Both produced from a variety of the Cannabis sativa (hemp) plant, hemp oil and CBD oil have grown in popularity as natural supplements and treatments for a variety of conditions. As humans have begun to use and benefit from these products, those who own dogs became interested in whether their beloved pets could be helped by them as well.
Most of the scientific research into the benefits of hemp oil and CBD oil centers around humans. However, early research is beginning into some of the medical claims and benefits of CBD oil specifically.
Overall, CBD oil appears more effective than hemp oil when it comes to serving as an alternative medical treatment for conditions like arthritis and epilepsy. Hemp oil serves as more of a dietary supplement with some definite health benefits, though not at the same level as CBD oil. We’ll dig into the concrete differences in this article.
At a Glance
Let’s look at the key points of hemp oil and CBD oil.
Overview of Hemp Oil
How It’s Made
Hemp oil is produced by first removing the outer husk of the seed. The seeds are then cold-pressed to extract and collect the oil. To maintain the quality and nutritional value, hemp oil should be made and stored in a cool, dark location.
Hemp oil contains a high amount of beneficial fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. It is a good source of protein, vitamin E, and many other minerals. Hemp oil also contains a beneficial fatty acid called linolenic acid (LA).
In humans, hemp oil has numerous medical benefits. Hemp oil can improve skin health and is especially beneficial for people who suffer from dry skin conditions like eczema.
Foods rich in LA, like hemp oil, are beneficial for heart health, including lowering blood pressure and lowering the risk of stroke.
Hemp oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to relieve pain and to decrease symptoms in those suffering from inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
The benefits of hemp oil in dogs are just beginning to be studied but reports suggest the benefits to skin and the anti-inflammatory properties seen in humans will carry over.
Is It Safe?
Hemp oil is considered safe for dogs. In some cases, it may cause GI signs like diarrhea or vomiting.
Overview of CBD Oil
How It’s Made
CBD oil is produced from CBD extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant. Various methods can be used for this process, each with its pros and cons.
How It Works
CBD works by interacting with a component of the nervous system called the endocannabinoid system. This system helps control the immune response, sleep, and pain sensations. Research is ongoing regarding how exactly CBD fits into this process.
While most CBD research centers on humans, other animals, including dogs, have an endocannabinoid system. Therefore, it’s believed that CBD will have similar benefits in dogs as it does in humans.
Unlike hemp oil, which is primarily used as a dietary supplement with secondary health benefits, CBD oil is used to treat several different medical concerns. CBD is usually used as a natural alternative or a secondary treatment to pharmacy-produced drugs, although there is one FDA-approved, CBD-derived medication used to treat childhood epilepsy.
Research also found that giving CBD oil with traditional epilepsy medications can help reduce seizure frequency in dogs.
CBD may have anti-nausea effects in dogs, but this has yet to be supported by research.
Is It Safe?
CBD oil appears to be safe for dogs overall. Some elevations in a certain liver value have been noted in humans and dogs who’ve taken CBD. The significance of this is not known with certainty. Some dogs may become more sedate when taking CBD oil.
A major concern with the CBD industry is the lack of regulation, leading to uncertainty about how much CBD is present in products like CBD oil. There are also still questions about whether CBD products can legally be given to dogs, aside from the one FDA-approved drug. Veterinarians must be cautious about recommending CBD products because of this.
What Are The Differences Between Them?
Chock full of beneficial nutrients, hemp oil is the winner when it comes to pure nutrition. CBD oil is produced from a different part of the plant and doesn’t contain the same nutrients.
Based on early research, the medical uses and benefits of CBD oil edge out hemp oil. Again, hemp oil is not used to actually treat medical conditions while this is the main purpose of CBD oil.
CBD oil is more complicated and expensive to produce than hemp oil. Because of this, CBD oil is more expensive to buy.
Basing this purely on potential side effects, hemp oil is safer than CBD oil. However, CBD oil is generally considered safe as well, with the possibility of some side effects as we discussed. CBD oil also has the extra danger of possibly being inaccurately labeled, leading to overdosing or even THC ingestion.
What The Users Say
As we wait for further scientific research about the benefits of CBD oil and hemp oil, plenty of pet owners continue to use these products. We’ve taken a look at what some of these users have to say as we compare the differences between hemp oil and CBD oil in dogs.
For starters, a survey by a holistic veterinary journal found that 64% of people who’d given their pet a hemp product felt that it helped them. These findings are supported by the owner reports collected by a California veterinarian who was an early supporter of CBD and hemp products in animals.
Reviews of various hemp oil products find that many users report success with these products when it comes to helping ease pain and inflammation. Others purchased the product to help with anxiety and found less success. This is an example of the importance of truth in labeling as there is no actual evidence that either CBD or hemp oil helps with anxiety in dogs.
Owner reports on the effectiveness of CBD oil are generally positive especially as a pain reliever and arthritis treatment. Again, with the lack of regulation of CBD products, the health claims and anecdotes not supported by science are widespread, including among dog owners. Owners using CBD oil alone for seizure control seemed to have less success, which is consistent with scientific research.
Aside from wading through the wild health claims made about CBD oil, the biggest struggle owners report is how to safely and accurately dose their pets with CBD oil. As we mentioned, veterinarians are on shaky legal ground if they discuss or recommend using CBD oil, including discussing dosages. This generally means owners must rely on the CBD companies to come up with the right amounts to give and trust that the products are accurately labeled as well.
Both hemp oil and CBD oil are generally safe products to give to your dog. While both have health benefits, CBD oil is the more potent product with the wider potential as an actual treatment for medical conditions like epilepsy and arthritis. The benefits of CBD oil are supported by first-hand accounts from pet owners as well as some early scientific research.
Hemp oil is easy to obtain with none of the unclear legal issues that make CBD oil more complicated. The quality and potency of CBD are not well-regulated, making it difficult for pet owners to know for sure what they’re getting when they purchase CBD oil.
So long as pet owners keep their expectations in line with what is scientifically supported instead of purely anecdotal evidence, CBD oil can be a safe treatment alternative. Hemp oil has its benefits as well, so long as owners are aware of the differences between the two products and don’t expect to see the same results with hemp oil as they do CBD oil.
Featured Image Credit: Aedka Studio, Shutterstock (Up), CBD-Infos-com, Pixabay (Down)