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How Pets Absorb CBD Differently Than Humans

How Pets Absorb CBD Differently Than Humans

As more and more people choose CBD not only for themselves but for their pets, it’s important to understand how pets absorb CBD. Understanding the delivery methods available, how your pets absorb those delivery methods, and what works best is important to making sure you’re giving them the full benefits CBD offers. Our companions deserve the best care possible to help them live longer, happier, lives, and high-quality CBD can be a part of that care.


Cannabidiol, usually abbreviated as CBD, is an active compound found in all members of the Cannabis genus. In fact, it is one of over 100 active compounds and one that shows immense potential to offer health and wellness benefits. CBD is derived from industrial hemp, a cannabis plant that has 0.3% or less THC content by weight, meaning that unlike its psychoactive cousin marijuana, it won’t get you high. Once hemp is processed to obtain a pure CBD oil, it is formulated into a variety of products.

Types Of CBD Products For Pets

There are an array of CBD products available for pets, and you’ll need to know how your pets needs to absorb CBD in order to choose the right dosage mechanism.

  • Tinctures - Sometimes referred to as oils, these formulas are perfect for oral dosage. Usually supplied in a bottle with either a spray head or a dropper, simple spritz or place a dose under your pet’s tongue, into their throat, or on their favorite treat food. When given sublingually, it’s absorbed through your pet’s mucosa, while on treats it enters the blood via the normal route of digestion.
  • Edibles (Treats) - Just like humans who want to take their CBD in the yummiest way possible, pets love a good CBD treat also. Edibles are eaten and digested like normal. While this means they have a familiar dosing mechanism, it also means the liver can exert its influence and give you a first pass effect in some instances, minimizing the amount of bioavailable CBD for absorption.
  • Topicals - Some of the most popular categories of CBD products for pets are topicals. Simply brush them into your pets' fur, and that’s how your pets absorb the CBD, through their skin. This works great when you’ve determined CBD is right for a skin condition, inflammation, pain, and discomfort.

Research On Pets and Cannabis

The same draconian regulatory environment the has prevented wide-spread, peer-reviewed research on CBD for human consumption has been just as harsh on research into CBD usage for pets. This leaves owners relying heavily on anecdotal stories to determine if it’s right for their animal companion. The limited studies that are most often cited tend to explore either the potential harm of accidental overdose in a pets’ more sensitive gastrointestinal systems or with marijuana, which, while a close cousin to industrial hemp, can have very different effects due to the higher THC levels.

Detractors also point to a 30-year-old study showing oral administration of CBD is ineffective, contradicting anecdotal stories about how pets absorb CBD. More recent research, however, looked at the form the oral administration took, found it incongruous with most commonly available CBD products, and did their own research on CBD in a lipid-based carrier. The results fell in line with anecdotal stories listing positive results from oral dosing.

A gray cat standing on two feet

How to Start Your Pet On a CBD Regimen

Starting your pets on CBD is easy. Choose a high-quality supplier that carries a range of products tailored to pets rather than just repurposing human formulas you may already have. These products should be safe for your pets, lab-verified as both pure and having a THC content below 0.3% (0.0% is best), and if possible, be verified by a vet.

You also want to consider what effects you hope to see for your pets from using CBD. This will determine the dosage mechanism you choose and how your pets absorb their CBD. For overall health and wellness, edibles or tinctures may be the best bet. Stiffness and age-related issues could respond better to edibles or topicals that target the affected tissues. Whichever dosage mechanism you choose, here are some tips to make sure your pet gets a safe start on their journey to wellness.

  • Do Your Research - Gather as much relevant research as you can. Pay special attention to anecdotal stories that contain detailed information about dosages and the pet’s reaction to it. These can offer valuable data in determining where to start dosing amounts for your pet.
  • Start Low - Start your pet on a lower dosage and work their way up toward a full amount of CBD. Just like humans, it’s best to start new substances small. This minimizes the chance of negative reactions while letting you settle on a therapeutic dose that’s as low as possible.
  • Observe Your Pet Carefully - Look for any signs of distress, nausea, depression, or symptoms of discomfort. If you notice any, consider reducing or stopping CBD dosage.
  • All Pets Are Different - Some pets do not do well on CBD. Some pets do great but develop a tolerance quickly. Even though your research may have been filled with success stories, your pet is an individual trying to find their own success story. Don’t force it, but be responsive to their needs.

Premium Pet CBD

Our pet CBD products are designed for how pets absorb CBD. We use pet safe ingredients to create special pet formulas they’ll love. From our bacon-flavored tinctures to peanut butter treats for dogs, salmon-flavored tinctures for cats, and no-rinse pet shampoos and lotions, each one is meant to help your pets experience greater health and wellness.

If you have any questions about our pet CBD products, call and talk to one of our CBD experts at 888-519-2445. They’ll be happy to talk to you about our processes, ingredients, and how to use them safely. Order your premium CBD pet products online from CBD Choice now.

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