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Difference between cbd and hemp oil for cats

CBD Oil for Cats with Anxiety

There are so many situations that can cause our beloved kitties to be nervous: moving to a new home, adjusting to new cats or people in the house, traveling, or trips to the vet or groomer. CBD (cannabidiol) can be an effective and natural solution to minimize anxiety for cats without harmful side effects. CBD oil for cats can be used situationally for temporary relief or on a longer-term basis for cats with chronic anxiety. If your cat is in pain, the CBD oil can do double-duty, helping them feel more comfortable which can also keep them calmer.

Will CBD oil make your cat high?

While the cannabinoids THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties) and CBD are in both marijuana and hemp, there are very significant differences between the industrial hemp plant from which pet CBD oil is extracted and marijuana. Marijuana contains high levels of THC but far less CBD, while hemp is a rich source of CBD but has almost no THC. It’s important to note that THC can be toxic to pets, but CBD extracted from industrial hemp is safe legal in all states.

The most important differentiation is that hemp CBD offers all the benefits without the THC, so your cat won’t get high–instead, they’ll experience a level of mild relaxation.

What’s the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil?

CBD oil and hemp oil are not the same things, especially for calming purposes. Though they’re from the same Sativa hemp plant and neither product is psychoactive, hemp oil is made from pressed hemp seeds, which do not contain CBD. CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks, which are rich in the compound. To treat your cat’s anxiety, choose products that clearly state they contain a measured amount of CBD, not hemp oil.

How do you choose the best CBD oil for cats?

Product labeling and advertising can be confusing, so you’ll want to shop carefully to find the best hemp CBD for your cat. Find a product that clearly states the amount of CBD it contains, and make sure that it’s free of heavy metals and pesticides. The manufacturer should have the lab test results readily available for review.

What’s the best way to give a cat CBD?

CBD can help cats with anxiety to feel calmer

We all know that our kitties can be averse to supplements! Fortunately, there are a number of options to choose from. One of the most popular CBDs for cats is a bottled oil that comes with a measured dropper to make it easy to dispense the desired dose. If your cat is not picky, you may want to choose full-spectrum CBD oil with terpenes, which are beneficial, natural compounds that can boost effectiveness. However, full-spectrum CBD can have a bit of a grassy taste that some cats find off-putting. For finicky cats, consider adding a flavorless CBD oil isolate to food or a treat. Most cats will take the flavorless CBD oil readily when added to food or a favorite treat.

An alternative to bottled CBD oil is Coconut Oil with CBD. This is a wonderfully versatile product. It can be applied to the bare skin inside a cat’s ears to be absorbed transdermally or dabbed on paws for cats to lick off. It can be added to food or treats for cats who enjoy the mild coconut flavor.

How much CBD should you give your cat for anxiety?

You may need to do some experimenting to find the right dose because every cat and every situation is different. The typical recommendation is 1–5 mg for a typical 10-pound cat, but there is no known toxicity level.

Try a dose in the middle of the recommended range and watch for calming effects that should occur within an hour. If not, you may want to give more CBD to total up to the upper dosing recommendation. Once you’ve found the right dose, your cat will seem calmer but not lethargic.

Can I give my cat CBD along with other medications?

Make sure to check with your veterinarian before using CBD oil if you’re giving your cat prescription medications. Holistic and integrative vets are often familiar with the benefits of CBD and will be easily able to answer your questions.

People who are looking for drug-free treatments for their cats’ anxiety may find that CBD can be the natural solution for a happier, calmer kitty.

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