The benefits of hemp oil and CBD oils have attracted a lot of buzz with pet owners, accompanied by a lot of confusion about what the names of these products mean and what they contain. Hemp and CBD oils are not the same thing.

Many labels for hemp oil make promises about the product that closely resemble the claims made by those selling CBD oils, but these oils are primarily extracted from the seeds of industrially grown hemp and do not contain any CBD.


Hemp Oil

Hemp oil comes from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp oil does not contain cannabidiol.  Products with terms like “hemp seed oil,” “cannabis sativa seed oil,” and “cannabis seed oil” almost always refer to hemp oil.

Hemp oil is often used as a base in cannabis tincture products. Pure hemp oil must not contain more than 0.3% THC or it is considered marijuana.

Hemp oil contains beneficial antioxidant ingredients, including omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. It is not used for recreational purposes as there is no THC in it. For human nutritional purposes, safely-sourced hemp oil is a great source of unsaturated fatty acids and essential amino acids. However, there is not significant research on the use of hemp oil as a supplement for dogs.

Like many natural supplements, many of the medical claims for dogs are considered unsubstantiated but include constipation relief, treatment of skin conditions, and cardiovascular effects. As a topical treatment in creams and lotions, hemp oil is a great moisturizer, but like anything you slather on your dog, be sure you know what else is in it because anything you put on him will likely end up being licked at some point.

Because most hemp oil (and CBD oil extracted from hemp) is taken from an industrially grown plant, it may not have been grown in the US. Some of the most common methods of extracting oil from hemp may also be a little worrisome.



CBD oil is sourced from the parts of the hemp plant that contains cannabidiol (CBD for short), which is the leaves, flowers, and stalks. Products including terms like “cannabidiol” or specifying “CBD” are CBD oils.

Cannabidiol is a compound produced by cannabis plants, and is non-psycho-active, meaning it does not produce the “high” that many associate with cannabis and marijuana. Other compounds produced by cannabis plants include THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and polyphenols. In a cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the compounds present in the highest concentrations.

Not all CBD oils are the same, or legal in all states. Where your CBD oil is sourced from can determine whether or not it is legal in your state. Hemp-derived CBD is a type of cannabis extract that is extracted from hemp plants instead of marijuana plants. Marijuana-derived CBD oil is extracted from marijuana plants. Many CBD products indicate they are sourced from hemp but may still be illegal.

Even if it contains the required 0.3% or less percentage of THC permitted under the 2018 Agricultural Act, marijuana-derived CBD is considered a controlled substance and Schedule I drug. The sole exception is a pharmaceutical version of CBD for epileptic children called Epidiolex. In spite of these restrictions, CBD oil is readily available online.

Hemp-derived CBD is more difficult to produce than CBD derived from marijuana, but careful cultivation of hemp plants that are richer in CBD oil has made it possible to produce higher-quality CBD oils. This type of CBD oil is the best option for those seeking to buy in a state where medical or recreational marijuana and its derivatives are illegal.

The best methods of CBD extraction are done using alcohol or CO2.

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