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How Is CBD for Pets Different Than CBD for Humans?

Jun 16th 2021

How Is CBD for Pets Different Than CBD for Humans?

Some things are too good not to share. When something strongly affects you in a great way, you want your loved ones to experience it, but can you share it with every one of them? Our pets’ physiology differs from our own in a variety of ways. It’s common knowledge that if you have a delicious, decadent chocolate dessert, you shouldn’t give some to your dog, no matter how much they beg. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Yes, even to chocolate labs. What about cannabidiol (CBD)? Do they make CBD for dogs? Is CBD safe for cats, or horses, or any other pet? Do CBD products need to be specially formulated for our furry loved ones?

How CBD Products and CBD Tinctures Work on the Body

After a CBD hemp product is ingested, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system of the body. This interaction is what allows for the potential CBD benefits. The endocannabinoid system has shown evidence to modulate things such as pain, anxiety, stress, inflammation, metabolism, and cardiovascular function, among others.1

The endocannabinoid system isn’t something that is unique to humans. It is found throughout the animal kingdom, in vertebrates and invertebrates alike. Since your pets have the same system, it is believed that CBD affects them the same way it affects humans. CBD is safe for all of your pets.1

Can You Give Your Pet the Same Cannabis Oil That You Take?

While CBD is safe for your pet, there are things to consider before giving the cannabis oil you take directly to them. There are CBD oils that are specifically formulated for pets. A major difference between CBD hemp oils formulated for pets compared to those for humans is their potency and recommended dosage. It will be much easier to give a small cat its correct dosage if the oil doesn’t contain a recommended dosage for an animal a hundred times its size. While your pure CBD oil may not be lethal to your pet, it may pack a little too much punch for them.

Aside from proper dosages, cannabis oils made for humans may contain formulations that are toxic to your pet. Certain CBD tinctures manufactured for humans include essential oils as an additive that are harmful to both cats and dogs, such as peppermint or cinnamon.2

Cannabis oils in states where recreational or medicinal marijuana is legal may contain high amounts of THC. Be sure to always check the label of anything you give your pet, or yourself for that matter.

CBD Oil Isn’t the Only Solution

If you want to include CBD in your pet’s diet, you don’t have to give them oil. If you have ever tried to stick medicine in your cat’s mouth without first immobilizing its fist full of sharp claws, you may be afraid to try it again. CBD treats for cats are always an option, as well as CBD dog treats. You could even make your own by placing a few drops of CBD oil for dogs, cats, and horses on their favorite treat!


1Silver RJ. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals (Basel). 2019 Sep 16;9(9):686. doi: 10.3390/ani9090686. PMID: 31527410; PMCID: PMC6770351.