If you could easily give your beloved pet something that could potentially give him or her a happier, healthier life you would….right? Well then, why wouldn’t you try CBD? Whether you’re a devoted dog lover or a cat fanatic (or both!), all good pet owners want what’s best for their four-legged companions.
CBD is fast becoming the go-to for caring pet parents and we’re here to help you determine how this fabulous alternative can help your canine and/or feline bark and meow with joy.
Is CBD for Pets a Fad? And is it Really that Popular?
According to the American Pet Products Association, we spent an estimated $75 billion (yes, with a “B”) on our pets in 2019. Of that amount, $16 billion was spent on over-the-counter medicines. How much was spent on CBD, you ask? Well, in 2018 pet owners spent about $31 million on CBD products for their animals and in 2019, that number increased 946% to $321 million!!!! We think you’ll agree that an increase of that size is an indicator that the products purchased are working, and working well. As Americans are discovering that benefits of CBD for themselves, so are they passing those benefits on to their four-legged companions.
What’s the Difference Between Human and Pet CBD?
All animals, vertebrates and invertebrates alike (except for sea sponges), possess an important physiological system that is vital for establishing and maintaining health. This “Endocannabinoid System” or ECS, plays a vital role in regulating a range of functions and processes including:
In humans, CBD interacts with the ECS in a way that promotes homeostasis and stability, often improving the functions listed above. Because we know that pets, too, possess the ECS, it’s suggested that CBD affects animals in a similar manner. That makes sense, doesn’t it? If we go a step further, we find that the ECS has two cannabinoid receptors referred to as CB1 and CB2. Each of these has an important, yet different, function. CB1, which is found in the central nervous system and impacts cognitive functions and motor movement, regulates the behavioral effects of cannabis (or CBD). CB2 receptors which watch over the effect’s of the body’s natural cannabinoids, are found mainly in the peripheral nervous system and are related to the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system. In both humans AND pets, the Endocannabinoid System is responsible for, among other things, balance, coordination, appetite, memory and muscle movements. An imbalance in the ECS can manifest itself in a variety of ways causing sleep issues, anxiety, depression, physical pain and digestive problems. So, the bottom line is that CBD provides the same basic benefits for both humans and pets.
How Can I Help My Pet Using CBD?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the many benefits of CBD, we must state that we are not veterinarians. We certainly advocate for the use of CBD for both you and your pets and are excited about the many ways CBD helps pets. But we also stress the importance of consulting with your pet’s vet if you have serious concerns about his or her health. OK, on with our regularly scheduled programming….
Now that you have more of an understanding of your pet’s internal anatomy let’s look at the ways CBD can help ease pain, discomfort and anxiety in your four-legged friend. It has been reported that an overwhelming percentage of owners who purchased CBD pet products agree that it has improved their pet’s life. Among the cited improvements are increased mobility, calmer behavior and better sleep and a large number report that their pet exhibits this recovery by reduced whining and/or barking.
Supporting a Calm Disposition
How many times has your heart ached when you see the panic or worry in your pet’s eyes or hear the constant whining of a scared dog? Sometimes dogs experience extreme anxiety because of situational, environmental factors that are out of their control. The Fourth of July is a particularly anxiety-inducing time because of loud noises (“A curse on your house, neighbor-who-lights-off-fireworks-for-a-full-week-in-July”). Similarly, many pets suffer from extreme separation anxiety when their owner is forced to leave them at home alone. Dogs, especially, are susceptible to this because of their “pack” instincts. Being left at home without their humans makes them sad, confused and anxious. Scientific studies show that CBD has a major calming effect on animals undergoing stress tests and in the past few years pet parents have found that those calming effects are mirrored in their homes with their fluffy family members. Many CBD brands are listening to their customers and offering products designed especially for pets, including Purelix! Our pet tinctures and chewy dog treats both promote a happy and healthy mental state for your pet.
Supporting Joint and Connective Tissue Health
Just like their two-legged owners, pet’s joints get sore and grumpy as they age. Arthritis, joint issues and other mobility challenges make everyday living difficult and depressing for dogs and cats. A pet who is able to play, exercise and get around comfortably enjoys a healthier and longer lifespan. Purelix CBD tinctures and chews, when taken on a regular basis, have been found to improve joint and connective tissue health for pets of all sizes and types.
Skin Health in Pets
Numerous breeds have a predisposition to skin allergies and eczema-type issues. Other dogs suffer from dermatitis caused by anxiety or environmental factors. In many cases, topical CBD products can offer relief when applied directly to a pet’s skin. Our Unscented CBD Salve Stick is soothing and non-toxic, providing both relief outside the body and within. It’s also easy to apply and carry. If your pet has a longer coat or you prefer a cream to a salve, we offer an Unscented CBD Cream that smooths on easily and cleanly. Both of these topical products can be administered in conjunction with tinctures and chews. Be GONE, “hot spots”!
Which Type of CBD Products Should I Give My Pet?
Each “Purelix Pet” (that’s what we call our many four-legged fans) has their own unique tastes and preferences. That’s why we offer several types of products created specifically for pets. Our tinctures are created with an organic, THC-free blend of CBD and extra-virgin olive oil and can be administered either directly under your pet’s tongue for extra-fast sub-lingual delivery to the system or drizzled on food to be ingested orally.
For our more finicky furry friends we recommend a CBD chew. Our Purelix Dog Chews contain phytocannabinoid-rich ingredients, are water-soluble, THC-free and offer a popular natural bacon flavor. These tasty treats taste good AND provide the same broad-spectrum, high-quality CBD contained in our other products.
As mentioned above, some pet owners choose to enhance their pet’s comfort by using CBD topicals.Purelix unscented salves and creams can be applied directly onto the effected area and have been found to ease the discomfort caused by allergies, “hot spots” and other dermatological issues. Think about how good it feels to get a rub down using a medicated topical salve when your skin itches. Now you can help your pet feel that same relief!
Although not quite as common, there are some pets who ingest capsules and pills fairly easily. There are softgels and tablets on the market that cater specifically to animals but, as always, if you opt for these choices make sure the manufacturer is trustworthy and transparent.
Dosage – How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
First and foremost, rest assured that there really isn’t anything like a damaging “overdose” of THC-free CBD. That doesn’t mean your pet won’t show symptoms of sleepiness or lethargy if given larger-than-normal doses. It just means “too much” won’t harm them. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that although human and pet CBD is essentially the same formulation, the dosage requirements are radically different. To determine what each pet’s dosage size should be you should first start with your pet’s body weight. We recommend administering 1-2mg of CBD for each 10 pounds of body weight. From there you must determine how much CBD is in each serving of the product you choose. Our Purelix Pet Tinctures come in two strengths, 250mg and 500mg of broad spectrum CBD contained in one ounce bottles. So if you choose the 250mg strength, each dropper contains 8.33mg of CBD per drop. It would then follow that, for a 40 pound dog, one dropper would be sufficient because 8.33 x 5 = 41.65. Confused yet? Fear not, conscientious pet owner. It isn’t actually necessary to calculate each exact dosage if you’re using a trusted brand with clear and concise labeling. Most all follow the “1-2mg per 10 lbs.” formula and have the recommendations right there on the packaging. Remember, broad spectrum oils contain no THC so your pet can’t be harmed if he or she ingests a little more or less than advised. When it comes to pet chews, the dosages are the same but, because the delivery method differs, how MANY chews should be given depends on the strength of the chew. Our tasty dog chews contain 2mg of CBD per chew.
Things to Consider When Choosing a CBD Brand
Look for Transparent Labeling
We can’t stress it enough….do your homework when choosing a CBD brand. If you do your research you will undoubtedly come across numerous reports of CBD manufacturers whose products contain little to no CBD and/or harmful ingredients such as synthetic marijuana, contaminants and even toxic materials that have been used during the extraction process. Companies who follow up-to-date Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) use safe, high-quality ingredients in a clean environment. In the hemp space, trustworthy companies are very transparent about the ingredients their using and how they label their products.
Source of the Hemp Used
It must be noted that all hemp is not created equal. While it’s true that many countries around the world are presently growing hemp, the quality of the crop differs dramatically depending upon where it is sourced. U.S. grown hemp is regulated and hemp farmers are subject to strict requirements so, as a result, the U.S. presently produces some of the finest quality CBD products on the planet. Lower quality CBD, much of which is produced in Asian countries and/or is extracted from industrial hemp, has far lower concentrations of CBD and is not subject to the quality standards presently enforced in the U.S.
COAs (Certificate of Analysis)
Before you decide on a CBD brand for you and your pet, make sure the manufacturer has their testing completed by an independent third-party laboratory. This is a vital component in ensuring that you are using the purest, safest CBD. When these tests are completed by the third-party lab, the company is given a COA which shows the levels of THC and CBD and confirms the absence of any harmful contaminants. Purelix Wellness is proud to have one of the highest standards of testing in the industry. Every batch receives the most comprehensive testing available: microbial (E. coli, yeast, mold), potency (ensuring what’s on the label is in the bottle), heavy metals (lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium) and pesticides (60 total). Every Purelix label of a product sold has a QR code and batch number linking to both the internal lab reports on the raw oil and the third-party testing on the finished product.
What is the CBD Extraction Method Used?
Most manufacturers of high-quality CBD products use one of two methods to extract CBD from the hemp plant: CO2 extraction and solvent extraction. CO2 extraction, which is used in the food industry, is regarded as safe and is employed by manufacturers who want to maximize the process and pull the highest concentration of cannabinoids from the hemp plant.
Four-legged vs. Two-Legged
It is also a good idea to choose a brand that caters not only to humans but pets as well. As we stated earlier, the actual CBD is the same for pets and humans alike but some oils (like grape seed oil) can be harmful to animals and is used in some tinctures produced for humans.
Why Can’t My Veterinarian Prescribe CBD?
The 2018 Farm Bill loosed restrictions on hemp-derived CBD and removed it from the “Schedule I Drug”designation BUT….there are still a number of restrictions on the ability of vets to recommend or prescribe CBD. What these restrictions are and how they are enforced is, unfortunately, very confusing and is in no way straight-forward. Laws regarding CBD differ in every state and, until the Federal Government takes the eventual step toward clearing it up, it will remain a gray area for veterinarians. This doesn’t mean you aren’t free to discuss CBD and its benefits with your animal practitioner but just means they aren’t legally free to formally prescribe it as a remedy for your four-legged friend. Depending on what state you live in, your veterinarian may have less or more freedom when offering a hemp-derived solution to your pet’s problems.
We, like you, love our pets and consider our six dogs (don’t ask, we can’t say no) our family members. One has hip issues, two have breed-related mobility issues and one has extreme anxiety so tinctures are a regular step in our morning rituals. We give all six CBD chews when we travel in the car and during Fourth of July week in preparation for fireworks-related stress. CBD has helped all of them live happier and healthier lives so we can personally attest to the effectiveness of CBD in their daily routine. Again, we don’t recommend substituting CBD for medical advice but we can say that using CBD as an alternative to some of their prescription medicines has worked for our pets. We are continually monitoring the market for new and updated studies and changes in CBD related law and, because we are so invested in the happiness of our pets and are dedicated to providing you, our readers, the best information and CBD products, we hope you’ll continue to let us to share our knowledge in this space, The Remedy Report!