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CBD vs THC For Dogs: Why Pet Owners Should Know the Difference

white lab standing on a trail in the forest looking ahead

From doggy treats to canine-friendly oil, CBD is an increasingly popular choice for treating dogs experiencing a variety of common symptoms. As CBD oil comes from marijuana or hemp plants, it’s no wonder that many pet owners are concerned about the effects it may have on their dog. Keep reading to discover how to pick the safest option for your dog, including the difference between CBD and THC.

What is CBD?

Lab laying in the grass of a lawn with its tongue out

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring oil deriving from either the marijuana or hemp plant. Boasting a wide variety of health benefits for humans and dogs alike, CBD oil is generally considered safe and non-addictive.

The difference between hemp and marijuana-sourced CBD relates to the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content. THC is the chemical compound found in marijuana that provokes psychoactive effects. Although all CBD oil contains relatively low levels of THC, CBD sourced from marijuana can have up to 10% THC. Meanwhile, CBD oil sourced from hemp contains a little as 0.3% THC. Therefore, many US states restrict the sale and manufacturing of CBD oil from marijuana, whereas CBD from hemp is relatively widespread.

Since it contains little-to-no psychoactive ingredients, hemp-sourced CBD invokes a different feeling to the ‘high’ to that generally associated with cannabis. Instead, CBD acts as a relaxant – hence why it’s so great for anxious, pained or elderly dogs! Not all CBD products for dogs are the same, so keep reading to discover what’s best for your dog depending on their needs.

Is THC safe for dogs?

German short haired pointer with its tongue out the side of its mouth

As we have already discussed, THC produces psychoactive effects. For this reason, it is not safe for your dog’s consumption. Instead, you should opt for CBD products with little-to-no THC content.

You would be forgiven for thinking that THC isn’t that dangerous for dogs, as it is consumed by humans who want to invoke a ‘high’. However, THC can produce very serious side effects in dogs. If you’re concerned that your dog has consumed CBD products containing THC, keep your eyes peeled for the following symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Hunger
  • Lack of coordination
  • Incontinence
  • Nausea

Always consult your vet before giving your dog anything to treat pain and anxiety, as it may interact with any existing medication your pet is taking.

CBD benefits for dogs

Curly Haired dog in tall grass with trees next to them

Dogs can feel amazing benefits from safe CBD products. If your dog isn’t seeing great benefits from medical intervention or you’re simply looking for something to compliment their existing regime, why not try adding CBD oil or treats into their daily routine?

Conditions effectively treated with CBD include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Pain (especially joint pain and/or osteoarthritis)
  • Noise phobia
  • Inflammation

CBD really is a wonder product – when used correctly! Remember to consult your vet if you’re unsure about whether CBD is right for your pet. They are best placed to advise on whether your dog’s condition can be treated with CBD. You should never ignore your vet’s advice as they will know whether your dog can tolerate CBD, along with whether it will interfere with any existing treatment they are receiving.

CBD products for dogs

Borzoi Panting with its hair blowing in the wind

When you’re purchasing CBD products, make sure it is hemp-derived and not marijuana-derived. As we’ve already mentioned, CBD products from hemp contain virtually no psychoactive ingredients (THC). Your dog will get all the benefits of CBD with none of the side effects.

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That’s not to say you can start liberally applying CBD oil your dogs every meal. Instead, it’s better to start with a small dose and monitor your dog’s symptoms. If you’re giving your dog CBD oil for pain, notice when their symptoms are at their worst and administer accordingly. You’re better off under-dosing and overdosing as it’s easier to build up from there.

Dogs with separation anxiety can also benefit from the positive effects of CBD. Why not fill apuzzle toy with peanut butter and CBD oil or sprinkle treats in their crate before you leave them home alone? This will keep them busy and chilled until you return.

CBD is also effective for treating gastrointestinal issues in dogs. As with other ailments, be sure to keep dosage small and read labels of treats or oils carefully. If you notice any negative effects in your dog that last longer than 12-24 hours, take them to the vet immediately.

CBD vs. THC for dogs

Samoyed Smiling On A Beach With Water Behind them

Before you purchase any CBD products, read the item’s description very carefully. It is paramount that you choose hemp-derived CBD as this is generally the safest option for your precious pooch.

They’ll feel a wonder of benefits from CBD, but it may take some time to work out what best for them. Consider trying CBD in different forms before deciding which is best for your pet. From deliciousCBD-infused treats topotent oils, there’s an abundance of choice on the market. If your canine companion suffers from doggy dandruff, why not tryCBD-infused coconut oil as a topper for their dinner or as an ingredient in homemade treats?

The possibilities really are endless, as are the benefits. Help your dog through their anxieties with CBD’s calming effects or soothe their aches and pains as they get older. Whatever your dog needs help with, CBD could give your pal the boost they need to live their best and happiest doggy life.

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

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