The full 2022 guide on CBD oil for Dogs

Pug dog teaching benefits of CBD on dogs
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Introduction to CBD oil for dogs

From the persistent ads, to the overwhelmingly positive reviews, and even to the recommendation from friends and colleagues, it seems like everybody urges you to give CBD-based products a try. All of them state that it would bring lots of benefits for your dogs. But is it really?

There are proven positive results from researchers all over the world. Not only that, but even the government around the globe has slowly but surely opened up to the new and advantageous possibilities that CBD has to offer. If that is so, shouldn’t you immediately jump on the bandwagon and buy one for your dogs right now?

The answer to both questions is yes. That being said, before you click that purchase button, you should dive yourself into some more information regarding CBD first. Because no matter how good a product is, it’s always better to know more about it before buying it. Especially if it is something that you would give to your beloved dogs.

What is CBD and how does it actually work? Where does CBD come from and is it a newly found compound? Are there any different types of CBD out there? Can you legally do whatever you want with it? Those are the sort of questions that this comprehensive article will answer for you. So sit back and read at your own leisure.

What is CBD and how does it work in dogs?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol and it is one of the two main compounds responsible for that distinctive feeling of “high” and calmness that you’d get whenever you consume cannabis. The second compound is called Tetrahydrocannabinol, or better known as THC.

But although both compounds work together to create that unique effect, each of the compounds actually have their own effect on the brain. THC is the psychoactive compound that creates that sensation of being high, while CBD is the relatively safe compound that would make the brain feel calm and relaxed.

Once scientists found that there’s actually a distinction between the two effects of cannabis, they realized that CBD could potentially offer different kinds of benefits to our health, especially to the brain. The THC, on the other hand, contains unwanted effects and scientists haven’t found any way to benefit from it alone.

So numerous efforts were poured into creating the way to safely extract only the CBD from cannabis. Thanks to the advancement in technology and various breakthroughs in the world of chemistry, scientists finally find the most reliable way to pull CBD out of cannabis and leave the THC behind.

But they also found that the plant called hemp, a subclass of cannabis, actually contains more CBD than the cannabis itself. If cannabis contains a relatively balanced amount of CBD and THC, hemp has way more CBD than THC within its system.

That is why any products that are based on CBD that you see in the market right now actually came from hemp. The process for extracting CBD from both cannabis and hemp are pretty much the same. So from the manufacturer’s standpoint, it is obviously way more profitable to process hemp since it will produce more CBD than cannabis.

But when it is finally consumed by the customer, whether the CBD comes from cannabis or hemp is irrelevant. It will work on our brain and body the same way. And amazingly enough, the effect of CBD on humans could also be translated into the animals. Which means CBD could be used by both humans and animals.

The main reason why it works on both animals and humans is because of the existence of something called the endocannabinoid system within both humans and animals’ systems. Endocannabinoid system is a neurotransmitter that appears all over our brains and organs and it could affect numerous parts of our body.

When you consume products based on CBD, it will enter your system and connect to the countless endocannabinoid receptors. And this is what makes it possible for CBD to temporarily influence the state of your brain and body.

The history of CBD

Though CBD could be said to have gained its popularity just only recently, the use of cannabis as a medicine has actually been explored for a very long time. Specifically since around 4000 BCE. It was used for various purposes, such as for food, textiles, papers, medicine, and even for religious rituals.

In his paper titled History of cannabis as a medicine: A review, Antonio Waldo Zuardi from the university of Sao Paulo explained that one of the first ever recorded account of the use of cannabis as a medicine was through a document called pen-ts’ao ching in the era of Emperor Shen-Nung in 2700 BCE.

In this time, cannabis was used to treat various ailments. Constipation, rheumatism, disorder on female reproductive functions, and many more. The same ancient document also recounts the apparent psychoactive effects of cannabis. Noting that it could somehow bring “visions of the devil” and “lighten one’s body”.

But not only in China, another prominent user of cannabis was India. It was heavily used both for its medical capabilities and also for its hallucinogen effect. Not only that, in their sacred text Atharva Veda, it was even listed as one of the five sacred plants that could bring someone closer to “joy and happiness.”

This heavy use of cannabis to treat numerous ailments and as a critical component for religious rituals in India happened around 1000 BCE. They used it to treat everything from toothache to asthma. And they also create an elaborate three steps of refining and using cannabis for religious context based on different needs. From the weakest one that was called Bhang, to a stronger one called Ganja, and the strongest one called Charas.

Once this plant was identified the use of cannabis spread throughout all over Asia mainly through trade. From China and India, it spreads to Tibet, Assyria, Persia, Mediterranean countries, and all the way to Europe. Keep in mind that this was not an instant process. It’s taken centuries, if not thousands of years to complete.

The source of cannabis in Europe likely came from the Scythian invaders in around 450 BCE. And they use it for religious context as well. Herodotus wrote about Scythian funeral rituals that involved burning and inhaling cannabis. But in this time, the Europeans mainly use cannabis to treat minor ailments like earache.

From 14th CE onward, the use of cannabis was basically a common occurrence all over Asia, Mediterranean, Europe, and even Africa. In 1464, an Arabian medical practitioner called Ibn al-Badri wrote that he used cannabis to treat someone with epilepsy with great success. But he also noted that the man became somewhat addicted to it.

Arabian traders brought cannabis and their knowledge of using it to Africa until it was also heavily used there. So when the slave trader came to Africa and brought the people to South America in 16th CE, they were also bought cannabis along with them until finally the whole continent was introduced to cannabis.

A major modern breakthrough happened in late 18th CE through an Irish physician named William B. O’Shaughnessy, and a French psychiatrist named Jacques-Joseph Moreau. They both rigorously studied all documents related to cannabis at the time and even conducted their own experiments. One focused on the body, while the other focused on the mind.

In 1839, O’Shaughnessy published his works and findings into a book called “On the preparations of Indian hemp, or gunjah’‘. Not long after, specifically in 1845, Moreau also published his seminal book called ‘Du Haschisch et de l’Aliénation Mentale: Études Psychologiques’.

Both of these books kick started the interest of the western world on the unique effect that cannabis has both on the body and the mind. It spawned hundreds of new studies in order to better understand cannabis, which led to the discovery of THC and CBD.

Unfortunately at this point in time, the use of cannabis to the general public has shifted greatly from medical and religious purposes to purely recreational. Both the rich and the poor alike were addicted to cannabis. Which was what finally compelled the government around the world to ban the use of cannabis in any shape or form.

This is also what ultimately prevents further research on beneficial compounds like CBD. But that’s all starting to change in recent years. Slowly but surely, governments have finally legalized the use of cannabis and CBD, mainly for medical use. Which allowed more scientists to conduct various research on it and companies to develop products based on CBD.

Full spectrum vs Broad spectrum vs isolate CBDs

There are three types of CBD that you can easily get on the market right now. Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolated CBD. And each of them are suitable for certain kinds of conditions.

Sure, you can use one type of CBD for all of your pets, but it would be more effective to use the most suitable CBD based on the condition of your pets and the kind of ailments that you’re trying to treat.

1. Full Spectrum CBD

As the name suggests, the full spectrum CBD is an extract of hemp with all of the types of cannabinoids within it. This type of extract contains CBD, THC, and all the other cannabinoids that you can find inside the hemp. Thanks to this, the full spectrum CBD could deliver the strongest effect out of any other type of CBD extract.

This type of CBD is perfect for dogs that are currently suffering from chronic pain. Because any other type of CBD won’t be strong enough for this kind of condition. On the other hand, the existence of THC for sensitive dogs could lead to various health problems instead. So use it with caution.

2. Broad Spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum sits right in the middle between the full spectrum and the isolated CBD. Because just like full spectrum, the broad spectrum CBD also has every cannabinoid within the hemp. The main difference between the two is that the broad spectrum doesn’t contain any THC inside it.

This broad spectrum CBD has the perfect balance between the intensity of the effect while still maintaining the safety for dogs that are sensitive to THC. Other than the aforementioned chronic pain, broad spectrum CBD should be effective to treat all kinds of ailments.

3. CBD Isolate

The last type of CBD extract is called Isolated CBD. This is the purest CBD of them all because this extract purges all the cannabinoids from the hemp except for the CBD itself. So you’ll get undiluted CBD effects through isolated CBD.

But that doesn’t mean the effect would be stronger. As a matter of fact, isolated CBD has the weakest CBD effect of them all. That’s why it is the perfect solution for dogs that are extremely sensitive. It will also work great if all you need out of the CBD is a simple calming effect for your dogs.

Different CBD products for dogs

1. CBD oil for dogs

CBD oil is the original product based on CBD extracts and it is by far the most popular one of them all. It comes in a little bottle with its own dropper. The way to use it is rather simple and straightforward. All you need to do is simply drop the oil using the dropper directly into your dog’s mouth.

By using this method, it won’t take long for the CBD to enter their system without having to go through the complicated digestive system like CBD edibles. That is why your dogs would be able to feel the effect of the CBD oil mere minutes after you give it to them.

2. CBD dog food

CBD food is just dog food with CBD in it. The main advantage of this type of CBD is the simple fact that it comes in different shapes and flavours. And since it is still a dog food, it has nutritional value as well. That means giving your dogs CBD foods will not only fill their stomach, but it will also help treat their ailments.

But as mentioned earlier, as it is basically a food, it will need to go through the elaborate digestive system until the effects of the CBD finally kicks in. Expect to wait somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour for it to finally work on your dogs.

3. CBD dog treats

Similar to the CBD foods, CBD treats is also another form of CBD edibles. And just like with CBD foods, you can also pick and choose different variations of shape and flavors. But unlike the CBD foods, it is easier to manage the dose of the CBD using this type of treat.

More often than not, you would only need to give one or two treats per serving to your dogs. So instead of a big bowl of dog food that your dog may or may not finish, with treats your dogs would most likely eat them all since you only give it in small portions. So you’d know exactly how much CBD enters their system.

4. CBD dog cream

Unlike all previous CBD products that need to be ingested in order for it to work internally, CBD cream is a solution for external problems. CBD cream is for things like rashes, bumps, redness, sprained, and other kinds of muscle and skin problems.

And just like any other type of cream out there, you use it by applying it directly to the needed area. Keep in mind to only use as much as necessary and to rub it gently to your dog’s skin. For this type of ailment CBD cream would always work better than other types of CBD products.

How to choose the right CBD supplements for dogs

Dropper glass with CBD oil sitting on dog kibble
CBD and dog food

1. Talk to your trusted vets

This is the most important step of them all. You might think you know all there is to know about CBD, but what you might not know is the physical condition of your dogs. The things that they actually need to improve, their physical and mental health, etc. But your trusted vets would certainly know about this.

Your vets could tell you about the kind of CBD that is better suited for your dogs and also the doses that they need. Not only that, your vets could also give you some pointers as to how to pick the right CBD for your dogs or maybe they could also give you some brand recommendation.

2. Choose the type of CBD according to your dog’s needs

As stated above, there are three types of CBD based on its extract. Full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and also isolated CBD. Which one of them you should take highly depends on the condition of your dogs and what it is that you’re trying to achieve with the CBD.

If you need help with calming your dogs down and they are pretty sensitive to CBD and THC, then the isolated CBD could be a great choice for you. But if you need help to reduce the intense pain suffered by your dogs due to a chronic illness, then full spectrum CBD could be a better solution for your dogs.

3. Get the most appropriate CBD for your dogs

After the type of the CBD, the next thing on your list is the kind of CBD that you want for your dogs. CBD oil, foods, treats, cream, etc. There’s a lot of options available for you. Not only that, the same product made by different companies could also have different spin on it.

Things such as the shape and taste of the CBD foods and treats, could vary widely from one brand to the next. But for general purpose CBD, then using CBD oil not only makes it easy for you to deliver the CBD to your dogs, but they could also feel its effect not long after consumption.

4. Be sure to look for a product from a transparent manufacturer

Before you buy any CBD, make sure to look into its manufacturer first. A good manufacturer would clearly and transparently lay out the information regarding their products. From what kind of hemp that was used, to how much THC inside it, you should be able to easily obtain this kind of information.

The other thing that a reputable manufacturer could provide is the “certificate of analysis”. It is basically a certificate that could legally prove the claim made by the manufacturer. It is also something that you could show in case you are questioned by the authorities.

5. Get a high quality product

Every CBD product in the market right now has a very broad range of price points. Sometimes, the high price tag is simply due to the brand of the CBD. But oftentimes, it is the sign of how much quality control goes into creating those products. You should get this high quality CBDs even if it would cost you more than others.

Benefits of using CBD for dogs

Infographic of CBD oil and pets
List of benefits of using CBD with your pets

CBD for dogs with Anxiety

● CBD is the one that is responsible for the calming effect of cannabis, as such, CBD is extremely effective as an anti-anxiety solution. The time it takes for CBD to calm your dogs might be different depending on the type of CBD that you use, but in general, you should be able to see the results rather quickly.

CBD for reducing pain in dogs

● When CBD enters your dog’s nervous system through the endocannabinoid receptors, one of the things that it could influence is pain management. The strength of it as a painkiller may be different depending on the type of CBD that you give, but your dog should feel significantly less pain regardless.

CBD for dogs with seizures

● If your dogs suffered from epilepsy or regularly experiencing any kind of seizures, then it is time to give them CBD. Both experts and governments alike have recommended the use of CBD as a proper and reliable way to treat epilepsy or any seizures in general.

CBD for dogs with arthritis

● Other than its ability to affect the nervous system, CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties. This means you could use CBD as an effective solution to treat arthritis, sprained ankle, rashes, and any other kind of muscle, skin, and joint problems.

Increasing a dogs appetite with CBD.

● Another part of your dog’s body that CBD could affect is their digestive system. If you regularly give CBD to your dog, no matter what type of CBD it is, you should see an overall increase in their appetite.

Make your dogs fur softer with CBD

● Other than an increased appetite, another great effect that your dog could reap from regularly consuming CBD is a glowing fur. But it won’t simply look good, the fur will be stronger, thicker and smoother as well.

location of cb1 and cb2 receptors in dogs
the places where cbd can bind with dogs to help them

Risks of using CBD on your dog

The risk of using CBD for your dogs comes from the THC. If you use either broad spectrum CBD or isolated CBD, then you don’t have to worry about a thing. But if you use a full spectrum CBD, then there are two things that you need to be aware of.

First, you need to make sure that the THC within it is only 0.3% or less. You could find this information through the “Certificate of Analysis”. The other thing that you should pay attention to is the doses. Even if it is just a trace amount of THC, if you give it to your dogs too many times, it could still lead to a mild THC poisoning.

Best CBD oil brands in the market for dogs

1. Furbabies

Furbabies is a company based in Vancouver that is thriving in creating high quality CBD with a great variety of products and flavors that you could choose from while still putting an affordable price tag on each product. They are famous for fast seller response and quick deliveries.

2. Holistapet

Holistapet is the brand that you should go for if all you want is a simple, no nonsense, high quality CBD for your dogs. Their full spectrum CBD is guaranteed to be super effective and safe to use. But if you want some variety of shapes and flavors to make it more fun for your dogs, then Holistapet is not for you.

3. Nuleaf

Nuleaf is one of the most recognizable names in the world of CBD for pets. They have great products with lots of selection and varieties. But they will charge a premium price for it and since most of their products are highly popular, it is highly likely that you won’t find what you want in stock. Check out our review of Nuleaf CBD products right here.


Despite CBD becoming a somewhat recent phenomenon, cannabis itself has actually been around for a long time. Specifically since the 4000 BCE. It has lots of varieties that you can adjust to whatever it is that your dog needs. It can offer lots of health benefits for your dogs with little to no risk. But be sure to be highly aware of the doses and the complicated legal boundaries of CBD.

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