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When it comes to Pet wellness trends, Hemp Oils lead the pack.

hemp oil
Hemp oil for Pets has exploded in popularity. Research shows that the market for hemp-derived pet supplies is estimated to reach $125 million in 2022, making it one of the fastest growing segments of the CBD products market.

Pet owners are giving hemp oil to their pets to address a range of health and wellness needs from pain to anxiety.

“Hemp Oil is a great way for pet owners to get started on a holistic path,” says Dr. Marcie Fallek, a holistic veterinarian at Animal Natural Healing Center in New York.

Hemp Seed Oil vs. Hemp Oil
When you start shopping for hemp oil for your Pets, you’ll notice there are two different terms used: Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp Oil.

Both oils come from the hemp plant and are made from pressing the oil out of the plant matter, but different parts of the plant are used to create each oil.

Hemp Seed Oilis made from Virgin Hemp Seeds,  but contains little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or CBD, Hemp seed oil contains large amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, which are two types of unsaturated fat s, or “good fats,” and all nine essential amino acids, the materials our pets use to make protein.
Hemp Oil
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Pets
A growing number of studies have examined the potential benefits of hemp seed oil for Dogs and Cats. Research has found that hemp seed oils helped to promote skin and coat health as well as a myriad of other positive effects.
Hemp oil, also known as CBD oil ( full spectrum hemp oil or broad spectrum hemp oil) is made from a cannabis plant but containing little (less than .003%) to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that gets people “high.” Hemp Oil utilizes the stalks, leaves, and flowers of Cannabis sativa plants. It contains cannabidiol or CBD, which is the compound that has been shown to have health benefits for both pets and humans.

Benefits of Hemp Oil for Dogs
A growing number of studies have examined the potential benefits of hemp oil for dogs. Research has found that hemp oils with CBD offer all the benefits of hemp seed oil in additionally helping with:

Reduce epileptic seizures
Ease osteoarthritis pain
Improve mobility and quality of life
Lower anxiety
To control chronic issues like seizures or osteoarthritis, Vets and Fur parents recommend using hemp oil once or twice per day. It can be offered as needed for acute anxiety-triggered by events such as fireworks, thunderstorms or appointments with the vet or groomer. You’ll need to plan ahead to make sure the CBD oil has time to kick in before the anxiety-producing event.

“It generally takes about an hour or so to have a therapeutic effect,.

Some pet owners have reported side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and lethargy after ingesting CBD oil. However most dogs do not experience side effects or require veterinary treatment. In studies that examined the effectiveness of hemp oil for osteoarthritis, no side effects were reported.

Countless pet owners who use hemp oil add, “I’ve never seen or heard of any side effects.”

hemp oil dropper
Hemp oil in tincture form comes with a dropper that can be used to give a precise dose to pets. You can use the dropper to put the oil under their tongue or against their cheek, which is considered the gold standard for accurate, effective dosing. If your dog is uncomfortable taking the hemp oil in this manner, it can be drizzled on a treat or your dog’s food.

You can also purchase soft chews. The flavoring in the treats help mask the taste of the hemp oil. Hemp oil treats for dogs are also easier to give on-the-go than a dropper full of hemp oil. However, these non-liquid products are not absorbed in the same way as traditional hemp oils.

“Hemp oil is better absorbed through the mouth and gums,” Mahaney says. “If you give your pet hemp oil chews or a capsule or put a tincture on their food, it’s going to be primarily absorbed through the small intestines. Those products still work but the absorption might not be as good as we would like and it might take longer to take effect.”

In general, treats also contain lower amounts of active ingredients like CBD than hemp oil tinctures.

Do Vets Recommend Hemp\CBD?

Well do they?

  As momentum gathers, and clinical studies are undertaken on CBD’s effect on dogs and other pets, expect FDA approval for CBD products, and veterinary prescriptions, to follow.


The law

So, while it’s definitely complicated, CBD produced from industrial hemp is legal to sell, buy, and consume in the US.


The fineprint
…For the sake of complete clarity, there are a couple of small, state-restricted caveats concerning CBD and hemp. (Sorry!)

Idaho. In 2015, the Idaho Attorney General stipulated “CBD must both contain zero THC and be derived from one of the five identified parts of the cannabis plant.” That may mean that some CBD products legal under the Farm Bill (with more than zero but less than 0.3% THC) are not legal under Idaho state law.

Nebraska. CBD and hemp laws in Nebraska are in flux, with hemp cultivation soon to begin in the state. On the other hand, many jurisdictions make no legal distinction between THC and CBD, so caution and personal research are advised.

South Dakota. CBD and hemp were only legalized in this state in March 2020. While there should be no issue with you or your dog using CBD in South Dakota, the recentness of the ruling may mean you want to exercise caution.


What does all this mean for vets, dogs and pet owners?

Despite its widespread legality, however, no CBD products have yet been approved by the FDA for use in animals. So in terms of veterinary medicine, the situation hasn’t really changed. Under federal law (at least), vets are not at liberty to legally administer, recommend, or prescribe CBD for your dog.

The fineprint

For vets, CBD regulations can change according to the state they operate in, or even their clinic. As of September 2018, the state of California passed legislation to allow licensed vets to discuss cannabis products with their patients—though this doesn’t include the power to prescribe.

While California is currently the only state with such a bill, veterinary boards in Colorado and Oregon also allow vets to discuss cannabis with patients.

The limited state of current research specifically on CBD and dogs is a large factor in the continuing lack of veterinary support. Until the FDA officially approves CBD for use in dogs, don’t expect to see widespread recommendation of CBD products by veterinary professionals.

The culture

But, opinions are shifting

With all this ambiguity going on, we decided to take a deeper look into how vets across the country feel about CBD for dogs. We will let you know what we discovered soon.

As momentum gathers, and clinical studies are undertaken on CBD’s effect on dogs and other pets, expect FDA approval for CBD products, and veterinary prescriptions, to follow!

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