What’s Important When Choosing a Brand
I’m extremely picky about where I buy things from. Even more so when it comes to CBD.
What was important to me when I first decided to try CBD with big Nellie?
The truth was, I didn’t know what was important! But I knew I had a lot of research to do to find out which CBD I should buy for my dog.
So I got to it. I started pouring through articles on the internet, reading reviews on providers websites and scrolling through so many facebook groups and subreddits. Through my reading I found out what was important to me when choosing a CBD product for my dog, or myself for that matter.
I spent the hours my research. That’s a big reason why this site exists today. I want to share what I learned to help spread the word about CBD. I read as much as I could on the subject
I decided to focus on these things when choosing a CBD for my dog (and myself).
- Full spectrum, real CBD – Not all CBD is created equal. Not only are there differences in quality of the USA based oils, but there are even Chinese made oils that have all sorts of different stuff in them that we don’t want. I want pure, quality full spectrum CBD products first and foremost. Organic is even better but it turns out getting the organic designation is not always possible for some of these CBD providers.
- North American based hemp – with 100% of the growing and refining happening here. Bottom line I didn’t want anything grown or manufactured in China.
- CO2 Extraction Method – This is the best way to end up with a pure product not laden with chemical solvents. Oils extracted via CO2 is a must. No solvents or excessive heating during extraction.
- 3rd party lab tested results – This is a new and more or less unregulated industry. I am not a scientist myself but I need to see updated lab results showing the purity of CBD from a 3rd party lab. Big bonus points to those CBD brands that provide this information right on the website and keep it up to date.
- Reputable business operations – I do not want to purchase from a MLM (aka pyramid scheme) or a re-bill operation where a company tries to lock me into automatic recurring purchases that are next to impossible to cancel. This is a new and blossoming industry. Many new companies means many different levels of service and support, products and quality control. Plus some sites and MLM groups simply white label some importers product with their logos and resell them for markups. Instead I want to work with a company who produces their own CBD products and sells to consumers like you and me.
- Fair prices – while I want the good stuff, I want to pay a fair “market” price for comparable quality product. I’m not saying I want the cheapest stuff out there but I don’t want to get ripped off paying considerably more than competitive prices.
Want to see which CBD products we use for our dogs? Here is my short list of recommended brands.
When it comes to your dog, you go out of your way to make sure that you are only purchasing the best products. You make sure your dog eats the healthiest food, plays with the safest toys, and sleeps on the most comfortable bed.
It is no different with CBD. Whether you are shopping in a local store or online, you are going to want to go the extra mile with research to make sure that you are not only getting a great value, but superior quality.
You can’t cut corners when it comes to the buying process, because far too many manufacturers do cut corners.
As Petfood Industry explains, “To date, FDA has not approved any CBD-based human foods or supplements.”
The supplements market in general is not very well regulated either.
So it is very much up to you as the consumer to make sure that you are purchasing products which are safe.
That is every bit as true when you’re shopping for supplements for your dog as it is when you’re shopping for supplements for yourself or other members of your family.
Manufacturer and Supplier
To help you make an informed choice, this article will give you the rundown on which factors are important to consider when you are choosing a dog CBD supplement manufacturer to purchase from.
First of all, you are not going to get a high-quality CBD supplement for your dog unless that supplement is made from quality hemp.
That all starts with how the hemp plants are grown. Look for:
- Plants which are bred for a high CBD concentration.
- Organic and sustainable growing and harvesting practices.
- Ideally, the plants will be grown in a climate where they will thrive.
Every company has its own process for sourcing hemp, so you should look on the website of the supplier to learn about their cultivation methods.
If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, you can always contact customer service to ask for the details.
Even a high-quality hemp plant which is rich in CBD can fail to provide a superior product if inferior extraction methods are utilized.
Here is what you want to avoid:
- Extraction processes which require the use of solvents
- Extraction through the application of high heat
These processes contaminate the end product.
Here is what you should be looking for:
- Extraction with highly compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) is essential!
In this process, compressed CO2 is introduced to the hemp plant after it is harvested.
The CBD and other phytonutrients in the hemp are released.
No CO2 remains in the finished product, and there is zero contamination like you would get from solvents or high heat.
Plus, unlike high heat, CO2 doesn’t destroy nutritional value.
That means that the product can provide full-spectrum benefits (see below).
Hemp products which contain not just concentrated CBD, but a variety of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are referred to as “full spectrum” or “broad spectrum” CBD products.
You want the full spectrum / broad spectrum for full CBD benefits.
Even though CBD on its own has been shown to be beneficial, you can support your pet’s health in a more comprehensive and dramatic fashion by providing all the advantageous nutrients which hemp has to offer.
There are newcomers in the CBD sector cropping up every day. Some of them are excellent. Others are not so great.
It is fine to take a chance on a newer or smaller CBD company, but there is no denying that reputation does count for something.
If nothing else, you should find out about a manufacturer’s background before buying from them.
You should also look up customer reviews. Find out what other buyers are saying about both the company and the products.
When reading customer reviews, always remember to do so through a lens of critical thinking. There are a lot of fake reviews online, so look for those which appear authentic and fair.
Value – CBD Is Not Cheap
When it comes to purchasing CBD products, you get what you pay for. This does not necessarily mean that you need to go out and shop for the most expensive premium CBD products on the market, but it does mean that you may want to be wary of those which seem unnaturally cheap.
The quality harvesting and extraction processes which we have just gone over do require time, manpower and expense.
That depends to be reflected in a higher price for the completed products.
So you should shop for good deals, but you should be so coming from a perspective of realism.
Remember, value is not about getting the lowest cost, but about getting the highest quality you can afford within your budget.
Purity and Full Spectrum
We have talked about what should be in CBD products for dogs, but we haven’t talked much about what shouldn’t be in them.
We did mention that hemp products can be contaminated through poor extraction processes.
But byproducts from such processes are not the only contaminants to be wary of.
CBD products can also be polluted with pesticides, microbes, and heavy metals.
The best way to be assured that these contaminants are not present in your CBD products is to shop for oils which have been subjected to rigorous testing (see the section below).
Another aspect of purity concerns overall ingredients.
Some CBD products for dogs contain nothing but pure hemp oil, but others may contain added ingredients.
There is nothing wrong with added ingredients, so long as they are healthy and contribute to the product’s value.
Be wary of those which include unnecessary fillers or artificial or unhealthy ingredients.
As just mentioned, it is wise to shop for CBD products which have been tested.
But it is not enough for the manufacturer to test the products themselves. Anyone can claim to have tested their own product and obtained good results—it doesn’t really verify anything.
That is why you should look specifically for CBD products for dogs which have received third party testing.
The third party should be a reputable lab with solid credentials.
You should be able to view results for specific batches which verify:
- 1-The CBD product is pure and uncontaminated by heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, microbes, or other toxins. You should also be able to see a confirmation that the product contains only trace amounts of THC (see the next section).
- 2-The CBD product contains the concentration and potency advertised.
- Because there is a lack of regulatory oversight, being able to view these third party test results for CBD supplements is vital.
- No THC – or as low as possible. Less than 0.3% THC is the allowed limit.
Your dog can benefit from CBD, but not from THC.
But make sure that the THC content is less than 0.3% (as low as possible). This will prevent your dog from getting high.
While a marijuana high can be a pleasant experience for a human, the same is not true for your dog.
This article quotes Dr. Carly Fox, DVM, as saying, “some of the marijuana effects that a dog may exhibit include ataxia (loss of coordination that can show up as an uncoordinated or “drunken” walk), incontinence and hypersensitivity to touch. They can also be especially hypersensitive to sounds. During a physical exam, a vet may also notice a slower heart rate and lower temperature than normal.”
So never give your dog a product which contains more than the bare minimum concentration of THC.
So long as the concentration is within the 0.3% or less range, your dog will not get high. Neither will you.
Discounts and Rewards
Many companies which specialize in CBD products offer various discounts, promotions and rewards for regular shoppers.
There are two benefits to shopping from manufacturers which offer such programs:
- First of all, the obvious benefit is that you can save money.
- Secondly, the less obvious benefit is that you are buying from a company which values your business enough to offer you such discounts.
Quite a few sites list their discounts on a promotions page. If you do not find such a list, check product pages.
If you’re planning on purchasing CBD for your pet over the long term, see if there is an option to subscribe and save.
This can save you both money and time.
We have talked about key criteria in examining the quality of CBD products for dogs, but one thing we have not mentioned is product selection.
Product selections can vary widely. Some companies may only manufacture a couple of CBD supplements for dogs, while others may offer an entire product line.
Ideally, you should have your pick of different delivery systems, concentrations, and flavors (i.e. for CBD dog biscuits).
That way you can find one or more products which work for your pet.
Fast and Affordable Shipping
It is worth researching the shipping options which are available from each supplier that you are considering ordering from as well.
Obviously, the faster and more affordable shipping is, the better.
You may also want to double check whether shipping to your state or country is offered.
Finally, last but definitely not least is customer service.
If you have a question or concern about a product, are looking for advice or tips for administering it, or need help with your order, you want to be dealing with a company that you can trust and rely on.
A website which is well-organized, easy-to-use, and offers plenty in the way of transparency and education is one good sign that you’re dealing with a company that cares about your customer experience.
If you do have any questions while you’re researching or putting together your first order, you can also consider emailing or calling customer support.
If you get a fast, friendly, knowledgeable response, that bodes well for dealing with customer service in the future.
On the other hand, if customer support is not helpful first time, you probably will not be able to rely on them the next time you have a question or concern.
So don’t overlook this criteria when choosing a supplier for CBD for dogs. It is very important.
It takes time and effort to conduct comprehensive research into CBD pet products.
While there are some excellent, high-quality CBD supplements for dogs on the market, there are also a lot of sub-par products out there that you do not want to buy.
With what you have learned in this article, you now have the guidance to conduct the research yourself.
By doing so, you can weed out inferior products and purchase those which will be safe, healthy and effective for your dog.
To make it easier for you, we have done the hard work and have come up with a list of recommended CBD supplements for dogs.
Be sure to also check out the other guides on our website so that you and your pet can get the most out of CBD supplements for dogs.