September 21, 2020
Not all hemp oils or hemp infused products are created equally! In the search for natural pet wellness products you certainly have come across at least one ‘hemp’ or ‘CBD’ pet product, especially since nowadays hemp and CBD are becoming mainstream buzz words. Understanding the differences between products, their intended usages, and the dosages and ingredients is sometimes not as straightforward as it may seem. The hemp space is fraught with deceptive marketing tactics that are ultimately the result of the nuance of the industry and lack of regulatory framework. Many companies have found resolve with cloak-and-dagger descriptions that give consumers little grasp of what they or their pets are ingesting and consuming. Some are infused with hemp extracts and others are simply hemp seed oil. Hemp extracts commonly are referred to as either full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate. Let’s bring a little clarity to the rhetoric so you can get a better understanding of what these terms mean and where the value really lies in a hemp infusion.
Hemp seed oil is exactly that, a medium viscosity green - to pale yellow oil that has been physically extruded from the seeds of the cannabis sativa plant and contains no cannabinoids at all. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 & 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) and is packed with antioxidants. There are no psychoactive compounds (such as ∆9-THC) found in hemp seed oil, so you shouldn’t be concerned when giving this to your pet. The abundance of omega EFAs gives hemp seed oil a propensity to be a powerful cardiovascular supplement, and has been shown to help increase the appetite of elderly pets. Consider hemp seed oil the first in a series of refinements of botanical extracts derived from industrial hemp (c. sativa).
As a hemp extract is further refined beyond a basic extrusion, various solvents are employed to efficiently concentrate the bioactive phytomolecules (cannabinoids & terpenes) from the floral biomass. This is the key difference between hemp seed oil and other forms of hemp extracts. A raw whole plant extract that contains all native phytomolecules in their respective natural ratios is referred to as ‘Full Spectrum’. The marketing trick here is that REAL full spectrum hemp extracts are technically not federally compliant (i.e. illegal), because they violate the 0.3% ∆9-THC Rule. When a company claims a product to be full spectrum they are either selling a non-compliant product or that product is mislabeled with the intention of deceiving the end consumer. Broad spectrum extracts can still fall into the realm of non-compliant products, but generally the amount of ∆9-THC has been remediated or removed to a non-detectable amount. Broad spectrum extracts contain multitudes of minor cannabinoids in addition to CBD in most cases, with respective CBD concentrations ranging from 35-80% CBD. Isolate is the purest form of hemp extract, and is ideally a single molecule of relative purity above 99%. CBD isolate is the most common single molecule extract of industrial hemp. See Table 1.
All forms of CBD extracts and industrial hemp derived seed oils can potentially help your pet when you incorporate it into your pet’s daily routine. CBD has been shown to address many dermal issues along with a myriad of cellular and endocrine modulative properties as a natural solution to what is currently being offered on the market. We always recommend you consult your veterinarian in regards to any dietary changes you wish to undertake with your pet, and be sure to always check for a Certificate of Analysis to ensure the quality of the product you are purchasing.
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