You are currently viewing Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: Know the Differences!

Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil for Dogs: Know the Differences!

You love your dog. They’re your buddy who’s been there through thick and thin. If they’re experiencing pain or distress, you want to do whatever you can to make sure they’re okay.

You’ve probably heard a lot about CBD products designed specifically for dogs. We understand if you’re a little hesitant to use it on your pup. Most CBD products designed for pets are considered safe and potentially very helpful for supporting animal health. Early research implies that dogs may benefit greatly with the introduction of CBD into their wellness routine.

Ask any dog owner who uses CBD for their dog’s wellness and they’ll tell you — it has the potential to greatly enhance your pup’s quality of life. Naturally, be cautious! But with the right product and dosage, you might really be able to make a difference in your pup’s daily life. 

What do I need to know about CBD?

Cannabidiol (also known as CBD) is a natural occurring component within the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not a part of the cannabis plant that is capable of getting you “high.” In fact, CBD can be incredibly helpful in the body thanks to its role in the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system.

Now, CBD’s far from a magic bullet. But the endocannabinoid system directly helps fight against inflammation in the body, which is why many people find CBD helpful. The body knows exactly what to do with CBD. It’s a helper, not an intruder! This explains why humans tend to use CBD to support wellness routines around pain management, anxiety, healthy sleep, and much more.

Is hemp oil the same as CBD?

No! Hemp oil (like the kind you see on Amazon) actually contains zero CBD. None. There are potential benefits from using hemp oil. But you’re not going to get the benefits and pain-relieving power of CBD if you use hemp oil.

Ok, so what is the difference between hemp oil and CBD oil?

Hemp oil and CBD oil are two distinct products derived from different parts of the hemp plant and have different compositions and uses. Here are the key differences between the two:

Source and Extraction:

  • Hemp Oil: Also known as hemp seed oil, hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. It contains little to no CBD (cannabidiol) and is primarily obtained through cold-pressing the hemp seeds. Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, as well as vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious food supplement.
  • CBD Oil: CBD oil, on the other hand, is derived from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant, rather than the seeds. The extraction process involves using solvents or CO2 to isolate the CBD compound from the plant material. CBD oil contains significant amounts of cannabidiol and is commonly used for its potential therapeutic effects.

Cannabinoid Content:

  • Hemp Oil: Hemp oil typically contains little to no CBD or other cannabinoids. Instead, it is rich in nutrients and is often used as a cooking oil or as an ingredient in skincare products.
  • CBD Oil: CBD oil, as the name suggests, is primarily made up of cannabidiol, along with other cannabinoids present in the hemp plant, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), albeit in trace amounts. CBD oil is sought after for its potential therapeutic properties, which include pain relief, anxiety reduction, and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Hemp Oil: Hemp oil is legal in most countries and does not typically contain any significant amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces a “high.” Therefore, it is widely available as a dietary supplement and cosmetic ingredient.
  • CBD Oil: The legal status of CBD oil varies depending on the country and its source. In some regions, CBD derived from hemp (containing less than 0.3% THC) is legal, while CBD derived from marijuana (with higher THC content) may be subject to stricter regulations.


  • Hemp Oil: Hemp oil is commonly used in cooking, as a salad dressing, and as an ingredient in various food products due to its nutritional profile. It is also used in skincare products because of its moisturizing properties.
  • CBD Oil: CBD oil is often used for potential health benefits, including pain relief, anxiety reduction, stress management, and as an adjunct treatment for certain medical conditions. It has gained popularity in the wellness industry for its non-intoxicating nature and reported therapeutic effects.

While both hemp oil and CBD oil are derived from the hemp plant, they have different compositions, uses, and potential benefits. Hemp oil is primarily a nutritious food supplement and skincare ingredient, while CBD oil is sought after for its potential therapeutic effects on various health conditions. Always check the product label and source to ensure you are getting the specific oil you desire.

Okay, so which is better: CBD or hemp oil?

When it comes to choosing between hemp oil and CBD oil for dogs, it depends on what you are trying to achieve and your dog’s specific needs. Both hemp oil and CBD oil can be beneficial for dogs, but they serve different purposes:

Hemp Oil for Dogs:

  • Benefits: Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, as well as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can promote healthy skin, coat, and joint health in dogs. It may also help support their immune system and overall well-being.
  • Uses: Hemp oil is often used as a dietary supplement for dogs. It can be added to their food or administered directly for its nutritional benefits.

CBD Oil for Dogs:

  • Benefits: CBD oil, derived from the hemp plant, contains cannabidiol, which may have various potential therapeutic effects for dogs. Some reported benefits of CBD for dogs include pain relief, anxiety reduction, anti-inflammatory effects, and potential support for dogs with certain medical conditions.
  • Uses: CBD oil is commonly used in dogs to manage pain, anxiety, stress, arthritis, seizures, and other health issues. It may also be used to improve their overall quality of life.

When considering which option is better for your dog, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. They can evaluate your dog’s health condition, specific needs, and provide guidance on whether hemp oil, CBD oil, or a combination of both might be appropriate.

Keep in mind that not all CBD products are created equal. Ensure that you choose a high-quality CBD oil specifically formulated for pets. Look for third-party lab test results to verify the product’s potency and purity. Additionally, always start with a low dosage and monitor your dog’s response before making any adjustments.

Remember, every dog is different, and what works best for one may not be the same for another. Always prioritize your dog’s well-being and consult with a qualified veterinarian to make informed decisions about their health and wellness.

But why should I give my dog CBD or hemp oil?

Here are some of the reasons dog owners choose to supplement their dog’s wellness routine with CBD:

  • Anxiety (such as during fireworks or periods of separation)
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation
  • General quality of life

Now here’s the real question: is CBD or hemp seed oil best for your dog? If you don’t care about getting all possible benefits of CBD (or want as little THC as possible), hemp products may be calling your name. But full spectrum CBD products for dogs may be more effective because of the entourage effect.

Dogs have the same endocannabinoid system as humans, and can potentially benefit from the variety of cannabinoids present in full spectrum CBD. But it is worth knowing that dogs process CBD in a very different way than humans. When a dog eats a CBD treat, only 13-19% of the CBD in that treat will be absorbed into their body. The rest will just pass through. Dogs have two of the central nervous receptors that we know for sure CBD interacts with in humans, known as the CB1 and CB2 receptors. But there haven’t yet been enough studies to confirm exactly how CBD interacts with those receptors in dogs. The same goes for cats, who are confirmed to have (at least) CB1 receptors.

What do vets say about CBD?

When it comes to CBD, veterinarians don’t have one unifying opinion. Many vets see potential in CBD to help relieve animals of certain symptoms. Others want to wait and see if research confirms the possible benefits.

If your vet hasn’t presented CBD as an option to you, that doesn’t mean they don’t think it’ll work! Because cannabis (and therefore CBD) was such a restricted drug in the U.S. for so long, there have been strict guidelines about how to discuss it in a medical setting. That applied even for animals! But with increased legalization efforts, things have begun to change. The American Veterinary Medical Association only published a CBD knowledge base for veterinarians in 2020. Your vet may not recommend CBD — but they’ll probably be much more open to talking about it compared to a few years ago.

What are the dangers of giving dogs hemp oil and CBD?

Let’s get this out of the way immediately: No, you will not get your dog high with CBD products. Through methods like cold pressing and extraction, products made with CBD use the non-psychoactive parts of the cannabis sativa plant. The small amount of THC present in these products is only to “activate” the entire spectrum of the CBD in the product.

That being said, it’s important to not ever give pets THC. Dogs can experience nausea and even death from consuming THC (depending on amount). It’s basically toxic to dogs, and is much more dangerous for dogs. This is why it’s never, ever okay to give pets edibles or any “regular” cannabis-infused treats. No matter how much they beg, don’t do it!

Is it possible to give a dog too much CBD? Yes. It is a rare occurrence, but it is indeed possible to give a dog too much CBD. Not because of the CBD itself — at worst, a dog will just sleep off the effects if they’re given an excessive amount of CBD. What you really need to worry about are the trace amounts of THC that lies in each dose. Too much, and those trace amounts start to add up.

Watch out for these signs that your dog is experiencing THC poisoning:

  • Poor balance
  • Falling asleep, then catching themselves before they fall (a go-to sign of THC poisoning in dogs)
  • Drooling
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tremors and seizures (in extreme cases)
  • General physical comfort

If your dog exhibits these symptoms after eating or generally consuming an excessive amount of CBD products, call your veterinarian or local animal poison control center.

How do I safely give my dog CBD or hemp oil?

Before you decide to use CBD products as part of your pet’s well-being routine, make sure to ask your veterinarian for their recommendations first. They may have insights on how to use a product to best benefit your pet. If you’re also looking to give CBD to the family cat, ask your vet if they have recommendations for distribution. It may be more effective to apply the CBD to the cat’s fur so they can consume it while cleaning themselves (such as with some cat medicines).

CBD dog treats, though common, can’t give you the exact dosing that’s possible with tinctures and oils. These can be measured out exactly so there’s no risk of overdosing. Dog treats made with CBD may also contain artificial sugars toxic to dogs.

Add your CBD product of choice to your dog’s food, or squirt it directly into their mouth if your pet is used to or doesn’t object to this method. Just make sure that the CBD has time to activate if you’re looking to, say, help alleviate your pet’s pain before a big hike.

If you’re really worried about giving your dog too much CBD, here are some signs that you may have given them a little too much:

  • Sleepiness
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Dry mouth (yes, even dogs get this!)
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

If your dog is exhibiting these signs, your dog may be reacting to excessive CBD. But they may also be reacting to that particular product. Contact your veterinarian for guidance on what to do in either scenario. 

What’s the most important thing to know about CBD and dogs?

Consult with a veterinarian before using CBD or hemp seed oil on animals. Have a product in mind before you ask so they can research and give you precise advice on how it may affect your animal. You don’t want to risk it interfering with or having a bad reaction to your dog’s medication.

Once again, we don’t yet know every single way dogs may be affected when taking CBD. There haven’t been any studies conducted on the long-term use of CBD. Owners who want to use CBD to support treatment for chronic conditions in their pet (such as anxiety) should keep this in mind. There haven’t been enough studies yet for us to learn if CBD can build up in the organs of animals. But given the demand for CBD-based pet products, we’ll probably see more of them in the future.

CBD is largely considered safe for most dogs, but caution is still the best policy. Start with the smallest effective dosage for your dog. The golden rule of pet ownership still stands: it’s all about finding the best option for each individual animal. Do your research, talk to your vet, and you might be surprised with how CBD can support your pet’s well-being.