We do not sell CBD products at SFRAW. We recommend that our members purchase reputable cannabis/marijuana (organic whole, raw plant) CBD products from their local cannabis dispensary, direct from the producer, and/or to use a home cannabis product delivery service.
There are three product lines available currently that we recommend.
Our first choice, is from Fiddler’s Greens.
Their *raw* tinctures are made using the whole, organic plant that has been grown outdoors in nature, and they have not been heat-processed (decarboxylated). They use a natural, clean, toxin-free extraction technique to provide a genuine and true herbal remedy that is considered safer for dogs and cats (since it is non-decarboxylated).
We recommend two of these fine products only (we do not recommend the OG Kush for use in animals).
For animals with most chronic conditions, Fiddler’s Greens Raw ACDC (20:1 CBDa/THCa ratio) is going to be a good first choice to experience the many benefits of a true herbal, unrefined CBD remedy.
“Our ACDC Raw Tincture is our CBDa rich product with very little THCa. Most patients will not experience any psychoactivity from this product. Click here for more information on the medicinal benefits of CBDa.”
For animals with painful, debilitating, life-altering or life-threatening conditions such as cancer, Fiddler’s Greens Raw Kindred Spirit (1:1 CBDa/THCa ratio) may be the better option.
“Our Kindred Spirit Raw Tincture has a balanced ratio of CBDa and THCa. Click here for more information on the medicinal benefits of CBDa and THCa.”
Both tinctures are available in an olive oil base, which will be less irritating to the skin/gums when dosing/administering, compared to a traditional alcohol base.
Alcohol based tinctures are traditional and completely fine to use, too. In fact, certain herbal remedies are more potent and effective when alcohol is used. However, for use in animals, we recommend diluting alcohol tinctures in a little bit of water, coconut oil, ghee, butter, dairy or lard for improved palatability, and to eliminate the small risk of potential skin irritation.
With five CBD-to-THC ratios, patients can find the right product to suit their specific condition and personal preferences. Our CBD oil is extracted from sustainably grown CBD-rich cannabis in Northern California’s Emerald Triangle. The CBD is safely extracted using the same method used to decaffeinate your coffee. And our products are formulated in a fully equipped lab to ensure the highest quality and best results.
- debilitating or obvious pain
- serious illnesses like cancer or seizure disorders
- symptoms that interfere with your animal’s daily life and comfort
- end of life and/or hospice care
- dementia, confusion, changes in behavior, senility or sundowning in senior pets
Sleep/insomnia caveat: higher THC products can encourage relaxation and are known to act as a sleep aid, but newer research indicates that cannabis may shorten the REM/dream stage of sleep and may inhibit the individual from experiencing a fully restorative, rest/recovery deep sleep, which is the most beneficial.
Melatonin may be a better choice here. Or, consider the use of a supplement with less chances for side-effects such as magnesium glycinate, which is a muscle relaxant and wonderful sleep aid. Side-effects are typically gas, then loose stools or diarrhea – remember, it acts as a muscle relaxant! Simply back off the dose to eliminate any unpleasant side-effects.
Yes, there is a possibility that an individual may experience sleepiness and/or psychoactive effects with certain dosages of THC, so please be mindful of this for your dear animals.
Can Cannabis Harm, Kill or Make My Animal Sick?
Signs of toxicity can be seen anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours after the animal is exposed to ingesting inappropriate/large amounts of marijuana. The signs can potentially last 30-minutes to several days depending on the dose ingested.
Although there is no antidote for marijuana, if you wish to utilize conventional veterinary care, veterinarians can provide supportive care to help the pet through the clinical signs.
For example, veterinary staff can regulate the temperature of the animal to ensure they aren’t too hot or cold, and give fluids to help maintain hydration (though, frankly, this is unnecessary). They may also sometimes give anti-vomiting medication, and closely monitor the animal’s heart rate to ensure that they are stable. Due to the animal having trouble walking and potentially injuring itself, they will help keep the pet comfortable and confined so they won’t be injured.
In a lot of cases, a veterinarian may give activated charcoal — which you can do at home, too! Activated charcoal capsules are easy to find at your local pharmacy or health food store, and simple and safe use. Give 2 caps to small dogs/cats; 4 caps to medium sized dogs; 6 caps to large; or 8 caps to giants. You can repeat the dose, as needed. Activated charcoal binds toxins in the stomach or intestines, and inhibits the absorption into the body.
“Marijuana is identified by its two active ingredients or chemicals: THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive chemical that affects how you feel by creating the “high.” But getting high is not all that it’s good for. THC also has a wide range of medical benefits, and is commonly reported to relieve pain, nausea, and depression, among other things. “
Decarboxylation, heating the raw plant material to “activate” it, is a traditional lo-tech processing or prepping method which allows for the well-known, commonly recognized experience of cannabis herbal products. Decarboxylation may be accomplished in various ways, including smoking the herb. Decarboxylation makes the oil/tinctures more potent for TCH, and is recommended for those seeking out the associated psychoactive and other effects provided by cannabis.
The process of decarboxylation also increases the strength of CBD, and offers a faster reaction time for the CBD oil in the body. Raw CBD oil is exactly what it sounds like, “raw”. Raw CBD oil will not be processed any further than its original harvest/extraction and will contain other compounds in minute amounts. As it has not been filtered nor highly processed, it will include naturally occurring plant material, stable & beneficial lipids (fats), chlorophyll, and terpenes, among other beneficial compounds. Indeed, we are only starting to learn about all the different compounds, various chemical associations and co-factors provided by the raw, whole plant and the effects these have on the body. The color of raw cannabis oil will usually be dark green to black, with a thick or gooey consistency. Raw will usually be the product of choice for those looking to benefit from the use of the entire plant and not necessarily just cannabidiol. Raw CBD oil still has the ability to have multiple percentages of CBD. Ounce for ounce, raw or unfiltered non-decarboxylated versions of CBD oil will typically contain a lower percentage of CBD (cannabidiol) by volume than the decarboxylated form, because of the other naturally occurring material and compounds present in the whole, unprocessed herb. These may actually provide additional benefits, however.
The 1:1 ratio tinctures provide a balanced and powerful medicine that can help your animal to enjoy a state of normalcy and/or comfort when experiencing a serious illness.
The 1:1 ratio products may also work really well for animals that do not respond well, or as hoped for, with the 20:1 ratio, so you may need to try both or use different ones at different periods/stages or days/times, to effectively manage symptoms.
We Choose Cannabis, Not Hemp
It is our position that the best, safest, and most authentically healing manner in which to use this powerful medical herb is to purchase true cannabis based, medical-grade (raw, organic, outdoor-grown, heritage seeds – hand-harvested, small batch processed using traditional methods is our ideal) products made with cannabis, not hemp.
Our standards are very high here at SFRAW, and it is our position that there are not only possible quality and safety concerns over using a hemp based CBD product, but also that when looking for a natural traditional remedy, it is important to use the medicinal plant in full, as provided to us by nature, unrefined, and used/prepared via traditional methods.
The CBD Project website nicely outlines some of our primary concerns about hemp based CBD products:
“We recommend CBD-rich products made using only organic, whole plant cannabis because this offers the best safety profile and superior medicinal benefits. CBD products derived from industrial hemp potentially have several problems:
- Industrial hemp typically contains far less cannabidiol than CBD-rich cannabis strains so a huge amount of industrial hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD. This raises the risk of contaminants as hemp is a “bio-accumulator”—meaning the plant naturally draws toxins from the soil.
- Hemp-derived CBD and refined CBD powder lack critical medicinal terpenes and secondary cannabinoids found in cannabis oil. These compounds interact with CBD and THC to enhance their medicinal benefits.
- It’s against federal law to use hemp leaves and flowers to make drug products. Hemp oil entrepreneurs attempt to sidestep this legal hurdle by dubiously claiming they extract CBD only from hemp stalk before importing it to the United States, a grey area activity at best.”
MOST IMPORTANTLY! “Products with heavily processed “pure” CBD derived from industrial hemp lack the full spectrum of aromatic terpenes and other cannabinoids found in high-resin drug plants. These compounds interact synergistically with CBD and THC to enhance their therapeutic effects. Scientific research shows that whole plant CBD-rich cannabis oil has a broader range of therapeutic attributes and greater therapeutic efficacy than single-molecule CBD.” – Project CBD
Hemp based CBD is available widely these days. It seems every week, for a few years now, we had a new hemp based CBD oil producer attempting to sell us on their products; but it never felt right to me. I may be the only person (a former punk-rock, over 30 years a vegan, Natural Rearing advocate, no less!) that you will ever meet that has never even tried smoking or eating cannabis in my lifetime – nope, not once! – but as a self-taught herbalist and natural healer with a lifetime of experiences in using plant medicine, the idea of using a legalized hemp CBD over the medicinal cannabis plant just didn’t sit well with me. I think that if we were to use the plant as a medicine, we need to honor it by relying on the genuine, wholesome form provided to us by nature and with such a long history of use as a medicinal remedy. While this is not always true of regulated products, at least with cannabis, I think that the more stringently regulated CBD products available at medical dispensaries provide a higher quality, safer and more traditional form of this natural herbal medicine.
There is a lot of money to be made in CBD oil products. We have witnessed a CBD “goldrush” styled boom that has taken place over the past few years. CBD oil products are now more widely accepted, popular in the mainstream, as their legal status continues to evolve. The money is there, especially if you are willing to make and sell the more legal, available OTC products that are made using industrialized hemp, and not cannabis/marijuana.
We looked into making our own raw, organic, unrefined, whole herb cannabis CBD product, but we were unwilling to produce an inferior product; one made using hemp based CBD, which would be our only real option unless we wanted to wade into the intimidating business of sourcing and selling medical marijuana legally — something that is very difficult, incredibly expensive, and can be very risky, even with the legal changes taking place in California. Much easier and more profitable to use hemp based CBD, but we simply could not feel good about or confident if we were to produce and promote a lower-integrity, possibly problematic, inferior product as those made using hemp rather than those made from cannabis/marijuana.
Medicinal cannabis products are, without question, absolutely worth trying and employing as a treatment option for whatever ailment your animal is facing. CBD-rich cannabis tinctures can be a wonderfully healing choice for your animals that outperform other options currently available. They can be a viable, powerful remedy that may even completely replace many allopathic drugs or harmful medications.
Of course, cannabis products can also naturally be used as part of your animal’s holistic treatment protocol. You may actually learn that you will need to support or help your veterinarian/animal health care professionals in learning more about how to use cannabis. It is important to let them know you are using cannabis, but they may not be able to advise you on it’s use, unfortunately. This has to do with difficult legal risks involved, as well as the fact that they may not know much about it or have any training or experience.
Thoughtfully selected CBD-rich cannabis can have a profound, dramatic impact on your animal’s well-being, longevity, and comfort. Remember to proceed carefully and slowly, choose wisely by following: 1) your intuition, 2) the information provided here and 3) from the product producers, who will know the most about utilizing their products.
Most importantly, above all else, let your animal guide you when making the best choices for them when it comes to dosing and concentration selections, no matter which treatment or medications you have selected to help them feel better. Your animals will let you know what they need, and they will show you what works best for them — you really only have to listen by attentively observing their reactions, interest, and behavior.
I hope this blog post helps you in making these difficult and sometimes overwhelming or confusing choices. Provided here for you, in health <3 and with the very best wishes to you and your animals.