Why we remove Terpenes and Flavonoids from pet CBD  

Terpenes and Flavonoids for Pets 

Over the last ten years, we have seen a huge increase in the consumption of CBD for people and most recently pets too. Taken from the hemp plant, cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural plant ingredient that when consumed can have a positive effect on the body.

Up until the early 1900s, hemp had been part of our daily diet for thousands of years. It was a preferred crop for livestock, and as humans consume various animal-derived products, we also have been able to benefit from the hemp plant and its compounds, including CBD and other cannabinoids. As research has grown and the true potential of cannabinoids has been realised, we now have the technology to extract key cannabinoids from hemp plants for consumption without having hemp as part of the daily diet.

Graphic showing spilt of cannabis sativa

Terpenes and Flavonoids for Pets 

Over the last ten years, we have seen a huge increase in the consumption of CBD for people and most recently pets too. Taken from the hemp plant, cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural plant ingredient that when consumed can have a positive effect on the body.

Up until the early 1900s, hemp had been part of our daily diet for thousands of years. It was a preferred crop for livestock, and as humans consume various animal-derived products, we also have been able to benefit from the hemp plant and its compounds, including CBD and other cannabinoids. As research has grown and the true potential of cannabinoids has been realised, we now have the technology to extract key cannabinoids from hemp plants for consumption without having hemp as part of the daily diet.

CBD Oil tincture with syringe on a garden path

Leading innovation in cbd refinement

Naturecan uses advanced chromatography technology developed by Rotachrom to deliver a high-quality broad-spectrum CBD oil. This oil contains terpenes and flavonoids that help to produce the full entourage effect for humans - a phenomenon whereby the natural properties of the oil are enhanced due to an interaction between its components. ¹

The terpenes found in hemp plants play a vital role in the health and protection of the plant.²  We grow our hemp plants outdoors in the ground which exposes the plants to a large number of parasites and pests, over 272 of which like to feast on hemp plants. The plant produces terpenes to repel these predators, meaning that no pesticides need to be used to protect the plant. Different terpenes are produced by the plant at different times of the year to protect against various seasonal parasites.³

CBD Oil tincture with syringe on a garden path

Leading innovation in cbd refinement

Naturecan uses advanced chromatography technology developed by Rotachrom to deliver a high-quality broad-spectrum CBD oil. This oil contains terpenes and flavonoids that help to produce the full entourage effect for humans - a phenomenon whereby the natural properties of the oil are enhanced due to an interaction between its components. (1)

The terpenes found in hemp plants play a vital role in the health and protection of the plant.(2)  We grow our hemp plants outdoors in the ground which exposes the plants to a large number of parasites and pests, over 272 of which like to feast on hemp plants. The plant produces terpenes to repel these predators, meaning that no pesticides need to be used to protect the plant. Different terpenes are produced by the plant at different times of the year to protect against various seasonal parasites.(3)

Owner review of CBD for their vizsla that suffers from separation anxiety. 5 star review
lady holding our CBD oil in a field with her dog in the background

Terpenes post harvest

Once harvested for the production of broad-spectrum CBD oil, these terpenes are thought to offer potential health benefits to humans through the entourage effect. These benefits may derive from the fact that the human diet - unlike many animal diets - has evolved over millennia to include a wide variety of terpene-rich foods.

So could these terpenes have the same positive effect on pets? No one actually knows as no research has been done on it. However, the small amounts of terpenes present in foods have a much stronger effect on pets than on humans, due to their lower body weight.Pet safety and wellbeing are our key focus at Naturecan Pet. As no substantial research has been conducted on the effect of terpenes and flavonoids for pets we chose to use advanced isolation technology to remove them and all traces of THC, the intoxicating compound in hemp that cats and horses can be particularly sensitive to.

what do we really know about terpenes and pets?

Terpenes like myrcene, limonene, ocimene, bergamotene, caryophyllene, cubebene, and farnesene are what makes avocado a superfood for humans, but the same superfood makes dogs very ill.

Limonene, a popular terpene for humans, is the active terpene in lemons which can be toxic to cats. Lemons are often used on garden areas to repel cats, whose first reaction is eye watering to warn the cat of a possible toxin. Indeed, cats are particularly vulnerable to intoxication caused by terpenes as they are not able to metabolise them ⁴.

Preliminary research suggests that the terpenes we consume in our daily diet may have potential benefits for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety⁵, which suggests terpenes could interact with the brain. There have been no studies to show whether this is safe for pets or if they could have the reverse effect.

Cocker Spaniel holding our CBD oil
Cocker Spaniel holding our CBD oil

what do we really know about terpenes and pets?

Terpenes like myrcene, limonene, ocimene, bergamotene, caryophyllene, cubebene, and farnesene are what makes avocado a superfood for humans, but the same superfood makes dogs very ill.

Limonene, a popular terpene for humans, is the active terpene in lemons which can be toxic to cats. Lemons are often used on garden areas to repel cats, whose first reaction is eye watering to warn the cat of a possible toxin. Indeed, cats are particularly vulnerable to intoxication caused by terpenes as they are not able to metabolise them (4).

Preliminary research suggests that the terpenes we consume in our daily diet may have potential benefits for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety (5), which suggests terpenes could interact with the brain. There have been no studies to show whether this is safe for pets or if they could have the reverse effect.

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are compounds found in plants that give various hemp crops their colour, taste and smell. ⁶  Prior to the 1900s various hemp plants grown around the world would attract and be eaten by different animals based on their flavonoids. There are thousands of flavonoids in flowers, fruits and vegetables. There are however some flavonoids only found in the hemp plant, called cannaflavins, which include orientin, quercetin, silymarin and kaempferol, while these may potentially have anti-inflammatory properties for people no studies have been done on this to ensure safety or functionality for pets.

what research says

Flavonoid and terpene research in cannabis remains very limited for pets and their prevalence in the hemp plant can vary depending on season and farming practices, meaning that the strength and types of terpenes and flavonoids present in CBD products can be vastly different.We therefore believe that a consistent final CBD extraction is imperative for pet safety, which is why we use advanced chromatography to refine our broad-spectrum CBD into pure CBD and CBDA isolate. This enables us to guarantee that the terpene, flavonoid and cannabinoid content of the Naturecan Pet product you purchased six months ago is exactly the same as the one you will purchase today.

Patterdale dog with a collection of CBD for Dogs

The types of terpenes and flavonoids present in CBD oil can dramatically vary depending on where the hemp plants are grown and what farming practices are used, as well as what time of year the harvest is done.

Hemp is normally harvested after 2 months of flowering, but if harvested after this the levels of terpenes can be much higher, as can the levels of THC, the intoxicating cannabinoid.

 When a full-spectrum CBD product is chosen for pets it limits the strength of CBD and CBDA that can be offered to pets due to the rising levels of THC. In Europe, all full-spectrum CBD products must be from hemp plants with no more than 0.2% THC while it is 0.3% THC in the US. We believe 0.3% THC is too high for animal consumption, particularly for cats and horses.

IN SUMMARY

There have been claims made in the media that “terpenes and flavonoids will enhance the effects of CBD”, and also that“terpenes can enhance the effect of THC”, a dangerous intoxicating compound for pets! As we don’t know the true impact and safety of terpenes and flavonoids for pets we ensure that we remove all traces of them and focus on the positive effect that CBD and CBDA have on pets.

Whatever CBD product you choose to improve the wellbeing and health of your pet, please ensure that you check the certificate of analysis (CoA) which should be on the product page if ordering online. If you are unsure you can email any brand and they will send you the CoA.  

On the CoA, there will be a batch number, so ensure the product you receive has the same batch number and then look at the levels of THC, terpenes and flavonoids to ensure your pet is safe. Read about Naturecan’s testing process here  (CoA)

Written by Lisa Hilton, Naturecan Pets Global Associate Director

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Citations

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/
https://ncfarmsinc.com/articles/how-terpenes-affect-pests/
https://agsci.colostate.edu/hempinsects/hemp-insects-text/
https://fve.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/001_CBD_cannabis_adopted.pdf
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.583211/full
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7324885/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465813/