A few months back I went to a recreational marijuana store. In the corner, I spotted “weed cookies” for dogs.
Ok, they weren’t the kind of cookies that would get a dog stoned but they said “hemp” and had a cannabis leaf on the package. They were cannabidiol (CBD) dog treats, which I would later learn was about to explode onto the market for pets. Suddenly, I started seeing several brands of CBD treats.
I think saying “weed cookie” is funny but I’m leery to use that term since there are so many misconceptions about what hemp products for pets are and aren’t. “Weed” is another name for marijuana, the drug that gets people high. CBD oil for pets is extracted from industrial hemp and contains no THC so there are no psychoactive effects. For a quick explanation of the differences, read CBD Hemp Oil vs. Medical Marijuana. The scary stories you hear about dogs overdosing on marijuana has nothing to do with CBD products. CBD has been found safe for dogs even in really high doses.
I was curious to know more about CBD for pets, and I love being on the cutting edge of trends, so my voracious-learner-scientist self dove deep into the information out there. The most prevalent information claims that CBD has cancer fighting properties and has been successful in helping to control seizures. There are a lot of other potential benefits of CBD for dogs though like improving itchy skin, their general health, and delaying, or diminishing hip and joint arthritis.
There was also a lot of confusing information. Most of this “conflicting” information had to do with the sourcing of CBD and the legality of it in the United States. When confused, it’s nice to speak with an actual person that knows what they are talking about.
In my research, I found several companies that make CBD treats for dogs. Between buying some, and some companies sending me samples, Chester and Gretel tried several different kinds. One company really stood out to me because they were small, were very knowledgeable, made a high-quality product, and their treats had a noticeable effect on Chester and Gretel. That company was Pet Releaf.
Disclosure: I totally love Pet Releaf products and have been working with them for several months. They have sent us some free product in exchange for me sharing information about them with you.
Steve, one of the founders of Pet Releaf, agreed to talk to me about CBD. He spent almost an hour explaining about the hemp plant, different ways it can be processed, what the research says about CBD and pets, and the legalities of it. The bottom line of the legality is, because CBD for pets doesn’t contain any THC, it’s not considered a controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Agency and is legal to possess in all 50 states.
Pet Releaf is my CBD supplement of choice for Chester and Gretel. It passed all of my requirements for a reliable, quality CBD supplement because it’s:
- Derived from industrial hemp
- Contains CBD extracted from the whole hemp plant
- Uses CBD extracted using the CO2 method (in the Netherlands)
- Is independently lab tested to confirm consistency in amount of CBD in the product
- Blended with coconut oil as a carrier so it’s like two supplements in one (the oil)
- Relatively affordable (some others were much more expensive)
A lot of thought went into their products. They spent a year researching, testing, and refining their products before release, including getting feedback from veterinarians.
Pet Releaf “edibles” (treats) are organic and were created by a professional chef who is knowledgeable about making food items that contain cannabis. He chose organic, human-grade ingredients with synergistic health benefits to enhance the effects of the CBD. The treats are made by hand in small batches and are baked slowly at low temperature, followed with a dehydration process to preserve them, so none of the CBD oil evaporates. The CBD in Pet Releaf is bioavailable and absorbed up to 90%.
The treats come in several different flavors: Blueberry-Cranberry, Carob-Coconut, Kale-Carrot, and Peanut Butter-Banana. Gretel loves them. Chester and Gretel love them all. I like that you can actually see dried cranberries in the Blueberry-Cranberry treats.
Her back injury derailed our plans but the CBD treats ended up being super handy to help keep anxiety at bay during her 8-weeks of crate rest. They helped Chester too. He’s is getting a little bit of dementia in his old age and that makes him anxious. Most days it’s subtle but on his bad days he acts agitated or confused and paces around the house. Both dogs definitely seem calmer after giving them CBD.
I usually give Chester and Gretel the amount of CBD (recommended on the back of the package) for healthy dogs but sometimes I like to bump the dose up a little. I give Chester more when he’s having a bad “old man” day and to Gretel after a hike or rigorous rehab exercises for her muscles and back. For the boost, I usually put 2 or 3 drops of the Pet Releaf CBD oil on a Pet Releaf treat or another regular treat. For convenience, when we are out, I give them a CBD boost by giving them more treats in a day. Like I said, CBD was found to be safe even in really high doses so there is no worry with giving them extra.
If you are thinking of buying CBD products for your dog, there is a lot to be aware of. You must read my article on “hempwashing” first. You’ll see that they aren’t all created equal and it could help you decide which CBD products are right for your pet.