We compare hemp and CBD oil for dogs in our extensive guide to help you decide whether one is more suited to your dog than the other. Hemp Oil & CBD Oil are fairly new but do promise a lot. These medical supplements are said to treat certain conditions in dogs. But is it true and which is better?
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: What’s the Difference?
If you’ve been keeping up with trends in pet health, then you’re probably already aware that hemp and CBD oils are some of the hottest products right now.
These products have been claimed to do everything from calming an anxious pup to helping older dogs with joint and mobility issues. However, if you’re not familiar with them or how they work, it’s easy to get confused when deciding which to buy.
The biggest question, of course, is whether there’s a difference between hemp oil and CBD oil, and if so, what that difference is.
In this brief guide, we’ll give you an overview of both products, so you can decide which one to purchase for your pup.
What’s the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?
Both products are derived from the hemp plant, so it’s easy to assume that they’re the same thing. That assumption would be erroneous, however.
Hemp oil is usually made from hemp seeds, whereas CBD oil is made from the rest of the plant (the flowers, stalks, and leaves).
While they both come from the same plant, they have different properties and are best used for different things.
Generally speaking, hemp oil is more of a nutritional supplement, as it’s loaded with important antioxidants. CBD oil, on the other hand, is used for medicinal purposes.
It’s important to note that many online platforms (such as Amazon) don’t allow the sale of CBD oil, so you may find manufacturers selling CBD oil but labeling it as hemp oil. Always check the label to see where the oil came from so you know for sure what you’re getting.
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay
The Importance of Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are compounds that are found in the Cannabis sativa plant. The most well-known cannabinoid is THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects triggered by marijuana use.
THC isn’t found in either hemp or CBD oil, so you don’t have to worry about your dog getting stoned. However, there are 65 other cannabinoids found in hemp, including one known as cannabidiol, or CBD.
All vertebrates have receptors throughout their bodies for producing and receiving cannabinoids. Many are found in the brain, where they help with memory and motor functions, while others boost your immune system and the production of bone marrow cells.
When you ingest cannabinoids, they can inhibit the release of neurotransmitters responsible for releasing certain chemicals, such as stress hormones or pain signals. This is why cannabinoids like CBD are now being explored for their abilities to treat pain and other issues in pets and humans alike.
Cannabinoids are only found in the resin of the plant, so you won’t find it in the seeds; it’s only present in the stalk, leaves, and flowers. As a result, this makes hemp oil and CBD oil extremely different in how they interact with your body.
Overview of Hemp Oil
While hemp oil may not offer any of the major medicinal benefits that CBD oil is famous for, that doesn’t mean it’s without merit on its own. In fact, it’s one of the most antioxidant-rich substances on the planet.
Hemp oil is chock-full of omega fatty acids, which can be used for everything from improving brain function to fighting off inflammation. If you’ve ever heard that fish is good for you, it’s largely due to the omega fatty acids, and hemp oil has them in spades.
As a result, hemp oil may be able to help with certain medical issues, such as skin conditions, arthritis, and lowering cholesterol, but its effects are going to be less visible and dramatic than those you’d find with CBD oil.
That being said, hemp oil will make your dog healthier overall, which is never a bad thing. There aren’t really any downsides to giving your dog hemp oil, but it’s important to know that you won’t see an immediate difference like you would with cannabinoid-rich CBD oil.
When Should You Give Your Dog Hemp Oil?
There’s really no bad time to start giving your dog hemp oil; dogs of any age will benefit from the antioxidant-rich oil.
Younger puppies can benefit from it, as omega fatty acids are important for proper brain and eye development. It will also help their immune systems become as powerful as possible.
If you’re giving it to an adult dog, treat it as more of a preventative measure than anything else. Hemp oil can stave off issues like heart disease and dementia, so you can’t go wrong adding it to your dog’s chow.
Once your pup becomes a senior animal, hemp oil becomes even more important for keeping their brain, heart, and immune system functioning properly. The anti-inflammatory properties will be helpful too, but you may still need to give your dog a pain reliever as well.
Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil For Your Dog: What’s The Difference?
Both produced from a variety of the Cannabis sativa (hemp) plant, hemp oil and CBD oil have grown in popularity as natural supplements and treatments for a variety of conditions. As humans have begun to use and benefit from these products, those who own dogs became interested in whether their beloved pets could be helped by them as well.
Most of the scientific research into the benefits of hemp oil and CBD oil centers around humans. However, early research is beginning into some of the medical claims and benefits of CBD oil specifically.
Overall, CBD oil appears more effective than hemp oil when it comes to serving as an alternative medical treatment for conditions like arthritis and epilepsy. Hemp oil serves as more of a dietary supplement with some definite health benefits, though not at the same level as CBD oil. We’ll dig into the concrete differences in this article.
At a Glance
Let’s look at the key points of hemp oil and CBD oil.
Image Credit: Left – Hemp Oil (Aedka Studio, Shutterstock); Right – CBD Oil (CBD-Infos-com, Pixabay)
Overview of Hemp Oil:
Image Credit: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock
How It’s Made:
Hemp oil is produced by first removing the outer husk of the seed. The seeds are then cold-pressed to extract and collect the oil. To maintain the quality and nutritional value, hemp oil should be made and stored in a cool, dark location.
Hemp oil contains a high amount of beneficial fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. It is a good source of protein, vitamin E, and many other minerals. Hemp oil also contains a beneficial fatty acid called linolenic acid (LA).
In humans, hemp oil has numerous medical benefits. Hemp oil can improve skin health and is especially beneficial for people who suffer from dry skin conditions like eczema.
Foods rich in LA, like hemp oil, are beneficial for heart health, including lowering blood pressure and lowering the risk of stroke.
Hemp oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to relieve pain and to decrease symptoms in those suffering from inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
The benefits of hemp oil in dogs are just beginning to be studied but reports suggest the benefits to skin and the anti-inflammatory properties seen in humans will carry over.
Is It Safe?
Hemp oil is considered safe for dogs. In some cases, it may cause GI signs like diarrhea or vomiting.
Overview of CBD Oil:
Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay
How It’s Made
CBD oil is produced from CBD extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant. Various methods can be used for this process, each with its pros and cons.
How It Works
CBD works by interacting with a component of the nervous system called the endocannabinoid system. This system helps control the immune response, sleep, and pain sensations. Research is ongoing regarding how exactly CBD fits into this process.
While most CBD research centers on humans, other animals, including dogs, have an endocannabinoid system. Therefore, it’s believed that CBD will have similar benefits in dogs as it does in humans.
Unlike hemp oil, which is primarily used as a dietary supplement with secondary health benefits, CBD oil is used to treat several different medical concerns. CBD is usually used as a natural alternative or a secondary treatment to pharmacy-produced drugs, although there is one FDA-approved, CBD-derived medication used to treat childhood epilepsy.
For dogs, early research and first-hand experience from many pet owners suggest that CBD oil helps relieve pain and inflammation, especially in dogs with arthritis and chronic pain.
Research also found that giving CBD oil with traditional epilepsy medications can help reduce seizure frequency in dogs.
CBD may have anti-nausea effects in dogs, but this has yet to be supported by research.
Is It Safe?
CBD oil appears to be safe for dogs overall. Some elevations in a certain liver value have been noted in humans and dogs who’ve taken CBD. The significance of this is not known with certainty. Some dogs may become more sedate when taking CBD oil.
A major concern with the CBD industry is the lack of regulation, leading to uncertainty about how much CBD is present in products like CBD oil. There are also still questions about whether CBD products can legally be given to dogs, aside from the one FDA-approved drug. Veterinarians must be cautious about recommending CBD products because of this.
What Are The Differences Between Them?
Image Credit: elsaolofsson, Pixabay
Chock full of beneficial nutrients, hemp oil is the winner when it comes to pure nutrition. CBD oil is produced from a different part of the plant and doesn’t contain the same nutrients.
Based on early research, the medical uses and benefits of CBD oil edge out hemp oil. Again, hemp oil is not used to actually treat medical conditions while this is the main purpose of CBD oil.
CBD oil is more complicated and expensive to produce than hemp oil. Because of this, CBD oil is more expensive to buy.
Basing this purely on potential side effects, hemp oil is safer than CBD oil. However, CBD oil is generally considered safe as well, with the possibility of some side effects as we discussed. CBD oil also has the extra danger of possibly being inaccurately labeled, leading to overdosing or even THC ingestion.
Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay
What The Users Say
As we wait for further scientific research about the benefits of CBD oil and hemp oil, plenty of pet owners continue to use these products. We’ve taken a look at what some of these users have to say as we compare the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil in dogs.
For starters, a survey by a holistic veterinary journal found that 64% of people who’d given their pet a hemp product felt that it helped them. These findings are supported by the owner reports collected by a California veterinarian who was an early supporter of CBD and hemp products in animals.
Reviews of various hemp oil products find that many users report success with these products when it comes to helping ease pain and inflammation. Others purchased the product to help with anxiety and found less success. This is an example of the importance of truth in labeling as there is no actual evidence that either CBD or hemp oil helps with anxiety in dogs.
Owner reports on the effectiveness of CBD oil are generally positive especially as a pain reliever and arthritis treatment. Again, with the lack of regulation of CBD products, the health claims and anecdotes not supported by science are widespread, including among dog owners. Owners using CBD oil alone for seizure control seemed to have less success, which is consistent with scientific research.
Aside from wading through the wild health claims made about CBD oil, the biggest struggle owners report is how to safely and accurately dose their pets with CBD oil. As we mentioned, veterinarians are on shaky legal ground if they discuss or recommend using CBD oil, including discussing dosages. This generally means owners must rely on the CBD companies to come up with the right amounts to give and trust that the products are accurately labeled as well.
Image Credit: R+R Medicinals, Pixabay
Both hemp oil and CBD oil are generally safe products to give to your dog. While both have health benefits, CBD oil is the more potent product with the wider potential as an actual treatment for medical conditions like epilepsy and arthritis. The benefits of CBD oil are supported by first-hand accounts from pet owners as well as some early scientific research.
Hemp oil is easy to obtain with none of the unclear legal issues that make CBD oil more complicated. The quality and potency of CBD are not well-regulated, making it difficult for pet owners to know for sure what they’re getting when they purchase CBD oil.
So long as pet owners keep their expectations in line with what is scientifically supported instead of purely anecdotal evidence, CBD oil can be a safe treatment alternative. Hemp oil has its benefits as well, so long as owners are aware of the differences between the two products and don’t expect to see the same results with hemp oil as they do CBD oil.
Featured Image Credit: Aedka Studio, Shutterstock (Up), CBD-Infos-com, Pixabay (Down)
Elizabeth Gray is a lifelong lover of all creatures great and small. She got her first cat at 5 years old and at 14, she started working for her local veterinarian. Elizabeth spent more than 20 years working as a veterinary nurse before stepping away to become a stay-at-home parent to her daughter. Now, she is excited to share her hard-earned knowledge (literally–she has scars) with our readers. Elizabeth lives in Iowa w ith her family, including her two fur kids, Linnard, a husky mix and Algernon, the worldʻs most patient cat. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching all sports but especially soccer, and spending time outdoors with her family. . Read more
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