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Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil for Dogs: What’s the Difference?

The terms involved in the medicinal cannabis industry are many, and they are often misused, misunderstood, and unfortunately, mislabeled, leaving the general public wondering what cannabis and cannabinoids can do, what they cannot do, and if they’re even legal.  

When commercial manufacture and production of hemp was federally legalized in 2018, it seemed there was a giant race by practically every health and wellness company (and some companies just marginally involved with wellness) to push products with some hemp-related terminology on the label.  This only caused more confusion, and when cannabis products were developed for dogs, the questions about their relevance for pet health and overall effectiveness were naturally at the forefront.  

At VETCBD, we develop and distribute CBD oil products for the overall health and wellness of your favorite furry friends.  We know you want to use products that have quantifiable benefit to your dogs, and we want to provide you with information that can help you make an informed decision about whether or not CBD oil is something that will benefit your dog’s overall health.  

The Cannabis Sativa Plant

We’d like to discuss the differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, as they are two very different products.  

While both have some health and wellness value, it’s important to know which is more important to address your dog’s specific needs.  Keep in mind that every dog is different, and every dog has different needs.  

To properly understand the benefits of both hemp seed oil and CBD oil, and to understand how they differ from one another and from marijuana, you must first understand the origin of both.  It all starts with two variants of one particular plant, called Cannabis- sativa.  

The Cannabis sativa plant produces many varieties, but for our purposes we will be focusing on one variety, the hemp plant.  Commercially grown hemp produces a plant rich in cannabidiol, or “CBD,” and low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC.”  Both of these compounds are cannabinoids, and there are over one hundred cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant.  THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” a marijuana user experiences.  Cannabidiol on the other hand is non-intoxicating and cannot get your dog “high” or cause them to have any kind of euphoric response. 

What is hemp seed oil?

Now that you know where cannabis products come from, it will be easier to explain the differences between hemp seed oil and CBD oil, and how they can impact your dog’s overall health and wellness.  

Hemp seed oil is derived from the hemp plant, just like CBD oil. However, hemp seed oil is not extracted from the leaves and stems of the hemp plant. Hemp seed oil comes from oil extraction from the seeds of the hemp plant.  When the seeds of the hemp plant are cold-pressed, they release a nutrient rich oil that can be consumed or placed in a variety of products like shampoos and beauty creams.  A very popular use of hemp seed oil is in body care products, because hemp seed oil is thought to be a great emollient.  

The question, however, remains, is hemp seed oil beneficial for dogs?  


While hemp seed oil isn’t as potent as CBD oil, it can be beneficial. It’s important to be able to separate hemp seed oil from CBD oil so that you don’t fall victim to marketing targeted at confusing you into thinking you are buying another product.  

hemp seed oil is extremely inexpensive to manufacture, and is essentially no better than extra virgin olive oil in nature.  In fact, you can even saute vegetables in it if you want to.  Because hemp seed oil is a cannabis product, however, it often enjoys the same accolades and believed benefits as CBD oil, even though it doesn’t actually have those benefits.  

hemp seed oil does not offer the same spectrum of benefits as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil can be a quality dietary supplement to add to your dog’s overall health and wellness plan, but it doesn’t take the place of CBD oil and its ability to holistically promote wellness.  In fact, you should view hemp seed oil as more of a whole food supplement, rather than a wellness remedy.  

Hemp seed oil can benefit your dog’s diet by providing her with essential omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins E & A.  It can also promote a healthy, shiny coat. It does not, however, carry with it the whole-body soothing properties that CBD is renowned for.


Hemp seed oil may be given to your dog if he or she is lacking proper nutrition or has a specific need for an increase in fatty acid intake.  Unless your dog is ill, refuses food, or is otherwise compromised, they should be getting the nutrients they need from their food, but supplementing with hemp seed oil will generally not harm your dog, it just may not be necessary.  

Is it Safe For Dogs?

hemp seed oil is generally a safe supplement for dogs–as safe as giving your dog olive oil.  It’s a healthy fatty acid that can be beneficial, though the actual health benefits of hemp seed oil on your dog’s health will be limited mostly to nutritional improvements.  

What is CBD Oil?

As we mentioned, CBD is an abbreviated term for cannabidiol, a plant-based compound found in the flowers of commercially grown hemp.  It is non-intoxicating, has a numberof benefits for your dog, and will not cause your animal to experience any kind of intoxicating response.  

CBD oil can be extracted by itself in what is referred to as “isolate,” or along with other important and beneficial plant parts in what is called “full spectrum” oil.  Although isolate oil is sometimes marketed as “pure CBD oil,” this is not the superior oil for your pet.  Full spectrum oil allows your dog to gain the full benefit of CBD oil, because  all plant parts are able to work together to deliver the “entourage effect,” which means your dog gets the most CBD benefit available.  Isolate oil cannot deliver the entourage effect, because it does not contain any other plant parts.  


There are many benefits of using CBD oil as opposed to hemp seed oil for your dog.  Unlike hemp seed oil, CBD is able to interact with receptors in your dog’s endocannabinoid system.  This system controls things like hunger, sleep, mood, and even pain.  As such, dogs needing a little extra support in these areas are at a higher advantage of benefitting from CBD oil treatment.  


CBD oil usage for dogs is increasing in popularity.  If you’re still unsure if CBD oil is right for your dog, here are some of the most popular reasons a dog owner might give their pet CBD oil.  

Calmness and relaxation.  CBD oil may be able to help dogs who need a little help relaxing and feeling calm, as it may directly interact with the receptors that control your dog’s fight or flight stress response. 

Pain relief.  CBD is a known soothing agent.  The soothing properties of CBD are great for dogs who suffer from occasional joint and muscle pain.  In fact, studies have shown that dogs who suffer from joint irritation experienced significant pain relief when treated with CBD.

GI regulation.  There is evidence that CBD oil may be able to help dogs who experience occasional GI upset.  Whether your dog is suffering from vomiting and/or diarrhea, CBD oil treatment may be able to help temporarily alleviate symptoms.  

Supports normal brain function. A formulation of CBD by the name of Epidiolex has been found to be effective for two rare types of childhood seizure disorders, and has received FDA approval for treating those seizure disorders. A study in epileptic dogs at Colorado State University found that dogs receiving CBD had decreased frequency of seizures.

Is it Safe For Dogs?

CBD oil treatment for your dog is widely accepted as safe.  Although CBD oil is a relatively new product for animal treatment, it appears to be generally very well tolerated with very few side effects, if any.  As always, you’ll want to talk to your own veterinarian prior to beginning any kind of new treatment with your dog. 

Which is Better for My Dog?

CBD oil has a much higher impact on your dog’s overall health than hemp seed oil.  As a dietary supplement, hemp seed oil may be a nutritious supplement that can complement your pet’s diet, however if your pet is already getting the nutrition they need from their food, the use of a hemp seed oil supplement really isn’t necessary.  

CBD oil can be used to support a wide range of benefits for your dog due to its involvement with your dog’s endocannabinoid system.  Because of the interaction with this system, CBD oil can be used to provide soothing effects both physically and mentally, and can also support a normal functioning GI system. 

It’s important to always seek a full-spectrum, third-party tested CBD oil when considering CBD for your dog.  Only full spectrum CBD oil can give your dog the full benefit of CBD when administered, unlike isolate oils.  CBD oil is a holistic option that’s worth exploring, so check out VETCBD and learn how a little CBD can help your dog thrive!


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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. VETCBD Hemp products are made using hemp containing <0.3% THC.

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