Is CBD Oil Good for Cats?
Adrienne Kruzer is a veterinary technician with more than 15 years of experience providing healthcare to domestic and exotic animals. She is trained as a Fear Free Certified Professional to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets.
Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, is an accomplished veterinarian and writer with more than 25 years of experience in veterinary medicine, animal welfare, and conservation. She participates in The Spruce Pets’ veterinary review board and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
CBD has grown in popularity for use in humans, dogs, and even cats, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding its use. Pet owners need to know what it might be useful for, whether or not it is legal, and the difference between hemp, CBD, Cannabis, marijuana, and THC. Knowing whether or not a product is safe, effective, and legal for a pet cat to use is of utmost importance in order to avoid harming your pet or breaking the law.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
There is unfortunately little research that has been done on the effects of CBD in cats. Based on anecdotal reports and limited study, CBD does appear to be safe for cats, but its effectivenss for the treatment of any condition has not yet been proven. Until more research has been done showing that CBD is in fact safe and effective, it is only prudent to use it under veterinary supervision.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is actually an abbreviation for cannabidiol, and cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid, or specific type of molecule, that is made by and extracted from Cannabis plants. When extracted, CBD can be included in an oil that can be given orally to cats. It often contains coconut, hempseed, olive, avocado, or palm oil that acts as a carrier oil, similar to how many essential oils are made.
What Is the Difference Between CBD and Hemp Oil?
CBD and hemp oil are often confused with one another because both are sourced from Cannabis plants. Hemp oil may or may not contain significant amounts of CBD, but it is always extracted from a specific strain of Cannabis sativa called hemp that contains less than 0.3% THC, the phytocannabinoid that is responsible for the high of marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp, although hemp-derived CBD is far more common.
Does CBD Oil Contain THC?
THC is the abbreviation for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and is the psychoactive component of marijuana. Marijuana plants contain significant amounts of THC; hemp plants do not. Many people who want to use CBD oil specifically look for THC-free or low THC CBD oils, which is why they are usually purchasing hemp-derived CBD. Any product containing significant levels of THC (higher than 0.3%) should not be administered to cats and may pose safety concerns.
Is CBD Found in Marijuana?
CBD can be derived from marijuana plants, but most growers are more concerned about the THC content. Marijuana should never be administered to cats regardless of how much CBD is in it. Hemp-derived CBD is legal and safer for cats than marijuana-derived CBD.
Why Is CBD Oil Popular for Cats?
Cat owners want to give their pets safe and effective treatment options, and some medications may have negative side effects or not work well enough to help their cat’s specific issues. The anecdotal, media, and early scientific success of CBD oil in people and dogs has caused it to grow in popularity for use in cats, too. Some owners report major successes in treating a variety of ailments in their dogs that were taking CBD oil after being unable to achieve it using other products. However, it’s important to remember that cats and dogs process medications and supplements very differently, and the safety and effectiveness of CBD is still being researched in cats.
Risks and Concerns in Using CBD Oil in Cats
Since there really isn’t any research that has been done supporting the safe use of CBD in cats, there is a lot still unknown. Whether or not there are side effects, especially with long-term use, the efficacy for use in supporting a variety of bodily systems, contraindications with medications, and administration amounts for specific uses in cats still need to be studied.
In addition to the lack of research, another concern with CBD oil is finding a consistent and pure source. There is almost no regulation over the manufacture of CBD so widely-available products may contain little to no active ingredient and/or be contaminated with potentially harmful substances. Consumers should talk to their veterinarian and look for a company with strict quality control measure to ensure products meet label claims before giving CBD to their cats.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Hilderbrand, R L. Hemp & Cannabidiol: What is a Medicine?. Missouri Medicine vol. 115,4 (2018): 306-309
Yes, You Can Give Your Pets ‘Human’ CBD Oil
Can I give my pet human CBD oil? Any CBD oils that contain less than 0.3% THC is safe for your dog or cat. It doesn’t need to be a pet-specific oil to work.
We often get asked, “Is it safe to give ‘human’ CBD to my dog? What’s the difference between human and pet CBD oil?”
You know CBD is a natural option to help with anxiety, pain, and inflammation… for humans. The compound is non-addictive, non-toxic, and all-natural.
So, when your little friend started having health issues, and drugs didn’t help, you started wondering — ‘what if I give my pet some of the CBD oil I’ve been using?’
It sounds like a tough call, but we’ve got the answers. Let’s take a look at the veterinarian research on the safety of using CBD for pets and whether or not you can give your pet “human” CBD oil.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Can I Give My Dog or Cat “Human” CBD Oil?
- Pet CBD Oil vs. Regular CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?
- What Kind of CBD Oil Can I Give My Pet?
- 1. Always Use THC-Free CBD Products
- Average Price Comparison of CBD Oils for Humans Vs. Pet Oils
- 1. CBD May Help Dogs With Osteoarthritis (OS)
- 2. CBD May Reduce Epileptic Seizures in Dogs
Can I Give My Dog or Cat “Human” CBD Oil?
The simple answer is yes — it’s safe to give your pet CBD meant for human consumption — with a few key caveats:
- Don’t give your pets any cannabis oil with more than 0.3% THC (0.2% in Europe)
- Use smaller doses than what’s recommended on the bottle
- Speak with your vet before giving your animal CBD if they have any underlying health concerns
All animals have an endocannabinoid system — including some of the most primitive animals like the sea-squirt. This means that animals also have cannabinoid receptors, a key part of the endocannabinoid system, just like humans do.
Although animals might process CBD in a different way (which is still under research), they have the necessary mechanisms to receive the benefits of CBD. Cannabidiol may be able to relieve pain, inflammation, and anxiety in animals, just like in humans.
But, there are some things you need to know before giving your pet CBD meant for human consumption.
Pet CBD Oil vs. Regular CBD Oil: What’s The Difference?
In essence, CBD is CBD. The extraction process for both animal and human CBD is the same — both types should be derived from clean, organic cannabis, and contain less than 0.3% THC (0.2% in Europe).
So, CBD products meant for humans is essentially the same thing as CBD oil for pets — with few minor differences in potency and flavor options.
What Kind of CBD Oil Can I Give My Pet?
Not all types of CBD oils are created equal. But, as long as you’re using THC-free, hemp-derived CBD isolate — you can give your pet the same CBD oil that you’re using.
1. Always Use THC-Free CBD Products
It’s common for pets to end up at the vet as a result of marijuana toxicosis after consuming the marijuana stash of their owners. On the other hand, pets with health issues such as arthritis, cancer, and other chronic conditions can use a controlled dose of medical cannabis to relieve symptoms.
Some studies show that THC has low toxicity in animals, while others report fatal cases of marijuana use in pets [1,2]. It all comes down to the individual dose.
The case for giving your pet CBD oil that contains THC is under investigation. Although your pet might benefit from some THC, you should avoid giving your pet marijuana oils with high levels of THC. You should stick to pure, THC-free CBD or hemp oil instead just to be safe.
CBD oil with less than 0.3 percent THC is widely considered safe — it won’t harm your pet.
But a high dose could cause side-effects in smaller animals. This could be an issue because of the unregulated CBD oil market — the levels of THC in a full-spectrum CBD oil for human consumption might be higher than officially claimed by the company.
Another issue is the terpenes present in both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oil for human consumption. Terpenes such as limonene, peppermint, pine, or tea tree, are essential oils found in a variety of plants — including marijuana and hemp — can be harmful to pets, even in small amounts.
Here are the three main types of CBD oil for human consumption you will encounter:
Can Humans Use Pet CBD Oil?
CBD oil has recently made headlines in newspapers, magazines, and social media athlete pages. It is repeatedly touted as a versatile supplement that could help improve the quality of your (and your pets) life both immediately and long term.
CBD is an increasingly popular ingredient in many health and wellness circles. There has been a lot of buzz about CBD oil in the last few years, but what exactly is CBD oil?
What is CBD Oil?
First, the acronym ‘CBD’ stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in the flowers, leaves, and stalks of the hemp plant.
Hemp oil is NOT marijuana, but it’s one of many cannabis plants. It is a close cousin of cannabis, but hemp does not contain THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the chemical compound in cannabis that causes you to feel high.
CBD oil is made by isolating the individual CBD compounds through extraction and then distilling them in alcohol to remove impurities. They’re usually then suspended in a carrier oil. Plants have been used by humans throughout history to improve physical and mental health and to mitigate the damage to our bodies by disease.
Specific plants have long been used in medicine, magic, and folklore, and many sets of prehistoric remains have been found with ritualistically-carried herb and plant matter on their bodies and in their camps.
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) provided solid biologically-backed evidence of what humans have known since we were barely human: that plants have a profound ability to control, enhance, and heal our bodies and our minds.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an incredibly important role in creating memories, stabilizing mood, and regulating hormone production. It can help your brain and body learn to adapt to stress, both chronic (like work deadlines and traffic) and acute stress (particularly helpful in survival situations).
It can control the ability (or inability) to reproduce. It can affect all our body’s primary functions including depth and quality of sleep, digestion and proper absorption of nutrients, and the way our immune system protects us from illness.
An insensitivity to CBD could play a role in chronic illness and may point to how and why our bodies suddenly develop diseases like cancer.
When taking CBD oil, the CBD oils essentially encourages our bodies to work with our endocannabinoid system to maintain internal homeostasis, which is the balance across all our major regulatory systems (the nervous system, for example, or circulatory system).
It helps our body synchronize the chemicals and hormones we produce and use every day, can help manage many medical conditions (including anxiety, depression, epilepsy, cancer, and chronic pain and inflammation), and improves overall health and well-being.
Many people say they feel better, younger, and in better general health when regularly using quality top-tier CBD oil.
CBD is safe, effective, and easily metabolized by everyone. It is virtually impossible to take too high of a dosage with pet CBD oil or human CBD oil. There is no risk of becoming chemically dependent on (or addicted to) CBD oil. No serious side effects have been reported. On rare occasions mild diarrhea or slight drowsiness has been linked to high dosages.
How Do You Use CBD Oil?
The CBD oil that consumers can purchase in stores and online come in many forms: tinctures, capsules, and edibles.
Tinctures are often used sublingually, which means they are placed under the tongue for 60 seconds and then swallowed, and can be absorbed into the body significantly faster than capsules or edibles.
Sublingual CBD oil can provide by far the most efficient relief : you could start feeling the effects of a CBD oil tincture in as little as 10 or 15 minutes versus the 30 to 45 minutes, on average, for other methods, particularly those that require digestion.
The average dosage of CBD depends on what you need it for. For example, pet owners and their dogs won’t require the same dosage of CBD. CBD dosage will be lower for a dog compared to human consumption. Human grade CBD and high quality CBD yields many benefits when the proper dosage is administered.
The dosage for pets will be based on the pounds of body weight. With a dogs or cats, the difference between CBD oil for pets and humans will differ. CBD products will tell you how big your dosage should be. A heavier pet will require a high dose of quality CBD compared to a smaller-sized pet, which will require a lower dose.
Even 10 pounds of body weight can make a major difference in how much CBD to take. A good idea is to look at the labels on pet products to better understand the right dose.
For example, before you give CBD to your dog, check with your vet. The veterinarian your dog sees on a regular basis can give you better information than the label on a CBD bottle. Ask your vet is it’s safe for your dog to take CBD before giving it to your pup!
Remember that CBD is not intended to diagnose treat cure health related problems or prevent any disease. Instead, it’s used as one of many dietary supplements that minimize the pain caused by related symptoms.
CBD oil for pets comes in a various forms. There are two types of CBD oil available for pets: CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD oil.
THC is the psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis. THC is illegal in a number of places and THC is incredibly toxic to animals. It absolutely should not be present, in any amount, in pet-friendly products. Only buy THC-free CBD oil for pets!
Of course, the most popular (and most widely available) CBD products right now are the oil tinctures and capsules or pills. These provide an easy, effective way of getting CBD oil into your body, they’re easy to fit into your day, and they make dosing simple. Many times you can find a pill with the exact dosage you need so there is no measuring or math needed!
**Remember to check the ingredients list and the label for any other information before using your oil.**
Can Humans Take Pet CBD Oil or Not?
Have you ever asked yourself, “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” It’s a reasonable question! In short, the answer to “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” is yes! Human CBD oil and pet CBD oil are virtually interchangeable. Dogs, humans and pets can all take CBD oil.
So, what CBD oil can humans take?
Let’s answer the question of what CBD oil can humans take!
When thinking about the answer to the question, “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” it helps to remember what CBD is used for. Animals can suffer from the same medical conditions that humans can and the symptoms can be treated with high quality CBD oil. So if anyone ever asks you, “Can humans take pet CBD oil or not?” you’ll know what to say!
Arthritis, lack of appetite, anxiety, cancer affect pets and humans. Pet CBD can be just as safe and effective for your pets as it is for you! There’s not much difference between CBD oil for pets vs humans CBD.
CBD affects everyone very similarly. Even the most primitive animals have cannabinoid receptors! In humans and pets, cannabinoid receptors make it possible for them to consume CBD products and reap the benefits of CBD. It’s like a digestive system for CBD.
Most CBD oil products are safe for both humans and pets. However, you might be confused about which oil can humans take because of pet CBD labels. CBD oil for dogs will explicitly say it’s CBD oil for dogs because of marketing. Likewise, human CBD oil is marketed for human consumption, so CBD oil for humans will be clearly marked. Human CBD is subjected to more stringent regulations than pet CBD oil and pet CBD products.
Even so, CBD products are for everyone. Humans can take pet CBD oil or human grade oils, and pets can take CBD oil for humans. Like all substances, CBD products for pets must adhere to more rigorous testing procedures as evaluated by the FDA or Federal Drug Administration. CBD oil products are subjected to stricter labeling guidelines by the FDA as well. If a product is not approved by the FDA then you shouldn’t buy it. The FDA has these guidelines in place for a reason!
Check with your doctor or veterinarian to see if you and your pet are candidates for cannabidiol use. It could be the invigorating, revitalizing, life-changing solution modern humans and pets need to function at their peak!