Which Product Is Best for My Dog? Oils or Bones?
There’s more to consider than just which product your dog prefers. While this is obviously an important factor to consider, there’s more to it than that
You can make a decision on which product is best for your dog by considering the reason you’ve chosen to introduce them to CBD. Is your dog dealing with situational anxiety or chronic pain? Are you hoping for more calm walks and less dramatic vet visits, or just some relief for your older dog so that she can enjoy hiking or playing rough with her friends? These are some good questions to ask yourself before we move onto the science.
Bioavailability: What It Is and Why It Matters
Bioavailability is the fraction of a substance that enters the bloodstream. When introduced into the body orally, CBD has a number of challenges to face before it reaches the circulatory system. When you give your dog CBD, their endocannabinoid system will only receive a portion of the original dose and the rest will go to waste. Here are a few of the main reasons for this loss:
1. Digestive acid can begin to break down CBD as soon as it reaches the stomach
2. Once CBD reaches the small intestine and liver, digestive enzymes may metabolize it to the point that only a small amount of CBD actually enters the bloodstream
3. CBD is fat-soluble (as opposed to water-soluble) and is harder for the body to absorb
Now that you know the challenges that CBD faces when entering your dog’s body orally, we can consider the options for getting the most CBD to her endocannabinoid system with the least amount of loss.
When baked into a treat, CBD compounds combine with the fats in the ingredients to create a vehicle for getting them more safely to their destination. Stomach acids are less effective at destroying the CBD and it can pass through the small intestine and into the liver without as much loss. CBD that is bound to fats such as MCT oil will have a better shot at surviving the digestive enzymes located there and make it into the bloodstream without being broken down.
This method is relatively slow and can take hours to fully process. While the treat does help buffer the CBD from the digestive tract, it is still enduring that same process and is subject to some deterioration.
With a CBD oil tincture, the option of sublingual administration becomes available. This method allows for the CBD to be absorbed through mucus membranes under the tongue and eliminates the need to insulate and survive the digestive process. A 2006 study on dosing rabbits with CBD found that use of the sublingual method enhances the absorption process more than the edible/oral route.
If your dog has some food in their stomach at the same time you give the sublingual dose, then any oil that does make its way to her stomach will have a better chance of making it through the harsh environment and into the bloodstream. Also, many CBD oil tinctures are made from binding hemp extract with MCT oil, creating that compound that passes into the bloodstream more efficiently.
Once it reaches the bloodstream, CBD has a half-life of about 4 hours. This means that after 4 hours, the amount of active CBD left in your dog’s system will be half of the original dose.
Time to Make a Decision
Each of the two CBD dosing methods described above has its own benefits and drawbacks. Factor those in with the half-life information and with the reasons your dog is taking CBD and you should be able to make an educated decision on which is the right product to choose.
An edible CBD product, such as a bone or bite, will provide a dose of CBD that will enter the system slowly and last for a longer period of time. It can also be a tasty option for your dog and make dosing much easier for you. If you are worried about her having anxiety all day while you’re away from the house or if your dog has an ongoing pain issue, this slower release option might be the best choice for you.
A CBD oil tincture will allow the CBD to absorb much more quickly and the effects are generally present within half an hour. This is a great option for car rides, walks, vet visits, and any other situation that requires short notice and quick effects. Some dogs aren’t as keen to take the CBD oil tincture directly from the dropper, so a little creativity might be required for this option if that’s the case. An added benefit to the CBD oil tincture is that it can be used in many ways besides being applied directly to your dog’s tongue. If your dog isn’t digging the tincture form one day, you can add it to one of your own baked treats or use it as a meal topper.
Whichever method you choose for your dog, you’re joining many other dog-moms and dog-dads who have already found the incredible difference that CBD has made in their pets’ lives.