CBD (cannabidiol) has been around for thousands of years, but suddenly the term is ubiquitous. It seems like it might be worth trying for your achy pup or anxious kitty, right? Like most things, it's a bit more complex than that, so let’s delve into some factors to consider before choosing a CBD product, or really, any medication for your pet.
1. What are you using CBD for?
Many have labeled CBD as the new “cure-all” these days. Due to federal regulations, it wasn’t until very recently that scientists have been able to study CBD in a controlled manner without miles of red tape to work through. Because of this, we’re still learning a lot about what CBD can do for both humans and pets. Cannabidiol is a complex molecule that appears to affect numerous systems in the body in many different ways. Before jumping on the bandwagon and trying CBD for a problem with your pet, check to see if there’s been any research to support that use.
Here are some conditions that we know CBD can help with:
That’s not to say CBD can’t help with others. We just don’t have the data to support it yet!
2. Where are you getting your CBD?
You can find CBD everywhere these days - from a high-end boutique specifically for cannabis products down to your neighborhood gas station. Not all products are created equal. Did you know that improper storage of a CBD product can change its composition? Excess heat like what is experienced as the CBD sits in your mailbox on a hot summer day can make a big difference in how a product works. We recommend researching whatever company you chose to buy from to ensure reasonable quality control and data to back up what they’re selling. If you’re not sure about a product, just ask us.
3. Make sure you’re getting the good (and safe!) stuff
Getting the "good stuff" means we need to ask about batch testing. Batch testing refers to the analysis of a particular “batch” of CBD products. It can include the composition and amount of CBD in a product, heavy metal contamination, pesticides, and even complementary compounds such as terpenes that can enhance the CBD effects. In many states, manufacturers require batch testing. A good company will use a 3rd party lab to accomplish this and will have the results of the batch testing readily available for consumers.
4. Check the supply line
Where’s this stuff coming from? Does the company you’re evaluating own the plants they are extracting from? Do they contract with specific farms for their product? The more control a company has over the product from start to finish, the better the quality control they can maintain. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a product when the company doesn’t grow the plant themselves, but it does mean they should know a lot about the farms they’re purchasing from and how they’re ensuring they get the best product possible.
How are they making the product? Different ways of extracting the oil from the plant can change the end product’s composition and stability. Again, this is something a reputable company should be able to explain to you.
6. Giving back
This is sort of the bonus round. Not all high-quality CBD manufacturers will be able to work with scientists to evaluate their product and the effects for certain conditions; however, this is a huge benefit if they can. Not only does this further our knowledge of the benefits (and risks) of CBD use in our pets, but it also proves that their product does what it says it does. This sort of data often comes with a guarantee - a good sign when considering any type of medication or supplement.
It's important to note that the ASPCA has led the charge in reminding those of us in the field that there is no FDA-approved CBD product for pets as of yet, but there's no denying it shows promise. There’s a lot of information (and misinformation) out there these days when it comes to CBD and, more specifically, its uses for your beloved pets. You’re not alone as you navigate this new horizon. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!