CBD vs. THC for Dogs: What You Need to Know

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CBD vs. THC for Dogs: What You Need to Know

Unfortunately, our pets cannot tell us what is wrong with them. Diagnosing chronic pain for dogs often costs thousands of dollars. In the end, sometimes the medicines prescribed cost too much to buy regularly.

When the federal government relaxed its rules on CBD, it changed how we help our pets. Finally, an affordable, low-risk supplement hit the market that treats chronic pain. To be safe, it’s important to understand the difference between CBD and THC for dogs. Mistaking one for the other could hurt your dog.

Learn the Difference Between CBD and THC

Cannabis is divided into two legal categories: hemp and marijuana. Industrial hemp is legal to grow as of 2018. Marijuana is a controlled substance and considered illegal to use by the federal government

While cannabis has around 100 helpful cannabinoids, CBD and THC get the most attention.  Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t affect the user’s mind. It acts as a calming agent without the distracting head high.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It causes euphoria. In high doses, THC also gives the user anxiety. Most CBD supplements are derived from industrial hemp. They contain less than 0.3% of THC. The low amount of THC means it won’t make the user high.

The Reasons Why Using THC for Dogs Can Harm Them

Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system. This system is found in all animals and invertebrates. It is responsible for telling cells and nerves on how to behave.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls:

  • The circulatory system
  • Liver function
  • Kidney function
  • The digestive system
  • Nerves

Studies suggest that dogs have more endocannabinoid receptors than humans. More receptors mean that THC has a more dramatic effect on their systems. When dogs ingest large amounts of THC, it stays in their system for far longer than in humans.

THC also causes the following problems:

  • Loss of bladder control
  • Altered heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Staggering
  • Anxiety
  • Heavy drooling

This reaction to THC is called static ataxia. It can lead to more severe problems if not treated.

How CBD Can Help Dogs

CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t interact with a dog’s ECS the same way. Many pet owners use CBD oil for dogs with no problems whatsoever.

 CBD oil helps with conditions such as:

  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Epilepsy
  • Stomach/bowel issues
  • Joint pain

The important thing to look for when buying CBD oil for your dog is full-spectrum oil. The cannabinoids in cannabis work best when paired together. This is called the entourage effect.

Yes, full-spectrum means you’re buying a CBD oil with THC for dogs. The amount of THC per dose is so low, it won’t hurt your dog. It does make the CBD more effective, though.

Should You Use THC For Dogs?

No, you shouldn’t use THC for dogs. THC and dogs do not mix. When looking for a natural pain relief solution for your dog, use CBD oil instead.  How can you tell if the CBD oil has a low amount of THC? Check for third-party laboratory testing. Look for oils that have less than 0.3% THC.

Do you want more information on natural ways to treat your pet’s pain and anxiety? Check out our selection of pet health articles.

Stacey Chillemi


The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body, and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.



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