Medicinal tinctures date back to ancient times, but pet tinctures are growing in popularity. Learn what a tincture is, how it's made, and how to use one. CBD Oil Tinctures vs. CBD Treats for Dogs: Which Is Better? Cannanine™ Ultra-Premium Hemp Oil (250mg, 500mg, 1000mg) $69.99 – $129.99 $39.99 – $99.99 The most potent and cost effective Tinctures are a popular choice for pet parents due to their simplicity and multitude of ways to give them to your pup. Most dogs don’t mind the taste of pet CBD…
What is a Tincture?
You’ve heard about cannabidiol or CBD, a natural ingredient derived from hemp , and its potential to ease joint pain, reduce anxiety, calm digestive issues and reduce seizures without producing a “high” like marijuana (or high THC cannabis).
It sounds like the perfect natural product to work into your four-legged friend’s wellness plan, right?
Research about the potential health benefits of CBD for pets show promising results. In pet-specific studies, CBD oil reduced pain in dogs with osteoarthritis ( 1 ) and was associated with significant reductions in epileptic seizures in dogs ( 2 ).
Administering hemp-derived CBD oil to pets is simple with the use of a tincture. CBD tinctures for pets are designed to deliver an accurate dosage and can help pets absorb the beneficial compounds faster than capsules or topical delivery methods.
What is a Tincture?
The word “tincture” refers to herbal plant parts such as berries, bark, leaves or roots that are suspended in either alcohol or a carrier oil. This process extracts the active ingredients and creates a medicinal solution.
Tinctures are usually stored in a glass bottle with a dropper that is used to pick up and easily administer the product.
What is a CBD Tincture?
A CBD tincture is a liquid with high levels of CBD content. Traditional CBD tinctures have an alcohol base (the alcohol is boiled off during the heating process).
CBD oil tinctures can also be made with vegetable-based carrier oils or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils that are made from saturated fatty acids. Coconut and palm oils are common sources of both vegetable and MCT oils.
How is a Tincture Made?
A complex manufacturing process is used to make CBD tinctures for both humans and pets. The CBD is extracted from the hemp plant using one of the following methods:
CO2 extraction . This process uses high carbon dioxide gas under high pressure and low temperature to isolate the oil. It produces a safe, potent CBD oil.
Ethanol extraction . This method is done with a high-grade grain alcohol. The ethanol alcohol is boiled and then condensed on a cooled coil that drips through the hemp material, stripping out the cannabidiol.
Butane extraction . This process, also known as hydrocarbon extraction, uses butane as a solvent. It passes through the raw plant matter, collecting cannabinoids; the cannabis is heated to evaporate the butane until only the extracted oils remain.
In all extraction processes, once the cannabidiols are separated, the tincture is made by suspending the CBD oil in carrier oils or alcohol.
CBD Tinctures for Pets: The Benefits
The tincture form of CBD oil provides ample benefits for pets including:
- High bioavailability (meaning more of the active compound is absorbed)
- No added calories
- Ease of use—they’re simple to give to pets once you get the hang of it
But one of the biggest benefits of CBD pet tinctures is the ability to adjust the dosing. Tinctures allow you to make incremental and precise changes to dosing so you can find the ideal milligram (mg) amount for your pet’s needs and lifestyle—something that is not as easy with CBD treats, capsules or topicals.
CBD Tinctures: Potential Drawbacks for Pet Parents to Consider
Despite the fact that the benefits of using tinctures for pets outweigh any risk, there are a few drawbacks that should be mentioned. Pet owners who opt for tinctures might find that their dog or cat does not enjoy the natural flavor. Cats can be especially picky about the flavor. Unlike treats—which may be cheese, bacon, or peanut-butter flavored—tinctures generally do not contain added ingredients to help with palatability.
Administering hemp-derived CBD oil to a dog or cat with a tincture dropper may also take a little bit of practice and be a bit messy at first. But once you get the hang of how to administer it, these products are actually easy to use.
How to Use a Tincture With Your Pet
Tinctures are meant to be taken sublingually , which means held under the tongue or against the cheek. The mucus membranes in your pet’s mouth are full of blood vessels and glands that easily absorb cannabinoids so the longer a tincture is held under the tongue or in the mouth, the higher its absorption rate and the more effective it will be.
When a cannabis tincture is administered properly, it’s bioavailability (or the amount of drug that enters the system) can be as high as 40 percent, which is much higher than the amount of the active ingredient your pet gets from a CBD capsule.
Steps for Using a Pet CBD Tincture
Step 1 : Find the correct dosage for your pet by observing the dosage chart on the product box.
Step 2 : Shake well! Place the tincture under the tongue or against the cheek of your dog or cat’s mouth and drop in the oil. Be careful to not let your pet bite down on the syringe. If your pet will not let you hold a dropper in their mouth, the dose can be added to tasty food or placed on top of a soft, absorbent treat. Strong-smelling foods such as sardines or tuna will ensure that cats receive every last drop.
Step 3: After each dose, make sure to clean the dropper with hot water to prevent bacteria from building up.
Step 4 : Store the tincture according to the instructions on the package.
Precautions When Using a Pet CBD Tincture
Although hemp-oil tinctures are safe and allow for more accurate dosing, it is important to research potential interactions with other medications. Pet tinctures might cause increased drowsiness when used in conjunction with other medicines. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
Be sure to use a CBD tincture made specifically for pets . Some of the products made for humans contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Always research the brand and company that is selling the tincture to ensure the safety and quality of the product for your pets. Look for ingredient transparency, third-party testing, and a certificate of analysis that is available for you to review.
Tincture Storage Instructions
Many of the compounds in a CBD tincture are not as stable when exposed to light and heat. THC-A—the acid, not the form of THC that provides a cannabis high—can transform into an intoxicant if it is exposed to light and heat. Your pet tinctures should not be stored in the car or on a window sill—keep them safely enclosed in a kitchen cabinet or in the fridge.
Check the manufacturing date on your pet’s cannabis tinctures. Products that are more than one year old might not have the same active compounds as the original tincture. Over time, THC transforms to a cannabinol or CBN, a mildly psychoactive compound found in cannabis that can have an intoxicating effect on your pet.
If your CBD tinctures are more than one year old, dispose of them and invest in new products to ensure that the medicinal ingredients will have the desired health benefits and protect your pet from unintended intoxication.
CBD Oil Tinctures vs. CBD Treats for Dogs: Which Is Better?
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So you’ve heard about the benefits of hemp oil for dogs, and you’re ready to try a CBD product. The first question many people have is: Which is better for my dog, an oil tincture or a CBD treat?
For many, CBD treats seem like the easier option. Open the bag, grab some treats, and give them to your pup. There are, however, several problems with administering CBD using treats. Based on our research, a CBD oil tincture is probably the better choice for getting the results you want. Here’s 3 reasons why:
3 Reasons Why We Prefer a CBD Tincture Over Treats
- Purity & Potency:When you use an CBD oil tincture with a dropper, you’ll be able to more effectively control the precise dose of CBD. Any reputable CBD oil will publically show a certificate of analysis for their product that shows exactly how much CBD is contained in the bottle. Certificates of Analysis are far less common for CBD treats. In other words, you can’t be exactly sure how much CBD (in milligrams) is contained in the cookie.
- Heat from Cooking Damages the CBD in Treats: Most CBD treats are processed and cooked with heat, which damages the potency of the precious cannabinoids, rendering them less effective on your dog.
- Calories and Extra Ingredients: When you give CBD in the form of a baked cookie, you add extra calories and potentially allergenic ingredients into your dog’s body. In order to give an effective dose, you may have to give a substantial amount of treats.
How to Easily Administer Your Dog’s CBD Oil Tincture
Some people have concerns about using a tincture when administering CBD to their dog. While the dropper can be placed directly in your dog’s mouth, we find its easier to drop the oil directly on your dog’s daily food or a treat you’ve given them before. In this scenario, you’re still using food or treats, but the product is something your dog is used to and will not cause any digestive upset. Most importantly, the CBD is added freshly to the food item, ensuring maximum potency.
In summary, CBD infused dog treats and chews have their place, but to ensure maximum potency and purity, we recommend CBD oil tinctures.
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CBD Tincture for Dogs: How to Use CBD for Your Dog
Tinctures are a popular choice for pet parents due to their simplicity and multitude of ways to give them to your pup.
How do you give a dog CBD tincture?
Most dogs don’t mind the taste of pet CBD tincture oil, which has a mild earthy flavor, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting them to try it. Here’s how to administer cannabidiol to your pet.
Put it on a Treat
If your dog only needs a few drops of CBD, try putting it on a treat. A dog biscuit or other porous snack would work better than a meat chew. Wait a few seconds to allow the tincture oil to seep into the treat before feeding it to your pet. Another option is mixing the dose with peanut butter.
Drizzle it on Their Food
Drizzling the tincture on your pet’s food is another easy way to administer CBD. Fill the dropper with the appropriate dose and add it on top of wet food or dry kibble. Depending on your pet’s regimen, add the tincture to either or both of their morning and nighttime meals.
A Note on Direct Delivery
Use with caution! We don’t recommend delivering CBD straight from the tincture in case a dog bites down on the dropper. Extract Labs’ tincture droppers are glass and can harm you and your pet if it breaks.
If you don’t want to go the tincture route, there are other CBD products for pets as well. CBD dog biscuits , chews and capsules all come in pre-dosed bites.
Is Dog CBD the Same as Human CBD?
Yes and no. The only difference is pet tinctures are less concentrated. According to a Weedmaps article , human-grade CBD is safe for dogs, assuming the tincture is a quality product from a trusted company. (All Extract Labs’ Fetch CBD for pets products are safe for people because they are made from the same human-grade extract.) But because dogs are smaller than people, they require a lower potency formula. It is possible to use a human-strength tincture for dogs, but you would alter the dose according to their size (see more on dosing below).
There is a scientific reason why CBD works for both humans and pets. Though dogs and humans look different, we have something in common: the endocannabinoid system. According to an article in Animals journal, the ECS is pervasive in all mammals.
The ECS is a signaling network that interacts with cannabinoids from plants and naturally occurring cannabinoids made in our bodies. It affects the brain, heart, eyes, stomach, mood and more. It’s why cannabis’ benefits are far-reaching, and why many vets believe that CBD provides the same benefits for dogs and other animals as it does for people.
Other minor differences between human and pet CBD oil are the labeling practices and possible flavors. A human tincture could contain flavors like mint or raspberry, and pet products can be infused with cod liver oil or bacon flavor.
Should I Give My Dog CBD Oil Everyday?
A report by Stephanie McGrath of Colorado State University, home to one of the nation’s most prestigious vet schools, revealed that CBD is overall well-tolerated by healthy dogs. The study looked at 30 beagles and measured their responses to various doses of CBD over six weeks. The results were positive without any severe reactions.
However, McGrath noted some dogs experienced diarrhea and elevated serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an enzyme commonly found in the liver, bones, intestines and kidneys. She said the responses are clinically significant and require further study.
CBD tincture for Dogs Dosage
A good rule of thumb is to give roughly 1 to 5 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. Our CBD for pets tinctures come in 30-milliliter bottles with 500 milligrams of CBD. One full dropper equals 1 milliliter containing 17 milligrams of CBD.
It’s best to talk to your vet to gain an understanding of how to find the right dose for your dog.
What Happens if I Give My Dog Too Much CBD Oil?
The main concern is THC toxicity. CBD contains a small amount of THC, not enough to be harmful. However, if a dog consumes a large amount of CBD it may show signs of drowsiness, vomiting, lethargy, inappetence and diarrhea. According to the ASPCA , most cases do not require treatment. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to adverse side effects due to their size.
There is more concern for THC toxicity if your dog consumes marijuana products or raw cannabis plants. THC toxicity may result in mild sedation, urinary incontinence, hyperesthesia, and ataxia. If this occurs, take your dog to the vet so they can receive IV fluids.
To prevent THC toxicity, keep your stash out of reach from where your pups can get it and make sure you purchase from a trusted brand that doesn’t over or under-label products. Reliable companies provide a CBD certificate of analysis detailing what is in the tincture.
Do Vets Recommend CBD Oil for Dogs?
Yes. Vets do not prescribe CBD as a cure-all, but many have witnessed positive reactions from CBD use, according to a Green Entrepreneur article on CBD oil veterinary reviews. The best CBD oil tincture for dogs is a full spectrum product that includes other useful cannabinoids and a harmless, minor amount of THC. While more conclusive data is required, many in the veterinary field are excited about the future of cannabis research.
More About Extract Labs and CBD for Pets
Extract Labs funds research and provides CBD to McGrath, the vet mentioned earlier, for CSU’s veterinary research department. She is looking at the effects of CBD on canine cancer cells. We also donate 10 percent of Fetch sales to fund cannabinoid/canine science in hopes to reveal the true potential of cannabidiol.