With so many companies producing CBD and hemp extracts for pets; it’s hard to choose a company, let alone a product! Here’s a list of things to check for:
- Transparency of Sourcing- location is everything when it comes to hemp farming! Some common places for hemp farming include Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon. Many other states are starting to allow hemp farming and can have quality plants, but it is very important to ensure that Chinese or other imported hemp is not being used to make pet hemp extracts. Using poor quality hemp plants leads to poor quality hemp oil! At VetCS, we use only the finest hemp grown organically in Byers, Colorado.
Testing- Certificates of Analysis (COAs) are lab tests completed (ideally) by third party cannabis testing centers. They have qualifications of their own, and not every cannabis lab is equal. Look for posted COA’s on the website; many companies ask buyers to email in and never respond. Once you’ve made sure the company making the product is listed on the COA, check the date and results. Here’s a few types of testing we recommend:
- Potency- this tells you how concentrated the product is; many companies don’t post this because their CBD oils are lower in concentration than stated on the label. You can also verify the trace cannabinoid content (THC, CBC, CBG, CBN) based on the potency screen and tell if the THC is less than 0.3%, the legal limit for hemp. The trace cannabinoids are extremely effective, click here for a more in-depth explanation.
- Microbial Contaminants- these should always be below the acceptable limit for safety reasons, otherwise bacteria could be growing in your pet’s CBD!
- Residual Solvents- many extraction methods leave solvents (ethanol, propane, butane, etc) which would be harmful to pets if it’s not later recovered. Final product testing ensures that no solvents are left in the product.
- Heavy Metals/Pesticides- hemp grown in contaminated soil or with heavy use of pesticides will have these in the final product!
- Terpenes- naturally-occuring molecules in many plants and foods (i.e. limonene in lemons) are beneficial for various disorders and testing can quantify the amounts included. Balancing terpene content is a skilled process and many companies are not willing to spend the extra money to include these in their products!
- Support- does the company have veterinary professionals at the helm? Many started with making human CBD products and began offering a pet line without getting professional advice from veterinarians. At VetCS, we have 2 veterinarians on staff and certified veterinary technicians available to answer dosing questions and discuss specific patient questions with you or your veterinarian! We have take the extra time to research and formulate high quality hemp extracts and we believe in offering your pet an effective and safe plant-based medicine.
Although it is a time commitment up front to find all this information; your beloved pet will reap the rewards of improved health. Pricing of CBD products is very dependent on formulation quality, click here to read more information about why pricing is so variable. One important thing to keep in mind is that many CBD companies are working as middle men; it’s easy to get a hemp manufacturer to put a custom label on a bottle that you buy in large quantities. The company may or may not know much about the product or have any ability to ensure quality when it’s a hand-off approach. VetCS works hand-in-hand with farmers and produces custom formulations specifically for pets. We always available to discuss products and selection, feel free to reach out!