CBD oil is becoming incredibly popular for both humans and pets – and with good reason. Dog owners are finding that it can help with a wide variety of health issues including anxiety, pain, digestive problems, and skin conditions. CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound that is sourced from hemp. Hemp is not the same as marijuana. Hemp has extremely low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what produces the psychoactive effects, and much higher levels of CBD, the substance that provides the therapeutic effects. CBD will not get your dog “high” and is completely safe. 

However, a big problem with the popularity of CBD oil is that hundreds of companies are wanting to “get in on the action” and CBD oil is being sold everywhere. And, of course, they all claim to be the best. People need to know that the industry is not very well regulated. This makes it extremely confusing for consumers who are looking to purchase a quality CBD oil that is safe, effective, and isn’t a complete waste of money. 

Here are 5 questions to ask before you purchase CBD oil for your dog:

  1. Where is the hemp grown? It’s important that the manufacturer has complete control of the source. Stay away from any company with unverifiable sources and be sure to carefully question a company that is based in one state, yet gets their hemp from some place across the country.  
  2. Is it organic? And is there proof? Hemp is an amazing plant because it actually cleans the soil by absorbing heavy metals and toxins. In fact, hemp was used to clean and remediate the soil after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Any toxins in the soil will be sucked up into the plant, and then these toxins will become even more concentrated when the CBD is extracted. A company can claim to be organic and may say something like “organically grown”. But you want a company that has the USDA Organic Certifications on both the hemp and the handlers. 
  3. What extraction method is used? Super critical CO2 extraction is the best. This method uses only pressurized air and extremely low temperatures to safely and effectively remove every beneficial cannabinoid (there are over 100) from the hemp material. Toxic solvent extraction is a cheaper method that many companies employ. It uses ethanol and butane to remove the cannabinoids from the hemp plant, almost always leaving residual amounts of these harsh chemicals in the final product. 
  4. Is it full spectrum CBD?  Full spectrum means the entire plant is processed with nothing removed.  Full spectrum is most effective as the other cannabinoids all work together to have a better result than just one of them alone. CBD isolate takes toxic solvent extraction to the next level where these toxically extracted oils are then exposed to other chemicals to physically leach the CBD molecule out of the cannabis plant, thus destroying all other beneficial cannabinoids. If a product says THC-free or zero THC, that means it is CBD isolate. While this sounds like it would be the best, it’s not. 
  5. How much CBD is actually in the product? Look for CBD oil that has the amounts clearly stated. You need to know how many milligrams (mg) of actual CBD oil is in the bottle or product. And be sure that the company uses independent 3rd party testing. Ask for a certificate of analysis. Many companies will say that the CBD is tested, but the testing is done by their own company. 

CBD can be given to dogs in the form of a pill, liquid CBD oil, or CBD dog treats.  What form to use is mostly a matter of you and your dog’s preference. However, many owners feel that CBD oil for dogs may have better absorption rates. If you are considering CBD oil for your pet, you’ll find that it is not cheap and it’s confusing to try to compare products. Extracting the CBD requires a lot of plant material as well as very careful monitoring of the growing environment. If a product from a company is priced significantly less than others, there is a reason. It may be inferior hemp quality, a cheaper extraction method or less CBD per dose.