CBD, CBD, CBD – it’s the buzzword of the century! As a dedicated pet parent, I am always on the lookout for new, innovative and natural technologies, products and systems to safely assist in the health and happiness of my girls. However, with this product taking off in all spheres, it’s difficult to know whether this “miracle medicine” is something your pet might benefit from or rather a hype hole you’re about to fall into.
CBD oil is generally marketed as a natural remedy for humans and pets to treat conditions like anxiety, pain, epilepsy, cancer and arthritis.
I’m here to explain what CBD oil is, its benefits for pets and how you should choose the correct oil for your pet.
When Max started having seizures back in 2017, I attended a workshop on CBD to find out more about the subject but found the quantity of information very overwhelming. How could a simple oil help ease so many ailments in my dog? Especially an oil derived from a drug that has been engrained in us to be negative and harmful to our systems.
All your burning questions answered below:
1. What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis (marijuana or hemp plant). It is the second most active ingredient in the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana, the component itself doesn’t cause a high, but holds a myriad of healing properties. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the component which causes the high associated with marijuana. After CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant it contains little to no trace of THC. It plays a large role in the regulation of the endocannabinoid system
2. What is an Endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) came up during the workshop I attended and my mind was blown. I had no idea the human body has an entire system that nobody talks about. Turns out dogs and cats have this system too. I’m going to try and explain this as simply as I can.
The endocannabinoid system is the biological system that is responsible for the psychological and physical effects that cannabis has on the body. It has also been discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a major role in regulating many important bodily functions in dogs.
Its job is to provide support and balance to all mechanisms and organs in the body, and relies on a system of cellular receptors which extend throughout the body. These receptors are called endocannabinoids and are produced naturally by the body.
3. How does CBD fit into all of this?
The cannabis plant possesses the same basic molecular substances as the body’s natural endocannabinoids. They are called phytocannabinoids. CBD is one of the phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The receptors of the pet endocannabinoid system are bound by cannabanoids like CBD and can affect the immune system, nervous system, and the body’s organs in very positive ways. CBD oil stimulates these receptors to increase healing and health.
If you want to read more on this subject, this article explains it pretty well: https://www.innovetpet.com/blogs/hemp/the-anatomy-of-dogs-and-cats
4. Is CBD oil legal in South Africa?
Yes. In May of 2019, the Department of Health made the historic decision of making the cannabis derivate cannabidiol available for wholesale distribution in South Africa.
Any products on the market may only contain a maximum daily dose of 20 milligrams (mg) or less. CBD products can’t claim to cure or treat any specific condition. They can only advertise broadly about general health enhancement or promise to relieve minor symptoms.
5. What’s the difference between cannabis, CBD, hemp and marijuana?
Cannabis is the umbrella term for marijuana or hemp. Cannabis is a family of plants in the Cannabaceae family, which consists of three primary species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis.
Cannabis is often used euphemistically in lieu of more casual terms like weed, pot or dagga. The defining characteristic between the two is based on a single factor – the amount of THC in the plant.
Marijuana is a high-THC variety of cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3% THC.
Hemp is a high-CBD variety of cannabis plant. Hemp plants are high in CBD and low in THC (less than 0.3 percent). Keep in mind: Hemp oil doesn’t necessarily mean CBD oil. Hemp oil or hemp seed oil is often used as a CBD carrier oil. Carrier oils addressed further down).
CBD is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant.
What’s more crucial, is to select a product that’s sourced from pesticide-free plants because the harmful pesticide residues can make their way into the final product.
6. What is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?
Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the cannabis plant while CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, flowers and stalks. CBD oil is stronger and holds more benefits while hemp oil can be used as a carrier oil.
7. What is the difference between THC and CBD?
CBD is the part of the plant with NO psychoactive properties. Instead it has only medicinal properties. Your pet cannot get high from this component of the plant.
THC is the part of the plant with psychoactive properties. In other words, this is the part of the plant that causes you, or your pet, to get ‘high’. There are medicinal properties to THC as well.
8. Does using CBD oil have any side effects?
Yes and no. CBD oil is a natural supplement. However, just because a product is natural doesn’t mean you should be complacent about its side effects. Lucky for us, CBD offers little to no side effects for pets and humans alike. A high quality CBD oil is generally well tolerated due to its non-toxic ingredients. There’s also the chance it could interact with medications (sometimes making them more effective), and it’s important to talk to a vet before adding CBD oil to your dog’s regular medication schedule.
Depending on the quality of your CBD oil, side effects may include:
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach
- Slow or increased drug metabolism
- Low blood pressure
9. Will CBD oil make my pet high?
No. Unlike THC found in marijuana, CBD oil contains no psychoactive properties and cannot make you or your pet high.
10. Can my pet overdose on CBD oil?
No. Your pet cannot overdose on CBD isolate oil. This means that it cannot overdose on CBD oil that doesn’t contain THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis). You should not give your pet CBD oil with traces of THC. High doses of CBD oil can be associated with some side effects. It is still advised to administer the recommended dosage.
11. Is CBD oil safe for puppies and kittens?
Yes, CBD oil is a natural supplement which is safe to use on all ages of pets. Be sure to follow dosage guidelines on the packaging. If you are very unsure, consult your local veterinarian.
12. Can I use the same CBD oil mixture for my cat and dog?
No, not always. Some CBD oils, like From The Barkery, are made with tinctures to specifically benefit your dog, cat or horse. Some of these mixtures aren’t safe for other species so we recommend using From The Barkery’s Cat Tincture which is specifically designed for cat endocannabinoid systems in mind.
Be mindful of added ingredients and which are safe to use on your pet.
13. How do I know what dosage to give my pet?
CBD dosage is calculated by the weight of the animal. For instance, you are not going to treat a small Yorkie the same as you would a Great Dane.
It’s important to follow the dosage guidelines on the packaging but because this product is natural, there is room for trial and error. Be patient and give it a few weeks of daily administering to figure out which dosage sits well with your pet.
14. Is it supposed to look like black tar?
Short answer, no. With CBD oil, proof is in the purity. The clearer the colour, the more consistent the % of CBD per milligram. Sticky, raw CBD oil is extracted differently and sometimes contains higher % of THC. It is more difficult to analyse and regulate resulting in incorrect dosage.
Long answer: the clarity boils down to the method of extraction of CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The most common and effective extraction is CO2 but this is the most lengthy and costly. Ideally, you want to buy CBD oil extracted with CO2.
When tested, some black CBD oils contain vastly different concentrations from what is advertised on the packaging. For any course of treatment, consistency of use and dosage is key, making it futile to invest in black CBD to achieve specific results.
Extraction methods vary by their end result health profiles and their impact on the environment. There are three methods of extracting CBD:
- Solvent: involves the use of ethanol, butane, propane, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract the CBD. Results in bitter taste. Extraction process is inexpensive and fast but leaves toxic residue.
- Olive Oil: oldest method of extracting CBD. Safest and cheap method. Highly perishable and can spoil easily.
- CO2: The only downfall to this CO2 extraction process is that it’s a big investment for CBD producers and demands that they dig deep into their pockets. Many premium CBD producers are willing to use this method because it brings a much safer and higher quality product to their consumers. It also does not remove the beneficial contents of the plan as much as other methods do. Lastly, the final product has a much lower chance of having contaminants.
15. What is CBD isolate?
One of the most common CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form. It’s exactly how it sounds – an isolated form of cannabidiol. During the extraction process, everything is removed or filtered out of the hemp plant except for cannabidiol. This leaves you with a pure CBD product.
From The Barkery Pet Tinctures are comprised of CBD isolate.
16. What does the milligram per volume mean?
This part really confused me so I have quotes an expert linked below:
“100mg, 300mg, 1000mg, 2.5%, 8% – these are all examples of the kind of figures that are given on the labels of CBD products. But what do they mean when you’re trying to determine the strength of a product?
The number of mg typically refers to the total absolute amount of cannabinoids in the product. What often confuses people with this figure is that they assume it is the strength of the product, but it isn’t really, especially if you measure your doses by reference to drops, droppers, or millilitres as opposed to aiming for an exact amount of mg. In our experience most people measure doses in drops so understanding what the true strength of the CBD product you use is really important.
For example if you have a 10ml bottle of CBD Oil which has 1000mg stated on the label, and a 20ml bottle that is also stated as 1000mg, then those two bottles have different strengths. Drop for drop and ml for ml, the 20ml bottle is only half as strong as the 10ml bottle. Yes they both contain the same overall amount of cannabinoids, but if you measure your dose in drops or ml’s then you’re getting only half the amount of CBD when using the 20ml product.
The percentage given represents the concentration, i.e. the true measure of the drop-for-drop strength of a product. 1000mg of cannabinoids/CBD in a 10ml bottle is a concentration of 10%.”
17. Why are prices so varying?
Prices mainly vary with the amount of CBD per milligram.
18. What is a terpene?
Terpenes (terpenoids) are found in oils of plants and play a vital role in their survival. One of these roles is to secrete aromas that help us differentiate between strains. This is also how animals know not to eat poisonous plants because their terpenes repel them. They are basic elements in essential oils and are often used in food additives and aromatherapy for their healing properties.
From The Barkery CBD oil allows the cannabinoids and terpenes to work together to achieve what’s called the ‘entourage effect’. Several studies have shown that terpenes work together to help cannabinoids like CBD pass through the bloodstream easier and lower the blood-to-brain barrier.
The way terpenes, CBD, THC, and other phytonutrients all work together within the cannabis plant to affect the body is called the “entourage effect.” This is important to know, because the entourage effect is what causes healing to occur for your pet.
From The Barkery Dog CBD Oil Tincture is a combination of MCT coconut oil and six different terpenes (linalool, Caryophyllene, Mycenae, Limonene, A-Pinene, and Geraniol).
From The Barkery Cat CBD Oil Tincture is a combination of MCT coconut oil, carophyllene and myrcene terpenes.
19. What is a carrier oil?
A carrier oil is required because CBD is fat-soluble. This means that it dissolves in fat instead of water, and allows the body to store it in fat tissues. Consuming CBD along with fat increases the bioavailability of CBD oil. The carrier oil acts as a solvent to dissolve the compounds of the CBD to make them easier to use.
This concept isn’t unique to CBD products. The same concept applies when making concentrated juice by diluting concentrate into water to make it drinkable. The only difference here is that a fat is used instead of water. This is because cannabinoids are soluble in oils and fats instead of water.
20. How to choose the right brand?
Things to look out for when choosing the best CBD oil for your pet:
- Organically sourced ingredients
- CO2 extraction method
- Less than 0.3% THC levels (SO IMPORTANT!)
- No added flavourants that aren’t pet safe like xylitol
- CBD Isolate or Broad Spectrum CBD
- Concentrated milligram per volume
- Proof of 3rd party lab testing (Here is From The Barkery’s CBD Oil Isolate Certificate of Analysis and their product range Certificate of Analysis here and here)
- Customer reviews