There is much talk about CBD oil these days, for consumption by both humans and pets. But what is it really? Both hemp and marijuana are members of the cannabis family. Plants in the cannabis family contain over 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC).
Marijuana vs. Hemp
Marijuana contains 10-15% THC and very little CBD. While the hemp plant has a THC content of 0.3% or less and is much higher in CBD than marijuana. CBD or cannabidiol comes from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil is made by pressing the seeds together until the oil excretes. While hemp seed oil contains many beneficial amino and fatty acids it contains no CBD at all.
The ECS System
All mammals have cannabinoid receptor sites within the brain, central nervous system, peripheral organs and immune cells. This is known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS. The ECS is a key system in the bodies anti-inflammatory efforts. CBD oil activates the ECS system. When these receptors are turned on, it allows for two-way communication between the brain and the rest of the cells in the body promoting healing.
Reported Benefits of CBD
Many benefits from giving CBD oil have been reported. These include:
Aiding epilepsy and seizures
Prevents and kills cancer
Protects the nervous system
Benefits the heart
Helps with bowel disease
To see the most benefits, CBD oil should be given twice a day on an empty stomach. Dogs and cats have very short gastrointestinal tracks which means they digest their food rapidly. Giving CBD at least 15 minutes before or after a meal will allow for the best absorption.
What to look for when selecting CBD Oil
First, look for CBD oil that comes from certified organic US farms. Hemp plants grown in Russia and China are not organic and are often grown in toxic soil in an attempt to “clean” the soil.
Next, check the extraction process. Some products use solvents such as butane or alcohol to extract the oils. This results in the destruction of the health benefits of the CBD. Plus, the solvents can remain in the final product.
Third, look for a full spectrum oil, not an isolate. Full spectrum oils use all parts of the plant. They contain not only the CBD but also contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, protein, chlorophyll and more.
Finally, ask about the mixing agent. CBD oil is very thick, like molasses, and needs to mixed with a suspension agent. Some CBD oils are mixed with propylene glycol or ethanol. These chemicals can be hazardous to your pet. Look for a CBD product that is mixed in an organic oil.