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Why your dog should jump on the Hemp Seed trend

There’s been a lot of buzz around hemp recently. And rightly so, after a growing body of research demonstrates the impressive benefits for our bodies. For example, hemp seeds and their oil are an excellent source of plant-based protein and can reduce symptoms of health conditions from skin disorders to menopause, and it might even reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Despite a growing amount of commercial interest and scientific research, a lot of confusion still surrounds hemp seed oil. Is it safe? Is it the same as Cannabidiol (CBD oil)? What are the health benefits for our dogs? Will taking hemp seed oil or applying it to their skin and coat cause your dog to get high?

Hemp is increasingly under the spotlight around the world. But before blindly getting carried away by this trend, let’s start with the basics: What is hemp seed oil? And, just importantly, what is it not?


What is hemp seed oil?

Hemp is a versatile plant that’s been used for centuries. As a crop, it grows quickly and abundantly, requiring little intervention – it doesn’t need much water or any pesticides. Nearly every part of the plant can be used so there’s very little wastage – making this plant a very sustainable and eco-friendly choice.  

Hemp seed oil is from the same family as marijuana or cannabis - they both come from the Cannabis Sativa plant. But marijuana or cannabis is grown to have a high level of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – the active chemical in cannabis responsible for most of marijuana’s psychoactive effects – making users high or stoned. Whereas hemp has very low levels of THC. The hemp seeds and hemp seed oil have no trace amounts of THC. 

As hemp and cannabis are two kinds of the same species of plant, put simply, whilst cannabis (also known as marijuana) might be the wild child of the cannabis sativa family, hemp is the safer, more versatile sibling.

Hemp seeds can be cold pressed into oil to make hemp seed oil. In this form, it is a safe and practical choice to be used in food, cooking products, or cosmetic and skin and hair care products. Hemp itself – which comes from the stalks of the cannabis sativa plant - can be made into clothing, jewellery or shoes, biofuel, or an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging. It’s even an incredible and sustainable fibre used in construction.

Hemp seed oil, which is extracted from the often-misunderstood power plant that is cannabis sativa, is quickly becoming one of the biggest health and wellbeing trends for our canine friends.


Hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD oil

In early 2019 in the US, TV personality, entrepreneur, writer and proud owner of three French bulldogs and three Chow-Chows, Martha Stewart, helped keep the controversial cannabis plant in the spotlight when she announced she will be collaborating with Canopy Growth to “offer sensible products for people’s beloved pets” – more specifically animal cosmetic and food products which contain CBD oil. 

Although easily confused, hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD oil.  Hemp seed oil is completely free of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant.

CBD oil does contain cannabinoids. It is sourced from the stalks, leaves and buds of the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is typically used as a therapeutic aid to provide relief for a whole range of human and animal health conditions.

In New Zealand, CBD is a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. Hemp seed oil is not classed as a drug, but it has many health benefits.


Making sense of ingredients

You won’t be alone in thinking there’s a lot of technical language to get your head around. But when you’re after dog care products that have the benefits of hemp seed oil without the potential side effects of CBD oil, the quick and easy thing to look out for in the products ingredients listing is: Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil.


Will taking hemp seed oil cause you or your dog to get high?

No. Hemp seed oil is not a drug and it must meet strict food safety regulations. New Zealand’s Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Damien O Connor said in a release from NZ parliament, the Beehive in 2018: “Hemp seeds are safe to eat, nutritious and have no psychoactive effects.”

Australia’s Office of Drug Control further states that: ”Hemp seed oil is an extract of cannabis seeds and does not contain any extracts from the cannabis plant. Therefore, by definition, hemp seed oil is not a drug under the Act.”

Hemp seed oil can be eaten or applied directly to your dog’s skin or coat. You can have confidence that, whether you include it as part of your dog’s diet, or make it part of their grooming routine with shampoo, conditioner or other skin and coat care products, hemp seed oil is a natural supplement not a drug, it’s kind to your dog inside and out, and is entirely lick safe.


What are the health benefits of hemp seed oil?

As mentioned, hemp has a diverse range of uses and hemp seed oil can be found in food, cooking oils and skincare products.

For humans and pets alike, hemp seed oil is packed with a mighty nutritional punch; it is high in protein and fibre, suitable for vegans, full of essential fatty acids including Omega-3s, rich in vitamins and minerals and has antioxidant properties.

One exception to dietary hemp seed oil – if your dog’s diet is already rich in poultry or contains other oils rich in linoleic acid – like walnut and sunflower – avoid adding hemp seed oil to their diet as it can throw off the fatty acid balance.  Talk to a professional if you are unsure.

As well as being an anti-inflammatory, studies demonstrate that hemp seeds can improve:

  • Heart health
  • Brain health
  • Your immune system
  • Skin conditions

As well as containing Omega fatty acids to support your dog’s healthy skin and soft, glossy coat, hemp seed oil also contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA).

While not as well-known as Omega-3s, this ingredient boasts a long list of benefits for our dogs including:

  • Supporting digestion and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Promoting cell and joint health and your canine’s immune system.
  • Nourishing and hydrating properties for healthy, supple skin and revitalised, glossy coats.


Powerful Hemp Seed Oil to hydrate your dog’s skin and coat

As well as being part of a balanced diet, hemp seed oil can be applied topically through shampoos and beauty products. How can using this super oil help you maintain your dog’s healthy skin and glossy coat?

Although it has powerful properties, hemp seed oil is also hydrating, moisturising and gentle. As a naturally-effective ingredient in skin care, it’s great for moisturising your dog’s dry skin and keeping it supple. When applied directly to the skin, it’s also wonderfully non-comedogenic – which is a fancy way of saying it won’t block your dog’s pores.

As well as being full of amazing fatty acids, hemp seed oil contains a generous supply of natural antioxidants, along with vitamins A and E. Together, these ingredients sourced by nature have excellent results when applied topically and are safe to use on your dog as often as you like, for a healthy skin and coat.

Skin allergies and conditions can leave your dog feeling uncomfortable and not at their best. Hemp with Gamma Lionlenic Acid (GLA) helps to prevent inflammatory health conditions, allergies and skin conditions, helping to reduce inflammation and other symptoms for a happier, healthier and more relaxed dog.


For every dog's skin

To enjoy the benefits of hemp seed oil, you can find this super ingredient in sprays and misters, colognes, balms, shampoos and conditioners. Used often and consistently, topical products containing hemp seed oil can safely and effectively strengthen and soothe your dog’s skin whether it's healthy, sensitive or dry – to better resist infections, minimise inflammation, keep the skin soft and supple, and reduce symptoms of skin conditions like dandruff, dermatitis and eczema.

Hemp seed oil products can also improve the appearance of your dog’s fur. If their coat is looking dull, dry or unhealthy, apply products with hemp seed oil that will penetrate the inner layers of your dog’s skin, revitalising their skin and fur.


Our top messages:

  • Hemp seed oil is safe and naturally effective for your dog as part of a balanced diet or applied topically in shampoos, conditioners, sprays and balms.
  • If your pup suffers from allergies, or mobility, digestive or skin issues, hemp seed oil might just be what they need to get them happy, healthy and mobile again.
  • Hemp seed oil has no THC - so it won’t make your dog high.
  • Hemp seed oil can provide much-needed relief for symptoms of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
  • Hemp seed oil is naturally high in fatty acids and antioxidants along with vitamin A and E, and GLA which can reduce inflammation and help you sustain your dog’s lustrous and healthy coat.
  • Hemp seed oil keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy and hydrated, without clogging pores.


We invite you to take your time browsing the smith&burton Canine Collection, a luxurious health, beauty and wellness dog grooming range, including our products that harness the power of hemp seed oil: smith&burton Hydrating Collection, smith&burton Dermal Relief Collection, and smith&burton Heal & Protect Soothe Balm