What is Hemp Oil?
The hemp plant is a non-psychoactive variety of cannabis, Cannabis sativa L. Believed to have originated in Central Asia, the hemp plant is a herbaceous, dioecious plant.
Hemp oils are oils derived from this strain of plant, normally extracted from the seeds, stems or flowers. The term ‘hemp oil’ is a broad spectrum classification, as all oils derived from the hemp plant are ‘hemp oils’. However, based on a number of factors, the hemp oils extracted from the hemp plant could either be hemp seed oils or cannabidiol (CBD) oils.
Hemp seed oils — as the name implies — are oils derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. These oils contain very little cannabinoids, chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant which have beneficial properties but are often regulated.
On the other hand, CBD oils are derived from the stems and flowers of the hemp plant. CBD oils are regarded as a therapeutic substance due to their high concentrations of cannabinoids — particularly CBD.
CBD oils can also be extracted from marijuana, which as a separate strain of the cannabis plant is considered the psychoactive sister plant of hemp — however, this is discouraged. When extracted from marijuana, CBD oils risk the contamination of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
THC is a cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant which has psychoactive properties when consumed, usually referred to as getting “high”. Often used recreationally by humans, this substance is extremely dangerous to pets. Many pets — particularly dogs — are very sensitive to THC. If ingested, the substance can cause adverse effects such as heightened anxiety which may last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
What are the Benefits of Hemp Oil for Pets?
Hemp oils — both hemp seed oils and CBD oils — can be beneficial to pets when ingested. Hemp seed oils are extremely nutritious, full of essential fats and vitamins. CBD oils are rich in cannabidiol, a therapeutic substance beneficial for the treatment of numerous terminal and chronic diseases.
Here are some specific benefits of both hemp seed oils and CBD oils for pets.
Anti-inflammatory and Pain Management Capabilities
Both hemp seed oils and CBD oils are beneficial for the treatment of inflammation and pain in pets.
Hemp seed oils are rich in omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linolenic acid) fatty acids. Both omega acids effectively manage inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a normal reaction to injury, and omega-6 acids aid in managing inflammation as a means of boosting recovery.
CBD oils can also help in the management of inflammation and pain in pets. A study published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine proved that CBD could help in managing the soreness and occasional stiffness of joints by blocking certain receptors.
Another study showed promising results for the treatment of arthritis in dogs. It was recorded that the dogs undertook more physical activity following the administration of CBD oils.
Hemp seed oils and CBD oils are beneficial for the management and treatment of cancer-related symptoms.
Hemp seed oils are rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). A study conducted in 2006 found that GLA can inhibit the growth of certain types of tumours. The study also confirmed it promotes apoptosis — the death of cancer cells. GLA also reduces the side effects of conventional cancer medication such as nausea.
CBD — the active chemical compound in CBD oils — is known to inhibit the growth of tumours and cancer cells. A study conducted on mice with pancreatic cancer proved that CBD in addition to gemcitabine (a type of chemotherapy) increased the rate of survival threefold.
Are There Any Side Effects to Hemp Oils for Pets?
Hemp oils — as is the case with most supplements and medications — come with some side effects. These side effects are dependent on certain factors such as pet breed, dosage of hemp oils and the pet’s health conditions. Here are some of the more common side effects of hemp oils:
- Dry mouth
- Stomach cramps
- Lowered blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
Hemp Oil for Pets
Hemp oils are oils extracted from various parts of the hemp plant. The term ‘hemp oil’ is used as a broad classification which could refer to either hemp seed oils or CBD oils. Hemp seed oils are extracted from the seed of the hemp plant, while CBD oils are extracted from its flowers.
Hemp oils are beneficial for the treatment and management of numerous health conditions for both humans and pets. As with many supplements and medications, hemp oils can have some side effects. However, as the emerging research shows, hemp oils can be a useful treatment or supplement that can have great results for pets.