Hemp oil for healthier skin, cannabis oil for dog seizures, hemp protein powder for building muscles . . . OK, let’s stop there. I’m sure you’ve heard about hemp products a lot lately and may have even purchased one or two yourselves when you’re in the grocery store.
Hemp is all the rage, and deservedly so because hemp is an incredible plant and can pretty much do anything. You can make rope, paper, clothes, other fibers, shampoo, cooking oils, health supplements, and down the rows of the hemp crops we go. Really the only thing hemp can’t do is get you high.
Hemp Can’t Get You or Your Dog High
Yes, you read that right. While hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, it has essentially no THC in it. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the substance that’s found in certain varieties of the cannabis sativa plants, which are grown to produce marijuana because it creates a high when ingesting. You could throw yourself in a field of hemp, starting lighting them up and stay sober as a judge.
The reason you have been hearing about hemp a lot lately is that it was fully legalized in 2014 by the U.S. Agricultural Bill. Since then, hemp products have spread like wildfire, because not only do they replace many common household items in quality, hemp is cheap and easy to grow and extremely renewable. Hemp grows way faster than trees and can easily rival NBA players in height within their first year. Hemp can also keep growing and growing as long as it has a majority of sunlight throughout the day.
But enough about that, you’re here because you’re interested in knowing if hemp oil is good for your dog. The answer is yes it is, but what type of hemp oil are you referring to exactly?
Types of Hemp Oils
It’s OK to make the blanket statement that all hemp oils are good for pet health, and that includes both cannabinoid oil and hemp oil for dogs. So where lies the difference?
Hemp or Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp oil is technically hemp seed oil as this oil is only derived from cold pressing hemp seeds to extract a very healthy oil.
Hemp oil contains a wealth of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids along with omega-9s. Omega-9s aren’t talked about as often because they aren’t essential like 3s and 6s, but research shows that omega-9s can help reduce the risk of a stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Last, hemp oil has an absolutely fantastic profile of at least 20 amino acids. I personally first heard about hemp products when I was working out, and heard about hemp protein from some that struggled with milk-based proteins — there has been a growing number of vegan athletes and Olympians in recent years because hemp protein can successfully replace milk proteins.
When you’re in a grocery store and you see hemp oils, proteins, and shampoos they all come from the seeds, but the stalks of the hemp plant have a whole hosts of benefits as well.
Cannabidiol oil or CBD oil
When looking for hemp oil for dogs, you may have actually been confusing it for this next oil.
CBD oil comes from hemp as well, only this time the stalks because they contain chemical compounds called cannabinoids that produce many therapeutic and medical benefits. The stalks also contain terpenes and flavonoids which produce therapeutic effects as well, only more attune to essential oils where cannabinoids produce stronger medical effects.
But really, our focus is on those cannabinoids because of their more notable and effective results.
So what are cannabinoids? Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that produce a wide range of therapeutic effects when ingested, but why? Well, in the early 90’s the answer was solved.
Researchers discovered all mammals create and use their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, which will attach to cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body. These receptors and the endocannabinoids make up the endocannabinoid system, which plays a very critical role in maintaining bodily functions.
The Body’s Natural Defense Mechanisms
Many health issues develop when the natural defenses of the body can’t hold up against external threats. An organism uses inflammation to fight infections, but that inflammation will turn around and attack the organism if it’s not properly handled by the body. Let’s say your pup is feeling anxious — that happens because their system thinks there is a threat and their natural defense mechanism is warning them.
“Think” is the important word here, because after being barraged with threats day in and out, internal communications between the various systems and organs in the body breaks down.
Endocannabinoids are actually chemical messengers the brain uses to make sure everything in the body is communicating back and forth properly. Think of them as individuals the brain sends out to various defense systems to repair them.
CBD Oil: Part Deux
So how does CBD oil help? It’s strange, but CBD can’t do what endocannabinoids can do and bind to cannabinoid receptors — but this is good because it promotes natural health systems, unlike marijuana.
Remember THC? Well, THC can bind to cannabinoid receptors and do the endocannabinoids job for them and this does produce therapeutic benefits — it’s really just the activation of the receptors that produce the therapeutic benefits, not the cannabinoids. However, it’s this direct attachment that produces the high.
CBD, on the other hand, will attach to enzymes that often prematurely breakdown endocannabinoids before they can attach to receptors and do their job. So CBD can’t do the endocannabinoids job but instead allows them to build up and attach to more cannabinoid receptors that are often needed for effective treatment.
What is cannabis oil? The answer is it’s a really bad and sloppy term that should never be used. Most likely cannabis oil is referring to an oil extracted from marijuana and contains both CBD and THC. But you know that’s a bad term because cannabis does not equal THC.
THC is harmful to dogs in high amounts and whenever you purchase a hemp-based oil for them, it’s safe to always look for the word hemp on the product. Now, both hemp seed oil and CBD oil are brilliant healthy oils that can do a lot to improve your health.
When you hear about cannabis oil for dog seizures or cannabis oil for pet anxiety, then it’s most likely referring to CBD oil, as cannabis oil most likely has THC and is therefore potentially illegal and bad to give to your pet regardless.
CBD oil has been shown to reduce seizures, calm anxiety, decrease pain and inflammation, and down those hemp rows, we go again. Remember, CBD oil can do all of this because it’s improving the body’s natural defenses and this includes protection against genetic disorder like epilepsy. In fact, CBD oil anticonvulsant nature is so incredible that it treat rare forms of epilepsy were all current pharmaceuticals have failed.
Best yet, CBD oil can have hemp oil in it as CBD oil needs a carrier oil to dilute it as it’s heavily concentrated. Coconut oil is also a good carrier oil, but I think it’s better to stay all hemp. Plus, coconut oil is awfully high in saturated fat and bad for cholesterol — hemp seed oil kicks its butt in every way. It’s easy to see, hemp equals better health for both you and your fur babies.