Over the past few years, there’s been a growing interest in hemp-derived products and CBD. It’s used as a natural remedy that has the potential to help with pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, nausea, chemotherapy-induced side-effects, and more.
Over 14% of US adults have used CBD, but it’s not a product designed solely for human consumption. More and more dog owners are giving their four-legged best friend CBD to help treat various health conditions.
But since there are so many different CBD varieties such as full-spectrum and isolates, it can be difficult deciding on the best option for your pup. So, let’s help you figure it out.
How CBD Affects Dogs
Before we get into the pros and cons of CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD, it’s essential to take a closer look at how this hemp-derived product even affects your pooch.
Just like you, your dog is a mammal, and all mammals have the naturally-occurring endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. This system is responsible for regulating pain sensation, appetite, memory, mood, and many of the immune responses.
The ECS has receptors that allow endocannabinoids (naturally-produced by the body) to bind to it and moderate it. The reason why CBD and other cannabinoids have such a powerful effect on most people and mammals is that they have a very similar molecular structure to the endocannabinoids. So, the ECS is primed to respond to them.
By giving CBD to your dog, you’re helping to moderate their ECS and promote better mental and physical wellbeing.
Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids
CBD is derived from the hemp plant, but it’s not the only compound that can be extracted from it. Hemp is packed with countless different molecules and compounds known as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
There are well over a hundred different cannabinoids found in cannabis, with the most popular and the most researched ones being CBD and THC. As previously mentioned, cannabinoids have a similar molecular structure to the naturally-occurring endocannabinoids and can bind to the ECS receptors.
Terpenes are essential oils that give a plant its distinct flavor and scent. They’re found in virtually every plant and are used for attracting pollinators and deterring pests and herbivores. As an added benefit in cannabis, they can enhance the effect of cannabinoids.
Finally, flavonoids are responsible for giving plants their color and aroma. They serve to filter out UV radiation and protect the plant from fungi and diseases. It’s also suggested that flavonoids in cannabis can work together with cannabinoids and terpenes to produce a unique effect when consumed.
What Is Full-Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD for dogs contains a high concentration of CBD, but it’s also packed with all the other compounds and molecules found in hemp. It includes all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, providing everything that cannabis has to offer. That includes THC as well.
While this might be worrisome to some dog owners, full-spectrum CBD contains only trace amounts of THC, well under 0.3%. Not nearly enough to have any psychoactive effects, so you don’t have to worry, your dog won’t get high. As a matter of fact, they might even benefit from the cannabis entourage effect, aka all the therapeutic properties of the combined cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
You can find full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs, CBD treats, and more here.
What Is CBD Isolate
The CBD isolate is effectively the purest form of this cannabinoid. It contains CBD solely, with none of the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids found in hemp. It can potentially be highly beneficial, helping dogs with separation anxiety, seizures, chronic pain, and cancer.
The isolate is often infused in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut, or palm oil. This helps to dilute it and make dosing it easier. However, you can also find CBD concentrates that aren’t diluted in any carrier oil. It’s crucial to be careful when giving your dog CBD concentrates, as it’s relatively easy to overstep the dosage.
The CBD isolate is often recommended for those dogs who need higher and more frequent doses.
Notice Your Dog’s Response to Different CBD Products
The answer to “what’s better for dogs – full spectrum or isolate” isn’t as simple or as straightforward as many dog owners would like it to be. It all depends on your dog, their metabolism, genetics, age, weight, and health condition.
It’s often in your best interest to try out several different CBD products and see what works for your pup. Notice their behavior in the hours following CBD administration and see how they respond to it.
Of course, always consult with your veterinarian before you give any new natural or pharmaceutical treatment to your pet. The vet can tell you more about which product is best suited for your pooch, and they can keep you informed about the dosage, frequency of administration, and more.
CBD can help to promote your dog’s overall wellbeing. It’s generally considered safe for consumption, and no serious adverse effects have been reported. Still, it’s always in your pooch’s best interest to approach any new remedies with care – talk with your vet, start your dog off with a light dose, and monitor their behavior after CBD consumption.
Whether it’s CBD isolate or full-spectrum, you should notice a difference in your dog almost immediately.