CBD Oil for Pets: What are the Benefits?
By Guest Blogger: Michael Jacobs
Pet owners care for their pets as if they were a child in the family. This is why CBD has exploded on the scene for pet care. The problem is that not many people fully understand CBD and its benefits. This is true for people and doubly so when it comes to pets. This is due to a lack of research and certain stigmata the industry is fighting to overcome.
Here, we will discuss CBD as it pertains to pets as well as how it is made, the benefits of its use for dogs, and the CBD pet market in general. This will give you a better understanding of how CBD can be beneficial when caring for pets.
The Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets
The first thing to look at is the benefits pets will receive when introduced to CBD. It is important to understand that until 2018 when the Farm Bill was passed, CBD was only legal in certain states. As a result, the market was very tight. The information available was even tighter. While there are studies underway, the information is scarce. In fact, many veterinarians will not even discuss CBD oil for pets for fear of prosecution. What we do know comes from anecdotal tales from the pet owners themselves and limited research. We believe the benefits of CBD oil to include the following:
- Stress Reliever
This is the most common use for CBD oil as it pertains to pets. It can help with such things as separation anxiety. It can be used with a body wrap to calm your pet. It can also help a pet with leash aggression to be more docile on walks.
Pets with hip dysplasia and other joint maladies may benefit from CBD's effect on inflammation. By reducing inflammation, your pet may experience rejuvenation in everyday life. Larger breeds of dogs are more prone to develop joint issues with age. In order to minimize the risk of that the pet parent needs to provide the pet with the right type of health supplements and regular exercise.
- Pain Relief
Vets are reluctant to prescribe pain killers to pets. CBD oil for pets may help to decrease pain in a way that is not harmful to their liver-like NSAIDs and other pain relievers tend to be.
- Cancer Relief
While there are studies underway, there is already evidence to suggest lab mice with cancer when given CBD can live longer than those without.
- Reduce Convulsions
Convulsions can be a terrible problem in pets, and CBD has been suggested to help in reducing these. Double-blind studies have shown pets who have been given CBD exhibit fewer convulsions in a month than those without.
As the research continues regarding CBD oil for pets, the list of benefits CBD offers will grow. Additionally, the expectation is vets will be able to prescribe specific dosages to your pets to treat a host of conditions. This is important because the amount of CBD for horses, as opposed to cats, is vast, but without additional research, dosage can be a bit of a guessing game. Always err on the side of too less when first starting out.
What Is CBD Oil and How Is CBD Made?
Understanding the benefits of CBD oil is just the beginning. It is important to turn your attention to how it is made. This is accomplished through a process of extraction. Regardless of whether the final destination of the oil is for use in edibles, tinctures, or for use in a vape pen, the CBD must be extracted from the plants.
The three main types of CBD oil include:
- Isolate – CBD in its purest form. Only CBD exists in the oil.
- Full Spectrum – This will include more parts of the plant and will include extracts like terpenes and other cannabinoids.
- Broad Spectrum - This form also includes compounds from the whole plant, so it may include additional compounds as well as trace amounts of THC.
Generally speaking CBD oil for pets will derive from hemp. The distinction between hemp and marijuana plants has to do with the amount of THC in the plant. Hemp is distinguished as having a THC content of less than 0.3%. This is what is covered in the Farm Bill of 2018 to make CBD legal for use throughout all 50 states.
Extracting CBD from hemp is accomplished through the use of a solvent. The most common solvents used to extract CBD include:
- CO2 – The best solvent as it does not impart any additional flavor, and is the healthiest method.
- Olive Oil – While still healthy, it tends to impart an aroma and taste pets tend to steer clear of.
- Butane – There are byproducts from this extraction method that are not exactly good for your pet to be introduced to.
- Alcohol – It is easy to see why you would not want to use CBD oil using alcohol as the extraction method when using it for a pet.
When done correctly, the extraction method will be accomplished in a laboratory setting. This will guarantee the quality of the product. After extraction, CBD is suspended in oil for easier mixing and dosage. This also allows for manipulating the concentration levels.
CBD Oil for Dogs
The most common market is CBD oil for dogs. This is due in part to the fact dogs are more easily observed than cats. They are larger animals on average and easier to maintain proper dosage. The methods for enjoying the benefits of CBD oil for a dog can range. While there are edible products, like dog treats, on the market it is suggested to use CBD oil directly mixed in with food so you may control the dosage.
Dogs can be finicky eaters at times. They are also experts at eating around something that doesn’t taste good. This is why if CBD oil is to be used directly on food, it is recommended to utilize products with the CO2 extraction method. This way the CBD oil for dogs will produce the desired benefits. This is not to say there is no market for CBD for cats. It is just a more narrow and specialized market.
The CBD Pet Market
With all the benefits of CBD oil, your pets may enjoy, it is easy to see why the market has been growing steadily. In fact, according to a study by Grand View Research, there is the possibility the market could exceed $37.4 million USD in 2020. This is a massive market given the meager beginnings before the Farm Bill of 2018 was passed.
This market is growing in several ways. As mentioned above, the use of CBD for cats is fairly low, but it is growing. The biggest market is for dog owners. New products are arriving on the market seemingly every day. More people than ever are hip to the benefits of CBD oil in their own life. This is bleeding over to the pet sector. While vets may be tight-lipped about CBD oil and its benefits, this will also soon change as laws and research evolve.
While it is impossible to predict the future, it is clear the CBD oil market for pets is on an upward trajectory. How high it will go is undetermined at this point, but it appears to have no end in sight for the near future. As such, it is important to make sure any products are using a CO2 extraction method. This will make them more attractive for savvy pet owners looking for the best products. Having a wide range of products and concentrations allows pet owners to have more to choose from.
By Guest Blogger: Michael Jacobs