CBD for pets vs. humans: Can I share with my dog?
2 November 2020
Humans have been aboard the CBD train in recent years, but its discovery in the pet health and wellness world is still growing. It’s finally starting to catch on that CBD has benefits for both humans and pets. If you own a dog, you may have been noticing the uptake in CBD products marketed to canines and be curious about this latest remedy to assist with pain.
Because when our dogs suffer, we want to do anything in our power to make it go away. Then the question is, especially if you take CBD oil yourself:
Can I give my dog ‘human’ CBD oil? Yes...and no.
The thing is, CBD oil for both humans and animals is relatively similar. Quality CBD oil should be high purity, derived from organic hemp plants and have little to no traces of the active THC cannabinoid component (under 0.3%). And while doses vary, CBD contains nearly the same health benefits in dogs as it does humans, including anxiety, seizures, symptoms of cancer, pain, etc. If taken appropriately, it can serve as a safe and useful treatment for a number of ailments, significantly improving a dog or human’s quality of life.
When it comes to sharing CBD products with your doggo, it’s technically okay if you’re administering oil with low THC, that’s also hemp-derived. At the end of the day, both dogs and humans have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) - the effects of CBD oil for dogs on the ECS are the same as humans.
So, how are CBD oils for humans and dogs different?
There are many CBD products on the market for pets now, from oils to chews and treats specifically designed for dogs. But can you just use any regular CBD oil?
As mentioned above, there’s not much of a difference in the way CBD oils are made for humans versus pets. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does require differentiating labels dependent on who they’re intended for. That being said, the FDA doesn’t currently endorse CBD for pets because more research is needed. Therefore, there is no official standardized labeling requirement or dosing chart for pets. But that doesn’t mean CBD isn’t being used safely - there’s just more checks and balances a dog owner must make.
That takes us to navigating the specific differentiating factors that could occur to set CBD oil for humans and dogs apart. But this doesn’t always apply to every situation - so it’s good practice anyways to assess the quality of a product and direct any concerns to your vet.
One of the biggest risks of breaking into cannabis products for our dogs is the consumption of too much THC. Nothing particularly fatal will occur, but unwanted side effects such as dry mouth and drowsiness may occur. Some human targeted CBD oils could have more than 0.3% of THC, and this isn’t good for pets to consume, especially smaller pets. This is because animals have a low tolerance for its psychoactive effects.
Given the unregulated CBD oil market at the moment, the levels of THC in a full-spectrum CBD oil made for humans might be higher. You should always avoid giving your dog marijuana oils with high THC levels and stick to pure, hemp derived CBD with zero or less than 0.3% THC.
Concentration of CBD
Because CBD pet oil tinctures have been made with pets in mind, they are usually more likely to be formulated with fewer concentrations of CBD. On the other hand, human made CBD oil might be a bit stronger - so it wouldn’t be as simple as just giving your pet the same dose that you take yourself, as this might be more than your dog needs. Because CBD dosage is measured based on body weight, this makes perfect sense. We weigh a lot more than our dogs!
Terpenes such as limonene, peppermint, tea tree, or other essential oils may also occur in human CBD products and these can be harmful to pets.
This is a distinctive difference that could occur depending on the CBD company. In some cases there may be a pet-friendly flavor that will make the CBD pet oil more appetizing and palatable for your pup. It is not uncommon for ped friendly CBD products to have a “nice” bacon or turkey flavor, or even have added MCT oil for other benefits.
Carrier oils work in harmony with CBD and improve its absorption rate. While this carrier oil is also recommended in CBD for dogs, it could lead to issues for pups with sensitive stomachs. Regardless of whether you administer human or dog tailored CBD, finding a quality product is the most important factor to consider. But ultimately, it’s typically recommended that you use CBD oil designed specifically for pets in mind.
The most common CBD oil for humans
>99% pure CBD. No THC or other chemical compounds. This is used for humans and pets.
This includes CBD and terpenes, but no THC. Proceed with caution if using it with your pet.
This includes CBD, terpenes and small amounts of THC - which is unlikely to be really dangerous for your pet, but ensure it’s less than 0.3%. But it’s recommended to use pure CBD isolate to start for your pet, but all spectrums of CBD oil for dogs have their advantages.
How much human CBD oil should I give my dog?
You have to really consider the CBD oil milligram content. While there are no standardized dosing requirements for pets as of yet, you’ll need to dose based on your dog’s weight and use that against the concentration of CBD on the label. And with human specific CBD oils, you might just have to pay extra attention
The general standard is starting your dog with 0.2 mg of CBD oil per pound of bodyweight. Then you can always gradually increase from there.
For example: I want to give my 50 lb dog a lower dosage to start. I would multiply his weight by 0.2 to get 10 mg of CBD (50 x 0.2 = 10).
Whether you decide to give your dog pet CBD oil or human oil, the math will always be the same and evidently, each manufacturer will have their own formula strength. Any quality CBD oil should have the number of milligrams clearly listed. Generally, it might just be easier to do this with pet-made CBD oil. But it doesn’t take pet-specific oil to do the trick either.
CBD is truly a breakthrough in the pet health world. Anecdotally speaking, there’s a lot of positive buzz. While this is a relevant question to be considering now, we can only hope that there will be more research and intent put towards making more pet-tailored CBD products. If you look around, there are many CBD products created for pets - doggy products being the most common, but we have even come across CBD products for horses, so the sky's the limit!
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