*Disclaimer: This is not meant to serve as a substitute for veterinary advice. We believe firmly in the contents of this article thanks to thorough research and our experiences with all of the dogs that we have helped through the years (including our own), but you should always defer to your veterinarian when adding anything to your dog's unique wellness routine.
While there are many reputable, honest hemp brands out there, there are still more that are trying to cash in on the market using inferior products. Fortunately, it’s easy to identify good CBD products as long as you follow these three simple guidelines:
- Pick full-spectrum CBD products (we’ll show you how in this article), since they’re more effective than broad-spectrum products and isolates.
- Check the product’s lab work to confirm that it contains a full spectrum of helpful cannabinoids and terpenes, and to make sure that it doesn’t contain toxic contaminants.
- Stick to reputable, transparent manufacturers that make all of their product information easily available.
Of course, we have years of experience helping thousands of dogs to be successful with high-quality CBD products, so we know that there’s a little bit more nuance to finding good hemp products than that. Let’s take a look at what each of these guidelines means in greater detail.
Why You Should Always Look for Full-Spectrum CBD
Full-spectrum CBD refers to CBD products that contain THC (preferably less than 0.3%). This type of CBD product is the most effective form of CBD, since studies show that a small amount of THC is not only safe for dogs, but is actually able to enhance CBD’s beneficial effects through what’s known as the entourage effect (explained in more detail in our article about full-spectrum CBD). Other common types of CBD products include:
- Broad-spectrum CBD, i.e. CBD products which remove the THC. Broad-spectrum products might include other cannabinoids, but ultimately miss out on an entourage effect from THC.
- Isolate CBD, which is pure CBD that entirely lacks any other supporting cannabinoids or hemp compounds. In our experience, isolates are typically the least potent type of CBD product for dogs.
Note that not all full-spectrum products are equally effective; high-quality full-spectrum CBD products can also feature a variety of supporting cannabinoids and terpenes to create an even stronger entourage effect.
Don’t Just Trust the Label—Check the Lab Work Too
CBD products can potentially contain hundreds of bioactive compounds, so it isn’t enough for a label to say it’s full-spectrum CBD, especially since some manufacturers are unfortunately known to lie about the contents of their products. To figure out what’s in your product, you should always look at its lab work, which will come in the form of a Certificate of Analysis (COA).
COAs show what major cannabinoids are in a product at a minimum, but superior COAs will also include sections detailing helpful terpenes and confirming the absence of toxic compounds. Be cautious of any company that doesn’t provide an easily accessible, up-to-date COA from a third-party testing facility with the manufacturer’s name on it.
Since we know how important transparency is, Dr.Hempdog’s latest lab work is always readily available on our website, and clearly showcases a diverse, full-spectrum profile of cannabinoids and terpenes, without any toxic contaminants.
Be Wary of Vague Phrases
Many companies’ labels and websites feature nice-sounding marketing terms that really don’t tell you anything at all about what their product contains. You shouldn’t trust phrases such as “Hemp Extract,” “Hemp Oil, “CBD-Enriched,” or “Contains CBD” at face value, since they’re uninformative at best, and misleading or outright dishonest at worst.
What Else to Stay Away From
As you learn more about a CBD product’s contents, here are a few red flags to stay away from that could denote a low-quality or even dangerous product for your dog:
- Excessive THC (Above 0.3%): Although studies do show that small amounts of THC are safe for dogs, excessive THC can be toxic for animals. Furthermore, having a THC content above 0.3% qualifies a product as marijuana instead of hemp, which makes it illegal in many states.
- Contaminants and Solvents: Low-quality CBD products might be contaminated by any number of reactive chemicals, pesticides, solvents, microbials, heavy metals, and other contaminants. The product’s COA should include a section confirming the absence of these compounds.
- Products Designed for Humans: The labels of human products include dosing and usage information intended for humans; furthermore, human products (especially food items/ treats) may include certain ingredients that could be toxic to canines, such as chocolate, so it’s smart to stay away from human-specific products. Although our products are designed for dogs, they’re also human-grade, so many humans buy our products for personal use—in fact, our entire staff uses Dr.Hempdog over any other CBD tincture!
Other Things to Look For in Reputable Sellers
To help ensure that a seller’s product is as high-quality as they say it is, you should always purchase from reputable manufacturers. You can identify a reputable seller through a few key traits that might not be obvious, such as:
- Superior Extraction: Superior extraction methods increase the quality of a CBD tincture, whereas cheap extraction inevitably leads to less effective products. In particular, heat-based extraction can degrade and destroy many of the helpful compounds found in hemp, as well as leave the end-product with a burnt taste. For this reason, we use heatless supercritical CO2 extraction to preserve the best parts of our hemp.
- In-House Manufacturing: Dr.Hempdog operates under one roof from seed to bottle, which is vital to ensuring that the end product is exactly as intended. Some companies outsource parts of their manufacturing, such as by buying CBD isolate to dilute their product with; unfortunately, that practice almost inevitably leads to lower quality products.
- Good Customer Service: Every CBD product has its own unique dosing and usage considerations, so it’s important for sellers to have not only a timely customer service team, but a knowledgeable one. Having a team of experts on-call means that you’ll never be in the dark about what you’re giving your dog.
- Quick Shipping: Timely shipping isn’t just for your convenience—it actually increases the quality of a product as well. Over time, the contents of a CBD product can degrade and become less potent, especially if they’re exposed to too much heat and light through poor shipping. When a product arrives quickly, it’s likely to contain exactly what its lab work shows, or very close to it.
- Testimonials: If you’re not sure whether a product is worth your time, look no further than the testimonials of other people who use it. Testimonials from Dr.Hempdog’s customers, for example, consistently describe success story after success story. Negative testimonials, on the other hand, will give away low-quality products from a mile away.
- Good Dosing Information: Once you have a great CBD product in hand, it isn’t worth anything unless you dose it properly. Companies can and should include dosing recommendations for their products; to learn more, you can give our article on properly dosing CBD products for dogs a read.
If you have any other questions about how to find and use high-quality CBD products for your dog, we encourage you to reach out to us and schedule a free, 15-minute consultation by visiting our website, contacting us at (720) 773-9595, or emailing us at email@example.com. We live by everything in this article, always striving to be as transparent, helpful, and honest as possible with our best-in-class CBD products.