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By Statler Willand
15th August 2022

hso vs cbd fact sheet

Reviewed by Dr. Ailsa Rutherford
Monday 15th August 2022

First things first, you need to know that hemp seed oil and CBD oil do not come from a marijuana plant, so fear not; it won’t get your furry friend high. Hemp seed oil is extracted from the hemp plant, one of the many Cannabis sativa plant family species. The Marijuana plant also comes from this family, but Marijuana and hemp are like cousins rather than brothers. Genetically, they are very distinct and can be further distinguished by their chemical makeup and use.

Marijuana is used to describe a Cannabis sativa plant bred for its potent, resinous glands, which contain high percentages of THC (15-20%), known for its psychoactive and intoxicating properties. This is why it’s illegal and unsafe for animals. Hemp, on the other hand, describes a Cannabis sativa plant with minimal amounts of THC (<0.3%) making it safe and it’s legal.

Curious to know the difference between Hemp Seed Oil and CBD Oil? Let us break down the benefits, extraction, and nutritional information below.   

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is technically a food product and comes from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. These seeds do not contain CBD, but they still maintain a rich profile of nutrients such as amino acids, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids in an optimal ratio of 3:1, antioxidants, vitamins, and all essential minerals. Hemp seed oil works through the action of fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols. The extraction of hemp seed oil occurs via a cold-pressed system, similar to the way olives are pressed to make olive oil. Hemp seed oil is an exceptional nutritional dietary supplement to support and improve your pet’s health.

Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Pets

Essential Fatty Acids

Typically comprising 35% of the seed, the hemp seed oil is a great source of essential fatty acids. Hemp seed oil generally contains 14 grams of fat, of which only 1 gram is saturated. This is an added benefit to using hemp seed oil over animal fats.

Amino acids

The hemp seed oil contains essential amino acids that are imperative for a healthy body.

High levels of the amino acid arginine are also found in hemp seed oil. The amino acid arginine is a metabolic precursor for nitric oxide, a molecule recognised as an important signaling messenger in the cardiovascular system that participates in the control of blood pressure homeostasis, fibrinolysis, platelet, and leukocyte interactions with the arterial wall, and a proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells.

Essential Minerals and Vitamins

Packed with Vitamin E (antioxidant), C and B, and all essential minerals, hemp seed oil is an excellent choice to get these valuable nutrients to your furry friend.

Soluble and Insoluble Fibre in Hemp Protein

Comprising approximately 27% carbohydrates, primarily as fibre, hemp seeds serve as an excellent source of dietary fibre to help aid healthy digestion.

Hemp Seed Oil Benefits for Pets

Immune System Support

Hemp seed oil helps your immune system fight chronic inflammation as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Chronic inflammation is involved in many disease processes such as arthritis, kidney disease, cancer, pancreatitis, cardiac diseases, diabetes, and various autoimmune diseases.

A compromised immune system will make your dog more susceptible to infections, bacteria over-growth, and viruses.

Joint Health and Arthritis

Characterised by inflammation of a joint or several joints, arthritis can occur naturally over time due to wear and tear or could be linked to a specific injury or disease.

Omega-3 fatty acid and GLA in hemp seed oil help fight inflammation and reduce pain and swelling in the damaged, arthritic joints as a mighty anti-inflammatory team.

We recommend BUDDYPET Milly for general joint health support to delay the onset of arthritis or to slow down the progression of arthritis in senior dogs.

Atopic Dermatitis and Skin & Coat Health

Packed with Vitamin E (antioxidant) and anti-inflammatory fatty acids (Omega-3 and GLA), hemp seed oil can help reduce skin inflammation, modulate a healthy immune response to allergens and invaders, and boost your dog’s first line of defence, the skin barrier. In human studies[1], consumption of dietary hempseed oil was clinically proven effective in improving the symptoms of atopic dermatitis. This resulted from the optimal balanced and abundant supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids in this hempseed oil.

Hemp seed oil can also be applied topically to affected areas, providing calming relief to itchy skin.

If your dog was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, we recommend that you try BUDDYPET Marley dietary supplement and change to 100% natural shampoo and conditioner products like BUDDYPET Poppy and George.

Mental Health

Hemp seed oil could help reduce anxieties and disorders like PTSD through a combined effect of the anti-inflammatory fatty acids, the antioxidant value of Vitamin E, and the anti-depressant action of phytosterols.

Brain Health

When it comes to fatty acids, brains love them! In fact, the more, the better. Essential fatty acids and polyphenols in hemp seed oil can help improve memory and slow down age-related brain function decline.


Rich in linoleic acid, hemp seed oil can help reduce total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Lowering this bad cholesterol reduces the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Gut Health

Most health experts agree that the 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in hemp seed oil is ideal for supporting general health, gut flora, and improving digestion. Recent studies also suggest that the GLA in hemp seed oil is effective in relieving symptoms of inflammatory conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).[2]

What is CBD?

CBD oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the hemp plant, and therefore it’s often referred to as hemp oil but should be referred to as CBD oil to avoid being mistaken for hemp seed oil. This oil is high in cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound of cannabis resin. One of the most common cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, CBD, is non-psychoactive and is believed to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates and balances many bodily systems. The ECS comprises millions of cannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, central nervous system, and immune system that act in neural communication. Functions such as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, sensitivity to pain, and immune response to chronic inflammation may be positively influenced by CBD.

The Benefits of CBD Oil for Pets

CBD Oil for Canine Cancer

Studies have shown that CBD oil may have direct anti-cancer effects in rodent and human models. Unfortunately, there is little data on the effects of CBD in canine cancer. However, investigators at Cornell University are studying what happens when canine cancer cells are exposed to CBD alongside common chemotherapy drugs. These were recently published by Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, offering hope for canine cancer patients. It showed that CBD oil caused a significant decrease in cancer cell reproduction in every cell line studied. In combination with chemotherapy drugs, CBD also decreased cancer cell reproduction with greater effect than the chemo drug alone.

CBD oil can help reduce nausea if your pet is undergoing cancer treatment. This would make them feel more comfortable during their recovery.

CBD Oil for Pain Management

A growing body of evidence supports using CBD oil to modulate anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Chronic pain is the most widely cited condition. Clinical research among chronic pain patients and extensive population-based studies show that CBD / hemp oil is an effective mid-level analgesic.[3][4][5] CBD produces analgesic effects by altering signaling at multiple receptor systems. Published in 2020, a study in The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model provided evidence that phytochemical extracts of CBD oil can significantly improve mechanical pressure pain in animals with established chronic neuropathic hypersensitivity.[6]

CBD Oil for Dogs with Seizures and Epilepsy

One of the most common nervous system disorders, epilepsy, is a neurological condition characterised by recurrent seizures. Treatment revolves around anti-seizure medications. Common drug side effects include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, vertigo, and blurred vision, which are incredibly difficult for many canine patients to tolerate. As a result, pet parents often seek alternative, natural forms of treatment such as CBD oil to reduce the number of other drugs needed.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Anxiety and PTSD

Anxiety can present itself in dogs as the feeling and anticipation of future dangers from known or unknown origins. Separation anxiety can occur when the dog is left alone for an extended period. When alone, the dog will feel so stressed and worried that it can start destroying everything in its path, barking or crying, grooming to excess, biting, and causing self-trauma. Cats can also suffer anxiety and may display aggression, hide, or become agitated. Cats are known to be more vocal with their owners if stressed. Pets need their owner’s help, patience, and understanding to overcome their fears. In some cases, providing a relaxed surrounding and calming presence when stressful situations arise will help.

CBD oil is a natural treatment for pets with anxiety and low tolerance to stress. CBD works on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to relieve stress. The ECS is a network of thousands of receptors all over the body, which include the brain and central nervous system. It regulates various functions such as sleep, mood, and pain. All animals have highly developed endocannabinoid systems, and treating symptoms with a plant-based solution such as CBD oil is an increasingly popular option amongst pet owners.

CBD also helps regulate the production of serotonin, which in turn helps improve mood, social behaviour, sleep, and appetite.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Dementia

There is no definitive clinical research to prove CBD’s effectiveness for dogs with dementia. However, our understanding of how CBD affects the ECS suggests that it could be useful in mitigating some forms of neurodegeneration and accompanying symptoms.

A study published by the Department of Pharmacology at Wonkwang University School of Medicine concluded that CBD Oil could help support brain function and reverse cognitive deficits.[7]

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis and Other Mobility Issues

Defined as inflammation of the joint, there are many types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs that occurs when the articular cartilage at the ends of bones wears down, leading to increased friction, inflammation, and pain.

Researchers at Cornell University found that dogs taking CBD for arthritis showed a decrease in pain and were more active. CBD worked to reduce inflammation in the joints and reduce the pain associated with it.

CBD for Dogs with Inflammatory Skin Conditions and Allergies

In a 2019 study published in Clinical Therapeutics, CBD ointment helped clear skin and reduced itch in a small group of people suffering from atopic dermatitis.

Being a natural anti-inflammatory agent, CBD helps the immune system to fight inflammation, reducing potential triggers of eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis.

The endocannabinoid system is also found in the skin. CBD oil can provide itch relief for your pet and help manage the immune system’s response to allergens.

Where to Buy CBD Oil for Pets in Australia?

Unfortunately, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have not approved (legalised) the CBD oil yet. Currently, the only legal distribution of CBD products is by veterinarians under prescribing rights and for research purposes only. Any other supply of CBD products for use in animals in Australia is illegal, except for S4 CBD oil products (medical cannabis) approved and registered with TGA for off-label use.

But do not fret. Take a look at hemp seed oil. It comes from the same plant and also works as an anti-inflammatory but on different pathways, making it a good alternative to CBD oil for pets with mild anxiety and chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis and atopic dermatitis. Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, hemp seed oil is also an excellent dietary supplement to support overall immune function, heart, brain, and heart health.

However, if you are looking for a natural solution for seizures, cancer, and strong chronic pain, nothing is quite a match to CBD oil. So, talk to your vet about a prescription for a TGA-approved off-label product.



[1] Callaway J, Schwab U, Harvima I, Halonen P, Mykkänen O, Hyvönen P, Järvinen T. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Apr;16(2):87-94. doi: 10.1080/0954663 0510035832. PMID: 16019622.


[3] Vigil, J.M.; Stith, S.S.; Adams, I.M.; Reeve, A.P. Associations between medical cannabis and prescription opioid use in chronic pain patients: A preliminary cohort study. PLoS ONE 2017, 12, e0187795.

[4] Li, X.; Vigil, J.M.; Stith, S.S.; Brockelman, F.; Keeling, K.; Hall, B. The effectiveness of self-directed medical cannabis treatment for pain. Complement. Ther. Med. 2019.

[5] Stith, S.S.; Vigil, J.M.; Brockelman, F.; Keeling, K.; Hall, B. Patient-reported symptom relief following medical cannabis consumption. Front. Pharmacol. 2018, 9, 916.

[6] The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model. Vigil JM, Montera MA, Pentkowski NS, Diviant JP, Orozco J, Ortiz AL, Rael LJ, Westlund KN. The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model. Life (Basel). 2020 May 18;10(5):69. doi: 10.3390/life10050069. PMID: 32443500; PMCID: PMC7281216.

[7] Xiong, Y.; Lim, C.-S. Understanding the Modulatory Effects of Cannabidiol on Alzheimer’s Disease. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 1211.

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