Hemp oil and CBD are not the same. The difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is CBD oil contains health-promoting cannabinoids, while hemp oil is rich in healthy fats. 

CBD oil is made from the hemp plant (stalks, flowers, and leaves). What is hemp oil? Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds. The answer is no to the question, “Is hemp and CBD the same?”. 

CBD oil and hemp oil for animals is safe and beneficial. Comparing CBD oil vs. hemp oil, the primary difference is CBD oil contains CBD, and hemp oil does not contain CBD. 

Use CBD to treat seven animal conditions: Osteoarthritis, anxiety, allergies, insomnia, loss of appetite, seizures, and cancer.  Use hemp oil to treat five conditions in pets: Reducing joint pain and inflammation, providing allergy relief, boosting the immune system, promoting skin and coat health, and helping with weight management. 

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the 113 phytocannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It has health-boosting features and is safe to use in animals. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) was discovered in 1940 and is present in all cannabis plants (marijuana, hemp, ruderalis). CBD is the most crucial cannabinoid, comprising as much as 40% of the plant extract.  

The popular question is, “What is CBD for animals?” Pet CBD is a hemp-sourced product. Hemp is a cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis helps animals with several health conditions and symptoms, including anxiety, loss of appetite, cancer, etc.  

How Is CBD Produced?

CBD is produced with CO2 (supercritical carbon dioxide) extraction

The hemp (ideally organic) is placed in a chamber, which is then filled with carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide becomes a liquid that absorbs the hemp’s compounds and flavors under pressure. 

CBD Production

The liquid containing CBD and carbon dioxide is transferred to another chamber, where the liquid carbon dioxide reverts to its standard gas form, leaving only the CBD content.   

Where Does CBD Come From?

Pet CBD comes from the hemp plant (stalks, leaves, and flowers). High-quality CBD oil for pets is extracted from organic and US-grown hemp. 

CBD products for animals are readily available online and in pet stores. Always consult a licensed veterinarian before giving a pet CBD oil, treats, or other products. 

When to Use CBD?

The appropriate time to use CBD is explained in the list below.

  • Osteoarthritis: Pet CBD is used to help if the dog has joint problems and arthritis. Arthritis is a common ailment, especially among older pets. Arthritis causes pain and reduced mobility, the same as all joint issues. CBD reduces both inflammation and pain, thus managing arthritis. 

    ElleVet Sciences, in collaboration with professors from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, studied the effects of CBD on dogs with arthritis. They found that CBD supplementation reduces pain and improves mobility. 
  • Anxiety: CBD is used for dogs with anxiety. Anxiety is detrimental and has a negative impact on life quality. Pets are susceptible to stress and anxiety.   Pet cannabis products have anxiolytic and panicolytic effects. 

    Frontiers in Veterinary Science published an article, “A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) positively influences measures of stress in dogs during separation and car travel,” in 2023. The study showed that CBD helps relieve stress in dogs that have anxiety. 
  • Allergies: Animal CBD is used to control animal allergies. Environmental, flea, and food allergies are common in pets of all breeds and ages. CBD modulates the immune system and reduces inflammation and itching caused by allergies. 

    ElleVet conducted a study trial titled “The effect of a mixed cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid-based oil on client-owned dogs with atopic dermatitis” in 2022. The company found that CBD helps dogs with atopic dermatitis and reduces itchiness. 
  • Loss of Appetite: CBD is used if the cat has nausea and vomiting. Sickness and vomiting are common in animals and develop as a side effect of medications and treatments.CBD supports gut health. 

    A study, “Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis and its synthetic dimethylheptyl homolog suppress nausea in an experimental model with rats,” showed that CBD relieves nausea and vomiting in animals. 
  • Seizures: CBD is used for pets with seizures. Seizures are the main symptoms of epilepsy, which in animals is often of unknown origin.CBD reduces the seizure frequency, duration, and severity. Seizure episodes are unsettling for the owner and the pet. 

    The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) sponsored a study, “Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy,” in 2019. The results showed that CBD reduced seizure frequency in as much as 89% of the dogs. 
  • Cancer: CBD oil and pet treats are used in cancer treatment. Cancer occurs frequently in pets. Skin, bone, breast, and lymphatic cancers are the most common. Cannabinoids help with cancer, support its treatment, and relieve the side effects of chemotherapy. 

    The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation sponsored a study, “The effect of cannabidiol on canine neoplastic cell proliferation and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation during autophagy and apoptosis,” in 2020. The study showed that CBD promotes the death of cancerous cells. 

What is the Consistency of CBD?

The consistency of CBD is thick and murky (but not cloudy). CBD gets cloudy when kept in cool temperatures. Natural, unflavored pet CBD oil has a bitter and earthy taste.  

Pet CBD comes in various concentrations, such as 1.25% (meaning the product features 125 milligrams per milliliter), 2.5% (250 milligrams), 5% (500 milligrams), 10% (1000 milligrams), etc. 

Is CBD Safe for Animals?

Yes, CBD is safe for animals. CBD is beneficial and with a broad safety margin when used responsibly. The Anti-Cruelty Society says that CBD appears safe to be used on pets. 

CBD Safe Animals

Colorado State University published a study titled “A Report of Adverse Effects Associated With the Administration of Cannabidiol in Healthy Dogs” in 2018. The study results showed that the answer to “Is CBD safe for animals?” is yes. 

Does CBD Cause High Effect?

No, pet CBD does not cause a “high” effect. CBD for animals is always sourced from hemp and is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-free. 

THC is the psychoactive chemical that causes the “high” effect. THC is found in marijuana, not hemp.  

The amount of psychoactive THC in pet CBD products is limited to less than 0.3%. THC is toxic to pets and, in severe cases, even fatal.  

What is Hemp Oil?

Hemp oil is an oil product made by cold-pressing hemp seeds. The terms hemp seed oil (HSO) and hemp oil are the same and are used interchangeably.  

Raw, unrefined hemp seed oil is clear and green-colored. Hemp oil is particularly rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. 

Pet owners often ask, “What is hemp oil?” Hemp oil is made from hemp seeds and must not be confused with hash oil. Hash oil is an oleoresin extracted from cannabis or hashish flower and contains THC, which is toxic to pets. 

How Is Hemp Oil Produced?

Hemp oil is produced through cold-pressing, a mechanical extraction method used to make all seed oils. 

The hemp seeds are placed in a machine that uses extreme pressure to compress the seeds and extract their oil content. It takes approximately 2 pounds of hemp seeds to make 200 milliliters of raw and unrefined oil. 

The byproduct of the extraction is hemp seed cake. Frontiers in Veterinary Science published a study titled “Hemp Seed Cake as a Novel Ingredient for Dog’s Diet” in 2021. The study highlighted the potential of hemp seed cake to serve as a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Where Does Hemp Oil Come From?

Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is available in supermarkets and health food stores. Pet-specific hemp seed oil is sold in pet shops and online retailers.  

When to Use Hemp Oil?

The appropriate time to use Hemp Oil is listed below.

  • Joint Pain & Inflammation: Hemp oil is used for animals with joint issues. Osteoarthritis is common in pets and is fueled by inflammation, resulting in pain. Hemp oil helps with both pain and inflammation. 

    Researchers started studying the effects of gamma-linoleic acid (the main constituent in hemp oil) on rheumatoid arthritis in 1996. They published the results in a study, “gamma-Linolenic acid treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial,” and described the fatty acid as an effective treatment for arthritis. 
  • Allergy Relief: Hemp oil is used for pets to soothe skin allergy symptoms. Hemp oil contains omega fatty acids with potent anti-inflammatory features, which are helpful to animals with skin allergies, such as atopic dermatitis. 

    Researchers from Finland conducted a randomized, single-blind crossover study, “Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis,” 2005. The results showed that hemp oil significantly improves the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.   
  • Immune System Boost: Hemp oil is used for cats and dogs to boost the immune system. Hemp seed oil contains vitamins, minerals, healthy omega fatty acids, and antioxidants. 

    A 2021 study, “Antioxidant Activity of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil in Drosophila melanogaster Larvae under Non-Stress and H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress Conditions,” established the hemp seed oil’s antioxidant potential and ability to reduce oxidative stress. 
  • Skin & Coat Health: Hemp seed oil is used to promote healthy skin and coats in animals. Hemp oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The high omega fatty acids and vitamin E content moisturizes and protects the skin. Hemp oil promotes skin barrier repair. 

    A study, “Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science,” from 2018, established that oils high in linoleic acid have a stronger skin-repairing potential. Hemp oil is loaded with linoleic acid. 
  • Weight Management: Hemp oil is used if your animal has weight control issues. Increased weight and obesity are widespread in modern pets. The fatty acids in the oil increase energy and boost fat metabolism.

    Researchers at the Jordan University of Science and Technology conducted a study titled “Hemp Seed Oil Effects on Female Rats Fed a High-Fat Diet and Modulating Adiponectin, Leptin, and Lipid Profile” in 2023. The study showed that hemp seed oil has a weight-lowering effect.  

What is the Consistency of Hemp Oil?

The consistency of Hemp oil is lightweight that allows for quick absorption into the skin. Hemp seed oil is a liquid and is thicker than water. Fresh hemp oil for pets has a dark to clear light green color and a nutty flavor. 

Is Hemp Oil Safe for Animals?

Yes, hemp seed oil is safe for animals. Hemp seed oil is labeled GRAS or “generally recognized as safe” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

There is no difference in the production process or ingredient list between human and pet hemp oil products, meaning both are safe for animals.

How Does CBD Compare to Hemp Oil?

The main difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is the CBD content. Hemp oil contains very little or no cannabinoids, while CBD oil contains various cannabinoids. 

Another hemp oil vs. CBD difference is the preparation method. Hemp oil, like all culinary oils, is made with cold-pressing, while CBD oil is extracted using CO2. 

Are hemp and CBD are the same? The answer is no. They are both beneficial and safe for animals in different ways and for different purposes. 

What is the Right Dosage CBD Can be Given for Dogs?

The right CBD dose that can be given to dogs is 1 to 5 milligrams per 10 pounds or 0.001 to 0.005 milliliters per 4.53 kilograms of body weight. It is best to start with a lower amount and gradually increase it. 

CBD dog dosage

Use a CBD dose calculator to ensure the correct CBD dose for a pet. The CBD dosage calculator is useful tool. Always consult a veterinarian before using pet CBD. 

What is the Right Dosage of Hemp Oil Can Be Given to Dogs?

The right dosage of hemp oil that can be given to dogs is between 1 and 3 milliliters depending on the body weight: 

  • Dogs less than 10 pounds: 1 ml 
  • Dogs between 10 and 20 pounds: 1.5 ml 
  • Dogs between 20 and 40 pounds: 2 ml 
  • Dogs over 40 pounds: 3 ml 

Use hemp seeds instead of hemp seed oil as an alternative. The recommended dosage of hemp seeds is between 1 teaspoon for small dogs to 1 tablespoon for large dogs.  

Does CBD Have Side Effects for Animals?

Yes, CBD has side effects for Animals. CBD causes dry mouth (xerostomia) because it reduces saliva production. High CBD doses cause a temporary drop in blood pressure (hypotension). 

Other potential side effects of CBD for animals include stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, drowsiness, inhibited liver enzymes, and increased itchiness and tremors. 

Does Hemp Oil Have Side Effects for Animals?

Yes, Hemp Oil has side effects for Animals. Hemp seed oil causes diarrhea in animals with irritable stomachs. Diarrhea occurs when CBD is given in excess amounts and the animal is not used to its effects. 

Hemp oil causes allergies in pets sensitive to its ingredients. Signs of an allergic reaction may include stomach upset (vomiting, diarrhea), facial swelling, hives, itchiness, and sneezing. Adjust the dosage if the pet is showing any side effects of CBD to animals

Does Hemp Have CBD?

Yes, hemp has CBD. Cannabinoids are found in the leaves, stalks, and flowers of the hemp plant. However, hemp seed oil does not contain CBD, as cannabinoids are absent in hemp seeds. 

Are there Hemp Treats for Pets?

Yes, there are hemp treats for pets. Many pet brands offer hemp treats featuring CBD and other active ingredients that help with common health conditions. The Honest Paws and Plano Paws Hemp Treats are examples. 

author avatar
Ivana Crnec, DVM