CBD oil is a new and growing industry. While this is an exciting time for the pioneers of the market, this can also be a scary time to be a consumer.

The FDA has only recently approved a product with CBD oil, but that product is intended for human use for people with a rare form of epilepsy. Hemp and CBD products, especially hemp products made or marketed toward pets, are not as heavily regulated, making it vital for companies to be open and honest with customers.

Finding a CBD company that you trust is crucial. Whether you decide to join the CBD Dog Health pack or want to try another CBD company, we want to make sure that you know a few marketing terms and things to watch out for as you search.

Beware: “Pet” products originally made for people

With the passage of the recent Farm Bill, products containing CBD from hemp have become increasingly popular. However, many companies who previously produced CBD for people are now diving into the pet market.

This may seem like a savvy business move — after all, if I trust you to give me my CBD, I can certainly trust you with CBD for my pets, right? Unfortunately, there are companies out there who put a pet label on a human product. This can be dangerous because human products often have added sweeteners or flavors to make them more pleasant tasting, but these ingredients can be harmful to dogs. For example, Xylitol and stevia can often be found in human CBD tinctures, but can cause liver damage in dogs.

The best way to avoid these sweeteners is to make sure to read the labels and make sure to know what is inside of the bottle before giving it to your dog. We also recommend finding a CBD company that makes tinctures specifically formulated for pets (even if you don’t choose us). Making sure that the people who make your tinctures care for your pet more than profits is vital in finding a company you can trust.

Look for Industrialized hemp oil vs. made in USA

Where hemp oil is made matters. Industrialized hemp oil from overseas is not regulated — there is no way to know exactly what is inside of the oil unless it is lab tested. Moreover, even though you may trust your CBD company, they may not know where their grower is even located if they are using industrialized hemp. They may have the best intentions, but it can be a gamble when a company uses industrialized hemp from overseas.

We recommend that you look for a company who uses hemp made in the U.S. If the company is reputable, they should be able to disclose the state where they get their hemp as well. For example, our hemp is grown in Colorado and manufactured in Minnesota. We know exactly where it comes from so that we can be certain that any pup taking our product is getting only the best ingredients.

Broad vs. full-spectrum

You might notice that some CBD oils say full-spectrum, while some say broad spectrum. They sound similar enough, but there is a difference.

Full-spectrum means that all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that can possibly be present, are present. While there are thousands of cannabinoids and terpenes present in each plant, and it is not possible to preserve every single one during the manufacturing process, full-spectrum means that none of the cannabinoids were purposefully removed. Full-spectrum still has the benefits of the entourage effect (the term for all of of the cannabinoids and terpenes working together) as well, making the cannabinoids pack more of a punch.

On the flip-side, broad-spectrum means that the plant was grown and the CBD or cannabinoid profile was specifically extracted from the plant. This can negate the entourage effect. You might see this more with CBD from marijuana plants with higher than .3 percent THC, rather than CBD from hemp oil.

Look for third-party lab testing

Third-party lab testing for purity and potency is how CBD companies are putting their money where their mouth is. If the CBD company that you are looking to buy from does not have third-party lab testing information easily accessible, you may want to re-think your purchase.

While CBD companies are not required to have third-party lab testing results, it is widely viewed as a best practice. Transparency is key, and if you come across a company unwilling to share their full ingredients list and testing with you, it is a red flag.

Third-party lab testing is so important when it comes to spotting counterfeit cannabidiol. Sadly, there are companies who have been known to sell counterfeit or synthetic CBD, which can cause sickness (as was the case for 52 people sickened by fake CBD in Utah). Making sure that your CBD provider has third-party lab testing and good reviews from other users can be crucial in avoiding counterfeit CBD.

Pesticide-free and organic

If your CBD company is using industrialized hemp oil, there is a good chance they won’t be able to say that they are pesticide and solvent free. Pesticides and solvents can cause adverse reactions — for example, one common pesticide made by Monsanto has been proven to cause cancer. That can be counterproductive to the CBD oil.

Organic is a common marketing term which you might take to mean pesticide and solvent free, however, unless the company has the USDA organic seal, they may not actually be organic. However, if you are looking at a product which lists organic ingredients and are comparing it to a product with no indication of pesticide-free ingredients, we recommend opting for the most natural choice possible.

Education is key

As with any new industry, education is vital. Finding a CBD company that is willing to educate their staff, customers, retailers — anyone who will listen — is important.

A company who has a team of experts (like ours) can help you know if the products are right for your pet and are often willing to answer any questions you have. Moreover, a company who has experts who focus on continuing education, whether they are cannabis experts, pet experts, veterinarian advisers, or all of the above, are able to make sure that products are safe and effective.

If the company you are considering purchasing from does not have any indication of education or willingness to educate, it might be time to reconsider.

The more knowledgeable you are when shopping for CBD oil, the better. Empowering yourself by knowing what you want for your pet can make shopping for CBD hassle-free.

To learn more about CBD oil and how it can be used to treat your pet, visit CBDDogHealth.com or AngelaArdolino.com.

Angela Ardolino has been caring for animals since she was 8 years old and has operated a farm rescue for over 10 years.  She also is the owner of Beautify the Beast a natural pet salon and spa, and the founder of CBD Dog Health. Angela is an expert in medical cannabis and has dedicated her life to providing all-natural relief for pets of all kinds.  She has three dogs, and 4-10 at anytime that she is fostering, or boarding, visit www.angelaardolino.com to find out more or www.facebook.com/fireflakefarm to find out more about Fire Flake Farm.

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