CBD For Pets – How To Choose The Best CBD Oil
CBD Oil for dogs may be the best medical advancement in veterinary care introduced in the last 50 years but because this particular industry is not yet regulated appropriately, there are potential problems & pitfalls that exist that every dog owner needs to be aware of before they buy CBD for their family pet.
CBD For Pets – Buyer Beware!
The Internet abounds with all kinds of attractive offers where CBD oil is sold for very low prices, but buyer beware, you may subjecting your furry friend to a lot of potential risks if you decide to buy these ‘budget’ priced products.
It’s important to do research before purchasing any CBD product to help protect you from fake or dangerous products and unscrupulous purveyors of harmful animal care products. Your pet means everything to you–so your choice of CBD oil should require diligence and detailed investigation. Ultimately, your dog’s health & well being could be at risk.
It’s a fact that you get what you pay for and quality never comes cheap; that is especially true for buying quality CBD for dogs.
If a product is too cheap to be true then it’s probably not legit and you should think twice before buying it. Many so called CBD oil providers are taking advantage of the fact that the demand for CBD oil is rapidly rising so they decide to make an easy buck by selling fake or poor-quality products to trusting animal lovers.
Real CBD oil providers will give you access to all the information you need to know about their product, its origin and its intended use. A trustworthy CBD supplier will give you free access to lab reports that verify label claims of CBD concentration as well as any potential harmful residues used in the manufacturing process.
A good starting point for conducting your own detailed research is to review the following benchmark criteria that can point you toward a more desirable companion care product and unlock the true healing potential of CBD for your dog.
CBD Oil For Dogs
It’s not an easy task to find a reliable, affordable CBD oil product for your dog. Information about CBD is fragmented all over the Internet and may not always be accurate or current. New CBD research studies are being published in medical literature and veterinary journals at an ever increasing rate so you’ll need to pay close attention when searching for CBD oil to make sure that you are buying the most credible, effective, science-based cannabidiol product available.
How do you know what CBD pet product is best for your dog? With so many different types and styles of CBD products, from tinctures to edibles, choosing a quality CBD product that best suits your dog can be a daunting task. Before buying CBD oil for your dog, you should know that there are several criteria that should be respected in order to make sure that you’re buying from a reputable company with high-quality products intended for canine consumers.
Before You Buy CBD For Your Dog:
Six Important Criteria To Consider Before You Buy CBD For Your Dog:
1. Source / Origination
The originating plant source (biomass) of CBD is the most important factor in determining the quality of a CBD end-product because it influences everything that follows in the production process of CBD oil. Commercial CBD can come from a cannabis plant or from industrial Hemp and the molecular structure of the Cannabidiol from each source are exactly the same. However, Cannabis has been bred for many different things but only until recently has it been looked at for its CBD content.
This means that most overseas companies are stripping CBD from industrial hemp byproducts as a secondary market that were not originally intended for CBD extraction. These substandard products can contain harmful adulterants & chemicals not intended for human (or canine) consumption. The majority of these products are imported, extracted and sold as fancy labeled bottles with exotic carrier oils and superfluous flavor enhancing additives. None of which contribute to the health of your dog!
These imported products might look like they are domestic but this is done under clever marketing where only the extraction work is done here in the US while the original product is coming from foreign countries with little to no vigilance towards organics because the plant was being grown industrially for fiber or some other constituent.
Since hemp is a known bio-accumulator of soil toxins it’s important to know where and under what conditions the hemp was originally grown before importation.
Although CBD can be sourced from both cannabis and hemp plants; products brought to market from overseas can be more risky because adulterants that are poisonous or toxic to the body are condensed within the isolation process and this leads to very high amounts of very harmful contaminants being diluted back down into carrier solutions for possible ingestion.
Look for a CBD product from a known growth source and from a country that monitors its soil conditions. Primary sourced material grown and extracted here in the United States or Canada has had the soil, the plant material, the resin, the carrier oil, and the final alchemy all tested for pesticides, fungicides, heavy metals plus anything that could be in the water.
At the present time there are no regulations for growing Certified Organic hemp in the US but domestic sources are more highly regulated through agricultural standards than imported hemp from China or Eastern European countries.
2. Extraction Method
The processing method of extracting CBD matters–but not as much as origin and purity of the end product. By far the most popular extraction method in the CBD world is Super Critical CO2. This is the same methodology that is used in the essential oil industries to produce fragrances for commercial perfumes.
CO2 is very safe because it doesn’t leave a solvent residue behind but it also has its negatives in that it has a hard time pulling beneficial terpenes (essential oils) from the organic plant structure. What you gain in a more pure product from this method you also lose by not capturing the whole essence of the entire plant.
Second to super critical CO2 extraction is using butane and ethanol. These solvents tend to be more cost-effective but that doesn’t mean they are less desirable. It’s best to avoid products extracted with other toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane or other hydrocarbons.
For safety and prudence, CBD shoppers should opt for products that utilize safer extraction methods such as Super critical CO2 or food-grade ethanol solutions.
The newest and most advanced method of extracting cannabinoids from hemp (and cannabis) is proprietary technology that utilizes industrial column chromatography to extract and separate a wide range of materials in a continuous closed loop system. While this method is already used to mass produce extracts like Ginkgo Biloba and Stevia, the technology has been altered to extract legal cannabis derivatives like cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from marijuana or hemp.
This proprietary technology uses a process known as low ‘pressure-preparatory-column-chromatography, which involves passing a pressurized liquid through a patented, proprietary polymer “screen”. Each component of the sample material interacts slightly differently with the polymer surface causing differential separation depending on the polarization for each plant component, which leads to the separation of the individual plant components (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) as they flow out of the pressurized column. This technology will have a much wider appeal when larger quantities of extracts are in demand.
For now, each extraction type has its pros and cons but for the layman or beginning CBD shopper, simply make sure the product source is pure before you start choosing products based on extraction type.
Generally speaking, the plant growing medium (soil, air, water) makes the product; not the extraction type. I suggest consumers be aware of different extraction methods but not make buying choices based on a specific extraction process.
3. Label Claims
Many brands offer various different types of CBD oil with a lot of different concentrations. It’s important that you pay particular attention to the product labeling. Look for products with clear labels showing the quantity and ratio of CBD and THC per dose. Look to see if the dosage (mg) listed on the bottle is the the actual active CBD extract in that product by comparing it to the manufacturer’s lab report.
Also, look for the manufacturing date and batch number listed on the product if it becomes necessary to trace that product back for quality control.
Does the label indicate how much actual dosage it is per serving? You should always ask to clarify this as some companies aren’t very clear about proper dosing for dogs. This is of particular concern since many caring pet owners are administering CBD doses based on stated human levels, not recommended canine levels–which are far less!
As an advocate for your pet’s health you should be selecting products with quality ingredients: that means no corn syrup, transfats, GMOs, artificial additives, thinning agents, coloring or preservatives.
Special Note; Cannabidiol CANNOT be pressed or extracted from hemp seeds. Hemp seeds do not contain detectable amounts of CBD. CBD can be extracted from the flower, leaves, and, only to a very minor extent, from the stalk of the hemp plant. So be very clear when reading product labels, hemp oil from hemp seeds does not contain cannabidiol.
Though some companies will use the oil from hemp seeds as a base to add CBD concentrates to make it a viable source of CBD. Only a independent 3rd party lab report will show you the actual concentration present in that product sample.
4. Independent Third Party Lab Testing
Always request third party lab results on the CBD product you intend to buy. CBD-rich products should be lab tested for consistency and verified as being free of mold (mycotoxins), bacteria, pesticides, residual solvents & other contaminants.
The lab report should clearly delineate the breakdown of all cannabinoids present (remember the ‘Entourage Effect) as well as any unwanted heavy metals or contaminants present in the original sample. Since many pet owners will be giving their dog repeated doses of CBD over many months or years, you want to make sure the manufacturer is conducting tests to ensure purity & consistency across numerous batch runs of the same product.
Ask for a Certificate of Analysis–a (COA) is a report that confirms the levels of CBD, THC, and other compounds in a CBD product. This report will ensure that you are receiving a pure product that contains exactly what is on the label. With any supplier, you can send for a third-party test to confirm the purity and potency of the product. If a company is reluctant to share these results with you it should automatically be a red-flag and indicate they have something to hide.
Armed with this information, you will know exactly what you are buying and this analysis report becomes the foundation for determining the exact starting CBD dosage for your dog.
5. Volume Concentration Vs Effective Potency
It is a common mis-perception that the higher the cannabidiol concentration content in a CBD product (mg’s per bottle), the more powerful that product will be to deliver the desired health benefits. In theory that may be true. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story; more is not necessarily better!
Choosing a CBD product based entirely on the cost per milligram is neither prudent nor economical. CBD “potency” is not determined by concentration volume alone.
A CBD products ‘bio-availability’ (the amount absorbed) is more important than stated dose since what makes CBD so beneficial is its direct effect on the Endocannabinoid System–and that is dependent on how much cannabidiol actually reaches those receptor sites.
So, although the amount of CBD should be clearly stated on the label and verified by lab analysis, I believe the ‘potency’ of CBD depends more on how much your dog can actually absorb into its system, rather than how much is listed in mg’s concentration on the bottle.
When referring to CBD product potency, what we are really talking about is ‘effective-therapeutic-dose’. The degree to which CBD can effect a dog’s health is directly related to the capacity of that CBD product to be absorbed, transported and made available to individual receptor sites–And that is determined primarily by the method of delivery.
6. Methods of Delivery
Through sublingual application of concentrated oils & tinctures pet owners are discovering the expansive benefits of CBD drops for dogs. Sublingual dosing means that you are administering CBD through tissues beneath the tongue.
Through this method of administration, the cannabinoids come into close contact with blood rich tissues in the mouth and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. Sublingual CBD application is considered a better choice of dosing dogs than oral ingestion of edible treats (or topicals placed on the skin) for a couple of reasons.
First, sublingual CBD application is more easily adapted for delivery to dogs because canine patients need only a small amount of CBD to deliver a ‘therapeutic effect’. A dropper bottle dispensing single measured drop(s) is infinitely more precise and easily tolerated when a dog is having difficulty eating or swallowing.
Second, because of the decreased absorption in the digestive tract of oral medications due to the presence of digestive enzymes and stomach acids it is possible that 20-90% of the original stated dose per edible treat is lost, resulting in a much lower bio-availability of active cannabinoids.
Therefore, it is much more difficult to measure & monitor the actual effective dose needed to treat your pet with oral, food based, edible applications.
So if a liquid based tincture is a better means to apply CBD to your dog, what is the best carrier method to delivery CBD directly to your dog’s bloodstream?
Is a Liposome CBD Better?
Typical absorption of cannabinoids is very low with only about 10% uptake in the GI tract. But liposomal encapsulation of CBD has shown to increase absorption five – ten fold. Lipsomes are microscopic single to multi-layer encapsulations made from phospholipids, the basic building blocks of cell membranes. Liposome delivery has been compared to intravenous therapy as a premier standard for drug delivery.
In fact, phospholipid therapy has a solid history for supplement delivery for repair and maintenance of liver function, circulatory health and to treat neurological conditions.
Phospholipid vesicles that encapsulate CBD can pass through the cells lining the mouth directly into the blood, avoiding alteration by harsh digestive processes that normally degrade or limit compound absorption.
Well engineered liposomes using phosphatydal-choline can cross the blood-brain barrier, deposit their cargo of CBD into the brain and directly act on intracellular functions of the CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors affect memory, mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensation and influence neurologic conditions like canine epilepsy and seizures. So getting an accurate dose delivered to the appropriate receptors is essential to better treatment outcomes.
Administering CBD via liposomes dramatically improves its bio-availability and therefore increases its potency. This advanced technology enables precise dosing with immediate effect, with maximum absorption. The phospholipids that compose the shell of the liposome also have the added benefit of feeding cell membranes since they are constructed of the same lipid layer.
In essence, CBD delivered via sublingual administration in the form of liposome ‘spheres’ provides for more accurate dosing and a more effective-therapeutic effect; making this method more economical more potent than choosing a CBD product based on the milligram concentration listed on the label.
CBD Edibles For Dogs
When you’re shopping for a CBD product best suited for your pet there are certain benchmark criteria to keep in mind when looking for a trustworthy company with a quality product. Principal among them is know where the original product was sourced and the extraction method used.
To ensure you’re getting what’s stated on the label, request an independent lab analysis but know that potency is not determined by the CBD concentration alone. The method of delivery (tincture vs edibles) and bio-availability of a CBD product (liposomes) is more important in determining the therapeutic effectiveness of CBD oil for your dog than volume of CBD concentrate.