It can become confusing to differentiate between hemp and CBD oils. Especially for an audience like dogs, research is relatively scarce, and anecdotal evidence is not as common that for humans.
The upside is that the difference between both items is not that difficult to grasp. After a bit of reading, you'll know pretty much everything there is to know about it.
What Is Hemp Oil?
Cannabaceae is a small family of flowering plants that is divided into 170 different species and multiple genera. One of those genera is Cannabis.
Cannabis itself can be divided into a couple of different varieties itself. Most importantly, Hemp and Marijuana.
Marijuana is a psychoactive variety of Cannabis. This is the term it has been coined in popular culture over the past few decades.
Marijuana is psychoactive because it has a hefty concentration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The principal psychoactive component found in the Cannabis plant genera.
Every plant belonging to the Cannabis genera has, to a certain extent, a concentration of THC. But only marijuana has enough of it to make the consumption of the plant have psychoactive effects on the body.
Hemp is a non-psychoactive variety of Cannabis. The THC content in hemp is usually kept under 0.3% per unit of dry weight. As a point of comparison, the most potent marijuana plants may contain up to 35%-40% of THC.
This explains why 0.3% is a very negligible amount.
Unlike marijuana, Cannabidiol (CBD) content in hemp is inversely proportional to the amount of THC found in it. In other words, hemp contains a fair amount of CBD.
This, combined with the non-psychoactive effects that hemp has when consumed, made it federally legal in the U.S. since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. A regulation that states that any part of the plant or hemp derivative containing no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC may be farmed harvested and used as a raw material for other finished goods legally in all 50 states across the country.
Even before 2018, hemp was used for thousands of years to source many other products besides consumption. Popular uses of hemp include textile production, paper, thread, animal feed, and other supplemental products.
What has made hemp even more popular over the last decade is its high CBD content.
Hemp Oil is the extract obtained after submitting the hemp plant to an extraction process. Hemp oil most definitely has CBD content, but it is not the same as CBD oil.
CBD oil is any oil that has been infused with CBD extract. While hemp oil contains CBD extract, it may also contain other cannabinoids in more significant quantities. So hemp oil could potentially be called CBN oil or CBG oil and remain a valid name for the product.
Once hemp extract has been taken from the plant, more processes are needed to separate specific components from the others, obtaining CBD and other cannabinoid isolates.
Hemp and CBD oil are made by taking that extract and mixing it in with a carrier oil. Carrier oils can be many different substances. Some of the most popular ones are MCT oil, hemp seed oil, and coconut oil. Once the extract has been infused into the carrier oil, the product can then be called an oil.
What Is Hemp Seed Oil?
Bear in mind that hemp seed oil is an entirely different thing. While hemp oil is made by submitting the whole plant (stems, flowers, leaves, etc.) to the extraction process, hemp seed oil only uses the seeds.
While hemp seeds have an array of potentially beneficial properties, they do not contain cannabinoids. This means you can’t find CBD in hemp seed oil. But it can be considered a supplement with nutritional value for both dogs and humans.
Some of the potential benefits of hemp seed oil for dogs include:
- Supporting a healthy coat
- Helping with joint pain relief
- Soothing topical allergies
- Being a source of protein, vitamins, and other essential nutrients
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is first extracted from the cannabis plant. This extract is then used to infuse the carrier oil of choice to make CBD oil.
CBD oil is commonly made using MCT oil, hemp seed oil, flaxseed oil, and a few other carrier options. It can be consumed as a topical, sublingually, orally, or as a vape product. The consumption method may vary and depend on the formulation of the finished product that the manufacturer wishes to pursue.
What Is the Difference Between Hemp Oil for Pets and Hemp Oil for Humans?
The main differences between hemp oil for dogs and traditional hemp oil used by humans are the added flavorings and serving sizes.
While the effects hemp oil has on your dog or cat may be similar to what you feel when consuming hemp oil, you likely do not enjoy salmon-flavored or bacon-flavored CBD oil. Inversely, your pet might not enjoy peppermint-flavored hemp oil either.
As for serving sizes, unless you own a Mastiff breed, it’s most likely that your dog is smaller in size than you are. Which inevitably results in a lower tolerance to CBD and lower recommended doses because of it.
Other than that, the same hemp oil and CBD oil can be consumed by humans and pets alike.
Can Dogs Have Hemp Oil? Is it Safe?
Several studies have shown CBD and hemp oil to be widely safe for dog use. Other preliminary results have also demonstrated that the escalation of CBD dose in dogs is just as safe as placebo dose escalation and safer than the escalation in the dose of oils containing THC .
Is Hemp Oil Good for Dogs?
There is a wide range of potential CBD benefits identified in mammals . While all hemp oils are not necessarily rich in CBD, most of them are, and most of the research available is aimed at CBD use in pets. These are the most popular reasons why pet owners decide to use CBD on their dogs:
- Supports normal cardiovascular, immune, and neurological functions
- Promotes healthy joints and better mobility
- Aids in muscular recovery and pain relief.
- CBD has been identified to provide anti-inflammatory effects.
- Acts as an antioxidant protecting against free radicals.
- It helps soothe stress and promotes relaxation.
- May act as an anti-inflammatory on the coat and skin-related issues.
Hemp oil, hemp seed oil, and CBD oil are all different but also similar products. They are all made with ingredients extracted from the hemp plant or its seeds but still carry distinctly different benefits for dogs. For the most part, hemp oil and CBD oil may be considered safe for dogs and humans alike. Still, a consultation with a licensed veterinarian or physician is recommended, especially if the individual has a preexisting medical condition that requires regular prescription medication.
 Silver, R. J. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals, 9(9), 686. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090686
 Cannabis research for veterinary patients advancing, cautiously. (2018, August 1). American Veterinary Medical Association. https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2018-08-01/cannabis-research-veterinary-patients-advancing-cautiously
 Huestis, M. A., Solimini, R., Pichini, S., Pacifici, R., Carlier, J., & Busardò, F. P. (2019c). Cannabidiol Adverse Effects and Toxicity. Current Neuropharmacology, 17(10), 974–989. https://doi.org/10.2174/1570159x17666190603171901