Considering CBD for your pet? Top Three SFRAW Recommended CBD Products

We do not sell CBD products at SFRAW.  We recommend that our members purchase reputable cannabis/marijuana (organic whole, raw plant) CBD products from their local cannabis dispensary, direct from the producer, and/or to use a home cannabis product delivery service.

There are three product lines available currently that we recommend.

FG-raw.png
Fiddler’s Greens Raw Tinctures
Our Raw Tinctures are made with cannabis flowers that have not been decarboxylated, or exposed to heat. Instead of using harsh chemicals to extract cannabinoids, we use a centuries-old, no-heat, infusion process. This allows us to keep the cannabinoids in their raw, or acidic, form and preserve the terpene profiles. We have selected four unique cannabis strains with four unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles to provide a variety of treatment options. Each strain is available in an Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil or an Organic Cane Alcohol.

Our first choice, is from Fiddler’s Greens.

Their *raw* tinctures are made using the whole, organic plant that has been grown outdoors in nature, and they have not been heat-processed (decarboxylated).  They use a natural, clean, toxin-free extraction technique to provide a genuine and true herbal remedy that is considered safer for dogs and cats (since it is non-decarboxylated).

We recommend two of these fine products only (we do not recommend the OG Kush for use in animals).

For animals with most chronic conditions, Fiddler’s Greens Raw ACDC (20:1 CBDa/THCa ratio) is going to be a good first choice to experience the many benefits of a true herbal, unrefined CBD remedy.

“Our ACDC Raw Tincture is our CBDa rich product with very little THCa. Most patients will not experience any psychoactivity from this product. Click here for more information on the medicinal benefits of CBDa.”

For animals with painful, debilitating, life-altering or life-threatening conditions such as cancer, Fiddler’s Greens Raw Kindred Spirit (1:1 CBDa/THCa ratio) may be the better option. 

“Our Kindred Spirit Raw Tincture has a balanced ratio of CBDa and THCa.  Click here for more information on the medicinal benefits of CBDa and THCa.”

Both tinctures are available in an olive oil base, which will be less irritating to the skin/gums when dosing/administering, compared to a traditional alcohol base. 

Alcohol based tinctures are traditional and completely fine to use, too. In fact, certain herbal remedies are more potent and effective when alcohol is used. However, for use in animals, we recommend diluting alcohol tinctures in a little bit of water, coconut oil, ghee, butter, dairy or lard for improved palatability, and to eliminate the small risk of potential skin irritation.

treatwell-pet-cannabis-tincture
TreatWell’s pet tinctures are a liquid form of cannabis extraction that can be put directly in your pet’s mouth, their food or on a treat. Our cannabis extract is made from organically grown top shelf flower and extracted using organic ethanol to capture the full entourage effect.  We blend our extracts with MCT oil (fractionated coconut oil) and wild salmon oil for ease of digestion, added health benefits and a taste most dogs and cats love.
Store the tinctures in a cool, dark place.  Refrigeration is not necessary.

 


TreatWell (transitioning to Rosette’s Tinctures) has two tinctures specifically formulated for dogs & cats.
These tinctures are not raw, nor are they made of the whole plant like Fiddler’s Greens tinctures, and like most cannabis products, they have been decarboxylated. However, they are made of “top-shelf” organic flowers/buds, grown indoors in a highly controlled environment, which produce a very high quality, pure product that is generally well tolerated and safe to use. Tested for purity, of course. We have been recommending them for years.
The 20:1 tincture is non-toxic and non-psychoactive for pets. It targets anxiety, arthritis, mild pain, hip dysplasia, and inflammatory issues (such as pancreatitis) and seizures.
The 1:1 CBD:THC pet ratio is non-toxic and non-psychoactive in small doses.  Based on 10 years of observational data, patients have reported that this ratio can target appetite stimulation, cancer, kidney/liver function, glaucoma, and end of life care & comfort.

Care by Design make five different CBD:THC ratio tincture products. We typically recommend the 18:1, 2:1 and 1:1; but you may want to go with their 4:1 or 8:1 — the choice is yours!
Like TreatWell, these tinctures are also not raw, nor are they made of the organic whole plant, or grown outdoors in nature, like Fiddler’s Greens tinctures. Like most cannabis products, they have been decarboxylated. They are made of organic cannabis flowers/buds, grown indoors under controlled conditions, and tested for purity.
With five CBD-to-THC ratios, patients can find the right product to suit their specific condition and personal preferences. Our CBD oil is extracted from sustainably grown CBD-rich cannabis in Northern California’s Emerald Triangle. The CBD is safely extracted using the same method used to decaffeinate your coffee. And our products are formulated in a fully equipped lab to ensure the highest quality and best results.
 


What’s the Right Dose?
The below information can be applied towards making dosing decisions for your animals — as you can see, dosing is highly personal and individualized.
 
“Interest in CBD is huge and growing, particularly among new medical marijuana patients who don’t want to get high. But many health professionals have little experience with cannabis therapeutics and have a hard time guiding people in this area. An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched cannabis oil to a gram or more. Begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, especially if you have little or no experience with marijuana. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose.
Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it. Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects. Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; large doses sedate. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects, but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.” – taken from the Care By Design website
Selecting The Right Ratios
In animals, tinctures that are higher in THC will typically be more appropriate and therapeutic for conditions involving:
  • debilitating or obvious pain
  • serious illnesses like cancer or seizure disorders
  • symptoms that interfere with your animal’s daily life and comfort
  • end of life and/or hospice care
  • dementia, confusion, changes in behavior, senility or sundowning in senior pets
  • insomnia

Sleep/insomnia caveat: higher THC products can encourage relaxation and are known to act as a sleep aid, but newer research indicates that cannabis may shorten the REM/dream stage of sleep and may inhibit the individual from experiencing a fully restorative, rest/recovery deep sleep, which is the most beneficial.

Melatonin may be a better choice here. Or, consider the use of a supplement with less chances for side-effects such as magnesium glycinate, which is a muscle relaxant and wonderful sleep aid. Side-effects are typically gas, then loose stools or diarrhea – remember, it acts as a muscle relaxant! Simply back off the dose to eliminate any unpleasant side-effects.

Yes, there is a possibility that an individual may experience sleepiness and/or psychoactive effects with certain dosages of THC, so please be mindful of this for your dear animals.


Can Cannabis Harm, Kill or Make My Animal Sick?

Under normal conditions, there is essentially no reasonably digestable unsafe upper limit for cannabis as far as being truly deadly or causing serious organ failure, as far as toxicity is concerned. 
However, in order to use cannabis responsibly and therapeutically for your animals, you absolutely must pay close attention to how the treatment you choose impacts your animal. Be sure to only give what is required to make your animal comfortable, and to improve their overall functioning and quality of life. 
That being said, over-consumption/over-dosing can cause side-effects that are unpleasant for all involved and can be downright terrifying to witness. This typically occurs only when an animal consumes cannabis without supervision, on accident.
If/when this occurs, the only real “treatment” for an overdose of cannabis is to give it time to wear off; side-effects will eventually diminish as the body metabolizes the herb. This simply takes a day or two for full recovery.
While you may choose to make a visit to your veterinarian under these conditions, effective care can also take place at home so long as you are attentive with providing reasonable supportive care for your animal. This would require creating a safe/protected environment for your animal to recover in; it is important to confine them with an x-pen, crate or to a single room where they cannot injure themselves or fall. Keep them away from stairs and put their bedding on the floor (so they won’t get up on or fall off of furniture, for example – they will be dizzy and unable to stand/move normally). Fasting your animal (water only) will help significantly with the detoxification process, and help the body to naturally recover.
Common symptoms of marijuana toxicity include being “stoned” – this may include sedation/lethargy, dilated pupils or glassed over eyes, dazed expression, difficulty walking, and vomiting. Other symptoms can include either a low or high heart rate, vocalization such as whining or crying, agitation, trouble regulating temperature causing the body temperature to drop or rise, and incontinence/dribbling urine.

Serious issues such as tremors, seizures, and comas are very, very rare and incredibly unlikely.

Signs of toxicity can be seen anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours after the animal is exposed to ingesting inappropriate/large amounts of marijuana. The signs can potentially last 30-minutes to several days depending on the dose ingested.

Although there is no antidote for marijuana, if you wish to utilize conventional veterinary care, veterinarians can provide supportive care to help the pet through the clinical signs.

For example, veterinary staff can regulate the temperature of the animal to ensure they aren’t too hot or cold, and give fluids to help maintain hydration (though, frankly, this is unnecessary). They may also sometimes give anti-vomiting medication, and closely monitor the animal’s heart rate to ensure that they are stable. Due to the animal having trouble walking and potentially injuring itself, they will help keep the pet comfortable and confined so they won’t be injured.

In a lot of cases, a veterinarian may give activated charcoal — which you can do at home, too! Activated charcoal capsules are easy to find at your local pharmacy or health food store, and simple and safe use. Give 2 caps to small dogs/cats; 4 caps to medium sized dogs; 6 caps to large; or 8 caps to giants. You can repeat the dose, as needed. Activated charcoal binds toxins in the stomach or intestines, and inhibits the absorption into the body.

So far, the few cases of cannabis related deaths or serious illness has been with animals that consumed edible cannabis products that contained problematic/toxic to pet ingredients and/or base ingredients such as cacao/chocolate, sweeteners, raisins, macadamias/walnuts, etc. Two cases involved small dogs that asphyxiated on their own vomit (this, IMO, is not a direct toxicity death from cannabis). 

 

Raw Cannabis vs. Activated Products
Below please find a review of raw (THCa) vs. other forms of CBD oil and a quick review of cannabis’ two primary effective constituents: THC and CBD.
Raw cannabis contains THCa and CBDa in their natural state. Heating the raw herb using a process called “activation” or decarboxylation removes carboxylic acid, converting THCa to THC, and CBDa to CBD.
 

“Marijuana is identified by its two active ingredients or chemicals: THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive chemical that affects how you feel by creating the “high.” But getting high is not all that it’s good for. THC also has a wide range of medical benefits, and is commonly reported to relieve pain, nausea, and depression, among other things. “

CBD does not have intoxicating/ effects like those caused by THC, and may have an opposing effect on disordered thinking and anxiety produced by THC.
Decarboxylation, heating the raw plant material to “activate” it, is a traditional lo-tech processing or prepping method which allows for the well-known, commonly recognized experience of cannabis herbal products. Decarboxylation may be accomplished in various ways, including smoking the herb.
Decarboxylation makes the oil/tinctures more potent for TCH, and is recommended for those seeking out the associated psychoactive and other effects provided by cannabis.
For our animals, cannabis put through heat-processing may be less beneficial than the activated form – in fact, activated cannabis may cause unwanted side-effects in some individuals.
Again, though, this may or may not be true for your individual animal. Indeed, some animals may even respond better (!) and will enjoy a significant reduction of their symptoms with a decarboxylated form of CBD oil. 
Because individual responses vary so much, you will simply need to try different forms with your own animals to learn what works best for them and at what dose. You may even need to rotate between a few different products during different periods of your animal’s illness or according to their daily needs/symptoms. Relying on a few different products is actually very common and a wonderful, caring way to use CBD responsibly.
The process of decarboxylation also increases the strength of CBD, and offers a faster reaction time for the CBD oil in the body. 
 
Raw CBD oil is exactly what it sounds like, “raw”.  Raw CBD oil will not be processed any further than its original harvest/extraction and will contain other compounds in minute amounts. As it has not been filtered nor highly processed, it will include naturally occurring plant material, stable & beneficial lipids (fats), chlorophyll, and terpenes, among other beneficial compounds.  Indeed, we are only starting to learn about all the different compounds, various chemical associations and co-factors provided by the raw, whole plant and the effects these have on the body.  
The color of raw cannabis oil will usually be dark green to black, with a thick or gooey consistency.  Raw will usually be the product of choice for those looking to benefit from the use of the entire plant and not necessarily just cannabidiol.  Raw CBD oil still has the ability to have multiple percentages of CBD.
Ounce for ounce, raw or unfiltered non-decarboxylated versions of CBD oil will typically contain a lower percentage of CBD (cannabidiol) by volume than the decarboxylated form, because of the other naturally occurring material and compounds present in the whole, unprocessed herb. These may actually provide additional benefits, however.

 

The 1:1 ratio tinctures provide a balanced and powerful medicine that can help your animal to enjoy a state of normalcy and/or comfort when experiencing a serious illness.

The 1:1 ratio products may also work really well for animals that do not respond well, or as hoped for, with the 20:1 ratio, so you may need to try both or use different ones at different periods/stages or days/times, to effectively manage symptoms.

 


We Choose Cannabis, Not Hemp

It is our position that the best, safest, and most authentically healing manner in which to use this powerful medical herb is to purchase true cannabis based, medical-grade (raw, organic, outdoor-grown, heritage seeds – hand-harvested, small batch processed using traditional methods is our ideal) products made with cannabis, not hemp.

Our standards are very high here at SFRAW, and it is our position that there are not only possible quality and safety concerns over using a hemp based CBD product, but also that when looking for a natural traditional remedy, it is important to use the medicinal plant in full, as provided to us by nature, unrefined, and used/prepared via traditional methods.

The CBD Project website nicely outlines some of our primary concerns about hemp based CBD products:

Cannabis vs. Hemp Oil

“We recommend CBD-rich products made using only organic, whole plant cannabis because this offers the best safety profile and superior medicinal benefits. CBD products derived from industrial hemp potentially have several problems:

  • Industrial hemp typically contains far less cannabidiol than CBD-rich cannabis strains so a huge amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD. This raises the risk of contaminants as hemp is a “bio-accumulator”—meaning the plant naturally draws toxins from the soil.
  • Hemp-derived CBD and refined CBD powder lack critical medicinal terpenes and secondary cannabinoids found in cannabis oil. These compounds interact with CBD and THC to enhance their medicinal benefits.
  • It’s against federal law to use hemp leaves and flowers to make drug products. Hemp oil entrepreneurs attempt to sidestep this legal hurdle by dubiously claiming they extract CBD only from hemp stalk before importing it to the United States, a grey area activity at best.”

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY! “Products with heavily processed “pure” CBD derived from industrial hemp lack the full spectrum of aromatic terpenes and other cannabinoids found in high-resin drug plants. These compounds interact synergistically with CBD and THC to enhance their therapeutic effects. Scientific research shows that whole plant CBD-rich cannabis oil has a broader range of therapeutic attributes and greater therapeutic efficacy than single-molecule CBD.”Project CBD

 

Hemp based CBD is available widely these days. It seems every week, for a few years now, we had a new hemp based CBD oil producer attempting to sell us on their products; but it never felt right to me.  I may be the only person (a former punk-rock, over 30 years a vegan, Natural Rearing advocate, no less!) that you will ever meet that has never even tried smoking or eating cannabis in my lifetime – nope, not once! – but as a self-taught herbalist and natural healer with a lifetime of experiences in using plant medicine, the idea of using a legalized hemp CBD over the medicinal cannabis plant just didn’t sit well with me. I think that if we were to use the plant as a medicine, we need to honor it by relying on the genuine, wholesome form provided to us by nature and with such a long history of use as a medicinal remedy.  While this is not always true of regulated products, at least with cannabis, I think that the more stringently regulated CBD products available at medical dispensaries provide a higher quality, safer and more traditional form of this natural herbal medicine.

There is a lot of money to be made in CBD oil products. We have witnessed a CBD “goldrush” styled boom that has taken place over the past few years. CBD oil products are now more widely accepted, popular in the mainstream, as their legal status continues to evolve. The money is there, especially if you are willing to make and sell the more legal, available OTC products that are made using industrialized hemp, and not cannabis/marijuana.

We looked into making our own raw, organic, unrefined, whole herb cannabis CBD product, but we were unwilling to produce an inferior product; one made using hemp based CBD, which would be our only real option unless we wanted to wade into the intimidating business of sourcing and selling medical marijuana legally — something that is very difficult, incredibly expensive, and can be very risky, even with the legal changes taking place in California.  Much easier and more profitable to use hemp based CBD, but we simply could not feel good about or confident if we were to produce and promote a lower-integrity, possibly problematic, inferior product as those made using hemp rather than those made from cannabis/marijuana.


In Conclusion

Medicinal cannabis products are, without question, absolutely worth trying and employing as a treatment option for whatever ailment your animal is facing. CBD-rich cannabis tinctures can be a wonderfully healing choice for your animals that outperform other options currently available. They can be a viable, powerful remedy that may even completely replace many allopathic drugs or harmful medications.

Of course, cannabis products can also naturally be used as part of your animal’s holistic treatment protocol. You may actually learn that you will need to support or help your veterinarian/animal health care professionals in learning more about how to use cannabis. It is important to let them know you are using cannabis, but they may not be able to advise you on it’s use, unfortunately. This has to do with difficult legal risks involved, as well as the fact that they may not know much about it or have any training or experience.

Thoughtfully selected CBD-rich cannabis can have a profound, dramatic impact on your animal’s well-being, longevity, and comfort.  Remember to proceed carefully and slowly, choose wisely by following: 1) your intuition, 2) the information provided here and 3) from the product producers, who will know the most about utilizing their products. 

Most importantly, above all else, let your animal guide you when making the best choices for them when it comes to dosing and concentration selections, no matter which treatment or medications you have selected to help them feel better.  Your animals will let you know what they need, and they will show you what works best for them — you really only have to listen by attentively observing their reactions, interest, and behavior. 

I hope this blog post helps you in making these difficult and sometimes overwhelming or confusing choices.  Provided here for you, in health ❤  and with the very best wishes to you and your animals.  

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