FAQs About Hemp, Cannabis, and Cannabidiol (CBD) For My Pet
If you've been into our shops lately, you may have noticed some new products on our shelves this summer.
(Click through the photo gallery below to see products!)
Wait, hemp? "Canna" like cannabis? Are these marijuana products?
No, these are not marijuana products. Yes, these products are derived from hemp and the cannabis plant.
Cannabis or marijuana and hemp both come from the plant Cannabis Sativa. However, cannabis plant strains used for marijuana and cannabis plant strains that make hemp do not have the same properties.
Some strains of the cannabis plant have high psychoactive properties – those plants are used for marijuana. Other strains, do not have psychoactive properties and are used to make hemp. Hemp, as you may know, can be used to make textiles, clothing, construction materials, oils and ointments, food, and in this case, pet supplements and treats.
Canna-Pet products and CannaGurt are not marijuana products.
To reiterate: Some Cannabis Sativa plants have high psychoactive properties – get you "high" – and some are bred to have low or no psychoactive properties – won't get you (or your pet) "high". Those plants with no psychoactive properties make hemp, and in the case of these pet treats, hemp makes CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a main compound found in cannabis plants. The other main compound is THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. When a lot of people think of "cannabis" they think of THC, the compound that gets people "high". CBD does not get you (or your dog or your cat) high. In fact, CBD counteracts or negates the psychoactive effects of THC, is actually calming, and does not impair mental function.
Both THC and CBD exist in all cannabis plants, whether they are bred for marijuana or hemp, but the strain of the plant dictates which compound is dominant. Cannabis plants bred for hemp and/or CBD production are high in CBD and very, very low in THC. Industrial hemp must have lower than 0.3% THC to be legally sold and used in the USA and other countries. 0.3% or lower of THC will not cause a high effect, and in humans, with such a low percentage of THC (and moderate/average dosing of CBD) it is very unlikely that a drug test would come back positive.
The CBD used in pet treats and supplements comes from this industrial hemp. To be clear: CBD is not medical marijuana, or marijuana of any sort.
What are the benefits of CBD? Why give it to my pet?
While research concerning pets and CBD is still gaining ground, emerging research drawn from studies conducted with pets and extrapolated from human studies shows that CBD has a significant impact on:
increasing appetite in sick animals/fighting nausea
lessening seizures/muscle spasms
mobility/joint health – is an anti-inflammatory
Additionally there is research and strong anecdotal evidence connecting CBD to extending life and improving quality of life in animals with cancer.
Dogs and cats with separation anxiety could benefit from CBD. With its naturally calming effects, dogs and cats who may engage in destructive behavior (either to themselves or to their environment) have demonstrated a cessation or lessening of anxious behaviors when taking a CBD product.
CBD products could also help pets stay calmer and less afraid during times of stress like fireworks, parties, moving homes, or other events.
Since CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory, it can also benefit a pet with skin issues. Hotspots, dandruff, itchy, inflamed skin – CBD has a soothing effect on allergies and can help to lessen the discomfort of irritated or troubled skin. In tandem, the calming affect of CBD can help a pet to not engage in anxious or obsessive tendencies like licking, biting, and scratching.
Animals in pain also tend to benefit from CBD products. Senior pets or animals suffering from chronic conditions may find standing, moving, walking, eating more manageable and less painful while taking CBD. There has been a strong correlation between lessening of seizures and administering CBD – both in humans and pets.
And while a dog or cat may not necessarily get "the munchies" with CBD, an increase in appetite or nausea control may be a welcome effect of CBD in a sick pet.
Though you should always check with your veterinarian before giving your pet CBD or any new supplement – especially if they have a chronic ailment and/or take prescription medications – CBD could possibly improve the quality of your pet's life if they are struggling with pain and/or discomfort.
Will my pet behave strangely? What are the side effects?
Aside from potentially being calmer, less agitated, or in less pain, your pet's behavior should not be unusual or alarming. No, your pet will not get loopy, dazed, or "high"; no CBD is not habit-forming.
Some pets may get a little lazy or drowsy, that seems to be the most common side effect. Their mental well-being should not be impacted; side effects have been compared to giving a pet Benadryl. If this is the case, dosage can be altered or lowered until the desired effect is reached or until your pet becomes used to the product.
In rare cases, a pet may have an allergy or sensitivity to CBD – like they could with almost any food or supplement. In those cases, a pet may suffer from "excessive itchiness or mild vomiting". If this occurs, discontinue use immediately and consult a vet.
How quickly will CBD take effect?
Every pet is different. Some pet parents will see their pet benefiting from CBD within hours, some within days. Sometimes not at all. Like with any new food or supplement, if the results are not immediate – and your pet seems well and unbothered by it – give it time to take effect.
If I have access to legal cannabis/medical marijuana, can I just give that to my pet?
No. Giving your pet marijuana or marijuana products is not the same as supplementing with CBD.
While marijuana does contain varying amounts of CBD, some higher than others, the level of THC is high enough to induce psychoactive effects. While humans understand what is happening to them when such effects occur, similar effects in pets can be stressful, frightening, nauseating, or can lead to physical impairment.
THC toxicity, or your pet feeling high due to ingestion of marijuana, could lead to symptoms like loss of balance, inability to stand, vomiting, refusal to eat, tremors, in some cases death can occur. If your pet ever consumes marijuana, you should seek veterinary care immediately. At the very least, your pet will need palliative care until the THC effects have worn off.
We recommend that you only give your pet CBD products made specifically for pets.
The big question everyone wants to know: Is CBD legal?
Yes. CBD from hemp is legal in all 50 United States and many other countries like Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada, among others.
Otherwise Calvin & Susie wouldn't sell CBD products. Obviously.
In states where cannabis (marijuana) is legal, CBD from cannabis is too, but note that not all of those products are appropriate for pets.
Hemp or, the "stalk, fiber, oil, and sterilized seed of the plant Cannabis sativa L." can be imported into the US as industrial hemp. CBD is made from such hemp. And while the US is experimenting with growing their own industrial hemp crops, such crops cannot be used for large scale hemp product production or CBD yet.
It should be noted that the hemp used to make the CBD in the products we sell, like CannaGurt and products by Canna-Pet is of the highest quality, never from China, is fully traceable in its origins, is free of pesticides, toxins, and heavy metals, and in the case of Canna-Pet is organic and non-GMO.
We hope this clarifies what CBD and "canna" products are, and how they might serve your pet. As always, if you have any specific questions regarding the products we carry, please call, email, or drop by the store – we always want you to feel informed and educated in the decisions you make for your furry family member.
Hope this gives you something tasty to chew on,
~Your Loyal Calvin & Susie Blogger
Note: Always check with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or wellness regimen. The Calvin & Susie Blogger always researches to the best of her ability, but she is not a vet. This blog is not in any way meant to replace veterinary advice or care. When in doubt, always ask a licensed vet.