Hemp Is Hot for Dogs

When we unpacked our BlogPaws 2017 swag bags a few weeks ago, my human mommy noticed a couple of treats containing hemp. This made her curious (it just made me hungry), so she decided to do a little research. Turns out hemp is the hot new thing in pet care. Here’s what you need to know:

HEMP IS NOT MARIJUANA–Hemp and marijuana both come from the same plant–Cannabis sativa–and they both contain two major cannabinoids–THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). But the similarities end there. Marijuana contains higher levels of THC, the psychoactive chemical that causes a “high.” Hemp contains a higher level of CBD, which reduces the psychoactive effects of THC. So, if you humans were thinking about eating hemp dog treats to get a little buzz, forget about it. Hemp treats won’t get your pets high and they won’t get you high either.

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF HEMP?–It’s important to note that peer-reviewed research is lacking, so information about the benefits of hemp for dogs is largely anecdotal. That said, the following anecdotal benefits of hemp seed oil for dogs have been suggested:

  • strengthens the immune system
  • boosts skin and coat health while reducing flaking and shedding
  • boosts energy and supports a healthy weight
  • supports healthy organ and heart health
  • supports healthy brain functions
  • acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • aids healthy growth and development
  • produces positive effects on fertility/reproduction
  • reduces anxiety
  • lessens the associated side effects of chemotherapy

Enough of Mommy’s type of research, Tallulah and I were ready to do our own sort of science: the taste tests.

First we sampled the Treatibles CBD pumpkin grain-free chews. The ingredients list reads like something you’d find at the finest healthy human bakeries: hemp-derived phytocannabinoids (CBD, CBN, CBG), gluten-free oat flour, pumpkin, peanut butter, organic coconut oil, brown rice flour, apple sauce, organic coconut nectar, organic hemp seed oil, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, xanthan gum, and potato starch. Coconut oil is an antioxidant that is good for our coats and skin; pumpkin helps digestion; and peanut butter has high levels of protein. Plus, the treats are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. Here’s what the Treatibles website says about the source of the hemp the company uses in its chews:

The non-psychoactive cannabinoids used in our proprietary formula are sourced from hemp grown in Colorado. It is a full plant extract which contains terpenes and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBDA and CBDV. This extract contains no THC.

But best of all, they taste great! They come in two sizes: small-to-medium for dogs up to 50 pounds and large for dogs over 50 pounds. Tallulah and I tasted the small-to-medium Treatibles chews . . . so we could eat a few extras. The Treatibles website offers a store locator. A few specialty pet shops in my area carry the products. You can also use the site to purchase online (a bag of small-to-medium pumpkin chews–roughly 36 Treatibles–is $24; shipping for orders over $40 is free). By the way, Treatibles was established in 2013 and is based in California.

Next we tried True Leaf Pet’s True Hemp chews in the health support for dogs formula. (Seriously, this photo part is so tedious. When does the tasting start?) These treats contain ground hemp seed, hemp oil, DHA (an Omega 3 source derived from whole-cell algae that supports cognitive health), polyphenols and pomegranate, salmon, buckwheat flour, yellow pea flour, sunflower seed oil, blackstrap molasses, vegetable glycerin, natural fish flavor, citric acid, and mixed tocopherols. The back of the bag lists the following benefits of hemp:

  • one of nature’s most balanced and richest sources of fatty acids
  • contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 in an optimal 3:1 ratio
  • one of the few plants containing GLA (gamma linolenic acid, known to fight cancer, reduce joint pain, and improve skin and coat)
  • naturally supports the body’s response to inflammation
  • contains tocopherols, a natural antioxidant

I don’t know about the back of that bag, but Tallulah and I can certainly attest to the tasty nature of what’s inside the bag. The True Leaf pet website offers a store locator option. Sadly, there are no retailers near my house, but my sleuthing human mommy did find their hip-and-joint and calming chews on Amazon for less than $19. You can also order directly from the website. The Canadian company is a division of True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., which was established in 2013 for humans. True Leaf Pet was started in 2015 and here’s what the website says about the source of its hemp:

The hemp used in our proprietary formula is grown in Ontario, Canada. This extract contains no THC and in non-psychoactive.

Tallulah and I are pretty excited about the new treats we’ve discovered, and our human mommy is equally excited to have discovered the health benefits of hemp. If you’d like to read more, she suggests the following sources: