Here’s What You Need To Know
If you’ve been looking for an ultimate guide to CBD oil for animals, then you are in the right place. After you read this, you’re going to be a bonafide expert on CBD oil so let’s not waste any more time.
To start, let’s clear up what cannabidiol (CBD) is and isn’t. CBD is a cannabinoid derived from cannabis which is the genus of plants both hemp and marijuana belong to.
While CBD is found in both hemp and marijuana, these two plants aren’t the same. The biggest difference between the two is hemp plants have extremely low levels of THC. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is a cannabinoid-like CBD, but unlike CBD, it causes a high when ingested. Marijuana, as you can guess, has a lot of THC in it.
CBD and THC are just two of hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis plants, but strangely only THC causes a high. As such, CBD oil derived from hemp can’t get you or your pet high, so always make sure you are using CBD oil derived from hemp — THC is toxic to pets, especially dogs.
Messy Terminology: Why CBD oil isn’t the best term
A little later you’ll find out how CBD works, but for now, you should know that CBD oil isn’t the best term. The hemp extract we call CBD oil, contains hundreds of different cannabinoids that provide their own therapeutic properties alongside CBD’s.
And that’s not all that’s adding to hemp’s amazing healing powers. The lipids and oils that give plants their aroma also provide beneficial support to the body — if you’ve used essential oils before you've used terpenes. We all know that cannabis is famous for its aroma, and that’s because it’s richer with terpenes compared to most vegetation.
So what should we call CBD oil instead? “Phytocannabinoid Rich (PCR) oil” is gaining a lot of attraction, as well as “Full Spectrum Hemp”. Both are fantastic terms that paint a much more accurate picture of how this oil is helping so many.
CBD’s legality is tricky. At its simplest, federally, CBD exists in a legal grey area but is most likely legal in your state. Idaho, South Dakota, West Virginia, Nebraska, and Kansas are the only states where CBD use is technically illegal, but law enforcement isn’t currently targeting people who use CBD in those states and don’t look like they will.
All in all, you can purchase CBD in any state with little concern for being penalized for using it, but caution is advised as always. Now to its legality federally.
CBD lives in a grey area federally because CBD can be derived from the stalks — the large majority of it is in the flowers, however. Stalks are not covered under the definition in the Control Substance Act when defining “marihuana”. Therefore any derivatives from cannabis stalks are legal.
The DEA would have to raid a company’s production warehouse, prove that they were using flowers to create the oil instead of the stalks to show that the product was illegal. However, they couldn’t do this even if they wanted to. Congress stifled use of funds for targeting both CBD and medical marijuana in states where it’s being cultivated.
Again, most states have passed their own laws legalizing CBD oil as long as it’s derived from hemp, which is legally defined, federally, as having 0.03% THC or less. If your in a state where you’re worried about using CBD, you’ll want to make sure you CBD products are derived from the stalks.
How Does CBD Work
Before I explain how CBD or full spectrum hemp works, I want you to picture a factory in place of a body— it can be your pet’s or your own. Got it? Good, let’s start.
The brain is the boss who monitors the different levels/regions of the factory which are just the organs and systems. When something goes wrong in one of the regions, the brain will send special workers (self-produced cannabinoids) to go fix the problem. It looks like this
- Step 1. There is an issue in the body: anxiety, inflammation, pain, etc.
- Step 2. The brain produces cannabinoids to correct this issue.
- Step 3. Cannabinoids are sent to activate receptors located in all region where we have an issue.
- Step 4. Upon activation, the receptors start stabilizing and repairing the region they are located in.
- Step 5. The region/organ is stabilized and starts properly functioning.
So where does CBD fit in? Think of CBD as leader of the other phytocannabinoids. Phyto means cannabinoids created by plants, while endo means cannabinoids created by mammals. With support from the other phytocannabinoids, CBD will attach to and temporarily deactivate FAAH enzymes, which allows those endocannabinoids brain produces to build up.
Cannabinoids In Action
To see this in greater detail let’s look at inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to germs, pathogens, etc. and it’s the white blood cell’s job to eliminate these harmful stimuli.
Unfortunately, the immune system can trigger inflammation even when there is no threat in sight. Other times, inflammation might not stop after the white blood cells have eliminated the threat, and instead, they mistakenly attack the body.
When this happens, the brain starts producing endocannabinoids and send them to receptors located in the immune system in hopes that it will clear up the confusion and stop the inflammation. This process of endocannabinoids attaching to receptors which then help repair organs and systems happens constantly because mammals are up against millions of threats every day.
Both you and your pet’s bodies are constantly fighting threats like stress, germs, temperature changes, lack of sleep, carcinogens, etc. every single day. The more cannabinoids we have, the more receptors we have activated which promotes greater support and protection against external threats and general wear and tear.
But as you can see, the body can’t always produce enough cannabinoids on its own, especially when multiple problems are occurring. CBD gives us and our pets the ability to handle all the threats and stress of modern living.
Dosage & Safety
Because of how CBD oil works, we get a relatively safe medication, and this includes both low and high doses. Often with many pharmaceuticals, increasing the dosage greatly increases the side effects. It doesn’t appear that you can have too many cannabinoids in the system, as well, temporary deactivating FAAH enzymes is safe too.
Some caution is advised if you or your pet are already taking a drug metabolized in the liver as CBD will also attached to CYP enzymes — talk to your doctor or vet if this is a concern.
There is no known toxic amount of CBD that you can take or give, but with really higher doses you may see some lethargy. People that take CBD for their insomnia have to take at least 100 mg for CBD to work.
Luckily, all other conditions do not require anywhere near that amount, and you can check out this nice little calculator to figure out the correct dose for you and your pet. I’m not going to throw out a bunch of dosages at you because it depends heavily on weight and the calculator is way more helpful with that.
There is Always More to Learn
We covered a lot about CBD, and after reading this you definitely know more than most, but there is always more to know. So if you’re interested in CBD or already using it, stay up to date with our blog and check out all the new hemp products we are releasing this year for pets.
For more information on CBD Oil for Pets, click here!