BlogUncategorizedIs Pet CBD the Same as Human CBD?

Is Pet CBD the Same as Human CBD?

They sure do look similar. But they can’t really be the same thing, can they? 

Buying CBD for your furry family might have shown you just how similar pet and human CBD can appear. And surprisingly, there’s not a whole lot of difference between the two when it comes down to how the cannabinoid CBD works in your and your pets bodies but there is one big problem: most human CBD has not been optimized for use in animals. 

In this article, you’ll learn about the differences between human and pet CBD and how to confidently find CBD that’s been made specifically for your beloved pet.

What’s the difference between pet CBD and human CBD?

When it comes down to the difference in the actual “cannabinoid” CBD used in humans and pets there isn’t much difference. Both are extracted from hemp and contain the same cannabinoid CBD. They both interact with the receiving human’s or pet’s endocannabinoid system. But, this is where the similarities end.

That said, most differences are on the surface level and don’t affect how your CBD works. Brands made for humans and pets will have different dosage recommendations, flavors, and form factors. But under the hood, the mechanism of how CBD is  processed in your body and how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in humans and pets is the same. 

For now, keep these pros and cons of their similarities in mind.


  • The cannabinoid CBD is safely usable by humans and pets alike
  • How CBD works in humans directly translates to how it works in animals through the endocannabinoid system 


  • Human CBD tinctures are not made for safe and easy dosage with animals
  • Human CBD can have unsafe additives for pets
  • Most pet CBD brands use an ineffective “one size fits all” dosing system
  • Most pet CBD products should use little oil and be highly concentrated, but they usually aren’t 

Additives in Human CBD that are toxic to pets

Many substances that are safe for humans are quite dangerous to pets. This includes ingredients found in many human CBD products. Xylitol is a common sweetener used in human CBD and is potentially lethal to animals, even in small amounts. When pets ingest xylitol, it stimulates a strong release of insulin which can cause a fatal case of hypoglycemia. If you suspect your pet has ingested xylitol, you need to contact your vet or local 24-hour animal hospital right away.  

The next common ingredient often found in human CBD that can be toxic to pets may surprise you. It’s essential oils like citrus, peppermint, and cinnamon, that are used for scent and flavor in many human CBD formulas. These essential oils can be dangerous to pets, especially cats if they are ingested. 

Some CBD products, including human and low-quality pet CBD, contain unnecessary fillers and additives. Not only are these unnecessary, but they may be unhealthy for your pet. This is another reason why choosing quality pet CBD is so important for your pet. 

What kind of CBD oil is best for my pet?

Unfortunately, most human and pet CBD pet oils aren’t optimized for animals. Many seem to be more of an afterthought, a label slapped on a human-grade CBD. That’s why you, as a loving pet owner, should be highly selective about which pet CBD oil you try with your furry family.

There are many things to look for in pet CBD: One, you should be buying a full-spectrum extract with limited THC content under 0.3%. Two, your pet CBD should be a highly concentrated extract form with low oil at least 60mg/mL. Three, the use of Co2 extraction with subcritical and supercritical extraction. This is the most expensive and best way to produce CBD. It allows a high yield but does not denature the more delicate cannabinoids. Four, look for an extract that also has beneficial terpenes and cannabinoids like CBC, CBN and CBG. You can find this information on their COA which should be published on the website. Five, the company must have a 3rd party COA on their website, testing for total cannabinoids, terpenes, herbicides, pesticides, yeast, mold, bacteria, mycotoxins and heavy metals. Pets have allergies just like humans and mold, yeast, heavy metals and insecticides can affect pets just like humans. Six, look for organic, non GMO products. 

CBD oil benefits for pets

If you’re looking for ways to improve and lengthen your furbaby’s life in an all-natural way, adding CBD to their health regimen should be on your mind. Just like CBD for humans, pet CBD oil is loaded with purported benefits. Research shows that CBD may effectively ease nervousness,  stiffness and aches, nausea, and more in humans.

But what about pets? Let’s take a closer look to see how CBD might help your pet with separation nervousness, senior pet stiffness and aches, and nausea/poor appetite.

Can pet CBD help reduce separation nervousness?

In a study exploring the effects of CBD oil on people with nervousness, it was found that by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD oil decreases the levels of subjective nervousness in relation to cerebral blood flow. Because the human and canine endocannabinoid systems are alike, experts predict the results are the same with man’s best friend.20829306

Can pet CBD help with my senior pet’s stiffness and joint aches?

Research has uncovered some incredible results about CBD’s effects on your furbaby’s joint aches and stiffness. A 2018 animal CBD study found that dogs showed decreased signs of senior conditions and showed higher activity levels after eating CBD. And there wasn’t a single adverse side effect spotted.

What’s even more exciting is the dosage to attain these results was low compared to similar studies in humans. Just 3 mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight showed significant results. 

Can pet CBD help with poor appetite and nausea?

Folks have turned to cannabis for generations to help stimulate appetite, especially in the presence of cancer. And an NIH cancer study has shown these effects occur in animals too. This study points to THC as the main appetite stimulant, so make sure your pet’s CBD is a full spectrum (THC-containing) extract. 

It’s true that cannabis is also a known reducer of nausea too. So it would seem natural that CBD would do the same in your furry friends. But surprisingly, one of CBD’s most common side effects in animals is nausea and vomiting. Keep in mind that this only happens in about 1-2% of animals, but it’s something to be aware of.

What causes this problem when it reliably does the exact opposite in humans? Excess oils that are harsh on animals’ sensitive tummies are most likely to blame.

Full-Spectrum Benefits

Hemp is bursting with healthy compounds besides THC and CBD. These healthy compounds are called cannabinoids. An average hemp plant can contain up to 100 or more of these helpful compounds. Full-spectrum CBD extracts preserve every single component of the plant, offering up hemp the way nature intended.

This results in something called the entourage effect. The short version is that every compound in hemp works best when together. They form a synergistic reaction that strengthens all the benefits you and your pets will enjoy. 

You should also know that dogs have a high sensitivity to THC. So make sure that any pet CBD you buy is custom-made for animals and contains less than the standard 0.3% THC by volume or even better 0.03%

Dangers of Excess Oils

CBD is a chemical compound. This compound needs to be suspended in something to deliver it into our bodies. Human CBD companies usually use olive oil, MCT (coconut) oil, or hemp oil for this purpose. For pet’s bodies hemp oil is preferable. Hemp seed oil has added nutritional value and MCT oil can cause stomach upset in some pets. Also when adding a secondary oil like MCT you’re asking your pet’s body to metabolize 2 different types of oils (CBD hemp oil and MCT) at the same time.

For flavoring concerns or ease of use in humans, CBD is usually suspended in a lot of oil. That’s fine for humans. But, our furry families’ digestive tracts are very linear and are not made for digesting lots of oils. This is the true culprit that causes nausea and/or vomiting in sensitive animals as well as added oils limit your ability to increase the amount of CBD needed to help elevate your pet’s condition. Like humans, some pets need more CBD. 

That’s why high-concentration, low-oil CBD extracts are the way to go. Most human CBD oils come in 10-33 mg/mL concentrations and most pet oils come in 4-25mg/mL. The best pet CBD extracts are closer to 60 mg/mL Besides saving your pet from the discomfort of excess oils, this concentration makes the application and dosing a breeze. Usually, only 1 drop per 10 lbs is needed.

How to give CBD to your pet

Giving your pets the medicine they need is challenging at the best of times. And it’s no different with CBD. But, high-concentration, low-oil CBD extracts have a few advantages over their traditional human counterparts. These kinds of extracts need you to apply far less oil to deliver an effective dose. Here, you’ll learn a few tricks to make taking care of your beloved ones a little easier with low-oil extracts. 

Don’t use traditional droppers

Human CBD oils use glass or plastic droppers to administer a dose. These are excellent for us. Your pets? Not so much. An excited pet may accidentally chew the dropper, breaking off plastic at best or shattering the glass in its mouth at worst. Skip all of these dangers by buying CBD designed with pets in mind. Look for a product with a downstem inside the bottle that has a drop system with pre-measured drops.  This way the bottle is spill-proof and it also stops any bacteria from contaminating the CBD as a normal dropper would.

Medicate treats

Medicate your pet’s favorite treats with high-concentrate, low-oil CBD extracts. Where a low-oil CBD extract might call for just a few drops, typical products might need a full dropper of oil or more. That amount is impossible to fit onto a single treat and makes dosing a lot less accurate and possibly harder to give.

Apply to your cat’s ear

CBD oil is decarboxylated and can be absorbed transdermally. Our feline friends have a very vascular portion at the inner top portion of their ears which can absorb CBD much like our human sublingual tissue does. For an easy, painless way to dose your cat, place one drop of a high-concentrate oil onto your finger and gently rub it into the inner top portion of your pet’s ear. This absorption method is extremely fast, bioavailable, and painless for your little buddy. And it’s only possible with low-oil pet CBD.

Final tips on CBD for pets

It’s so important to buy only the best for your furry family. And there are just so many CBD products to choose from out there that seem so similar. Let’s recap to get you something your animals will love and benefit from.

  • Most pet CBD and human CBD can look very similar but look at the additives and concentration
  • Familiar pet CBD products usually haven’t been optimized for animals
  • Look for a high-concentration, low-oil, full spectrum CBD
  • Make sure your CBD doesn’t use a traditional glass or plastic dropper
  • Remember our tips for safe and easy application

Educating yourself is the very first step to take before finding the ideal CBD for your pets. Our blog is a wealth of knowledge for more tips like these and all things pet CBD. Come pay us a visit! We’ll demystify all the technical details surrounding CBD and help you make solid choices when it comes to your furry family’s health every single time.

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