Cbd oil edibles for dogs

What to Know If You Want to Give Your Dog CBD

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Is CBD a cure-all, snake oil, or something in between?

If you have spent any time researching cannabis for dogs, and specifically cannabidiol (CBD), you have probably found yourself wondering whether these products are safe, and even if they will offer any real benefits for your pained, anxious, or elderly dog.

The simple story about CBD is that there is no simple story about CBD. Though CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical derived from cannabis or hemp that won’t get people or animals high like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it still falls into both a medical and bureaucratic black hole where it can be nearly impossible to extract definitive information.

But we have done our best to stare into the CBD abyss and pull out as much as possible to help you decide whether it might be good for your dog. As you’ll soon see, vets are placed in a difficult position when talking about these products, but you will hopefully walk away from this article with enough information to help you make a more informed decision.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol for Dogs — Quick References

CBD is derived from either hemp (the rope and fabric stuff) or cannabis (usually the recreational stuff). It can be easy to get, is purported to offer many health benefits for pets (and people), and comes in anything from pills and oils to specialty chews and treats. Often, you will find CBD in the form of an oil or soft chew that can be given orally, although there are other products like biscuits and capsules easily found online. Most importantly, unlike THC (CBD’s psychoactive cousin), it won’t get your dog high.

Great! Case closed, right? Well … not quite.

There is still a lot we don’t know about CBD. More accurately, we know pretty much nothing definitive about CBD because of the bureaucratic minefield that is the U.S. drug classification system. Under federal law, marijuana is a schedule 1 drug — putting it on the same level as LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. So it’s amazingly difficult to even study marijuana, and the THC and CBD it contains, for medical use. Cannabis-derived CBD is still technically illegal under federal law.

“But can’t someone just buy CBD products?” you might wonder to yourself.

That’s because the CBD in those products comes from industrial hemp, which is sort of legal. Hemp-derived CBD became “more legal,” and less murky, in the 2018 Farm Bill. Many states allow people to grow (cultivate) industrial hemp, which includes little to no THC. Other states don’t let people grow hemp, but it can still be imported after being grown and/or processed in other states where it is legal to grow, or even from overseas. As you can see, while the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp and hemp-derived CBD “more” legal, it didn’t completely remove all restrictions.

To add another wrinkle, there is some debate about the effectiveness of hemp CBD versus CBD that comes from a THC-rich cannabis plant. How accurate that debate is is itself a matter of debate, as studying cannabis-derived CBD is extremely difficult to do because of the legal classification of marijuana (see above). Not to mention that the CBD supplement market, or any supplement market for that matter, isn’t exactly standardized and well regulated. So it can be extremely difficult to know exactly what is in a particular product (exactly how much CBD, or even if it contains any traces of THC), how it was made (ensuring that there aren’t any impurities or potentially-dangerous solvents left over from the extraction process), or whether it actually even does what it claims. So the whole “CBD for dogs (and cats)” question and market is quite a cloudy one . but thankfully it is getting better! (See further below for the responsible companies who are leading the charge, doing great clinical research, and ensuring the safety, efficacy, and proper dosing of their products.)

Is It Safe to Give a Dog CBD?

Most vets will agree that you should not give your dog an intoxicating amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. There are plenty of reasons why, which you can learn about in “Marijuana, Cannabidiol & Dogs: Everything You Want (And Need) to Know.” The quick and dirty version is that dogs will not enjoy THC the same way you might (or do), and it can actually be dangerous.So is CBD better? Maybe. And that’s about the best information you’ll get out of most vets. (See why the proverbial cat will likely have your vet’s tongue when it comes to talking about CBD for your pets.)

Because of its cloudy classification and constantly shifting political winds, CBD creates a legal quagmire for anybody who wants to study or recommend its effectiveness as a medicine for animals. Luckily, there are a few ongoing studies being done at a few different veterinary colleges. The results of some of the clinical studies have now been published, and the results are looking quite encouraging. See the links added below, but note that the studies were done using very specific formulations of CBD and since not all CBD oils/chews/etc. are created the same, it doesn’t mean you should just run out and get any old (or even the cheapest) CBD product for your pets. Below the new links, we’re also including links to the companies whose CBD products were used in the university clinical trials. This is not an endorsement or recommendation for these products, but just to help point you in the right direction to start your research, should you decide to try CBD with your pets.

Links to Study Results:

What Conditions Does CBD Treat in Dogs?

In humans, THC and/or CBD have been reported to treat things such as:

It’s not hard to find stories of pet owners who report similar effects after giving their dogs CBD oil or treats. However, the lack of published double-blind study for animals makes it hard to pull out real facts from the purely anecdotal evidence.

Can CBD Treat Pain in Dogs?

As with other anecdotal evidence about CBD, you don’t have to look hard to find stories of dogs in extreme pain who purportedly found relief through CBD.

Many pet owners who praise the benefits of CBD will say that it helped reduce their dog’s pain and corresponding anxiety or immobility. These claims should not be discounted — nor believed blindly — on face value, but it’s one of the main reasons vets are so eager to study the possible medicinal uses of CBD (and marijuana in general) in pets.

Thanks to the Cornell University study mentioned above, we now have legitimate and valid scientific data to show that, at least the ElleVet Sciences CBD formula tested, does in fact provide significant pain relief to dogs with osteoarthritis.

What Vets Think About CBD for Dogs

First the unsatisfying answer: Vets don’t have anything definitive to say about marijuana or CBD products for dogs because, as mentioned above, they have limited means to study the potential benefits and, more importantly, the potential for harm. Add to that the fact that a vet could face disciplinary action (even loss of license to practice) for discussing, recommending, or prescribing cannabis for their patients, and you can see why vets’ lips are collectively sealed on this touchy topic. At best, you might find a vet who will say that CBD probably won’t be harmful to dogs, and it may or may not offer any actual benefit.

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In September of 2018 California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2215 into law, making it legal now for California veterinarians to DISCUSS cannabis for pets with their clients. They still can’t explicitly recommend or prescribe it, but they can at least discuss its use. Read more about why veterinarians can’t talk about CBD and what you can do to change that.

‘I Don’t Care What Anyone Says, I’m Giving My Dog CBD’

It’s understandable that many people are frustrated by the ambiguity surrounding CBD and dogs. It often results in pet owners who go with their gut, especially when they think A) an existing medication isn’t working, or B) there are better, “more natural” alternatives. And this is equally frustrating for vets who can’t definitively say anything about it.

That being said, here are things to keep in mind when you give any unregulated, unstudied supplement to your dog.

Do Your Research:

This is especially true if you are buying something online. Avoid falling prey to the marketing hype and unsubstantiated claims. Seek out impartial reviews to see what others are saying (it’s often helpful to read the most negative reviews first).

Conduct a little background research on the company: Have they been sued and, if so, why? Have they been penalized by the FDA for allegedly making false claims? Do they have a veterinarian on staff, or do they work with a veterinary school?

As mentioned above, both ElleVet Sciences and Applied Basic Sciences Corporation have at least had their products undergo double-blinded, placebo-controlled, university-run scientific study to prove efficacy and safety. These two companies would be a good place to start with your CBD for pets research.

Natural Doesn’t Mean Better:

First of all, no marijuana or CBD product you might give your dog is natural. Apart from raw, unprocessed marijuana (which you should absolutely NOT give to your dog), anything you get has been processed or altered in some fashion. Second, natural things can be dangerous, too. For example, xylitol is a “natural” sugar-free sweetener, derived from sources like birch bark, but it is highly toxic to dogs.

Medications (either natural or synthetic) prescribed by your vet are prescribed for a reason: they have been studied, vetted, regulated, and well-documented. Your vet can also answer your questions about proper dosages, side effects, and when it might be time to go off a medication or try another.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True …

Ah, the online CBD dog products. Sounds too good to be true, right? The CBD you get online comes from industrial (or “agricultural”) hemp that might have originated in your home state, or it might have come from overseas or another processing facility where the CBD was extracted through less-than-ideal processes. There are several ways to extract CBD from hemp, but one of the quickest and cheapest involves using solvents such as butane and hexane, which can leave a toxic residue if not properly handled. That’s not to say all online products should be distrusted, but definitely do your research on the company, how they make their product, their claims, and what unbiased reviewers are saying.

Document It:

Keep a journal of your dog before and for several days if you decide to use a CBD product. This will help you decide whether it’s having a positive effect. Better still, record video of your dog to document their progress, or lack thereof (this will help you overcome the flaws of human memory). Or ask your friends/family whether they’ve noticed any difference in your dog without telling them that you’ve been giving your dog CBD (the closest you’ll get to a blinded study).

Know the Warning Signs:

    Dry Mouth: Your dog can’t tell you if they have dry mouth, but it’s safe to say they might increase their water intake. And increased thirst could also be a sign of other serious problems, such as antifreeze or rodenticide poisoning, or conditions like diabetes.

Let your veterinarian know about anything you give your dog. This goes for both legal and illegal substances. Veterinarians aren’t obligated to report illegal drugs unless they suspect animal abuse.

Alternatives to CBD for Dogs

If you’re thinking about giving your dog CBD because you’re worried about the side effects of a prescribed medication, you might try a few of these alternative remedies — or just discuss your concerns with your vet.

Best CBD for Dogs: Top Products of 2022

CBD has been one of the most popular wellness supplements of the past decade — and not just for humans. While certainly millions of people have enjoyed the calming wellness benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), this incredible hemp product has also found a niche in the world of pet supplements.

Dogs, like humans, can take full advantage of the interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system. Because of this, CBD can have positive effects on everything from stress and hypertension to pain relief for muscles and joints to overall wellness (just ask the AKC !).

So, with this in mind, we’ve assembled our picks for the very best in CBD dog products for 2022. We’ll not only highlight the best CBD oils and CBD treats for your dog, but we’ll also look at why these particular CBD products are so effective for dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds — from terrier to mastiff.

Best CBD for Dogs 2022

When sizing up all of the different CBD oil products for dogs , we made our selections for “ best CBD for dogs ” based on five main criteria: purity, potency, additional ingredients, flavor, and price. The first two, in particular, are of primary importance for dog owners. You need to know, beyond any doubt, that your CBD product is free from fillers and any contaminants that could be potentially harmful to your dog. You also need to trust that when you give your pet CBD oil or some other CBD product, that CBD oil product will deliver what it promises.

We’ve broken our list for best CBD dog products down into two groups: Best CBD Oil for Dogs and Best CBD Products for Dogs (Non-Tincture Oil). With this in mind, let’s have a look at our picks for the Best CBD for Dogs of the year for 2022.

Top 5 Best CBD Oils for Dogs 2022

Top 5 Best CBD Products for Dogs 2022 (Non-Tincture Oil)

Top 5 Best CBD Oils for Dogs 2022

CBD tincture oils are a great way to share the healthful benefits of CBD with dogs and other pets (there are several good cat CBD oils, as well). CBD oil drops allow you to carefully measure the CBD dosage for your dog . CBD oils are also versatile. If the flavor of your CBD oil is palatable for your pup, your dog will probably be happy to take the oil straight from the dropper. For those who own more finicky dogs, tinctures blend seamlessly into favorite dog foods and dog treats.

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There are a lot of CBD tincture oils for dogs on the market these days: some good and some not so good. Here are our five best dog CBD oil products.

1. CBDfx CBD Pet Tincture (Overall Best CBD Oil for Dogs)

CBDfx has been a leader in the CBD industry since 2014, which is an eternity in the rapidly expanding world of CBD. Their success has been driven by a strict attention to the potency and purity of their CBD products (remember those criteria we mentioned above!). All of CBDfx’s CBD products are made from organically grown hemp, with CBD oils extracted by means of clean carbon dioxide. This means all of CBDfx’s CBD products are free from pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, and other potentially harmful chemicals. And all of their CBD products (including products for pets) are backed up by an independent, third-party lab report, so that you know your CBD is pure and safe, and that it contains all of the cannabinoid content promised on the label.

CBDfx CBD Pet Tincture is all human-grade CBD, meaning that it’s the same CBD oil that is in all of their other CBD products. The CBD tincture for dogs comes in a tail-wagging vegan bacon flavor and features a clean and efficient ingredient profile: broad-spectrum CBD oil, coconut-derived MCT oil (for better absorption), and natural flavoring. And unlike several CBD brands we looked at, who served up the same CBD mg to all dogs (no matter the size or breed), CBDfx offers their CBD tincture for dogs in four strengths: 250mg CBD for small breeds (under 20lb), 500mg CBD for medium breeds (20–60lb), 1000mg CBD for large breeds (over 60lb), and 2000mg CBD extra strength for the biggest dogs (over 100lb). Clean, potent, tasty, vegan, and not overpriced: CBDfx CBD Pet Tincture is our “Best in Show” for CBD hemp oil for dogs.

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2. CBDfx CBD Dog Tincture (Best CBD Oil Flavor for Dogs)

This year, CBDfx took a perfect CBD pet oil and somehow found a way to make it even better. Using the same ingredient profile as the CBD Pet Tincture (with organic broad spectrum CBD and natural MCT oil to help with absorption), CBDfx has introduced a new flavor that we think is the absolute best on the market.

Whereas the aforementioned CBD Pet Tincture was vegan bacon, the new CBDfx CBD Dog Tincture features an outstanding vegan chicken flavor that tastes an awful lot like the broth of the homemade chicken noodle soup this writer’s grandmother used to make. Lucky dogs!

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3.cbdMD Paw CBD Calming Oil Tincture for Dogs (Best CBD Oil for Sleep)

cbdMD, through their Paw CBD line, approaches CBD oils for dogs a little differently than most other CBD companies, formulating their CBD oil pet calming tincture for a specific purpose: helping your pet sleep. Like a CBD sleep aid for humans, Paw CBD CBD Calming Oil Tincture for Dogs contains restful ingredients like broad spectrum CBD, melatonin (yes, it’s safe for dogs ), valerian root, passion flower, lemon balm, and chamomile. With a natural blueberry flavor that dogs just love, this quality CBD oil is ideal for hyperactive or nervous pets that can’t rest or sleep.

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4. Charlotte’s Web CBD Pet Tincture (Best Full Spectrum CBD Oil for Dogs)

Charlotte’s Web is one of the biggest names in CBD and, as one might expect, their CBD Pet Tincture is on par with the very best in the business. Pure and potent, this oil tincture gives your dog all the power of full spectrum CBD (that’s CBD oil exactly as it was extracted from the hemp plant, with no additional filtering). This means that your dog can benefit from a full and robust cannabinoid and terpene profile.

Just be sure to stick to the recommended serving size when giving your dog this CBD oil, as full spectrum hemp oil can contain up to 0.3% THC, which isn’t enough to get your dog high. But if you give your dog enough full spectrum oil, you could have issues (see our section on marijuana and hemp below for more information). But taken as directed, this CBD pet tincture can be a wonderful wellness supplement for your dog.

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5. cbdMD Paw CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs (Best CBD Oil Strength Options)

cbdMD is an established CBD brand that delivers a pure and powerful CBD oil product for pets. Unlike some other CBD brands that give you exactly one option of CBD mg no matter what size your dog is, cbdMD delivers their CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs in no less than five (!) different CBD strengths, so that you can dial in your dog’s CBD dosage without all the guesswork.

The natural peanut butter flavor is a hit with dogs, too (you’ve given your dog peanut butter, haven’t you?), which means you won’t have to trick your dog into taking his or her CBD. As with our favorite CBD oils for dogs, cbdMD’s Paw CBD Oil Tincture for Dogs has a simple profile: broad spectrum CBD oil, MCT oil (for better CBD absorption), and natural flavoring.

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Top 5 Best CBD Products for Dogs 2022 (Non-Tincture Oil)

1. CBDfx CBD Pet Treats (Best CBD Dog Biscuits)

CBD Pet Treats from CBDfx are the best CBD dog biscuits we’ve seen. Dogs love the natural sweet potato flavor. We love the organic, human-grade CBD, plus the complementary ingredients crucial for turning a good CBD pet product into a great CBD product.

These CBD treats for your dog come in two formulations, each with 450mg of broad spectrum CBD: CBD Pet Treats for Stress & Anxiety and CBD Pet Treats for Joint & Mobility . The Stress & Anxiety CBD dog treats feature adaptogenic mushrooms (including reishi and shiitake) for stress relief, calming chamomile, passion flower and valerian root, plus mood-boosting L-tryptophan and GABA. Joint & Mobility CBD treats for dogs also contain an assortment of adaptogenic mushrooms, plus antioxidants from blueberries, parsley and spinach, as well as healthful turmeric.

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2. CBDfx Calming and Moisturizing CBD Pet Balm (Best CBD Skincare for Dogs)

Dogs have skin irritation issues just like we do. And in some cases, the irritation can be worse for them than it is for us, given the wear and tear dogs experience on their paw pads and nose skin. CBD Pet Balm from CBDfx delivers soothing, moisturizing relief to help heal dry and cracked skin.

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What we love about this CBD balm for dogs is the combination of pure, powerful broad spectrum CBD (750mg) and a perfect combination of other moisturizing and healing ingredients: odorless Alaskan salmon oil, soothing shea butter, and gently comforting essential oils from lavender, rosemary and Roman chamomile. Given the irritation and inflammation that dogs so often experience, we consider this natural hemp product a must for every pet pantry.

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3. Penelope’s Bloom CBD Pet Edible Heart + Immunity Treats (Best CBD Dog Treats for Heart Health)

Penelope’s Bloom takes advantage of several natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to make a treat that’s great for heart health and immunity. Their CBD Pet Edible Heart + Immunity Treats deliver full spectrum CBD, plus antioxidants and amino acids, such as green tea extract, blueberries, omega-3, and L-carnitine. The resulting dog biscuit is an effective supplement for maintaining healthy heart function and immune support.

As with all full spectrum CBD products for pets, make sure to stick to the recommended serving size to avoid THC build-up in your dog’s system.

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4. Koi CBD Naturals Pet Spray (Best Ingestible CBD Spray for Dogs)

Sometimes, the hardest thing about sharing the wellness benefits of CBD with your dog is simply getting your dog to swallow the CBD oil or eat the CBD dog treat. Koi has addressed this problem by creating a convenient pump spray to either shoot directly into your dog’s mouth or to spray over their food.

Koi’s CBD Naturals Pet Spray is a convenient way to give your dog pure full spectrum CBD and MCT oil without losing precious drops of it on the floor. Just remember, as with all full spectrum CBD pet products, to adhere to recommended serving sizes in order to avoid unnecessary (and potentially dangerous) THC build-up.

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5.King Kalm Pet Topical Soothe Spray for Pets (Best CBD Topical Spray for Dogs)

King Kalm’s Pet Topical Soothe Spray is a quick and easy way to give your dog soothing relief for dermal abrasions, hot spots, and dry, cracked skin. And unlike some CBD pet creams and balms that can be messy and greasy, this CBD spray is a great no-mess option — particularly when you’re dealing with a high-energy dog.

This effective CBD topical contains not only organic CBD, but also soothing aloe vera, chamomile, and tea tree oil.

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Why Give CBD Oil to Your Dog?

Like humans and other vertebrate animals, dogs have a cell-signaling system called the endocannabinoid system. The body’s own endocannabinoids send signals to receptors in the various organs and systems of the body, most notably the central and peripheral nervous systems, to help them maintain homeostasis (balance). This interaction helps to regulate such crucial functions as stress relief, sleep, pain management, mood, memory, appetite, motor control, and much more.

How to Shop for Quality CBD Oil for Your Dog

As we mentioned at the top of this story, we look for five primary criteria in deciding whether a CBD product for dogs is worth buying: purity, potency, complementary ingredients, flavor, and price. The first two are easy to verify. Every reputable CBD brand will provide a report on your product, produced by an independent, third-party laboratory. This report will tell you if all of the CBD and other cannabinoids promised to you on the label description are actually in the product. It will also tell you if your CBD has been tainted by pesticides, solvents, or other contaminants. If your CBD brand doesn’t provide such a report, find a new CBD brand!

As you’ve seen in the products above, complementary ingredients add layers of effectiveness over the CBD in your dog oil or dog treat. Those additional ingredients can take calming CBD and transform your product into a sleep product. Or, they can take that same gently calming CBD and give it additional soothing effects for aches and pains in your dog’s muscles and joints. Read your ingredients list closely the next time you’re looking at a CBD product for your dog.

Flavor is also important for CBD dog products. Unlike a child, you can’t explain to a dog why it’s in his best interest to swallow icky medicine. Your CBD treat needs to taste like food to your dog. And harking back to our discussion on purity in your dog’s CBD product, we like to insist on only natural flavorings.

In a perfect world, price wouldn’t be an issue for something you put in your dog’s body. You want your dog to have the very best in terms of quality and effectiveness. Fortunately, there are some quality CBD brands that provide excellent CBD products for dogs at an affordable price. We find that all of the brands listed here give you a great deal of bang for your CBD buck.

Last, but not least, look for user reviews online before you purchase a new CBD dog product. Yes, you should probably consider a single user review on a CBD company website to be taken with a grain of salt. But if you find that people who have actually used the product overwhelmingly write about pros much more than they do the cons, you should take that into consideration as you continue your CBD pet product search.

Possible CBD Side Effects for Dogs

It is uncommon for dogs (or humans, for that matter) to experience side effects from ingesting CBD. However, occasionally side effects such as diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy have been reported by pet owners who have given their dog a CBD oil product. Almost always, these side effects are experienced because the dog was given an inordinately large dosage of CBD oil. It is important to adhere to recommendations on CBD dosage for all pet products. And if your dog does experience any adverse side effects, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Keep Your Dog Safe: Hemp vs. Marijuana

All of the CBD products for dogs you see listed on this page are made from hemp, the low-THC form of cannabis. Hemp is not the same thing as marijuana, which is the form of cannabis with high amounts of THC. While hemp is safe for your dog — and even good for your dog in well-formulated CBD products — marijuana is toxic for dogs and, at a certain dosage, potentially lethal. So, please don’t give your dog marijuana in any form (including edibles).

Giving Your Dog CBD

CBD can be a great daily wellness boost for your dog. CBD oil and other specially formulated hemp products can also give your dog relief from stress and anxiety, as well as sore muscles and joints. CBD is also a great supplement to improve your dog’s daily wellness.

If you’re thinking of giving CBD to your dog, we encourage you to check out the brands and products we’ve listed in this article. Remember to consult your veterinarian before you give CBD oil or any new supplement to your dog — especially if your dog is taking any other medication. We wish you and your dog the very best in 2022!