What are CBD Edibles for Dogs?
CBD edibles are a great way to support your dog's health and well-being by administering a dose of CBD in a way that they enjoy.
While these kinds of products are still new in most areas, there are more and more CBD edibles for dogs available every day.
These products are not always well understood, so we're taking a closer look at CBD edibles and dog treats.
What is CBD Oil?
In many respects, CBD oil is made like any other seed oil. Many seeds, like sunflower seeds, grape seeds, and sesame seeds, are rich in fatty acids. For centuries, people have been removing the outer husks from seeds and compressing them to extract these oils and use them in a variety of foods and products.
The best seed oils are produced in the “cold press” method, also used for fruit oils like olive oil and coconut oil. While many modern oils are extracted from nuts, fruits, and seeds by use of solvents and heat refining, these methods often destroy many of the delicate, fragrant compounds in the oils, reducing their flavor and nutritional value.
Cold pressing, as the name suggests, does not heat or pre-cook the seeds, but simply squeezes them at extremely high pressure, forcing the oils out. This method preserves the original chemical compounds in the oils, and therefore more of their natural properties and benefits. Cold pressing is slower and more expensive, but results in oils that are higher in quality.
CBD (cannabidiol) oil can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp seeds. Most consumer CBD oil we see on the market at this point is extracted from hemp seeds, because hemp has been subject to less legal pressure than marijuana. Hemp has no THC, the compound in marijuana that has psychoactive effects, and has therefore been easier to grow, process, and sell. Until recently, “CBD oil” and “hemp seed oil” have been the same thing, but with rapid legal changes, some important distinctions have arisen.
Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Seed Oil
CBD oil can be derived from cannabis seeds, or from hemp seeds. Although both plants share a common origin, over the past several decades, they have diverged quite a bit for legal reasons. Cannabis has been bred for its psychoactive properties, while many strains of hemp have been bred specifically to yield seed oil.
Many strains of hemp have been bred specifically to have high CBD and low THC. To further complicate matters, some strains of hemp seed have been bred for no CBD at all, and only for their healthy fats. Today, CBD oil derived from cannabis seeds has about 1% CBD in the compound, while CBD oil derived from hemp seeds contains 2-3%, but some hemp seed oil has no CBD at all.
However the oil is derived, and whatever percentage of CBD, CBD oil can be used like any other seed oil. As we know from human CBD products, you can use these oils to make topical solutions designed to be massaged into the skin, tinctures and capsules designed to be swallowed orally, or used in the cooking of a wide variety of foods.
Hemp seed oil has more than 80% of polyunsaturated essential fats. It contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, along with linoleic and linolenic acids that are extremely healthy and beneficial. It also contains high levels of vitamin E. Even without any CBD, these fatty acids are extremely beneficial for the body and the skin.
CBD Edibles for Dogs
Both humans and dogs have cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, allowing us to benefit not just from the healthy fats in hemp seed oil, but also to specifically benefit from CBD. Some of the potential health benefits of CBD treats for dogs include:
- Reduced frequency and severity of seizures
- Reduced nausea and vomiting
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Reduced pain
- Alleviation of arthritis
- Alleviation of back and hip pain
- Alleviation of symptoms of cancer and chronic illness
- Improved appetite
This broad range of benefits and positive effects makes it easy to use CBD edibles medicinally, as a treatment for arthritis, cancer, and chronic illnesses; or situationally, to calm nerves from fireworks, travel, or other stressors.
CBD edibles for dogs are formulated specifically with ideal dosages for dogs, based on their body weight and digestion, and usually also made to appeal to a dog's appetite and preferred flavors.
Warnings About Using CBD Edibles for Dogs
CBD is one of the safest, most effective treatments available for a wide range of medical issues and concerns. It has almost no side effects, aside from potential sleepiness, and almost no toxicity, meaning that the risk of overdose is extremely low. This may be a relief for dog owners who have experienced a dog getting into a treat box and eating the whole thing. However, there are still some risks and cautions to be aware of.
Use CBD under veterinary supervision
If you suspect your dog of having a medical condition, seek veterinary care and discuss treatment options and dosages with your veterinarian. Do not attempt to diagnose, treat, or determine a dosage yourself.
Be careful to get and use CBD products with no THC
While CBD is almost always non-psychoactive and non-toxic, it is possible for a dog to have negative side effects and potentially overdose on THC. The risks of negative health effects from such an overdose are fairly low, and a dog is at greater risk of illness from ingesting chocolate or raisins, but it is still important to monitor for any THC content in CBD products, and prevent overuse.
Choose high-quality CBD products
Unfortunately, many products that claim to have CBD in them have shown, upon scientific testing, to have little or no CBD at all. Use CBD products recommended by your veterinarian, and get them from legitimate sources.
Following these guidelines will help you figure out if your dog needs CBD edibles, and how to understand product labeling, and use CBD edibles in the most beneficial way for your dog.