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What Is CBD: The Ultimate Beginners Guide


CBD is everywhere. It’s hard to walk through any store without encountering at least a few CBD oil-infused products. Everything from lip balm to pet treats can be infused with CBD and labeled with claims that the product offers more wellness benefits than products that are not infused with CBD. But what is CBD? Where does it come from, what does it do, and most importantly, is it safe?

Before you give your pet CBD, here’s what you need to know about its origins, its safety, and the way it works. 

What Is CBD and Where Does It Come From?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are compounds found in many plants. Broccoli and kale both contain small amounts of cannabinoids. The most abundant source of cannabinoids is the cannabis plant.

Cannabis that contains less than 0.3% naturally occurring trace amounts of THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) by its dry weight is referred to as a hemp plant. Cannabis sativa and hemp are exactly the same plant. They’ve simply been cultivated to favor a different balance, where hemp doesn’t have enough THC to produce intoxication.

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for producing the “high” or drowsiness that people associate with cannabis. CBD is a cannabinoid that won’t get you high. It imparts holistic wellness support without causing impairment.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System

CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Every human body and mammalian body alike has an endocannabinoid system. Your endocannabinoid system is just as important to you as it is to a dog’s system or a dolphin’s system. It’s a necessary part of bodily functioning, just like our digestive system or an immune system.

The body produces its own endogenous cannabinoids for the purpose of stimulating and using this system. How this happens is still a little unclear to medical researchers. The body makes at least two endogenous cannabinoids, called anandamide and 2-AG, and the endocannabinoid system uses them very quickly. It seems to be a supply and demand response.

There is no medically recognized threshold for how much of each cannabinoid the body needs, which means there is no legitimate way to assess a potential endocannabinoid deficiency. Researchers are still working to understand why these endocannabinoids are important and what they do when they arrive at their destination, specific cannabinoid receptors throughout the body such as CB2 receptors in the immune system or CB1 receptors in the central nervous system.

Based on results, it seems as though the endocannabinoid system plays several crucial roles in supporting vital systems. CBD seems to promote normal brain health, and has been recognized and approved by the FDA as a seizure treatment drug (Epidiolex). It also seems to promote gastrointestinal health, ease mental and physical tension, and modulate the immune system — systems that play a role in balancing the body.

While CBD doesn’t cure or treat health conditions, it seems to supply holistic support to the body’s natural processes. CBD might be able to help the body get a good night’s sleep or help support mood in a favorable way. It isn’t necessarily the CBD that’s doing the work, but the body’s response to the health benefits of CBD that inspires a positive reaction. 

Is It Safe To Give Your Pet CBD?

CBD is generally recognized as safe for adult pets and humans. CBD is usually well tolerated, even in substantial doses. For most animals, 2 to 4 milligrams of CBD per ten pounds of body weight is an efficient, well-tolerated dose.

Before introducing CBD into your pet’s wellness routine, speak with a veterinarian. If your pet is receiving ongoing care for a medical condition and is currently taking daily medications, you shouldn’t introduce CBD into your pet’s routine without consulting their vet. CBD may affect the way certain medications are utilized and absorbed by your pet’s body.

If your pet is otherwise healthy and may benefit from CBD as a wellness supplement, you should still seek your vet’s approval before using CBD.

What CBD Can Do for Your Pets

A pet’s needs are ultimately not much different from the needs of the average human. People are negatively impacted by environmental stress. They also need healthy digestive systems and normal brain functioning to continue to thrive. CBD can help establish a foundation for bodily homeostasis, especially when used in conjunction with other effective wellness practices.

Supporting Regular Gastrointestinal Health

Occasional digestive disturbances are normal in both people and animals. Pets who eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise may still occasionally experience constipation, diarrhea, or nausea. As long as the pet in question doesn’t have any underlying health conditions and the bowels aren’t obstructed, CBD can help to support the digestive system in establishing regularity. 

Supporting Regular Brain Health

CBD’s neuroprotective properties can help to maintain normal brain health. Cannabinoids have been extensively studied for their neuroprotective properties. 

While CBD shouldn’t replace any medications your pet is currently prescribed for brain or neurological health treatment, you can speak to your vet about introducing CBD as a complementary brain wellness supplement.

Easing Emotional and Physical Tension

CBD is popular among pet owners who want to ease their pets’ occasional environmental stress. Many animals don’t like loud and unpredictable noises like holiday fireworks or thunderstorms. They don’t understand what’s going on, and they may show signs of distress until the noises have stopped.

Some pets don’t like traveling, but there are occasions where travel is unavoidable. Your pet needs to go to the vet. It may be a bit of a drive to the pet store or the dog park. If you’re moving far away from your current home, your pet may be on the road for a while.

CBD can help to keep your pet at ease during these temporary stressful situations. Provide your pet with a comfortable place to relax, a calm environment, and a dose of CBD to help keep them at ease until the situation reaches a natural conclusion.

How To Give CBD to Your Pets

The safest way to give your pets CBD is with a plastic syringe. If your pet were to bite down on a plastic syringe, it won’t shatter the same way a glass dropper would. If your pet won’t take CBD from the syringe, give your pet a dose on a spoonful of their favorite food or treat. 

How Often to Give Your Pets CBD

If you’re giving your pet CBD to help manage symptoms of occasional environmental stress, you can give your pet CBD as needed. If you’re giving your pet CBD as an overall wellness supplement, you can give your pet CBD every 8 to 12 hours for a consistent stream of benefits.

Monitor your pet to determine your pet’s needs. CBD doesn’t usually cause any side effects, but it’s never a bad idea to keep a watchful eye. 

VETCBD Hemp for Your Pets

VETCBD Hemp’s American-grown hemp derived CBD is designed with your pet in mind. We developed our tinctures and balms with an advisory board of experienced veterinarians who believe in holistic care for all animals. Our CBD is lab tested for purity and safety because your pet deserves the best.



An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system | National Institutes of Health

FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy | FDA

Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids | National Institutes of Health

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