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Is Hemp Right for Your Pet?

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Hemp is one of the oldest and most versatile plants that has been used by the human civilization. In fact, a piece of hemp fabric is one of the oldest artifacts found on the planet! Today, hemp is used in foods and even textiles, but we’re most interested in the hemp seed and the oil it produces.

However, there are many misconceptions and confusion on what exactly hemp is and how it's derived from the Cannabis plant.

What is Cannabis?

The Genus Cannabis has three distinct species: C. sativa, C. indica, C. ruderalis. Cannabis is the only plant genus with a unique class of molecules known as cannabinoids. Cannabis produces two major cannabinoids: THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), and several other minor cannabinoid compounds. 

Essentially, both hemp and marijuana ultimately come from the same plant… just different parts. For instance, the term cannabis (or marijuana) is used when describing a Cannabis Sativa plant that is bred for its potent, resinous glands (known as trichomes). These trichomes contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid most known for its psychoactive properties.

Hemp, on the other hand, is used to describe a Cannabis Sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is a high-growing plant, typically bred for industrial uses such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, and much more.

(Research sourced from "Understanding the Differences between Hemp and Cannabis")

Is Industrial Hemp the same as Marijuana?

Nope. Marijuana, as a drug, has a THC level between 5 and 20 percent. Industrial hemp contains 0.3% or less of THC and has higher levels of CBD (cannabidiol). It would be impossible to get "high" on industrial hemp.

What makes Hemp a "Super-Crop"?
Hemp has over 30,000 uses!

Food: hemp seeds are an incredible source of a complete protein. They are used in health food products like granola, hemp milk, protein and organic body care products.

Oil: used for hair and skin care, as well as detergent. Hemp oil is very high protein and can be used for animal and human consumption.

Fiber: used in textiles, biofuel, building material, medicine, paper, cordage, hemp-derived cellulose for plastic composites. It is a natural substitute for cotton and wood fiber. Hemp is 10 times stronger than cotton.

Hemp is also naturally resistant to most pests, so no need for harmful herbicides or pesticides. It is an excellent crop for crop rotation because it builds up and revitalizes the soil by aerating the soil and depositing carbon dioxide, so a food crop could be planted immediately after a hemp harvest without leaving the land fallow. Hemp grows in a wide variety of climates and soil types.

(Research sourced from "Industrial Hemp: A History and Overview of the Super Crop—and its Trillion-Dollar Future")

How can Hemp Seed Oil help my dog?

Dana Scott of Dog Naturally Magazine says, "Unlike fish oil, hemp seed oil contains the perfect ratio of Omega-6 (linoleum acid) to Omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, meaning your dog can’t produce them and needs to get them in his diet. A good balance of these Omega oils is critical to your dog’s health because they work synergistically in the body."
Hemp seeds are also high in an essential Omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLAs are important because they will help to reduce inflammation in your dog, strengthen her immune system, reduce joint pain, and improve skin and coat.

What products do you recommend?

We recommend a few different options for treats, capsules, and oils that contain hemp.

If you're looking for a Hemp Oil supplement, Pet Releaf has wonderful hemp oil capsules or a liquid treatment. They use the entire plant (seeds and stalk), so the CBD hemp oil provides all of the benefits of CBD while also providing the multitude of additional benefits provided by the terpenoids and flavonoids.

For dog treats that use CBD oil in them, we love True Leaf Hemp Treats and Cani Bits Treats. True Leaf offers special supplements for HIP+JOINT, CALMING, and HEALTH (with antioxidants). Cani Bits Treats come in a variety of delicious flavors like Peanut Butter, Cheese & Bacon, and Pumpkin & Sweet Potato. Each Cani Bit mini-bite is made with 1mg CBD oil.

Coming soon to Pets Plus: The Pet Releaf Canna Care Ointment, which is great for hot spots and skin irritations.

Have questions? As always, your pet experts are here to help. Stop by the store today!