Can Dogs Have Full-Spectrum CBD Oil? – How Much THC Is Safe

Siberian husky standing up to reach a bowl of kibble on the kitchen counter with the owner dropping CBD into it.

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Us humans know that not all CBD is created equal, but does this reality apply to our furry friends, too? Are THC and CBD harmful? The answer may surprise you.

Dogs can have full-spectrum CBD oil, and should be able to use it without issue, so long as they are given an appropriate dose of a hemp-derived product. Pet owners looking to completely avoid THC, though, may find that full-spectrum products aren’t ideal. It all comes down to preference and goals.

There are numerous benefits associated with full-spectrum CBD oil, but there are also a few potential risks to consider. Fortunately, even the consequences that may accompany full-spectrum products are mild and, oftentimes, easily avoidable. Before making any purchases, it helps to understand how full-spectrum CBD oil works and what to look out for.

Is THC Toxic to Dogs?

While dogs do experience more intense, and oftentimes overwhelmingly uncomfortable, effects as a result of THC consumption, it’s quite difficult for a dog to consume enough of the substance to cause severe effects (including fatality). In most cases, dogs who have ingested THC recover within a day or two, but it’s always important to check in with your pet’s vet.

It’s very, very unlikely that THC will lead to death for a pet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need some help recovering, particularly if they’ve consumed a larger amount. That’s why it’s crucial to alert your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has consumed THC, even if it’s only a little; the effects of too much THC are disorienting and distressing, so it’s absolutely worthwhile to ensure your dog gets any help he or she may need.

As cannabis products, including both marijuana- and hemp-based options, become more popular and widely available, the number of cases of THC poisoning in pets also rises. 

In many instances, what’s more harmful than the THC a dog consumes is the rest of the product it’s in. Edibles that contain THC, for instance, may also include chocolate or artificial sweeteners (like xylitol), both of which can be seriously harmful or even fatal to dogs.

How Much THC is Safe for Dogs?

The best amount of THC for a dog is no THC, but CBD products that contain 0.3% or less (as required by U.S. law) of the substance are still safe to use. The trace amounts of THC that can be found in CBD products isn’t enough to produce any effects for humans or for pets.

When it comes to how much THC is potentially harmful to dogs, the answer very much depends on the situation. Larger dogs can consume more than smaller dogs, for example, without feeling as strong as effects.

It’s difficult to provide a specific dosage that tends to be problematic, largely because little to no research into this area has been done (especially not for pets). But, for perspective, the average human adult would need to consume somewhere between 45-60 grams of pure THC to reach a potential “overdose.”

Considering most CBD products are sold by the gram and contain only a small amount of THC, if any, it’s all but impossible for a dog to ingest enough to cause problems.

Cute dog laying in bed under the covers looking sick.

Can I Give My Dog Full-Spectrum CBD?

Yes, you can give your dog full-spectrum CBD products, so long as they’re derived from hemp and not from cannabis. CBD products sold commercially for pets in the U.S. do indeed come from hemp, which means they contain very little to no THC (even full-spectrum options).

Full-spectrum CBD, compared to other products, contains a full profile of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other parts of the plant that combine to create a therapeutic experience.

The benefit of these products is usually a stronger, longer-lasting and well-rounded experience for the user. For dogs, full-spectrum products might do a better job at combating symptoms long-term or for more time.

How Much Full-Spectrum CBD Can You Give a Dog?

The exact dosage that tends to be effective for your dog without being too much will depend on your situation. Factors that might impact how much CBD you give your dog include:

  • Age
  • Weight/size
  • Experience with CBD products
  • Level of pain, inflammation, anxiety, etc. you’re looking to manage
  • The existence of health conditions that might conflict with CBD use 

A young, healthy, medium-sized dog will likely need a stronger dose than a smaller one to feel the same level of effects. 

Many pet CBD products come with dosage recommendations or packaged as individual doses, so taking a look at the packaging you’ve got is likely a good place to start if you’re not sure how much to use.

A good starting dose is usually around 1-2 mg of CBD per 10-15 lbs of body weight. Be sure to start out low and work your way up — even if it doesn’t harm your dog, too much CBD can lead to unpleasant side effects.

What Does Full-Spectrum CBD Oil Do for Dogs?

Full-spectrum CBD oil can be beneficial for dogs in the following ways:

Of course, each dog’s reaction to full-spectrum CBD will be different. Owners may find that dogs with more severe symptoms benefit more from full-spectrum products because they tend to produce more complete effects.

Dog sniffing an eyedropper full of CBD being held by someone.

Full-Spectrum vs. Broad-Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate for Dogs

In most cases, full-spectrum CBD is a great choice for dogs, but that doesn’t mean that broad-spectrum or CBD isolate don’t also have their appeal. 

Both full- and broad-spectrum CBD products contain more plant material than CBD isolate. The place the two differ at is how much other plant material (and what it is) is present in the end product.

Broad-spectrum products, unlike full-spectrum CBD, typically don’t contain any THC, though very trace amounts may occasionally be present. 

These oils, tinctures, etc. do have other beneficial parts of the plant, namely terpenes and other cannabinoids (not psychoactive, of course), that create a more fleshed-out experience for users.

CBD isolate, however, is just as the name implies: pure, isolated CBD that’s been incorporated into a base product like oil.

This product type may be ideal if your dog tends to have bad reactions to other CBD products or if you’d like to steer clear of any exposure to THC entirely. 

So, which option is best for you and your dog? It comes down to what your goals are, what your dog’s limitations are, and your personal decision regarding whether you’re comfortable with trace amounts of THC in your product.

Is Full-Spectrum or Broad-Spectrum Better for Dogs?

In general, full-spectrum products tend to produce better, stronger effects for both pets and humans, making them an ideal choice for those looking to use CBD for managing chronic pain or anxiety. Dogs that are more sensitive to trace amounts of THC may be better suited for broad-spectrum products.

When in doubt, it’s a good idea to discuss with a veterinarian which type of CBD product might be best for your dog.

What Is the Best CBD Oil for Dogs?

Our personal favorite recommendation for dog-friendly CBD oil is from PetWorx. Petworx’s CBD is THC-free, so you can rest assured that your pet won’t come into contact with anything that may potentially cause irritation or other negative side effects.

Petworx also commits themselves to quality plants and quality products; their CBD for Pets includes 100% organic hemp grown here in the United States. With Petworx, you can give your pet the relief they deserve with minimal risk (and at a great price, too).

Black bottle with bright green and white company design of petworx CBD oil for pets.
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Not only can dogs have full-spectrum CBD oil, in some cases, it may be advantageous to choose this type of product. It really depends on your personal preferences as a pet owner and your dog, though, so it’s wise to take some time to consider which factors might play into CBD use before making a purchase.

Regardless of what decision you make, be sure you purchase your products from reputable sellers. For a list of product recommendations, brand recommendations, reviews, and other pertinent information that can help you make a decision, be sure to visit our directory.

CBD for dogs is a promising way to keep your furry friends relaxed and pain-free, so don’t be afraid to try it out!

Josh Murdoch

Josh Murdoch

I was born with Cystic Fibrosis, and although it is incurable, CBD and THC have been allowing me to live my life as a healthy adult now for years. For that reason, I’ve dedicated my career to spreading the good news about cannabinoids. Currently, I work for a vertically integrated cannabis company called Unrivaled Brands that operates in California, Oregon, and Nevada. Previously, I worked on two cannabis farms in northern California, one of which was located in the famous Humboldt County. I’ve also managed a medical cannabis delivery service in Marin County, California. I created CBD Facilitator to share what I’ve learned, and to recommend the best products that I have found in this chaotic market.

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