“So what is CBD, anyway?”
It’s a question we're asked everyday. While we work incredibly hard to spread the word and educate on the benefits of CBD, there is still plenty of misinformation, misunderstanding, and just plain confusion out there. Let’s clear that up, shall we?
Okay, so what is it?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is one of many naturally occurring cannabinoid compounds found in hemp plants.
Cannabinoids work in the body via the endocannabinoid system (called the ECS for short). The ECS plays a critical role in every major organ, from the brain, to connective tissues, to glands, and immune cells.
The endocannabinoid system performs different tasks in different parts of the body, but the goal is always to maintain homeostasis.
How does hemp benefit my pet?
Like humans - dogs, cats, and other mammals also have an endocannabinoid system. Adding CBD to their routine helps support your pet's ability to maintain homeostasis.
Our whole-plant hemp extract contains many more beneficial compounds than just CBD - you'll find additional detectable cannabinoids, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and antioxidants... all of which support long-term health.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are compounds, abundantly found in the cannabis plant, that interact with the endocannabinoid system.
Scientists have identified over 100 different cannabinoids... each one interacts with the endocannabinoid system in different ways but generally they support homeostasis and long-term health.
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The endocannabinoid system is a regulator of many important systems throughout the body and operates everywhere, including in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells.
In each area, the endocannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, or maintaining an optimal steady state of internal, physical, and chemical conditions in a living systems.
What is homeostasis?
In biology, homeostasis refers to the ideal state for the body's internal systems to maintain optimal conditions for functioning properly.
In other words, it's your body's process of self-regulating to feel good and keep running.
Regulating body temperature is a great example. Too hot? You start sweating to cool down - otherwise, you'd overheat and fall ill.
For more information, check out this really great article from Scientific American.
What's the difference between hemp, marijuana, & cannabis?
The words hemp, marijuana, and cannabis are all terms that refer to the same plant - Cannabis.
Hemp plants must contain less than 0.3% of THC by dry weight, meaning they naturally have so little THC that it's virtually impossible to experience a psychoactive effect, even from consuming a large quantity.
All of the products at Austin and Kat contain extracts from hemp plants, specifically.
Marijuana is simply an outdated term, with a dark history, for cannabis that can get you high.
Cannabis is refers to the plant in general. It's also the common term for any type with THC content greater than 0.3%.
What else is found in hemp?
Hemp is chock full of helpful compounds for your pet including cannabinoids, terpenes, flavinoids, lipids, omega fatty acids, and chlorophyll.
This is is why we prefer to use a whole-plant extract rather than isolated CBD.
What are terpenes?
Best known for giving plants their scent, terpenes are another exciting class of compounds found in hemp (and every other plant.)
Over 20,000 terpenes have been identified and, like cannabinoids, different terpenes offer different benefits... including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-anxiety support.
You encounter terpenes everyday. Here are some that might be found in your home right now:
Limonene: gives your lemons and other citrus fruits their citrus-y scent AND gives anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits
Linalool: especially abundant in lavender, this is the key to your favorite calming, lavender aromatherapy treatment
Pinene: gives pine needles (surprise!), rosemary, and basil their fresh scent and has inflammatory properties
Do other plants make cannabinoids?
Yes! Cannabinoids can be found in all sorts of other plants including cloves, black pepper, carrots, and broccoli.
Did you know? You produce cannabinoids too! The endocannabinoid system is active and produces endogenous cannabinoids (similar to cannabinoids, but they’re produced by the body) even if you (or your pet) never interact with the cannabis plant.
About Hemp Extracts
What's the difference between hemp extract and CBD?
CBD is a specific cannabinoid compound.
Hemp extract is the product of the plant after it has been processed into an oil. The extract contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds from the plant and is typically refined to some degree. (See: Full and broad spectrum.)
CBD is frequently used as shorthand for hemp extract, because it's so well known and, frankly, rolls off the tongue a bit better.
Hempseed Oil is literally the oil produced by pressing only the seeds of the hemp plant. It contains many natural nutrients and benefits, but no cannabinoids.
Isn't all CBD the same?
Yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that when you get down to the molecule - CBD is the same no matter where it came from. Just like H2O. 🚰
In reality, CBD is NOT all the same because you're not really giving your pet just the CBD molecule. You're giving your pet a product with CBD in it.
What else in in that product? Do those ingredients help CBD absorb quickly and work effectively? Where did that CBD come from? Plants absorb chemicals and compounds from their environment - is the hemp this CBD came from bringing pesticides and heavy metals with it? Or was it grown organically? On the flip side, does the CBD come from an over-processed source that leaves behind all the other good stuff from the hemp plant?
These are just some of the questions to ask yourself when thinking about the differences between CBD products.
What do full spectrum, broad spectrum, and isolate mean?
These terms refer to how much processing your hemp extract has gone through.
Full spectrum extracts contain everything from the original plant matter, including any naturally present THC.
Broad spectrum extracts have been processed to some degree, typically just to remove the THC compound.
Isolate refers to the specific compound, on it's own. CBD isolate is probably the most common form you might encounter.
Note: There is little-to-no regulation around these terms and there are many different ways to process extracts. So, even broad-spectrum extracts (for example) can vary wildly in quality. Remember to do your research when you encounter a new brand or product!
What is ultra-processed CBD?
Like comparing pre-sliced white bread to a nice homemade whole grain loaf, ultra-processed hemp oils are lower quality extracts that contain little else but CBD.
You may even encounter CBD isolate, which is literally just the CBD molecule as a lonely little powder.
We're big fans of the entourage effect, so we believe than anything less than a broad spectrum whole-plant hemp extract misses the mark on delivering hemp’s full collection of long-lasting benefits.
How is your CBD processed?
Our partners use a proprietary USDA-organic CO2 extraction, the gold standard of clean extraction methods, which preserves the integrity of the hemp extract. The cold-cleaning process allows us to keep the highest antioxidant cannabinoid and terpene content.
The best part? You can SEE the results in our lab tests here.
Why remove the THC?
Unlike humans, dogs show neurotoxicity in response to psychoactive THC with a condition known as static ataxia.
Veterinarians are concerned that the bioaccumulation of even small amounts of psychoactive THC could have long-lasting effects on your pet’s organ health over time.
Although hemp already contains less than 0.3% THC, we use a broad spectrum hemp extract to protect your pet.
Our powerful combination of pet-safe cannabinoids, botanicals, and adaptogens offer the full benefits of hemp and the entourage effect without any added concern.
Where does your hemp come from?
We only use hemp grown and processed with organic practices in the United States of America.
Is your hemp lab tested?
Yes! Thank you for asking. We go through a lot of trouble to make sure our products are safe and effective - and that includes rigorous lab-testing at every step.
First, 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 products are 3rd-party tested to ensure we’ve hit our marks across the board for potency and safety.
We make formulas for every pet
Our in-house science team spends tireless hours researching and developing our formulas because we know that every natural ingredient can do more, through the entourage effect. Each formula has been optimized with botanicals and adaptogens that complement and elevate the effects of CBD through a total-systems approach to wellness.
The result? Truly efficacious products that deliver long-lasting and targeted support.
Will CBD really make a difference?
Honestly, the only way to know is to try. CBD is not magic, but it can have a big impact on their quality of life so it's well worth exploring.
While you may see an immediate difference after giving your dog CBD for the first time, others may take a few days of supplementation in order to reach an effective dosage.
Do your best to be consistent and provide CBD at the same time of day for at least a few days in a row to give your pet the best chance at finding some improvement.
Adding Hemp to Your Pet's Routine
Can I use CBD with my healthy pet?
Yes! Although many pet owners seek out CBD for a specific reason, all of our formulas are suitable for supporting your pet in general.
Will CBD interact with my pet's medication?
Woah! We can't tell you what's best for your pet when it comes to their medication. That's a discussion for you and your vet.
Our products contain no artificial preservatives or unnecessary additives, but even natural products can have unique interactions with medications.
If you or your vet have questions about our ingredients or our products in general, we're happy to provide more information so you can make an informed decision. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Will my pet get high? Or overdose?!
Nope. Our oils and chews are completely safe, non-toxic, and non-habit forming.
CBD has no psychoactive properties and the only negative of having too much CBD is... that you've run out.
Of course, while nothing serious can occur, we always advocate administering the recommended serving size to avoid any unforeseen complications.
Should your pet eat an entire package (let me guess, you have a labrador) please consult your veterinarian and be possibly prepared for an upset tummy from too many chews.
How much CBD should I give my pet?
If you've never used CBD with your pet before, we recommend starting with the following:
For Dogs: 2mg of CBD per 10lbs of weight
For Cats: 3mg of CBD per 10lbs of weight
CBD can be given as-needed or as part of a daily wellness routine.
Every pet has different needs when it comes to CBD. Factors like your pet’s weight, metabolism, and situation all inform how much CBD will help your pet. Some experimentation to find the right serving size for your pet is normal.
For more tips on getting started with CBD, check out our guide here.
What is the entourage effect?
When certain natural products combine with each other, they produce enhanced benefits that you would not observe when using them alone.
What are 'natural products'?
Natural products really just refers to any substances produced by living organisms, such as CBD from hemp.
See: Our Ingredients
What do the other ingredients do?
Great question! We carefully select natural ingredients for their benefits alone as well as their ability to complement CBD.
We use over 42 different active ingredients so, to find out more you'll have to click here.
What is Longvida®?
Some natural ingredients are even better with the help of SCIENCE.
We only use the best for our pets - and that includes working with industry leaders to incorporate their proprietary ingredients in our formulas when possible.
For instance, we don't just use turmeric, we use: Longvida® Optimized Turmeric. The gold standard for innovative and effective turmeric extracts. Specially developed by university neuroscientists to easily cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), delivering ACTIVE antioxidants throughout the body - including the brain & nervous system.
Longvida® is the most clinically cited standardized extract available for both people and pets. It’s designed to keep the natural compounds in turmeric ACTIVE in your body, for much longer (one daily dose is good enough).
This optimized antioxidant blend has been recognized in clinical trials for over 15 years, enhancing memory and cognition, improving vascular health, and promoting long-term inflammatory health in senior citizens.
What if I just want CBD?
Although we love to create formulas loaded with beneficial natural ingredients, we understand that some pets already have a full wellness routine or can only handle a limited ingredient profile.
Our 600 and 1200mg Everyday Wellness oils only contain 5 ingredients: Whole Plant Hemp Extract, MCT from coconut oil, CoQ10, Piperine, and Hempseed oil.
CBD needs something called a carrier oil to effectively enter the body. CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it dissolves in oil rather than water. We use oils rich in fat such as hempseed oil, MCT coconut oil, or fish oils to help carry CBD into you pet's system.
Piperine (from black pepper) helps promote more efficient absorption of CBD and CoQ10 promotes optimal cell maintenance and healthy mitochondria.