The Power of Pet CBD: What Is A Tincture?

June 7, 2024

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

Earth Buddy 1000mg CBD Oil for dogs in a blue tincture next to pink flowers. This is our best cbd dog calming tincture.

Although tinctures containing cannabidiol, AKA CBD oil, have been the talk of the town the past several years, their use actually dates back centuries. For the purposes of today’s discussion, we will be focusing on tinctures containing CBD oil for dogs, but there are actually hundreds of different tinctures using other plant types with a long list of uses. Before we dive into the deep end of CBD tinctures, it’s important to first understand, what is a tincture?

What is a Tincture, Anyway?

What is a pet tincture? Basically, a tincture is a concentrated version of an herb, although most pet tinctures from CBD companies are referred to as extracts. The products at Earth Buddy are referred to as full-spectrum hemp extracts; we’ll talk deeper about the differences of pet tincture CBD and extracts momentarily.

Generally speaking, tinctures are created by extracting the active compounds of an herb from part of the plant. This could be the leaves, flowers, seeds, or roots, depending where the beneficial compounds are found.

Botanical Tincture vs Extract Defined

Pet parents often ask what is a pet tincture? Earth Buddy makes a variety of pet tinctures with cbd oil for dogs' health

If you haven’t already, you will likely hear the words “extract” and “tincture” used interchangeably, especially among pet owners. There is a difference between the two, though.

Tinctures are prepared by soaking herbs in a solvent to grab the active ingredients from the plants. According to The United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary, tinctures are prepared using a specific ratio for each plant. Although the ratio varies based on the plant, usually it calls for about 100-200 grams of dried herb per liter of solvent.

Herbal extracts are a bit different from tinctures. They’re prepared similarly in the beginning of the process, but they utilize a significantly higher ratio of herb to solvent– usually a 1:1 equivalent. This means that extracts are more concentrated than the average tincture of the same plant.

Choose Dog CBD Oil as an Extract When Possible

Black & tan dachshund taking Earth Buddy tincture containing CBDa oil for dogs suffering from joint pain & mobility.

Researchers have discovered that tinctures and extracts are more bioavailable than other supplement types. In other words, tinctures are absorbed by the bloodstream quicker than other methods.

This supplement is particularly beneficial when applied to the gums where there are capillaries to bring compounds into the body efficiently and effectively. This method allows the compounds to completely bypass the digestive system, reducing the amount of compounds lost during the digestive process, resulting in the largest benefit to your dogs (and cats).

How to Administer a Tincture to Your Dog

Administering a tincture is generally simple– as long as your dog cooperates. Be careful in your steps to ensure the best possible results. Here’s the process:

Tincture oil from Earth Buddy’s 1:1 CBDa:CBD oil for dogs being given to large breed, black coated dog from dropper.

  • Read the instructions: Before administering any tincture, pet owners should carefully read the product instructions. Take a look at the recommended dosage based on your dog’s weight and any specific directions or precautions.
  • Prepare your dog: Make sure your dog is calm and comfortable during the process. You may need to have someone help hold your dog gently if they tend to move around a lot, but it’s important not to force your pup.
  • Measure the dose: Use the dropper provided to measure the correct dose of the tincture. Don’t forget to check the instructions on the product prior to administering.
  • Administer the tincture: Gently open your dog’s mouth and place the dropper close to the gums. Slowly squeeze the dropper to release the tincture.
  • Reward your dog: After administering the tincture, it’s a good idea to give your dog some affection or a small treat to make the experience as positive as possible. This can help make future administrations easier.
  • Observe your dog: After giving the tincture, watch your dog and monitor any changes. Keeping a journal could help you notice even the smallest change. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian.

Always ensure that any tincture you use is safe and specifically designed for dogs, as some substances that are safe for humans can be harmful to dogs.

Applying the Tincture to Your Dog’s Ears

If you’re set on a CBD tincture for your dog, consider applying it transdermally to their inner ear flap. This is the least bioavailable option but it has been shown to be effective when necessary. The ears of dogs and cats are venous and rubbing 1-2 drops on the ears of picky pets can offer a easier administration option for calming dogs and cats.

The Differences Between CBD Tinctures and Treats

CBD treats for dogs, or pet chews, are an option for dogs who don’t like the flavor of CBD or absolutely refuse to allow you to provide them with the tincture. Although still effective, it may require more CBD to make an impact. This is because your dog’s body must digest the treats or chews to release the cannabis compounds prior to them being distributed through the body.

Tinctures vs Oils: Learning the Differences

Tan & white corgi taking a dropper of tincture oil containing Earth Buddy’s full spectrum CBD oil for dogs with anxiety.

While tinctures and oils are both forms of herbal extracts, they differ significantly in their preparation, absorption, and shelf life. Tinctures, with their alcohol base, have a higher bioavailability, meaning the body can absorb their active compounds more readily through the mucous membranes. This contrasts with oils, which are lipid-based and require digestion before their active compounds can be absorbed.

The alcohol in tinctures not only facilitates faster absorption but also acts as a natural preservative, contributing to a longer shelf life compared to oils. This makes tinctures an attractive option for those seeking long-term storage without compromising the extract’s potency.

Pet Wellness Tips for Pet Tincture Safety

The first tip for pet tincture safety is to start low and go slow. You’ll hear this frequently if you’re planning on administering CBD to your pets. The goal is to provide the least amount of botanical medicine for optimal benefit.

Additional safety tips include:

Old black & grey boxer taking a dropper of Earth Buddy’s dog calming tincture with cbd oil for senior dogs with stress.

  • Wipe the dropper: Wipe off the dropper before putting it back into the bottle to reduce the risk of compound breakdown.
  • Don’t touch the gums: Although applying to the gums has been found to be effective, if you place the dropper directly on the gums and place the dropper back into the bottle, the compounds could break down resulting in a quick breakdown of the compounds inside the tincture.
  • How much CBD oil you provide: We stated above that it’s important to start low and go slow, but the amount you provide may change based on the concentration of cannabidiol in the product. Follow the product’s instructions or your vet’s recommendations.
  • Consult your vet: Regardless of the supplement you’re considering, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before administering it to your pet. Every pet is different and there could be a reason why your vet requests you not provide it. For example, if your pet recently began a new medication, or is in the process of switching medications, your vet may want to wait for anything new to be added so they can determine how their body reacts solely to this new addition before adding anything else.

Another Important Safety Tip for Dogs

Choosing CBD oils designed for pets is crucial to their well-being. Not only will a pet-specific product be more effective, but it can support and promote long-term health in your furry family member.

CBD tinctures or extracts designed for humans could potentially contain higher levels of THC, which could be harmful to pets, but it may also contain significant impurities. Impurities could result in the supplement not working for your pet at all.

Hemp extracts designed specifically for pets, like those found at Earth Buddy, are carefully crafted using formulations specifically designed to promote optimal pet health. The ingredients contained in a high-quality, pet-specific extract helps maintain the general health of all ages and breeds, without incorporating any harmful substances.

Pet Tincture Benefits From Adding Carrier Oils

Earth Buddy makes a variety of pet tinctures including hemp extracts with active compounds like CBDa for dogs joints.

CBD tinctures contain a blend of CBD oil and a carrier oil. The carrier oil increases bioavailability by helping transport the compounds from cannabis through the body. This means your pet’s body will be better able to utilize the compounds to promote and support optimal health and well-being.

Many high-quality CBD oils utilize virgin coconut oil (food-grade coconut oil) which contains medium chain triglycerides. These medium chain fatty acids, commonly known as MCTs, are also found in grass-fed butter, some fish oils, nuts, and seeds.

MCT is also chosen because, at room temperature, it remains a liquid. This makes it easy to measure and provide to your kitty or pup. It’s also less likely to go rancid than other oil types and has its own list of benefits to our pets.

For example, our pets can eat coconut oil and tend to tolerate coconut oil well. The benefits of coconut oil on its own include

  • Supports your cat’s immune system
  • Promote your cat’s skin health
  • Supports a glossy, healthy coat
  • Helps support cognitive function
  • Helps support joint flexibility and mobility

All of the above also apply to your dog, but be sure not to feed them too much coconut oil. Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. Provide just what is recommended for optimal benefit if you choose to add this to your pet’s regimen.

Fish Oil is At-Risk of Fast Rancidity

Although fish oil can be a rich source of fatty acids, it is particularly unstable and at-risk for rancidity. Fish oil oxidizes quickly, especially when exposed to air or placed into sunlight. In fact, most of the fish oils on the shelf could be rancid before you even purchase them which means your dog or cat could gain little to no benefit from the fatty acids originally within the bottle. That’s why, if you choose to add fish oil to your pet’s diet, it’s recommended to provide it by adding fresh, oily fishes to their food bowl.

Examples of Other Extracts

Earth Buddy utilizes MCT oil for the reasons outlined above, but full-spectrum hemp extracts containing cannabidiol aren’t the only type of extract you could provide to your pet. Aside from pet CBD, the following extracts could be beneficial to incorporate:

  • CBDa: CBDa, AKA cannabidiolic acid, helps support joint flexibility and mobility and promotes normal inflammatory pathways.
  • CBG: CBG, AKA cannabigerol, promotes cognitive function and helps support healthy digestion.
  • CBN: CBN, AKA cannabinol, has a calming effect on nerves and provides help for restless animals.

The Best CBD for Cats and Dogs

Wooden shelf display with Earth Buddy’s different hemp extract pet tinctures containing CBD, CBG, CBDa, & CBN for dogs.

If you’re looking for the best CBD for cats and dogs, the first step you need to take involves checking the certificate of analysis. The certificate of analysis, or lab results, tell you exactly what’s in the product. This means that not only are the beneficial ingredients a company claims to incorporate into their product listed, but also any impurities.

If you take a look through Earth Buddy’s shop, you’ll notice that every product has one of these available to you, whether it’s CBD oil for cats, CBD for dogs, or another product type.

A reputable company will also have zero problem answering any questions you have regarding their products. If you don’t see lab results directly on their website, don’t be afraid to ask for them. If they refuse to provide them to you, that should be an immediate red flag.

You should also make sure the lab results come from a 3rd party. If the company conducts the testing themselves, they may not be fully transparent about the products they’re offering.

For further reading, we recommend:

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