Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: What's the Difference and Which is Best?


If you're a dog owner looking into natural remedies, you've likely come across hemp oil and CBD oil. Both have gained popularity for their potential health benefits, but you may be wondering what sets them apart. Here's a detailed look at hemp oil versus CBD oil for dogs and how to pick the best option for your pup.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: What's the Difference and Which is Best?

What is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The seeds contain little to no CBD or THC, the compounds associated with cannabis' psychoactive properties. Instead, hemp seed oil is high in healthy fats and other nutrients.

Hemp oil is produced by cold pressing hemp seeds to extract the fatty oil within. It has a dark green color and nutty, earthy flavor. Some key facts about hemp oil:

  • Contains over 80% polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, including omega-6 and omega-3. This includes linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
  • Also provides gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a beneficial omega-6 fatty acid not commonly found in diets.
  • Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and trace minerals.
  • Has a highly bioavailable form of protein due to its balanced amino acid profile.
  • Considered very safe and well-tolerated by dogs.

The beneficial fats and other nutrients in hemp oil offer a range of potential health benefits for dogs. Keep reading to learn more!

What is CBD Oil?

CBD or cannabidiol oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant. These contain higher concentrations of the compound CBD.

CBD is one of over 100 active compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, the cannabinoid that causes a “high,” CBD is non-intoxicating.

To produce CBD oil, solvents like CO2 are used to separate and collect the CBD from the plant. The oil then undergoes testing to ensure safety and consistent CBD concentrations. CBD oil typically has an earthy, plant-based taste. Key facts about CBD oil:

  • Rich in CBD but contains little THC (less than 0.3%).
  • Extracted from hemp plants selectively bred to be high in CBD and low in THC.
  • Does not produce psychoactive effects or a “high.”
  • Available in tinctures with a dropper, sprays and softgel capsules.
  • Dosage can be easily adjusted by increasing or decreasing number of drops/sprays.

Research shows CBD interacts with receptors in the body's endocannabinoid system. This regulates various functions including mood, pain sensation, sleep and immune response. Let’s explore the potential benefits of CBD oil for dogs.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: Key Differences

Now that we've covered the basics, let's summarize the key differences between hemp oil and CBD oil:

  • Source: Hemp oil is extracted from the plant's seeds. CBD oil comes from the flowers and leaves.
  • Cannabinoids: Hemp oil contains little to no CBD or THC. CBD oil is rich in CBD but contains very low THC levels.
  • Uses: Hemp oil offers nutritional value. CBD potentially provides therapeutic effects.
  • Consistency: The composition of hemp oil can vary based on the crop. CBD oils are tested to ensure consistent concentrations of CBD.
  • Taste: Hemp oil has a nutty flavor. CBD oil tends to have an earthy, plant taste.

Both provide potential health benefits, but hemp oil is used more for nutrition whereas CBD for potential therapeutic properties. Keep reading to learn more!

Potential Benefits of Hemp Oil for Dogs

Thanks to its excellent nutrient profile, hemp oil can offer a range of health benefits for your dog. Here are some of the ways it may help:

Supports Healthy Skin and Coat

The omega fatty acids in hemp oil help regulate oil production in the skin and coat. This can relieve dry, itchy skin and give your dog’s coat a glossy shine. The GLA in particular can help reduce inflammation that may lead to skin issues.

Eases Joint Discomfort

Hemp oil’s omega-3s support joint health and mobility. Senior dogs or breeds prone to joint issues can benefit from these anti-inflammatory effects.

Supports Cardiovascular Health

The omega-3 fatty acids in hemp oil support heart health by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. This is especially beneficial for senior dogs.

Aids Digestion

Hemp oil can lubricate the gut to prevent constipation. The GLA may also help reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Supports Immune Function

The nutrients in hemp oil, like vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and sulfur, help strengthen the immune system and keep your dog healthy.

Provides Healthy Energy Boost

The protein in hemp oil provides dogs with an easily digestible energy source. This can be beneficial for lethargic or recovering dogs who need an extra energy kick.

These benefits make hemp oil a nutritious supplement for dogs of all ages and activity levels. It’s especially helpful for senior dogs due to its anti-inflammatory and heart health benefits.

Talk to your veterinarian about the right hemp oil dosage for your dog based on their size and needs.

Potential Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

While studies are still limited, CBD oil has shown promise in providing the following therapeutic effects:

Relieves Pain and Inflammation

CBD interacts with receptors involved in pain modulation and immune response. This can help reduce discomfort from inflammatory conditions like arthritis. CBD may also limit nerve pain and general aches.

Minimizes Seizures

In some cases, CBD has been shown to reduce seizure frequency in dogs with epilepsy. However, more research is still needed.

Controls Anxiety

CBD has demonstrated anti-anxiety effects in some animal studies. This may help anxious pups stay calm during stressful situations like separation, travel or loud noises.

Reduces Cancer Symptoms

CBD may help minimize symptoms like pain, vomiting and loss of appetite in dogs undergoing cancer treatments. More studies are needed on CBD’s cancer-fighting potential.

Slows Cognitive Decline

By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, CBD may help preserve cognitive function in senior dogs. More research is underway.

These therapeutic effects can improve quality of life for dogs struggling with chronic conditions. Always consult your vet first to determine if CBD is right for your pup.

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: Which is Better?

So when it comes to hemp oil versus CBD oil, which is better for your dog? Here are some key considerations:

  • For overall health, hemp oil provides a nutritious blend of vitamins, minerals and omega fatty acids. This makes it excellent for supplementation.
  • CBD oil offers targeted benefits like pain relief and reduced seizures. Unlike hemp oil, the effects depend on the dose.
  • Hemp oil is less expensive than CBD oil on average.
  • Because of limited research, CBD has not been approved by the FDA for pets. But hemp oil is generally recognized as safe.
  • Both hemp oil and CBD oil are available in dog treats and other products for easy administration.

The takeaway? Hemp oil is a cost-effective option that provides nutritional support. CBD oil may be most beneficial for dogs needing targeted therapeutic effects. Consulting a holistic vet can help determine what best fits your dog’s needs.

Some dogs do well with a combination of both hemp and CBD oils. You can administer the oils together or use one in the morning, and the other at night. Monitoring your dog’s symptoms and reactions can help identify the ideal ratio.

How to Choose a High Quality Hemp or CBD Oil

With the popularity of hemp and CBD oils, more brands are emerging. But not all oils are created equal when it comes to safety and effectiveness. Follow these tips when shopping:

  • Look for organic oils sourced from hemp grown in the US or Europe. Hemp absorbs toxins from the soil so quality matters.
  • For CBD oil, opt for brands that use CO2 extraction and test their products for purity and potency. Avoid potential solvent residues.
  • Read reviews from other pet owners and ask your vet for brand recommendations. Look for Certificates of Analysis on company websites.
  • Avoid products with additives like MCT oil, coconut oil or artificial flavors. Also steer clear of very cheap oils which may use low quality hemp.
  • Check the hemp oil's source - it should only contain seed oil, not leaves or flowers. For CBD oil, look for amounts of CBD and THC per dose.
  • Consider potency. Hemp oils typically range between 8-17mg hemp extract per mL. CBD oils usually start around 16mg/mL up to 100mg/mL doses.

Choosing high quality, reputable hemp and CBD oils can help maximize their health benefits for your pup. Always start with small doses and monitor for any adverse reactions. A holistic vet can suggest target doses and schedules to meet your dog’s needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about hemp oil versus CBD oil for dogs? Here are answers to some common queries:

Is hemp oil the same as CBD oil?

No. Hemp oil comes from the seeds only. CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers. Hemp oil does not contain CBD or other cannabinoids.

Is hemp oil safe for dogs?

Yes. Hemp oil is generally safe and non-toxic for dogs. It may cause mild digestive upset in some pups, in which case dosage can be reduced or discontinued. Always talk to your vet first.

What’s better for dogs: treats, capsules or oils?

Oils allow for precise dosage adjustments, but capsules and treats are easier to administer. Choose the form that your dog tolerates and accepts the best. Combining forms can provide balanced benefits too.

How much hemp/CBD oil can I give my dog?

Recommended doses vary based on the size/weight of your dog and product potency. Oils allow starting with low doses like 0.25 mg CBD/kg body weight and gradually increasing every 5-7 days if needed.

How long does it take for hemp/CBD oil to work in dogs?

Effects may be noticeable within 30-90 minutes. But optimal benefits usually require 2-4 weeks of consistent supplementation. Keep a journal to monitor reactions over time.

Can dogs take hemp oil every day?

Yes, hemp oil can be given daily like a multivitamin. Divide the target dose between morning and night for steadier nutrient absorption. Monitor for GI upset.

Does CBD make dogs tired?

In some cases, high doses of CBD may cause drowsiness. Lower doses tend to boost energy, while medium doses simply promote calmness without sedation. Monitor your dog’s reactions.

The Takeaway

Hemp oil and CBD oil can both provide benefits for your precious pup. Hemp oil offers great nutritional value, while CBD oil has targeted therapeutic uses. Choosing high quality products and proper doses are key to a successful supplement regimen.

As always, consult your vet before starting hemp oil or CBD oil. They can help assess your dog’s current health, recommend reputable brands and determine optimal dosing schedules.

With an informed, attentive approach, you can harness the natural benefits of hemp and CBD to keep your dog happy and healthy!

What's the difference between hemp seed oil and hemp CBD oil?

Hemp seed oil comes from only the seeds of the hemp plant and contains no CBD. Hemp CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves and contains CBD but little to no THC. Both offer potential benefits, but hemp seed oil provides nutritional value while hemp CBD oil provides therapeutic effects.

What health conditions can hemp oil and CBD oil help with in dogs?

Hemp oil can help with skin/coat issues, joint pain, digestive problems, immune support, heart health, and providing an energy boost. CBD oil may help relieve pain/inflammation, reduce seizures, control anxiety, slow cognitive decline, and ease cancer symptoms.

How do I know if my dog could benefit from hemp/CBD oil?

Talk to your vet about your dog's specific health issues. They can determine if hemp oil for nutritional support or CBD oil for therapeutic effects may be beneficial. Senior dogs and those with chronic conditions often see the most benefits.

Is hemp or CBD oil safe to give with my dog's medications?

Discuss using hemp/CBD oil with your vet first, especially if your dog takes any medications or supplements. There is potential for CBD to interact with some drugs. Your vet can discuss possible interactions and adjust dosages if needed.

What potency or dosage of hemp/CBD oil is best?

Recommended dosing depends on your dog's size, health needs and the oil's potency. Hemp oil doses range from 8-17mg hemp extract per mL. CBD oil often ranges from 16mg/mL up to 100mg/mL. Start low at 0.25mg CBD/kg body weight and gradually increase every 5-7 days if needed.

How do I administer hemp or CBD oil to my dog?

Oils can be given directly into the mouth, mixed with food or treats, or applied to the skin if your dog dislikes the taste. Capsules and treats are other convenient options. Pick the method your dog tolerates best for ease of administration.

How often can I give my dog hemp/CBD oil?

Hemp oil can be given daily like a supplement. CBD oil is often given twice per day, but frequency depends on your dog’s needs. Divide the target dose between morning and evening for the most consistent benefits with both oils.

How long does it take for hemp/CBD oil effects to show in dogs?

Effects may be noticeable within 30-90 minutes but optimal benefits often require 2-4 weeks of consistent use. Keep a journal of symptoms/reactions to determine ideal long-term dosing and schedules. Consult your vet if you have concerns.

Are hemp and CBD products safe to use long-term in dogs?

There is limited research on long-term use, but current evidence suggests hemp and CBD oils are generally safe for long-term use in dogs. As always, consult your vet regularly and watch closely for any adverse reactions. Adjust doses and frequency as needed.

Can I give hemp and CBD oils together?

You can administer hemp oil and CBD oil together or at different times of day. The combination may provide balanced nutritional and therapeutic benefits. Start with low doses of both and increase gradually while monitoring your dog’s reactions.

What signs indicate hemp/CBD oil may not be right for my dog?

Discontinue use if you notice excessive lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea or lack of appetite. These are signs your dog may be sensitive or intolerant. Also monitor for potential drug interactions that cause changes in behavior or health. Consult your vet with concerns.

Where can I find high quality hemp/CBD oils for my dog?

Look for organic, CO2-extracted oils from reputable brands that source US or European hemp. Check company websites for testing data and veterinarian recommendations. Avoid products with additives or very cheap oils which may be lower quality.

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