Maybe you’ve been thinking about CBD and your pet recently. Perhaps your dog or cat has been showing signs of anxiety, or slowing down because of age-related arthritis. You’ve seen CBD advertised in trusted pet publications or on flyers at your vet’s office. But you’re still not sure what exactly is CBD? Does it actually work? And can it be dangerous for animals?

In this article we’ll talk about CBD and break down its uses in the animal world. We’ll also share how to find the very best sources of CBD so that you can be assured that if you decide to use it, that your pet will be completely safe. 

What Exactly is CBD? 

CBD is cannabidiol, a plant compound called a cannabinoid that is found in hemp. It is related to a more famous cannabinoid called THC. However, unlike THC it is completely non-psychoactive, and is mostly legal in the United States. (That is, it is legal on a federal level, and is legal with exceptions in most states).

What CBD does have in common with THC is that it offers potential health benefits in humans, and also in other mammals. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits, horses, you name it. That’s because all mammals have what is called an endocannabinoid system. This series of neurotransmitters and receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system work to regulate a series of functions in the body. These include:

  • Pain response
  • Sleep
  • Heart function
  • Immune response
  • Metabolism
  • Mood
  • Memory

The ES works to create homeostasis in the body in all of these areas. While the body has its own supply of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters, cannabinoids found in the hemp plant will also interact with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

The Benefits of CBD for Animals

In recent years, many vets have become more open minded toward the use of CBD in treating many conditions in animals. Some of the more popular uses include:

  • Treating pain
  • Anxiety (general or separation anxiety)
  • Skin conditions
  • Poor appetite
  • Wound healing

While research is still being done, both anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies on the use of CBD in pets has been extremely promising. 

What Is a CBD Tincture? 

CBD can be given to pets several ways – an ointment for topical use on the skin, a chewy treat, or as a tincture. A CBD tincture is simply CBD extract measured to a certain potency per serving, and mixed with a carrier oil. This can be added to your pet’s food, or even given directly by mouth. 

Some companies even make them in animal-friendly flavors. For example, a cat formulation may be salmon or catnip flavored, so your furry friend doesn’t try to claw you and run away. You simply use a measure dropper (this comes with the bottle) to pull up the proper dose, and then squirt it into the animal’s. Or again, just put it in the food if they’re certain to eat all of it at once. 

Using a tincture is a simple and easy way to ensure that your pet is getting the CBD they need. 

How Do I Know How Much to Give My Pet?

This is a bit of a sticky question. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD, there really isn’t an official standardized dosing chart. However, many very reputable brands will offer dosing recommendations based on the animal’s weight. Many even include farm animals such as horses and cows. 

Another way to go is to talk to your vet. While the American Veterinary Medical Association has not yet approved of CBD as a body, many veterinarians are getting on board with CBD as a legitimate treatment for many common ailments. If you bring your pets to a CBD-friendly vet, they will likely be happy to work with you on creating a dosing schedule for you animal. 

Is CBD Safe to Use For Animals? 

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, but. CBD itself has an excellent safety profile, and only a few mild side effects. In fact, it is far safer than many of the medications given to animals for anxiety or pain. However, you need to be very sure of your source. 

While CBD has been cleared as safe for animal use, THC absolutely has not. And so you need to know exactly what’s in your product. Only purchase CBD products from a company that is reputable and well-known in the CBD industry. 

How Do I Find a Safe and Reputable CBD Source?

A great place to start is with your vet. See if they have any suggestions, and then do a bit of research yourself to confirm. If your vet isn’t really a proponent of CBD, you can scan some pet publications for recommendations. 

Do a little online research to find some of the bigger industry names. Drill down into some of the names you see mentioned on a lot of third party websites. What certifications do they have? Have they won any industry awards? Next, look at the lab testing…this is the most important part.

Third Party Lab Test Results

Any truly reputable and transparent CBD brand will offer third party lab test results on all of their products. Not just “lab results”, but “third party lab results”. They need to have their product tested by an independent source to ensure purity and potency. 

These lab results should be prominently displayed on their website–ideally on the product page itself. 

Check the Reviews

When you’ve checked all the other boxes, take a look at what other pet parents are saying about the product. Do their pets like the taste? Are they seeing the results they want? What is the tincture used for most, anxiety, pain, etc? This should help you narrow down your search.

If you’ve been thinking about trying CBD tincture for pets, now is a great time to start. Quality products are prolific on the marketplace if you know how to look for them. And in many cases there’s nothing to lose. Find a company that offers a full satisfaction money back guarantee, and you and your pet can only benefit from the transaction.