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HEMP-HEALTH 101

"So what is CBD, anyway?" It’s a question I get every day. There’s a lot of doubt, misinformation, and just plain confusion out there. Let’s clear it up, shall we?

What makes austin and kat products different?

Each and every recipe is carefully crafted with your pets in mind. We’ve pledged to use only the cleanest ingredients in the most effective formats, and to pay close attention to our impact on the environment. We hold firm to the Austin and Kat Ethos to deliver safe and trustworthy products, and we never resort to marketing gimmicks or exaggeration. Instead, we keep our ears to the ground and pay close attention to the science, filtering out the noise to deliver products that make a difference.

We’re a group of pet specialists and dog-lovers who share a common goal in spreading the collective goodness of hemp. Not only do we produce the most efficacious extracts from premium hemp grown in the USA, we maintain strict internal standards to find the highest quality, sustainably sourced functional ingredients from around the world.

All of our products are developed from the ground up using our in-depth knowledge of cannabinoids and integrative health. Our innovation team is led by experts in the field, optimizing each recipe for bioactivity, safety, and a complementary effect on the endocannabinoid system. The result? Truly efficacious products that deliver long-lasting benefits and relief.

All Austin and Kat™ products, from our bites to our tinctures, contain a proprietary blend of non-toxic, non-psychoactive cannabinoids derived from organic, USA-grown hemp.

What Is CBD and the Endocannabinoid System?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many naturally occurring compounds found in hemp. These plant-based, fat-soluble molecules (including THC) are all known as cannabinoids. Along with many other natural products, cannabinoids work on the body's endocannabinoid system (or ECS), which is a master regulatory of managing stress, free radical damage, and the immune system.

How can hemp benefit my pet?

Everyday more and more clinical research points to the awesome power of hemp. Naturally occurring cannabinoids like CBD interact with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), the central regulator of the body (and our pet’s too!). The endocannabinoid system coordinates with the microbiome, liver, and brain to balance and fine-tune us towards homeostasis.

While hemp has been consumed for centuries to promote health and wellness, a renaissance in biomedical research has elegantly revealed the wealth of benefits that come from its sustained use. One thing’s for certain, hemp and CBD is not only a powerful intervention for calming nervous dogs or managing sore hips and joints, it’s clear cannabinoids should be front-and-center to promote daily wellness for our pets.

How do functional ingredients elevate the powers of hemp?

While CBD and other hemp-derived cannabinoids have recently gained the attention of drug developers and scientists, they’re by no means the only natural compounds that have shown positive effects on the endocannabinoid system. In fact, the cannabinoids in hemp can work together and synergize with many compounds found in Nature. We’ve specially selected our ingredients for their naturally occurring bioactive compounds and the wonders they unlock when combined with hemp. For example, astaxanthin, the ultimate antioxidant, is a naturally occurring terpene and an awesome partner with CBD for maintaining healthy joints.

What is complete hemp-health for pets?

Complete hemp-health for pets describes how we take our functional blends to the next level. Hemp’s ability to dynamically regulate the endocannabinoid system has been the perfect springboard for designing functional wellness tinctures. By gathering the best natural products that Mother Nature has to offer (especially those that work together with hemp), we’ve specially formulated blends for pet’s individual needs. Young pups, nervous and restless pets, older dogs, and those with severe hip and joint issues all need a little help in different ways.

Hemp-health for younger pets: Just like performance athletes, younger dogs seem to have unlimited energy and an impressive pep in their step. Heavy play can come at a cost though, and unassisted exercise and recovery can have a strong impact on hip and joint health later in life. Austin’s Active Recovery is specially formulated with unique ingredients that help younger dogs keep fit and get a leg-up ahead of their golden years.

Hemp-health for nervous and hyperactive dogs: Life can be stressful. Maintaining emotional balance and a relaxed disposition is as important for the health of our pets as it is for pet owners. When loud noises, separation, or basic day-to-day living causes stress and restlessness, Bailey’s No More Wiggles is the total-package for calming a hyperactive nervous system. This soothing blend is the perfect recipe for keeping calm and quiet and relaxing both body and mind.

Hemp-health for older pets: Once a dog reaches six or seven years of age, it’s time to embrace the gray hairs and focus on aging gracefully. In honor of Brady, Brady’s Senior Formula is the complete package for total senior health and wellness. With mushrooms and botanicals to aid cognition, eye health, immunity, and circulation, our Happy Healthspan formula reinvigorates your senior pet's potential.

Hemp-health for pets with deeper needs: Much like our grandparents, some dogs just weren’t lucky enough to know the powers of healthy living and hemp early in life. Everyday is a challenge dealing with severe hip, joint, and back issues. For those who need extra special attention a little late in the game, Bakko’s Get Up and Go is our double-dosed joint mobility formula designed for a system-wide battle against free radicals.

How Do You Extract Your Hemp Oil?

We rely on the gold standard of oil extraction methods known as supercritical CO2 (sounds high-tech right? The good news is you trade in all of those dangerous chemical solvents for plain old carbon dioxide, the same gas we exhale when breathing). We’re proud to offer your pets the cleanest and purest extraction methods possible, the same used by pharmaceutical companies and the human supplement industry.

Is a Hemp-derived CBD Extract Safe For My Pet?

The most important lesson we’ve taken from our years of experience in the industry is ‘not every hemp oil extract is created equally.’ Everyone’s big safety concern is not from the consumption of CBD, but from those that opt for unsafe, cheap means of growing hemp and extracting oil.

We’ve done a deep-dive into the science of safe extraction in order to deliver a reliable and quality product that we’re happy to share with our pets and yours. The key is to hold to rigorous internal standards, and to never rely on distilled and adulterated oils (rife with dangerous solvents, trace pesticides, and toxic metals). More importantly, we test our products through and through, from the flower to the extract to the finished blend.

Do You 3rd-party Test Your Products?

We triple 3rd-party test our products for absolute certainty in their safety and efficacy. We enlist the help of the finest independent and accredited laboratories to screen our flower, extract, and finished products. First, the raw plant material is tested for an exhaustive collection of pesticides, herbicides, microbes, and mycotoxins. Next, our hemp oil extract is re-tested for contaminants and heavy metals, and then analyzed for a consistent cannabinoid and terpene profile. Finally, our finished product is 3rd-party tested to ensure we’ve hit our marks across the board for potency and safety. Only then, after this triplicate quality assurance process, do we approve our products for sale.

Do you ever use hemp from outside of the US?

Never - We only use domestic hemp, sun-grown in the USA by organic practices on our partner farms in Oregon and Colorado. Industrial hemp of seed and stalk that comes from overseas-suppliers is intended for fiber and paper, not next-generation wellness products. While hempseed oil has a unique cannabinoid profile of its own, the optimal concentrations of cannabinoids that make up ‘CBD oil’ are found most densely packed in the flowering plant. We ensure a consistent and efficacious cannabinoid profile in all of our extracts by both growing and processing within the United States, assuring our quality standards are met by keeping a careful eye on the process.

How do I know how much naturally occurring CBD is in each dose?

Knowing your pet’s dosage is simple and easy when using either our hemp bites or our tinctures. Hemp bites are designed for effortless hemp supplementation and slow-and-sustained delivery of cannabinoids throughout the day. Depending on your dog’s size or need, each bite contains 2, 5, or 10mg of naturally occurring CBD. For tinctures, we use medical-grade calibrated droppers that clearly and precisely identify the volume of each dose. We always 3rd-party test our products to make certain each bite and blend is on-point, and so should you. It’s an easy trip to our product testing page to search and download test results for every batch.

How do you know much naturally occurring CBD is in each dose?

Insisting upon transparency and independent analysis is key to ethical dosing, so first things first we always rely on 3rd-party testing. The consistency of our finished product comes from our extensive experience with folding and blending hemp fats. Kat honed her early recipes of simple and clean ingredients into amazingly efficacious products through rigorous trial and error. Her husband Tim’s high-profile work in Washington’s cannabis community was a match made in hemp-heaven, as together they offer the pet space something new, effective, and genuine. Today we’re proud to continue our tradition of mastery with every new product that we make, keeping a careful eye on cannabinoid dosing and quality to deliver hemp health you can depend on. This consistency is easy to point to, as our quality assurance is reflected in our customer testimonials.

Can My Pet Safely Use Austin And Kat Products If They’re Taking any Medications Or other supplements?

As always, consult your veterinarian before adding any supplement to your pet’s daily wellness regimen. Our products contain no artificial preservatives or unnecessary additives, but even natural products can have unique interactions with certain pharmaceuticals and medications.

Can your Hemp extracts Get My Pet High?

Absolutely not. As safety is our top priority, all Austin and Kat products have non-detectable amounts of psychoactive THC (delta-9 THC).

Is psychoactive THC Dangerous for dogs?

We’d be the first to defend the physical and mental benefits of a little THC when people use it responsibly (Kat’s husband Tim is a major proponent of microdosing all cannabinoids for human health and wellness, and he even created products tailored to that purpose). But it turns out that the nervous systems of dogs and cats are very different from humans, and they have greater numbers of cannabinoid receptors distributed around unique parts of the body and nervous system. Dogs display neurotoxic responses to THC exposure that give veterinarians great concern about the long term effect of exposing animals to low-dose THC products. Luckily, a full spectrum of other non-intoxicating cannabinoids in hemp like CBD, CBG, CBC, and even sister molecules of THC known as isomers all work together to deliver a potent (and safe) entourage effect on the endocannabinoid system.

What Is The Entourage Effect, and does CBD need psychoactive THC?

Whole-food advocates and experts like ourselves know full-well the powers of total-plant health. While you can take beta-carotene from a carrot and put it alone into pill form, the science is clear that naturally occurring compounds work better when taken together with other compounds from the same plant. Some compounds work to help the activity of others, while some work against each other. These extremely complex interactions inside the body are a major topic of modern nutrition and biomedical research, and understanding them requires slow and systematic investigation.

The entourage effect describes the interactions of cannabinoids working together on the body. Since research about cannabis started with marijuana, this name has long been simplified to describe the effects of other hemp-compounds acting on the effects of THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis). This is an important distinction, as many draw generalized conclusions that psychoactive THC is required to work with CBD. While a little CBD goes a long way to help mellow out the anxiety-inducing effects of THC, many other cannabinoids in hemp happily take the place of THC when the relationship is turned around. In short, the calming effects and relief we all look for in CBD get along just fine without psychoactive compounds.

Why do you call your extract broad spectrum?

Austin and Kat was one of the first cannabis companies in the pet space and it’s been an amazing experience to expand and mature in a developing market. As transparency and safety have always been our top priority, we believe in increased scrutiny and regulation for the industry as a whole. We’ve partnered with a coalition of like-minded businesses under qualified membership with the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). The NASC is a non-profit industry group dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals. The NASC imparts strict labeling standards for pet products to make certain consumers know what they are buying. Any hemp extracts that remove the psychoactive elements of hemp oil are considered broad spectrum for labeling purposes (even if every other cannabinoid is present except for delta-9 THC). It’s important to note neither ‘broad’ nor ‘full’ spectrum labeling requirements have any bearing on the CBD-specific entourage effect, as the benefits we all want for pets have never required THC. ‘Broad Spectrum’ to us simply means non-psychoactive, and that means safety for your pet.

If the body is 70% water, wouldn’t hemp ‘water’ be better than hemp oil?

While this question appears to make sense on the surface, it’s important to remember the basic language of your pet’s endocannabinoid system is “fat,” not “water”. While water-compatible hemp products may be a neat novelty for advertisers to plug ‘CBD’ into gummy bears and cola, they’re missing the mark on how to fully deliver hemp’s long term positive impact on health (not to mention many of them may be risking the health and safety of our pets). The systemic effects of hemp supplementation arise from a complex fat-based metabolism, and correct and complete processing drives the full list of benefits that arise through whole-body sensing-and-signaling.

While slightly faster relief can be offered through other means of delivering CBD (bypassing complete absorption), this reductionist approach ignores the emergent properties of total hemp supplementation from the body working as a whole. By skipping the critical communication points like the microbiome and liver, the central nervous system doesn’t fully take advantage of CBD and cannabinoids. Instead of using more and more water-compatible CBD to apply as a band-aid to sore joints and nervous behavior, the more thoughtful approach is to draw the full benefits of hemp and attack these problems at the source (which is only achieved with fats). Instead of working against fat, we dive into its science to optimize absorption as part of a complete package (and it’s still pretty darn quick!).

Understanding the importance of fats with CBD is no surprise, as it’s nothing new. Those familiar with medicinal THC edibles in legal states have always known that fats like coconut oil, hempseed, and butter are required for the most potent and long-lasting effects on the body. Kat’s husband, Tim Moxey (inventor and founder of Nuun hydration tablets and Mr. Moxey’s Mints in Seattle) can attest to a personal preference for his hand-crafted chocolate varieties versus the non-fat mints that bear his namesake. While Tim’s mints are wonderful for easy microdosing, he readily admits fat-based products like his chocolates lead to more diverse and longer lasting effects (Tim admits his devout penchant for chocolate probably needs addressing as well).

Well isn’t absorption important?

Of course absorption is important, but it’s part of a much larger picture of how hemp interacts with the body (and it’s not just about getting CBD into the bloodstream, especially in a rapid and unnatural fashion). If one were to opt for using ‘water-compatible CBD’ to boost absorption and bypass metabolism, they most certainly should ask, “what’s the tradeoff, and at what cost?” One thing’s for certain, if someone tries to convince you your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and liver are only ‘breaking down CBD as a waste product’, then they’ve got a lot of reading and catching up to do (they can start with the links embedded into our discussion in the previous section).

Not only do water-compatible products miss out on the long-lasting benefits of complete absorption and processing, but some have gotten so wrapped up in marketing concepts they’ve made massive leaps into unchartered waters concerning the health and safety of animals. We at Austin and Kat feel our pets are not the place for experimenting. Trust us, if we make a change in the format of our hemp, it will be because we are absolutely certain in its safety and efficacy.