Common questions about CBD for pets

Discover answers from our PetCann experts

Frequently asked questions about CBD for pets

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the second most abundant phytocannabinoid that comes from the cannabis plant. It is characterised by very low toxicity and is non-psychoactive and non-addictive. CBD is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and exerts therapeutic effects by interacting with multiple receptors in the body. It can be used to improve treatment outcomes for a wide variety of conditions in pets including chronic pain, osteoarthritis, epilepsy and anxiety.

How does CBD work?

Cannabidiol, CBD, works through its interactions with multiple body systems and particularly, through the relationship it has with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Through these various mechanisms and interactions with various receptors, CBD may help reduce inflammation, pain and also exert anticonvulsant, anxiolytic and anti-nausea benefits.

What’s the difference between medicinal cannabis for pets and medicinal cannabis for humans?

In Australia, veterinarians can only legally prescribe medical cannabinoids for animals which satisfy the requirements for cannabidiol (CBD) formulations under Schedule 4 (this means the formulation contains 98% or more CBD and less than 2% of total other cannabinoids). In contrast, medicinal cannabis formulations available for humans are available with varying levels of CBD, THC (another phytocannabinoid with psychoactive properties) and other cannabinoids. Human medicinal cannabis products are often Schedule 8 and not allowed for pets.

Because of the size and species differences between pets and humans, the concentration and dosing of medicinal cannabis for pets will also vary significantly from human products. Human preparations have varying concentrations of the active molecules as well as other ingredients that most likely are unsuitable and potentially unsafe for pets.

What’s the difference between THC and CBD?

Both THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most commonly known compound from the cannabis plant and known for its psychoactive effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant part of the cannabis plant and is known best for its strong anti-inflammatory benefits. CBD is non-psychoactive, non-addictive and has a low level of toxicity.

CBD preparations are becoming increasingly used by veterinarians to help treat and / or manage a range of diseases and signs in our pets.  In Australia, vets can legally prescribe medical cannabinoids for animals which satisfy the requirements for CBD under Schedule 4 and must contain 98% or more CBD and less than 2% of total other cannabinoids.

What’s the difference between CBD and hemp products?

CBD, a phytocannabanoid derived from the cannabis plant, possesses various therapeutic benefits and can only be legally obtained with a prescription from your vet.

Hemp products are being increasingly marketed as healthy treats for both humans and pets. While hemp may provide health benefits, it doesn’t contain CBD oil or the therapeutic benefits attributable to CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is a good source of omegas and has health benefits of its own. Hemp seed oil is not the same as CBD oil and does not offer the same therapeutic benefits.

How do pets take medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis can be administered to pets orally (by mouth) or topically (direct to skin). Currently, PetCann provides oils, topicals, treats and chews for dogs and oils and topicals for cats. Your vet may prescribe a CBD isolate product (only contains CBD) or a CBD isolate:broadspectrum blend (that still contains >98%CBD).

If you have a pet other than a dog or cat that you think would benefit from CBD, please reach out to us.

Does my pet need a prescription for CBD products in Australia?

Yes, your pet needs a prescription to obtain CBD products in Australia. In Australia, CBD oils that are 98% CBD and 2% or less other cannabinoids, are classed as a Schedule 4 substance. Veterinarians can legally prescribe medical cannabinoids for animals that satisfy the requirements for CBD under Schedule 4.

If you are a vet, please head over to our vet page to register.

Can my pet get high from taking CBD?

In short, no. CBD is a non-psychoactive extract from the cannabis plant. If you are only giving pure CBD without THC, it will not make your pet feel high.

I bought CBD oil online. Is it safe to give my pet?

There’s an increasing amount of CBD products available online. The key thing to remember is that CBD and other medicinal cannabis products sold online in Australia are illegal.  CBD products bought online with no prescription come with no guarantee of contents. They may be ineffective or worse still, toxic and dangerous; potentially containing an unknown blend of cannabinoids, contaminants including pesticides, microbial or even heavy metal contamination.

Medicinal cannabis for pets Australia

Bridging the gap between vets and pet parents, and naturally derived therapeutic products to treat pets.

Pet parents

PetCann supports pet parents throughout Australia by connecting them to local vets with an understanding of and access to cannabidiol medicines specifically formulated for pets.


PetCann supports vets throughout Australia with education on and access to cannabidiol medicines for treating animals, with a simple prescription process and timely delivery.