Saira Zulfiqar

Written by Saira Zulfiqar

Published December 3, 2020

You may have heard about the many benefits of CBD oil for dogs; but with so many options of hemp and CBD for dogs, how can you know what to use? Here, we’ll make it easy for you to understand the differences and compare hemp oil vs CBD oil for dogs to help you decide what is best for your four-legged pal. 

Table of Contents

  • hemp oil for dogs explained
  • cbd oil for dogs explained
  • full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum vs isolates for dogs
  • hemp oil vs cbd oil for dogs
  • what does hemp oil do for dogs (benefits)
  • what does cbd oil do for dogs (benefits)
  • is hemp oil and cbd oil safe for dogs
  • potential side effects of hemp oil and cbd oil for dogs
  • Final Thoughts
  • References

hemp oil for dogs explained

Hemp oil for dogs is a dietary supplement often hailed as a superfood for its helpful benefits. While it offers certain health benefits, it does not contain some of the ingredients found in CBD oil that have some medicinal benefits for your dog. It is important to know whether the product is hemp oil or if it contains CBD or other cannabinoids found in the other parts of the hemp plant (and not just the hemp seeds). 

cbd oil for dogs explained

CBD is a cannabinoid found in the various parts of the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD oil comes in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate forms and is also used as a dietary supplement for dogs in the form of CBD oil tinctures or CBD oil treats. 

It also comes in topical formulas to treat some skin conditions and offers pain relief. Using therapeutic benefits from all parts of the hemp plant itself, CBD oil works within your dog’s normal biological functions to produce the desired medical and health benefits. 

full-spectrum vs broad-spectrum vs isolates for dogs

To make things more confusing, when considering hemp oil vs CBD oil for dogs, there are also multiple types of CBD oil available: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolate CBD.

But what are the differences between them? Simply put, each type identifies the other components added to the CBD oil that help to enhance its ability to provide benefits for your dog. Therefore, CBD oil offers more benefits to your dog than using hemp oil. 

Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the phytochemicals found in the Cannabis sativa plant such as terpenes, trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), essential oils, and other cannabinoids. Though THC levels are likely below 0.3%, it can still trigger a positive result in a drug test for humans but does not generate the psychoactive effects associated with THC due to the low amounts.  

While drug testing is not of concern for your dog, many people are still concerned about any of the potential psychogenic effects associated with THC.

Fortunately, there is very little threat of these effects to you or to your dog due to the small amounts of THC contained in full-spectrum CBD oil. 

Working synergistically, these components create what is known as the entourage effect, meaning that together they deliver greater therapeutic results for your pet.  

Broad-spectrum CBD contains all of the same properties as the full-spectrum CBD, but the THC is removed. This is helpful for people who worry about any residual effects or accumulation of THC in their dogs. Even without the THC, broad-spectrum CBD provides the benefit of the entourage effect.  

CBD isolate is CBD in its purest, isolated form, without any of the other components of the Cannabis sativa plant. The extraction process is more complex but makes a more potent concentration of  CBD. Isolate is good for those who only want the benefit of CBD and is also useful as an additive for  CBD recipes.  

cbdmd pet

hemp oil vs cbd oil for dogs

While the terms hemp oil and CBD oil are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Both come from the Cannabis sativa plant, yes, but are derived in different ways and used for  different purposes. This is true for both human use and for your dogs.  

Hemp seed oil is ingested as a dietary supplement to help with a variety of health concerns. It  contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, powerful antioxidants, and vitamins such as vitamin D  and B-complex. It is often used to promote good cardiovascular health and keep cholesterol levels in  check.  

Hemp oil is derived by cold-pressing and removing the oil from the seeds of the cannabis plant. It  does not contain terpenes or cannabinoids like CBD oil does. Therefore, its effect on the body is  much different. It also does not contain any THC or CBD.  

Alternatively, CBD is a cannabinoid found in 40% of commercially produced hemp plants and works  within the endocannabinoid system of vertebrates like humans and dogs. This system helps to  maintain homeostasis of bodily systems such as the peripheral nervous system (PNS).  

CBD efficacy may be boosted by other cannabinoids contained in the CBD oil depending on  manufacturing formulas by brand. CBD is extracted from the stems, leaves, stalks, and flowers of  the hemp plant.  

what does hemp oil do for dogs (benefits)

When you’re choosing between hemp oil and CBD oil for dogs, it is important to consider your dog’s individual needs and what results you hope to achieve for them. Though they are both derived from the same plant, the benefits are significantly different.

Studies on both hemp oil and CBD oil for dogs are ongoing, yet some benefits are generally accepted by pet owners. Hemp oil does not deliver all of the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil but it does help to provide some dietary support for general wellness for your dog. 

what does cbd oil do for dogs (benefits)

There are more studies on CBD oil use for dogs than for hemp seed oil but they are ongoing and increasing in number as the popularity of hemp oil and CBD oil for dogs grows. Some benefits are widely praised among pet owners and even large, reputable organizations such as the American Kennel Club

The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study in conjunction with Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The study will analyze and evaluate the use of CBD for dogs that are epileptic but have not responded well to current medical treatments. 

When it comes to benefits of hemp oil vs CBD oil, for dogs it is a matter of need, symptoms, personality, and the individual dog’s health conditions. Many pet parents opt for the added benefits of CBD which includes more of the hemp plant and provides a more broad approach to treatment. 

Some of the applications and benefits of CBD oil include: 

There are relatively few side effects of CBD oil for your dog when used as directed.

cbdmd pet

is hemp oil and cbd oil safe for dogs

As a loving pet caregiver, you may be excited about the potential benefits of hemp oil and CBD oil for dogs. Understandably, you want to be sure it is safe and won’t harm your pet. There is good news on this front: there are very few side effects for either hemp oil or CBD oil for your dogs. Both hemp oil and CBD oil are considered safe for dogs and work for them very much in the same way as they work for humans. 

When you give your dog hemp oil or CBD oil, you want to be sure to read all of the packaging instructions as well as consult your dog’s veterinarian. Many of the side effects that can be experienced are due to giving too much to your dog. 

potential side effects of hemp oil and cbd oil for dogs

Note: The US Food & Drug Administration has not yet approved nor given dosing recommendations for hemp oil or CBD oil for dogs, to date. Always consult your vet prior to giving your dog CBD products as they may have a pre-existing condition that could be affected with the introduction of a new regimen.

Final Thoughts

It isn’t always easy making health decisions for your dog. They cannot verbally express how they are feeling, but as you observe them daily, you know how they are feeling and if they have any issues. Working with their veterinarian gives you even more insight into your dog’s health. 

The rise in popularity of Cannabis sativa derivatives as treatments for dogs is exciting but also a little confusing. Considering hemp oil vs CBD oil for dogs is simply a matter of comparing two things: the benefits of each and the desired results for your beloved pet. While we wait for more conclusive evidence from the ongoing research studies, we make the best decisions we can for our pets. Thankfully, both hemp and CBD oil provide safe choices for pet parents without all the unwanted side effects of many pharmacological treatments currently in wide use.


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