Difference Between Pet CBD and Human CBD – Expert-Backed Insights

Difference Between Pet CBD and Human CBD

Everywhere you look, it seems like CBD is getting more and more popular. And not just for humans – in fact, the CBD industry for pets is more popular than ever before, with some predicting it to grow by nearly 60% by 2028. It’s easy to see why since CBD offers pet parents a chance to give their fur babies the life they deserve. After all, they’re not just animals – they’re part of the family.

It’s heartbreaking to see your dog suffer from pain or anxiety. Fortunately, we’re able to extract cannabidiol from hemp plants to treat various issues and improve our dog’s quality of life. No matter whether you’re interested in oils or CBD dog treats, there’s always a product out there to help your dog.

But with pet CBD oil commanding fairly high price tags, do you really need to get a CBD product made specifically for animals?

CBD Oil for Humans and Pets

CBD Oil for Humans and Pets

Although CBD oil was initially developed to improve the well-being of humans, it’s only recently that we’ve discovered CBD can benefit pets too. But although the same CBD can benefit both dogs and humans, not all CBD products are safe for dogs.

In fact, CBD for pets often has completely different formulas to ensure they’re as safe as they are potent.

Advantages of CBD for Pets

CBD oil for Pets

The reason why CBD for pets has become so popular is because of the range of advantages it offers. For dogs with anxiety or hyperactivity, CBD has an anxiolytic effect by interacting with your dog’s endocannabinoid system to regulate emotions and promote calm, giving you a chance to calm them down and train them to relax.

If your dog suffers from cancer or canine arthritis, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties can ease their pain. In fact, researchers have discovered that four weeks of daily CBD supplementation can lead to a significant improvement in an arthritic dog’s quality of life.

While any CBD can lead to these benefits in your dog, the advantage of sticking with a CBD specifically formulated for pets is that all ingredients are safe with no risk of adverse side effects.

Difference Between Pet CBD and Human CBD

difference between pet cbd and human cbd

Although it’s absolutely worth trying out the benefits of CBD oil for pets, we would strongly advise against going with just any old CBD oil – and certainly don’t settle for human CBD oil for your pup without doing due diligence first.

If you search online, you’ll find several CBD products made for pets using a formula that’s been specially designed for them. Although it’s still regular CBD oil, there are some important differences between oils for pets and oils for humans.

CBD Potency

If you decide to try pet CBD oil, you’ll have to make a decision between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil. The difference between the two is largely down to how potent the oil is and how many cannabinoids it contains.

A full-spectrum oil has the full range of cannabinoids available for optimal effects. On the other hand, broad-spectrum oils have fewer cannabinoids but are guaranteed to contain 0% THC, making it safer for your pup.

Varieties of CBD

cbd oil

There’s a huge range of CBD products to choose from for your dog – maybe even more than for humans! Besides dog CBD oil, you can opt for CBD-infused treats, chews, balms, and more!

For example, balms help you administer CBD to a specific area of your dog’s body, while treats might make your dog more receptive to CBD and excited for their next dose.


CBD by itself isn’t the tastiest thing in the world. Even if your dog isn’t usually a picky eater, you might struggle to get them to take any. That’s why many dog CBD oil comes with flavored options, typically chicken, bacon, salmon, cheese, or peanut butter. These flavors make it easier to hide the oil in food and are sometimes so tasty that pets are perfectly happy to take it straight from the dropper.

While human products are also flavored, these flavorings aren’t always safe for dogs. For example, some include xylitol as a sweetener; however, xylitol is a particularly harmful substance for pups and should be avoided at all times.

THC Level

Human CBD products don’t always have formulas that are safe for dogs; for example, some contain essential oils that are best to keep away from your pet. THC is the biggest danger though. While THC is the psychoactive compound that makes humans high, it’s actually toxic for dogs.

When cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis plants, it always comes with a level of THC. While marijuana extracts come with higher levels of THC, hemp plant extracts result in cannabidiol with much less, with levels so low that at 0.3%, they’re almost negligible.

However, if you really want something that’s THC-free, you can opt for a broad-spectrum oil since it’s guaranteed to have none at all. It’s always worth picking CBD from a reputable company and checking their Certificate of Analysis to ensure there’s a low enough THC content to be safe for your pet.


Part of the reason you should avoid giving small pets CBD oil made for humans is all down to the dosage. Since humans are bigger than their pets (usually!), they require a higher concentration of CBD. And since pets are smaller than humans, they require much less.

If your dog has CBD oil formulated for humans, there’s always a risk of giving too high a dose, resulting in adverse side effects. That’s why you should get CBD for pets with the right potency for your dog’s breed and size.

With CBD for pets, the amount of CBD per serving can range anywhere from 2mg to 20mg, depending on the dog’s size.

How the Endocannabinoid System Operates in Pets

How the Endocannabinoid System Operates in Pets

CBD affects our well-being by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system – and it turns out animals have endocannabinoid systems too! In fact, we’re not alone; nearly all animals have one, from dogs and cats to hamsters, parrots, and iguanas – any pet you can imagine!

Our bodies have two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, both of which work together to regulate mood and behavior and support the natural cannabinoids in your body. This helps regulate your central nervous and immune system, boost cognitive ability and memory, and even support movement. These effects all come together to improve overall well-being.

Bodies don’t work perfectly forever though. If anything goes wrong in the endocannabinoid system or it gets slightly out of balance, it can impact your dog’s health, mood, and well-being. Fortunately, CBD can interact with the system to regain this balance.

CBD and Your Pet’s Endocannabinoid System

benefits of cbd for pets

Different CBD formulas might have different ingredients or variations on a formula to address different issues. For example, CBD for hip dysplasia might have a slightly different formula than CBD for dogs with separation anxiety.

Still, regardless of the formula, CBD has a range of benefits that many pets can benefit from. Just by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD can improve a dog’s appetite and digestion, help regulate mood and behavior, and support memory.

CBD oil for dogs can even make it easier for older dogs to maintain balance and move without pain by lubricating their joints and reducing inflammation.

It might sound scary to tamper with your pooch’s natural biology, but if it helps them feel better, it’s worth it. And since CBD doesn’t stay in your dog’s system for long, trying it out at least once doesn’t hurt.

Consequences of Over-Administering CBD to Your Pet?

A lot of pet owners panic and ask if CBD is safe for dogs. The good news is that CBD is indeed safe for dogs; in fact, they can’t even really overdose.

Nevertheless, if you give them too high a dose then they can still experience various adverse effects, ranging from feeling sleepy and lethargic to vomiting and diarrhea. They might even have an accident indoors; however, you shouldn’t be mad at them if they do since it’s not their fault – unless they snuck into a bag of CBD dog treats!

Even if your dog does have too much CBD, the good news is that these effects don’t usually last more than 24 hours. If they do, it’s best to phone your veterinarian for advice or medical attention.

CBD Safety for Pets and Humans

CBD Safety for Pets and Humans

No matter whether it’s for humans or pets, cannabidiol itself is a naturally occurring plant extract that’s safe for both humans and pets. However, when it’s formulated into oils, it’s safest only to administer it to the intended recipient.

Is Pet CBD Safe for Humans?

Yes, CBD for pets is mostly safe for humans but is unlikely to be as effective thanks to its lower dosages. There’s also the possibility that some pet CBD products have other ingredients designed for dogs rather than human ingestion. These might include flavorings dogs would like, but humans would find disgusting.

Is Human CBD Safe for Pets?

If you already use CBD oil, you might be reluctant to pay extra just so your dog can enjoy the same. So, it’s not unusual for many to ask if dogs can have human CBD. While they sometimes can, it’s not always safe.

Whereas pets’ CBD oil accommodates various pet sizes so you can give them an appropriate dose, human CBD oil might be too potent for most dog breeds. On top of that, some CBD oils might include essential oils for additional health benefits that are actually harmful to pets. This can include flavoring too; for example, xylitol is a common sweetener used in human-grade CBD oil but is toxic for dogs.


Although there’s a huge range of benefits to CBD for pets, we would always recommend you be cautious and do research on any CBD you give your furry friend. Here are some of the questions most dog owners have about CBD oil.

What Are the Things that Should Be Kept in Mind While Buying for Pets?

The main thing to keep in mind when buying CBD for pets is its potency. Always make sure to consider your dog’s breed and size to pick the right strength.

It’s also worth considering various formulas with additional ingredients for added health benefits if you’re using them to treat something specific. However, always ensure that ingredients are safe and oils come with low levels of THC to minimize any risk of toxicity.

What’s the Appropriate CBD Dosage for My Dog?

Each CBD oil has its own recommended dosage, so read the label carefully and consider getting a recommendation from a veterinarian to be sure how much CBD to administer. But as a general rule of thumb, you can administer between 1mg to 5mg for every 10lbs of body weight.

Which Is Superior for Dogs: CBD Isolate or Full-Spectrum?

Like broad-spectrum oil, CBD isolate is pure CBD with no THC. However, full-spectrum CBD oil is always more effective thanks to the full range of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes from the hemp plant. These all come together for an entourage effect and stronger results.

Does High-Quality CBD Oil for Cats and Dogs Contain Xylitol?

Xylitol is a common sweetener used in human food, from CBD oil to sugar-free gum. However, xylitol is toxic for pets, stimulating such a huge release of insulin that it can lead to death. Since it’s so dangerous, no CBD for pets will contain any xylitol at all, and any CBD oil with xylitol should be kept far away from pets.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, there’s not a huge difference between CBD products for humans and pets. Although some CBD products for humans could be safe for pets, you should be cautious not to give your dog any human CBD product with harmful ingredients or give too high a dose.

CBD for pets, however, eliminates any risk and worry. All pet CBD products are completely safe for our furry friends, with appropriate potencies to give more accurate doses, helping them lead healthier and happier lives.

You can also explore how to create homemade CBD dog treats and enhance your furry friend’s wellness with a personal touch!

Matt Twinley
Matt spends his days working with Halie, his adorable cockapoo puppy, by his side. Having owned a variety of pets his whole life, Matt is passionate about animals and always feels most at home with a furry friend. He loves learning about animals and how to care for them. When he’s not researching and writing about how best to care for animals and pets, you can find him going on adventures with his dog or writing about mythical animals for his book.

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