Pet owners will find an assortment of CBD products on the market, and each has a different use and is designed to serve a certain purpose. While products vary by brand and manufacturer, below are a few CBD product types that interested pet owners should become accustomed with.
CBD Oil for Pets
CBD oil for pets—also known as a “tincture”—consists of a cannabinoid extract from hemp or cannabis that has been “held” in a carrier oil. A common oil is medium chain triglyceride (MCT)/coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil, but others can be used (6).
One advantage to using CBD oil is that it can be dispersed to pets using a metered dropper. This allows you to administer the solution to your pet much more accurately and adjust the dose (up or down) as often as needed. Also, since the oil is dispensed either under your pet’s tongue, cheeks, or in your pet’s mouth, it can be absorbed more quickly than if your pet swallowed a pill or capsule.
The main disadvantage of using an CBD tincture is that some pets don’t enjoy the taste of a plant extract and that tinctures are more difficult to travel with due to potential leakage.
When administering CBD tincture to your pet, we recommend applying it directly in their mouth, or you can inject it inside a treat or on top of their food. When applying directly into your pet’s mouth, aim for the side, up against your pet’s cheek, rather than directly on the tongue. Your pet will thank you.
CBD infused treats
CBD infused treats are a great way to get CBD extract into your pet, especially if they’re a treat junky! These products are made similarly to CBD oils, but then the final product is infused into a treat or chew.
The advantage of using a CBD treat for your dogs or cats is that it is easier to dispense, because they are usually tasty. The downside is that the dose can’t be incrementally altered (up or down), which doesn’t provide as much management as the oil tincture.
CBD Topical Products for Pets
Applying CBD topically is another popular way to utilize CBD products. These products are designed to improve local ailments including aches and skin issues. This type of product is effective because there are cannabinoid receptors found in a pet’s skin.
When using a topical CBD product to your pet, we recommend placing it on a hair-less or a shaved area. Make sure your pet does not lick, scratch, or agitate the area for at least 30-45 minutes.
CBD Gel capsules for Pets
Gel capsules are made in a similar way to oils and tinctures, but the final oil product is held in a gel capsule. These are popular because they work for pets that don’t like the taste of CBD oil or who happen to be choosy eaters. Also, capsules are perfect for traveling. They are less likely to leak and are easier to carry around.
The two downsides of CBD gel-caps for pets are, just like chews, the dosing cannot be easily altered (up or down) when giving pets capsules and, a pet’s body does not absorb these as easily as an oral oil product because the CBD must travel through the stomach lining and that is a longer process.
When overseeing a CBD gel-cap regimen to your pet, consider placing it directly into their mouth or in a preferred treat.
Terpenes, what are they?
In addition to some of the terms and extract types discussed above, you may notice references to terpenes found on the labeling of CBD products. Terpenes are essential oils found naturally within the base plants that give it its distinct odor and taste. Every plant has a “natural defense system” that terpenes play a role in. This unique profile is based on several factors in the environment that the plant is grown in such as the humidity, temperature, light, quality of the soil, as well as any stresses inflicted upon the plant.
Terpenes have their own effects and can work with cannabinoids to improve medical ailments. An example of this is the terpene linalool (also found in lavender). This terpene has been shown to reduce seizure activity when given along with CBD.
Full-Spectrum Vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD Products
When investigating a CBD product for your pet, the effects are not the only thing you should be concerned about. If the terms “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum” are on labels, it provides some understanding into what other compounds are found in the products.
Broad-spectrum CBD products are extracted from hemp, not cannabis. They include all the other cannabinoids from the plant; CBC, CBD, CBDA, CBG, & CBN—except THC. In broad-spectrum products, the THC is entirely removed after the initial extraction.
Full-spectrum CBD products are extracts that contain all the compounds naturally found in the original plant, including cannabinoids (THC and CBD), terpenes and flavonoids. Full-spectrum, hemp-derived products contain less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight, which is federally mandated. All these active compounds work together to provide increased health benefits, commonly called the entourage effect.
Also, you may come across the phrase “CBD isolate” when researching products. CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD and is made by removing the cannabinoids from the plant and then removing all other compounds except for CBD. Isolate is usually 99 percent pure, however, there is supporting evidence that it is more advantageous to use a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum product over an isolate due to the added benefits of the entourage effect (7) (8).