What Is the Difference Between Hemp and CBD for Dogs? (2024)

Five glass bottles of hemp and/or CBD oil and several hemp leaves on a table.

Cannabis products have become increasingly popular in recent years, and that popularity includes using the products for our pets.

Despite there not being much peer-reviewed research concerning the use of CBD and hemp for dogs, anecdotal evidence in dogs and evidence from studies in humans causes many pet owners to risk using these products for their pets. 

What is the difference between hemp and CBD for dogs? Hemp oil is derived entirely from hemp seeds and is an excellent source of essential fatty acids. CBD oil is derived from the flowers, stalks, and leaves. It has specific benefits because of the cannabidiol oil or CBD, which is not present in the seeds.

Both hemp oil and CBD oil have potential benefits and possible risks for your dog.

Here are some things you should consider as you try to decide which supplements are right for your pet’s health.

Difference Between Hemp and CBD

CBD oil comes from hemp plants, but the hemp and CBD oil aren’t the same thing.

Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. CBD oil is made from the leaves, stalks, and flowers of a hemp plant.

CBD oil typically comes from plants that have less than 0.3% THC.

Hemp oil for dogs is entirely hemp seed oil. CBD oil is usually mixed with a carrier, like coconut oil.

Is Hemp Oil or CBD Oil Better for My Dog?

Both hemp oil and CBD oil have potential benefits for your dog. Which will work better for you depends on your dog’s particular needs.

Know that neither one produces intoxicating effects.

Hemp oil has extensive nutritional benefits for your dog because of its ideal balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Hemp oil has several nutritional benefits for your dog, but it does not contain the cannabinoids that produce the medicinal effect of CBD oil.

To learn more about CBD oil, be sure to read this article.

Benefits of Hemp Oil

Heart Health

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help your dog to develop a strong, healthy heart and regulate blood pressure.

Brain Health 

Plenty of healthy, essential fatty acids give your dog’s brain the energy it needs to grow and work, even as your dog gets older.

Healthy Skin and a Shiny Coat

If your dog struggles with dry, flaky skin and a dull coat, hemp oil can go a long way to improve the health of the skin and, therefore, the luster of the coat.

Reduces Inflammation 

Inflammation can result in pain and other problems. The fatty acids found in hemp oil may help in reducing inflammation safely. 

If your dog needs help with any of the above issues, consider trying Busters Organic Hemp Oil.

Specifically formulated for pets, it is tested for purity, potency, and safety by a third-party facility and comes highly recommended.

Benefits of CBD Oil

Reduces Anxiety

CBD oil can reduce a variety of types of anxiety in people, and many people find that it can reduce anxiety in their dogs as well.

People find social pressures like public speaking to be easier with CBD oil.

Those suffering from anxiety disorders or panic disorders, as well as PTSD, have found relief in their symptoms as well. 

Dogs can also suffer from a version of PTSD and many have anxiety similar to human anxiety, so it may be logical to believe that CBD oil can help to relieve anxiety in your dog like it can in people.

Manage Seizures and Epilepsy

CBD has incredible medicinal benefits for people suffering from several sorts of seizures, including seizures that do not respond to medication.

Dogs are usually treated with potassium bromide and phenobarbital to control their seizures, but these medications may have negative consequences for your dog’s organs. 

Since CBD is so effective in treating a variety of seizures not managed by medication in people, you may also try CBD for your dog if medication is not working or you are looking for a safer alternative.

Some people find the CBD is very effective in managing their pet’s seizures safely.

Pain Relief

CBD oil appears to be significantly effective on pain relief, working on both inflammation and nerve-related pain.

Humans have found it to be effective in improving intestinal inflammation that may come with irritable bowel disease, the inflammation associated with pancreatitis, and other sorts of general inflammation. 

CBD oil has also been useful for many people’s pets in treating various sources of pain.

Joint pain and pain coming from arthritis are especially well managed by CBD in many pets.

Increases Appetite

If your dog is having trouble eating enough because of drugs, chemotherapy, or just getting older, CBD oil can help.

It can effectively increase your pet’s appetite safely and also reduce nausea and vomiting so that your dog can keep their meal down. 

Humans have found CBD to be an efficient way to increase appetite and reduce nausea due to chemotherapy or drugs, so your dog may also benefit in the same way.

Cardiovascular Health

In people, CBD has been found to reduce damaged blood vessels and regulate heart rate.

It can also stop increases in blood pressure and heart rate because of anxiety and stress.

If your dog is having cardiovascular problems or belongs to a breed that tends to have issues with cardiovascular health, CBD oil may be effective in treating and preventing problems with the heart. 

Legality of Hemp and CBD for Dogs 

Neither hemp nor CBD is in the same classification as marijuana.

Both come from the same plant, known as Cannabis sativa, but unlike marijuana, CBD and hemp contain much lower levels of THC.

Hemp oil and the CBD that is derived from the hemp plant provide unique benefits but do not contain more than 0.3% THC. 

By contrast, marijuana may contain as much as 30% THC and typically has lower levels of CBD.

Because of the differences in chemical makeup and resulting psychoactivity, legality is also different in some cases.

Hemp-derived products such as hemp oil and hemp-derived CBD are legal in the United States, thanks to recent legislation.

However, CBD oil derived from marijuana plants is only legal in certain states.

To understand the legality of these products in your area, you will need to research your state and/or country laws.

Federal laws are constantly changing, but have overwhelmingly been against hemp, CBD, and marijuana, reducing the amount of research that can be done around them.

For this reason, very little research has been conducted on hemp oil, cannabis, or CBD in dogs.

While research exists in humans, which may point to the usefulness of particular products in dogs, research specific to dogs is severely lacking.

Risks of Using Hemp or CBD Oil for Dogs

Because hemp and CBD oil have not been well studied in dogs, there are a number of potential risks in using them for your dog.

Anecdotal evidence suggests many benefits, but it also suggests some potential problems. 

Lack of regulation and oversight means that there may be particular issues with hemp and CBD oil that wouldn’t exist in other cases where the legality was not so blurry. 

Possible issues include:

  • Toxic agents in the plants that are used.
  • Allergic reactions or other adverse reactions.
  • Medication interaction.
  • Mislabeling or misidentification of plants used to make the oil.
  • Pesticide toxicity.
  • Adulterants and contaminants that may not be declared.
  • Varying THC levels may result in marijuana toxicity in some products. 

Should You Try Hemp or CBD Oil for Your Dog?

The decision of what is right for your dog is entirely up to you.

There have been many benefits associated with using hemp or CBD oil in dogs, but there have also been some meaningful risks attached to these products. 

With further studies and peer reviews by medical researchers and experimentation by veterinarians, we can learn much more about the potential benefits and risks of these supplements.

However, with the information available to us, there’s some guesswork involved in choosing what is right for your dog. 

Talk to your veterinarian, do your research, and make an educated decision.

Whatever products you try, make sure that you choose the highest quality products from the most respected company you can find, even if the cost is higher. 

What to Look for in Hemp and CBD Products

Whether you are looking for a hemp or CBD product for your dog, there are a couple of things to look for:

  • Experience. You want to buy from a well-established, well-known manufacturer of CBD or hemp products who is committed to quality.
  • Purity. Look for products that are voluntarily sent to independent labs for testing to prove their levels of CBD and THC or that their purity is 100% hemp. 
  • Price. The most affordable products are unlikely to be the best for your dog. Expect to pay higher prices for a very high-quality product.