While CBD products for humans have been around for quite some time, pet CBD is a newer innovation that’s still gaining in popularity.
Oils and treats infused with hemp extracts are fast becoming a go-to supplement for owners of dogs and cats dealing with conditions like anxiety, arthritis, and other types of inflammation.
So what exactly is the difference between pet and human CBD products, and why are pets even taking CBD in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
One of the fundamental differences between pet and human CBD is the type of cannabis the products are made from.
The cannabis plant can be roughly divided into two major strains: marijuana and hemp. Marijuana plants are the stereotypical image of cannabis – they a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including THC, which is the cannabinoid responsible for causing a high.
Hemp, on the other hand, is generally known as a more traditional farming crop and has been historically used to make things like paper, clothes, and cooking oils.
Cannabis farmers breed marijuana and hemp strains to create flowers containing desirable amounts of cannabinoid compounds. Often, the results are potent, with today’s marijuana plants containing sky-high THC levels, and hemp plants being bred to contain high amounts of CBD.
Depending on the laws of the country where the product is sold, the intended use, and the desired effects, human CBD products can be made from either marijuana or hemp plants. Products designed for recreational use are likely to be made from marijuana, while those with more therapeutic aims are usually made from hemp.
For pets, CBD is always made from hemp. This ensures that products are legal, safe, and won’t cause any unwanted intoxication in dogs or cats.
The types of cannabis extract found in human and pet CBD products also differ. One slightly confusing thing about CBD products (for humans and pets) is that often contain more than just CBD.
Depending on the ‘spectrum’ of an extraction, products may contain CBD plus a range of other cannabinoids, such as CBC, CBN, CBG, and THC. Researchers believe that CBD is more effective when paired with these complementary compounds, so manufacturers include these in their extraction to enhance CBD’s soothing and anti-inflammatory effects.
In CBD for humans, these secondary cannabinoids cocktails are likely to be richer and more intense. They may also contain larger amounts of THC. Pet CBD products may also be full-spectrum, but usually contain a milder mix of cannabinoids.
Which leads us to strength. One of the biggest differences between human and pet products – and a big reason why you should be careful when giving human CBD to pets – is dosing strength.
Human CBD can be incredibly strong. With many people looking for new and interesting ways to use cannabis, producers are meeting demand with extreme products designed to cause mind-altering experiences.
Pet CBD, on the other hand, is carefully controlled by the intended animal and dosage. It’s common for brands to offer their extractions in different concentrations and formulations so that owners can easily find the right dosage, whether it’s for a Chihuahua or a Great Dane.
A look across the shelves of online and retail stores reveals just how inventive CBD brands have become in recent years. For humans, it’s not uncommon to find CBD infused into a variety of food, drink, and home products.
CBD connoisseurs can now enjoy a CBD beer with a CBD snack, while gym freaks can recover from their workout with a CBD electrolyte drink. Those who enjoy things a little more chill can relax with a CBD bath bomb or even spice things up with CBD lube.
For pets, CBD products contain a more limited selection of additional ingredients, but innovations are still there to be found. Many producers of richer, full-spectrum CBD oil add natural flavors such as beef and chicken to conceal CBD’s grassy, hempy taste.
Other pet CBD brands infused additional superfood supplements into their products. These include chamomile and valerian root for anxiety, or turmeric and ginger to help soothe upset stomachs.
Owners give their pets CBD for two major reasons: anxiety and arthritis. Because both of these conditions have an inflammatory base and can cause stress, pain, and swelling, CBD is a safe, relevant, and appropriate treatment.
A small number of owners have found success using CBD to help treat other inflammatory issues such as allergies, seizures, and even the symptoms of cancer.
For humans, CBD is known to work in similar ways and create similar effects. But the uses of human CBD extend more widely than just anxiety or joint issues. People take CBD for a large variety of reasons, and many don’t have any specific medical condition.
Simply as a daily supplement, CBD can help people to recover from exercise, reduce puffiness and swelling, and feel calmer and more alert.