effects. Some of the dogs taking the medication long term did show a slight increase in a liver enzyme (ALT). While most other medications used to treat dogs can have a large list of unwanted side effect. This makes CBD a great option especially for those pets with chronic pain or other medical conditions that prevent them from taking traditional medications.

What are the different types of CBD products for dogs?

There are different forms of CBD that dogs can take.

  • Tinctures: CBC oils are a very easy way to give your dog CBD. The oils can be mixed in their food, a delicious treat, or dropped directly into their mouth. Some dogs do not like the taste of oils so mixing them with something yummy helps with palatability. Now many oils are made with flavors to mask the unappealing taste.
CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs



  • Treats: Since dogs do not like the taste of the oils there are treats infused with CBD that are more acceptable. These treats are usually chewable and flavored.
CBD Infused Baked Dog Treats



  • Infused: CBD can be infused into almost anything. Common things that CBD is infused into include soft chews and coconut oil.
CBD Infused Coconut Oil For Dogs


From $49.99

Different varieties of CBD

Full Spectrum

Full spectrum CBD contains other chemicals from the whole plants such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and other nutrients.

CBD Isolate

CBD Isolate is pure CBD and does not contain any other molecules or chemicals.

Young Golden Retriever In A Backpack On A Hike In The Woods

CBD Extraction base

CBD can come from two different plants, marijuana or hemp plants. The CBD that comes from the marijuana plants contains THC and the one from hemp does not.

Different Extraction Methods

There are many ways to get CBD out of plants. The most popular methods are CO2, Ethanol and Olive Oil. CO2 uses carbon dioxide at high pressures and low temperature to extract the CBD from the plant. This method can be expensive but leave you with a safe product that is free of chlorophyll. Ethanol is used to make CBD for vape pens. This method can potentially destroy other health benefits that the plant offers. Olive oil is a very inexpensive way to extract CBD but goes bad very quickly.

With CBD becoming more popular among pet owners. We hope this guide gave you all the information you need to find the best product for your pet.

For More SitStay Works Check Out

Beginners Guide To CBD Oil For Dogs By Dr Sara Ochoa

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