The cannabidiol (CBD) oil market for pets is a thriving industry. A significant amount of credit should go to the 2018 Farm Bill, which helped lift the stigma surrounding CBD. Even today, you still find information online linking hemp with marijuana.
While both hemp and marijuana get derived from the cannabis plant, the main difference between the two is the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC content in the plant. For instance, CBD products contain only less than 0.3% THC. Meanwhile, THC tinctures and oils contain more than 0.3% THC, the compound that will produce a euphoric feeling after use.
Fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of the safety and effectiveness of buying CBD products online for their pets. For example, in 2017, the market share of CBD for pets was only $13 million. By 2022, it is projected to hit $125 million, which translates to an 862% increase.
Here are five things to know before giving your pet CBD products:
- Do not look for FDA seal — Unfortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to issue a seal for CBD oils for both pets and humans (well, except this one). As such, you cannot find dosing recommendations. But you can limit the risks by buying only CBD products designed for pet use. These products typically have a lower concentration, which makes them safe for your dog.
- Your veterinarian may frown upon its use — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has not endorsed CBD oil for pets. However, it is not that they do not want to. They are just waiting on the US FDA to issue guidelines. The AVMA recognized the many anecdotal pieces of evidence that point to the benefits of using CBD oil. With that said, there is no expressed ban among its members to use the product.
- Be aware of the risks — As with any medication, you can expect some side effects when using CBD products for your dog. Some of the side effects include dry mouth, drowsiness, and lowered blood pressure. Being aware of the risks means you need to be more cautious. You start with the smallest dosage first, then go up after noticing no danger signs. Starting low will also make sure that your pet is not allergic to the substance.
- How the CBD product extracted — Hemp is is known for its phytoremediation characteristic. What that means, essentially, is that the plant will absorb the chemicals, pollutants, and heavy metals on the soil. While this is beneficial for the earth, it can be risky for the user of CBD oil. The extraction method is vital for the optimum safety of the consumer. The preferred method is called supercritical CO2, instead of the solvent method. Also, the product must be harvested from accredited organic hemp farms to ensure good manufacturing practices.
- Know what type of CBD product to buy — There are several CBD products online, but which one do you choose? For instance, dog treats laced with CBD are sold at dispensaries. But it seems that tincture or oil is the best way to administer the dose. It is the same conclusion reached by the Colorado State University research.
Finally, how much do you give your dog? Some anecdotal evidence pointed to a dose of two milligrams per kilogram of weight for pain management. Thus, start slow, then increase the dosage as you go along.