Can Hemp Help your Pets Skin Issues?

Just like humans, the largest organ in our pet’s bodies is the skin. It plays a vital role in their overall health and is their first line of defense against injury and infection. Skin acts as a barrier to defend against things like:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Critters / Pests
  • Allergens
  • Harmful chemicals
  • Harsh Environmental Conditions

Research shows that the body’s endocannabinoid system or ‘ECS’, plays a key role in the healthy functioning of our pet’s immune system. It’s no wonder that the skin contains a large number of ECS receptors.

Dogs have three main layers of skin.

  • Dermis
  • Epidermis
  • Subcutaneous layer

Research on Hemp for Dog Skin Conditions

Scientists at the University of Pisa in Italy published an important study which documents an abundance of the two main cannabinoid receptors throughout the layers of dogs’ skin.

According to that research, dogs’ skin differs from humans in a couple important ways. While humans have more individual layers of skin and fewer cannabinoid receptors in each layer, dogs skin is thinner and contains an abundance of both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

These characteristics make it easier for compounds in hemp, to penetrate deep and stimulate the skin’s local endocannabinoid system. That’s why topical hemp salves for dogs work so well on rashes, redness, dry spots, lumps, bumps and tumors.

Let’s look into some of the common skin conditions that can be treated effectively using a salve made with full spectrum hemp extract!

Tip: Apply your hemp salve at the same time you give your pet their tincture! Once a day is fine but twice a day is even better.

Lumps, Bumps and Unwanted Growths

Research shows that cannabis and hemp have numerous cancer killing properties. Hemp has been shown not only to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells but to kill cancer cells that have already formed.

According to the National Cancer Institute:


How does it do this?

In numerous preclinical studies, Hemp has been shown to:

  1. Preventing vascular development to tumors
  2. Inhibiting growth of malignant cells
  3. Increasing apoptosis (cell recycling, death of old cells)

Case Study

Here on our animal rescue Fire Flake Farm, we see countless dogs with tumors, warts and gruesome growths.

Jolene is one of our rescues here and she is super prone to these kinds of growths. Jolene loves to run through the woods and play rough with the other dogs. Her happy go lucky personality is totally infectious and she hardly seems to notice if she gets scraped or cut while running in the woods. The problem is, these abrasions are often a perfect site for viruses to take root and cause unwanted growths.


We recently noticed a wart-like tumor growing on her left paw. The growth seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, taking up residence between her toes, and more than once, I caught her trying to nip at it. Suddenly, she found it uncomfortable to run, swim, and play – all of her favorite things.

Canine Papilloma viruses (cutaneous papillomatosis, warts, verrucae, squamous cell papilloma) are common skin tumors in dogs and can start with a bug bite, cut or scrape where the virus can enter.

Some veterinarians will recommend surgical removal of these kinds of growths, but that process is often painful and traumatic for our pets. Not only that but cutting the tumor off does not stop it from coming back!

What’s the alternative?

We started treating her with our Remedy salve, which contains 150mg of full-spectrum hemp as well as essential oil of eucalyptus, peppermint and arnica. Any time we see dogs who have warts, cancerous tumors or benign ones, we use this salve to get rid of them.



DAY 15


DAY 40


The tumor growing on Jolene’s paw went through several phases of decay. Over the course of about a month and a half, we watched it slowly die and decrease in size until it was completely gone.

Jolene has been tumor-free for almost three months now and is back to loving life outside. If and/or when a new one appears, we know how to deal with it!

New Paw, Who Dis?


Dry Skin, Dermatitis, and Eczema

For dogs that are prone to dry and itchy skin caused by conditions like dermatitis or psoriasis, hemp for pets is an amazing option!

According to a study done in 2018 in association with the University of Colorado, cannabinoids enhance the production of fat molecules that help skin stay moist and protected.

This is great for breeds like Bulldogs or Pugs who get dry noses from having their tongue out and are constantly rewetting the skin.


In our pet grooming shop Beautify the Beast, we see pups come in with noses and paws so dry they actually start to crumble off – like Lola over here.

This often points to issues like chronic dehydration or sun damage which should be addressed directly and treated alongside a nourishing hemp salve.

Weather Patterns

Depending on the climate where you live, your dog or cat may be more likely to experience dry noses and paws.

In cold weather regions, snow and ice lead to the widespread use of salt that can get into our pet’s paws. This combination of extreme cold and salt is extremely drying and can cause intense dryness.

If you live in a place with a hot summer, sidewalks have their own set of challenges for our pets. Hot concrete can dry out the paw pads and even cause third degree burns in some cases.

Whether you walk your dog through the cold of winter or the heat of summer, their paws may be parched and in need of some serious moisture. For these cases, we recommend our Nourish salve, which contains 150mg of full spectrum hemp as well as vitamin E and vanilla.

Hemp for Natural Pain Relief

Another reason that cannabis is so effective as a topical therapy is because of its localized anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties.

Numerous studies have been done exploring the efficacy of topical application of hemp for arthritis pain relief. Because of the proliferation of cannabinoid receptors through the different layers of skin, hemp is able to penetrate deep into the skin and soothe osteoarthritis and joint pain.

Unlike other pain killers and analgesic drugs, hemp is completely natural and is not nearly as taxing on the liver as the NSAID’s commonly prescribed for this pain, especially when applied trans-dermally.

Allergies and other Environmental Issues

For dogs that have painful and uncomfortable allergies, topical hemp is one of the best ways to reduce redness and moderate the immune response, while taking away the discomfort that causes them to itch!

According to an Italian study conducted on dogs with atopic dermatitis,

The endocannabinoid system and cannabimimetic compounds protect against effects of allergic inflammatory disorders in various species of mammals.

Some of the most common issues that cause chronic redness, inflammation and dryness include:

  • Bug bites
  • Dermatitis
  • Hot spots
  • Yeast
  • Allergies
  • Pollen

When pets are exposed to these stressors it can trigger an aggressive response from our pet’s immune system, resulting in widespread inflammation and redness. The uncomfortable and itchy feeling associated with this effect is known as pruritus.

This discomfort is not only physically problematic, it is awful for our pet’s mental health, causing them a lot of stress and restlessness that can affect their long term behavior. This is why so many veterinarians end up prescribing drugs like Apoquel to deal with this problem.

We strongly recommend staying away from immunosuppressive drugs like Apoquel.

Healthy Immune Response

Unlike these pharmaceutical drugs, hemp salves actually support the immune system and encourage its proper functioning. That means instead of turning the inflammation response off, it encourages the immune system to react proportionally to the problem. This is a much better option than the total suppression of the immune system,  making them vulnerable to more serious problems down the road.

Fighting Infections

Not only that, hemp and cannabis extract have strong antibiotic, antiviral and anti-microbial properties. This is one of the reasons it is so effective for treating issues like yeast and other skin infections.

Along with the painkilling effects of hemp, our Soothe salve contains ginger oil and calming honey to aid in cooling down the areas affected by these environmental aggravations.

As always, we chose to pair hemp with essential oils that complement and boost its healing properties.

Disclaimer: All Hemp Dog Health salves are safe if ingested. They contain no toxic ingredients, so it’s safe, even if your pet licks them up. For greatest absorption, make sure they allow it to sit for 20 minutes before licking it off.

Healing from the Inside Out

Issues that show up on the skin often point to issues that lie beneath the surface. Hemp Salves are a great way to treat various skin problems, but it’s important to find the root cause of these issues.

Things to consider that can affect skin health:

  • Nutritional Deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Chemicals in the environment
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Over-vaccination
  • Pharmaceutical side-effects (flea/tick, antipruritic, etc.)

Using Hemp Tinctures and Salves Together

Along with a great diet and immune supportive regimen, Hemp given internally is a great partner to topical application. By using both a hemp tincture for dogs as well as a hemp salve for dogs, you are treating the whole system as well as the physical site of the issue.

This approach has given us the greatest rates of success in naturally treating a variety of dog skin conditions.

By building up and maintaining the health of our pet’s skin, we can give them a solid first line of defense against anything that comes their way!




About Carter Easler

Father of a bulldog, Moo, Carter is a life-long animal lover from Toronto, Canada currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in a family of veterinarians, he grew up surrounded by animals. He had dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles — you name it, and Carter probably rescued it.

Carter’s passion for cannabis activism started when he was in high school. After learning about the senseless prohibition and incredible diversity of cannabis’s utility, he was inspired to get involved. When Carter met Angela, he was excited to learn that he could combine his passions: animals and cannabis.

Carter now travels North America to educate pet parents, retailers, and veterinarians about hemp. He is excited to bring his passion for pets to Hemp Dog Health.