Everything you need to know about CBD for cats

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Introduction to CBD and cats

In the past few years, a newcomer to the world of pet’s health and fitness supplements has taken the world by storm. This product comes in different forms, brands, and manufacturers. But all of them are products that are based on the same compound. It’s called CBD. And tons of people love this new and exciting product.

The reason why so many pet owners are so attracted to these CBD-based products is relatively simple. Because it promised to treat certain ailments while improving the overall health of your cats at the same time. One person’s good review leads to another new potential buyer until finally the majority of pet owners use CBD for their cats.

As you stumble upon this article, it is highly likely that you are also one of the cat owners who’s currently considering whether or not CBD is the right solution for your cats. But just like other pet owners, it’s better to have all the information on the table before deciding whether or not you should give something new to your cats, don’t you agree?

And that is why we create this comprehensive article about all you need to know on CBD. From what it is and how it works, to the long history behind CBD, to all the risk, and benefits of CBD, and to everything else that you should know about CBD.

What is CBD and how does it work?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol. It is one of the two main compounds found within cannabis. The other one is called Tetrahydrocannabinol, or more commonly known as THC. When consumed together, it produces the unique and unmistakable feeling of high and sudden calmness of the cannabis.

For a long time, researchers wanted to recognize the benefits that could be reaped from the CBD. But extracting it while leaving the THC alone is the real challenge. Because THC is the psychoactive compound that will produce a very undesirable effect and it is quite inseparable to the CBD.

Fortunately, after numerous trial and error, scientists have managed to develop methods to effectively and reliably extract the CBD without any of the THC. Of course, the rapid advancement in technology also plays a huge role in the success of the whole endeavour.

But despite the fact that CBD and THC is always associated with the cannabis plant, the majority of the CBD-based products that you could find in the market right now do not come from cannabis. It comes from its subclass plant called hemp.

The reason why hemp is preferable to use for the production of CBD products is simply because of the amount of CBD inside it. Unlike cannabis, Hemp contains more CBD than THC. That’s why for the same weight, hemp will produce more CBD than cannabis.

As to how CBD works, it is because of something called the endocannabinoid system that appears throughout our body. From our brains to our organs, this system acts as a neurotransmitter that is responsible for a large portion of our body.

But this system is not unique to human beings. The endocannabinoid system also appears in the body of most animals. That’s why CBD, and also cannabis for that matter, could present similar effects when consumed by both humans and animals.

When CBD enters the body of either humans or animals, it will immediately make contact with the millions of receptors of the endocannabinoid system. That is how the CBD was able to gain access to the brain and the body .

While the CBD is still in our system, its effects would be felt on various parts of our body, especially the brain. But just like any other type of medicine, the effect will wear out and we’ll be back to our usual state. That being said, its influence will remain on some types of ailments. Further explanations regarding this particular fact will be explored in the subsequent sections.

The history of CBD

CBD has a very long and complicated history. According to a 2005 paper by Antonio W. Zuardi from the university of Sao Paulo called “History of cannabis as a medicine: A review”, the use of cannabis dated back to 4000 BCE in China. The plant was mainly used to make different kinds of textiles and papers.

The Chinese people at the time mainly used the fruits and seeds of cannabis as food. But they also use it as a medicine. In fact one of the earliest recorded use of cannabis as a medicine was found during the era of emperor Shen-Nung, in 2700 BCE. It was used to treat rheumatic pain and constipation, among others.

But not only as medicine, the first ever recorded psychoactive effect of cannabis was also found in this era. Claiming that ingesting cannabis would open the way to the “visions of the devils” and “create a lighten feeling of the body”. Zuardi explained that people at the time mostly experienced this effect when they conducted a religious activity.

This dynamic of using cannabis both as a medicine and for religious context appear all over the world, particularly in central Asia and Africa. In India, cannabis even received a sacred virtue due to its inclusion as one of the five sacred plants in the Atharva Veda, a collection of sacred texts.

In around 1000 BCE India, cannabis was used as a medicine to treat numerous ailments. From toothache to rheumatism and from helping with anxiety to treat certain skin conditions. Cannabis was a common solution to many health problems at the time.

They also use it heavily for religious rituals. There’s even a detailed record explaining how to properly prepare cannabis in three crucial steps, Bhang, Ganja, and Charas. It is used as a way to open up the mind and get closer to the gods.

During the subsequent centuries, cannabis use was widespread around the world, particularly around central Asia and the Mediterranean. The Assyrian and Persian are among the most well-known people to use cannabis in this period.

At this point in time, the western world only uses cannabis as a remedy for earache. The one who brought cannabis to the western was most likely the Scythian invader in 450 BCE. In one account, Herodotus described how the Scythian funeral rituals include the burning of the cannabis seeds and inhaling its vapors.

The use of cannabis as a medicine kept spreading across the world as the years went by. The Arab traders brought it along with them to the African continent as a medicine. At the time, they had used it for various remedies, but it was a plant that mostly used for religious purposes.

Traders, whether it was regular merchants who brought various goods with them or even slave traders, were the one who’s mainly responsible for the widespread use of cannabis throughout the world. From central Asia and the Mediterranean to the rest of Europe. And from Africa to South America, which eventually came into North America as well.

All of this happened around the 15th to 18th Century. But the next major development of cannabis happened in the 18th century through two different people, from two different countries, pursuing two different objectives.

In 1839, a physician from Ireland called William B. O’Shaughnessy, published his monumental book called “On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or gunjah”. He clearly laid out various health benefits of cannabis that he found through studying thousands of years worth of documents and his own human experimentation.

Around the same time, a psychiatrist from France named Jacques-Joseph Moreau was also busy studying cannabis. But unlike O’Shaughnessy, he focused more on its effect on the human mind and how it could help treat various mental illnesses. He published his seminal work titled ‘Du Haschisch et de l’Aliénation Mentale: Études Psychologiques’ in 1845.

Both of these books are basically responsible for creating a sudden surge of interest regarding the potential benefits of cannabis both on physical and mental health. The subsequent centuries were marked with hundreds, if not thousands, of studies on cannabis, which continue on to this day.

Main types of CBD seen in cat products

Based on how it was extracted, there are three types of CBDs that you could easily find in the market. Full spectrum CBD, Broad spectrum CBD, and last but not least, Isolated CBD. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so make sure to know exactly what type of CBD that you want before using or even buying it.

1. Full spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD is the type of CBD that was made based on how it originally appeared in the wild. It means it contains all of the types of cannabinoids that naturally appear in hemp, including the THC. This is the strongest type of CBD that is available in the market right now.

The reason is simply because it could replicate the raw effect of the original plants since all of the cannabinoids compliment each other perfectly. That being said, the amount of THC is limited to only 0.3% at most. Full spectrum CBD is the best type to use if you need to treat chronic disease.

2. Broad spectrum CBD

Broad spectrum is quite similar to the full spectrum. It contains CBD and all other cannabinoids within the hemp. The main difference with this type of CBD is the fact that there’s no trace of THC within it. In terms of its effect, it is the second strongest of all the other types of CBDs.

However, the absence of THC also means that broad spectrum CBD is way safer to use than the full spectrum. Especially if your pets are sensitive to this psychoactive compound. Broad spectrum CBD is the perfect middle ground between safety and effectiveness.

3. Isolated CBD

Isolated CBD is the exact opposite of the full spectrum CBD. If the full spectrum contains every type of cannabinoid within the hemp, isolated CBD only contains the CBD and nothing else. In a way, isolated CBD is the purest form of CBD of them all.

But in terms of raw strength, isolated CBD is the weakest of them all. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless. On the contrary, it will work wonders on especially sensitive users because it is absolutely safe to use and easy on the body while still delivering all the benefits of CBD.

The distinction of CBD extracts are there so that you can tailor its use based on your particular needs. If your cats are in an intense pain, giving them the full spectrum CBD may help them better. But if your pets are highly sensitive and only need the CBD to feel calm, then the isolated CBD could be the better option.

Different forms of CBD for cats

CBD extracts come in various forms and flavors. For the most part, the variation is pretty much the same for both humans and animals. But there is one product that is based on CBD that is only available to humans which is the CBD vapors. Other than that, the following CBD products are readily available at your favorite store.

1. CBD oil

This is by far the most common CBD product that you can find out there. And this is also the original form of the CBD extracts. In a way, every other kind of CBDs is derived from this CBD oil. This is also the most preferable kind of CBD for most pet owners.

The reason is simply because it is easy to use and easy to dose. In order to give it to your cats, all you need to do is drop the oil by using the provided dropper into your cat’s mouth. You can also easily manage the dose by counting the amount of drops that you give to your cats.

What’s even better, giving CBD through oil like this ensures the effect works faster than other methods. In terms of the speed of its effect, it is actually second only to CBD vapors that would instantly go through your lung.

2. CBD foods

You can easily find cat foods that have been soaked with CBD out there. They usually come in different flavors to make it more appetizing to your cats. This kind of CBD product is considered to be more enjoyable for cats and it also does two jobs at the same time. It will help improve the health of your cats while making them full at the same time.

The one downside to this CBD cat food is in terms of dosing. It is hard to accurately determine the amount of CBD within each gram of the food. And even if you already prepare the amount based on the dose required by your cats, there’s no guarantee that they will eat the whole thing. If you want to give edible CBD for your cats, it is easier to give them CBD treats instead.

3. CBD treats

In a lot of ways, CBD treats are quite similar to the CBD foods. It is a form of edible CBD and it also comes in different shapes and flavors. Just like the foods, CBD treats were designed to be as appetizing as possible to your cats.

But since you would only give one or two treats at most for your cats at any given time, it’ll make it easier for you to manage the dose properly. But when it comes to how long it takes for the effects to kick in, it could be quite a while. CBD edibles usually take 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes more, to take effect.

4. CBD cream

If all of the previous CBD works by ingesting it into your cat’s system, this one is different. As the name suggests, CBD cream is a cream that contains CBD within it. This is the kind of CBD that you could use for any external ailments, such as sprained ankle, redness, bump, and many others.

Just like any other skin cream, in order to use it all you need to do is take the necessary amount of cream and apply it directly to the problematic area. Rub it gently and make sure to spread it evenly. This is the kind of CBD that you should have to supplement any of the previous types of CBD. That way, you could treat your cat both internally and externally.

How to choose the right CBD supplements for your cats

1. Talk to your trusted vets

Before you make up your mind on any type of CBD for your cats, the very first thing that you should do is consult with your trusted vet. There are two reasons for this, first is because they are the one who understand the physiology of your cats. That means they know what it is exactly that your cat needs and the right doses for it.

The second reason is because they could point you to the right direction when buying the CBD. This is especially crucial if you have never bought CBD for your cats before. They could advise you on a lot of things and they might even have a recommended product that perfectly suits your cat’s needs.

2. Choose the type of CBD according to your cat’s needs

As mentioned before, there are three different types of CBD extracts and each one is appropriate to use on certain conditions. So be sure to find out which one of the three is the most suitable one for your cats. Because different goals and ailments will require a different solution.

Choosing a random type of CBD won’t cause a fatal health risk to your cats, as long as you use it properly. But it simply will be less effective. You might give a full spectrum CBD to your cats while a broad spectrum should suffice. Or you might give isolated CBD to your cats while they need a full spectrum CBD to help reduce their pain.

3. Get the most appropriate CBD for your cats

After the type of CBD to buy, the next thing that you should pay attention to is the kind of CBD for your cats. The CBD oil, foods, treats, cream, there are lots of things to choose from. And all of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.

But in most cases, you won’t go wrong with giving CBD oil to your cats. It is simple and fast to administer and you cats could also feel the effect rather quickly. As for external problems such as with skin and muscle, it is better to get CBD cream instead.

4. Be sure to look for a product from a transparent manufacturer

Just like with other products, there are also questionable CBD manufacturers out there. You should only buy products from manufacturers that could transparently give you everything you need to know about their products plus the “certificate of analysis”. Such as the kind of hemp that it was coming from, the THC level within the product, the extraction process, and many more.

5. Get a high quality product

When it comes to CBD for your cats, you shouldn’t just pick the cheapest one that you could find. It is better to pay more for a great product rather than giving CBD with questionable quality to your cats. Because most of the time, a cheaper option is not only ineffective for your cats, it could also lead to larger health problems down the line.

Risk and Benefits of using CBD for cats

As an Anti-Anxiety aid. Your cats may seem daring and adventurous, but there will also be times where they will be down and filled with anxiety. One of the most natural effects of CBD is its calming effect. That’s why a proper dose of CBD could help as an anti-anxiety solution for your cats.

As a painkiller. When CBD makes contact with your cat’s endocannabinoid system, one of the things that it could influence is regarding pain management. So if your cats are currently experiencing pain, giving them CBD could help reduce their pain significantly.

To treat epilepsy. One of the benefits of CBD that the FDA has officially recognized and recommended is regarding epilepsy. CBD works wonders when it comes to treating epilepsy and other kinds of seizures. Giving CBD to your cats using the proper dose and on regular intervals will significantly reduce the risk of epilepsy.

Remedy for arthritis. CBD has an anti-inflammatory property which makes it great as a remedy for arthritis. But not only limited to this particular ailment, CBD could also treat any other kind of joint problems, such as sprained, redness, bump, rashes, and many more.

To increase appetite. Not limited to only the nervous system, CBD could affect your cat’s digestive system as well in the form of increased appetite. So if your cat often refuses their food, giving them CBD would make it easier to persuade them to eat.

For a glowing fur. But the benefits of CBD to your cat is not only limited to their physical and mental health, it could work great for their appearance as well. If you regularly give CBD to your cats, you will notice a stronger, thicker, and more glowing fur.

As for the risk of CBD for your cats, it mainly involves the THC. THC is toxic to your cat. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t give them a full spectrum CBD. As long as you pay close attention to the doses and you know that the THC level is only 0.3% or less, then your cat should be fine.


Cannabis, and also CBD and THC for that matters, has a very long history that predates most modern medicines. It is completely organic, you can choose the type of CBD that your cats need, you can choose the delivery method that is appropriate for your cats, and it is also packed with numerous health benefits. But you should be aware of the things that you can and cannot do with it and the proper way to give it to your cats.

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