How Are CBD Oil, Cannabidiol, and Hemp Extract Used for Pets?

Picture of Hemp Plant for Pets

Do you know the facts regarding the use of CBD oil for pets and hemp extract?

CBD oil and hemp extract oil are high in cannabinoids.  Scientists have discovered over 100 different cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Different cannabinoids interact with different receptors in the body producing a variety of different effects.

Hemp extract oil may help with the following:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce nausea
  • Increase appetite
  • Reduce types of seizures
  • Ease inflammation due to arthritis and pain
  • Reduce dermatitis and other allergic reactions

How Hemp Oil Works and The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoid binding sites exist throughout the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

Cannabinoids act as neuromodulators. Being neuromodulators means cannabinoids regulate many processes including:

  • Motor learning
  • Appetite
  • Pain sensation
  • Cognitive processes
  • Physical processes

The two primary cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. Some studies show another binding site may reside in the brain.


Over 100 different phytocannabinoids exist in cannabis plants. The two most studied cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is psychotropic. CBD is not psychotropic. Both CBD and THC have many benefits and are the most widely studied of all phytocannabinoids.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is the most studied phytocannabinoid after THC. It is non-psychotropic and helps many conditions.

CBD affects the CB1 and CB2 receptors found throughout the body. Studies show no toxicity in humans to 1500 mg per day orally or 30 mg per day via IV.

Industrial Hemp

The Farm Bill of 2014 allows farmers to grow industrial hemp. Industrial hemp must be less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. Hemp extracts must be the whole plant. Hemp may be either domestic or imported. No current USDA Organic Certification exists for industrial hemp.

Industrial hemp is different from marijuana:

  • Industrial hemp is very fibrous and has very few flowering buds. Marijuana is bushier and has many flowering buds.
  • Industrial hemp has high CBD content and low THC content. Marijuana has a high THC content and low CBD content.
  • Industrial hemp is used for medicinal purposes, fiber food, rope, paper, and more. Marijuana is mainly consumed medicinally and recreationally.
  • Because of the lack of quality control, you must be aware of Hemp sourcing. Hemp detoxifies air and soil and is often used to do so. Hemp grown for detoxification purposes may produce contaminated products.

Possible scenarios producing low quality or contaminated hemp are:

  • Asian hemp grown to remove heavy metal toxicity might be contaminated.
  • Hemp will absorb carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from polluted air.
  • Hemp will absorb toxins if the crop isn’t treated organically.

Cannabis Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, and Hemp Extract Oil

What’s the difference?

The names cannabis oil, hemp seed oil, and hemp extract oil all sound similar, but the products are very different!

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil comes from Cannabis that is greater than 0.3% THC by volume. It comes from cannabis containing between 6% – 20% THC and is psychotropic. Cannabis oil has medicinal benefits but is only legal in states that have passed medicinal or medical marijuana laws

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil comes from cannabis seeds. It is non-psychotropic and contains no THC or active cannabinoids. It is more like sunflower and avocado oil, containing healthy fats. Active cannabinoids only occur from plants with growth and flowering, not from seeds.

Hemp Extract Oil

Hemp extract oil comes from the whole hemp plant and is non-psychotropic. It comes from industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC). Hemp extract oil is a whole plant and full spectrum, containing active cannabinoids like CBD and CBN. Hemp extract oil is legal in all 50 states.

Phytocannabinoid Extraction Methods

The hemp oil extraction method is a very important factor for a quality end product.


Ethanol extraction is one of the cheapest forms of extraction. It is also one of the most popular in the plant oil industry.

Ethanol extraction uses a harsh solvent, usually in large drums. The manufacturers soak the hemp plants in ethanol and then rotary-evaporate to separate the ethanol from the extract.

Some remnants of ethanol remain in the end product. Also, ethanol may destroy the plant waxes.


Hydrocarbon extraction uses hydrocarbons, such as butane, to “blast” through the plant, extracting the oils.

The manufacturer must remove the hydrocarbon after extraction. If the hydrocarbon is not removed, the extract will be toxic.


Isolate extraction uses harsh solvents like butane, hexane, chloroform, and others. Manufacturers often use isolate on hemp exposed to pesticides or is moldy.

Harsh solvents used may degrade the cannabinoids. There is a chance of residue of harsh solvents in the end product.

If the solvents are not completely removed, there is a risk of allergic or other reactions.

Supercritical CO2

Supercritical CO2 is the only form of extraction free of harsh solvents. The process increases liquid CO2’s pressure and temperature to a supercritical state.

In the supercritical state, CO2 can pass through hemp-like gas then draw out the extract like a liquid.

There is no possibility of solvent residue because there are no solvents involved.

CO2 is minimally invasive. Termed “tunable”, changes in temperature and pressure can affect what CO2 extracts.

Know Before You Buy: How to Evaluate the Label

You’ll have to carefully read labels to make sure you get quality hemp extract oil. Below are some tips to help you understand the labels


“Manufactured By” Versus “Manufactured For”

“Manufactured by” means the company is extracting and producing the product themselves. The company is accountable and has the ability to trace extraction hemp used, etc. “Manufactured for” or “Distributed by” means the company is not producing/extracting the product and is not directly accountable for quality.

USDA Certified Organic

USA Certified Organic is a keyword used on labels to give people the impression the hemp extract is USDA organic. It is not. No USDA certification exists for hemp. The company is using the loophole that if <95% of the product is USDA organic (like the MCT oil or coconut oil) then the company can legally call the whole product organic.

99.9% Pure

99.9% Pure is a code word for a company using isolate without saying the word “isolate”. The terminology seems appealing and of better quality. But, isolate is powder from CBD processed using toxic solvents.

0.00% THC

0.00% THC is a statement like a claim of “99.9% pure”. The only way to get 100% THC is to bring it to isolate. Some testing will show trace THC but the only way to extract all THC is via toxic solvents.

Cold Pressed

Cold Pressed as a term seems appealing because of cold-pressed juices or essential oils. But, cold-pressed in hemp refers to either hemp oil which is inactive, or obtained by ethanol extraction.

Other Label Tips

The company should explicitly state the method of extraction on the product label.

The company should state where they grow their hemp.

The website should show the entire label somewhere. If not, they may be hiding where and who does the extraction.

 Contact our office today to see if hemp oil will help your pet!

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