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Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

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Welcome to the Cannabis Conclusions series at Higher Learning LV, where we bring you the conclusions of recent peer-reviewed scientific research studies regarding marijuana and hemp. This series is intended for busy industry professionals. Below, learn about the safety of CBD for dogs.

Is CBD safe for dogs like Zoey from LA?
Is CBD safe for dogs?

CBD Safety for Dogs Study

A 2001 study entitled "Randomized, Placebo-controlled, 28-day Safety and Pharmacokinetics Evaluation of Repeated Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Healthy Dogs" that was published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research had the goal of determining "the safety and pharmacokinetics of various doses of plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD) versus placebo following repeated oral administration."


"The study, involving 20 healthy adult Beagles, was in the form of a randomized, blinded trial in which dogs received CBD or placebo."

The study, involving 20 healthy adult Beagles, was in the form of a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial where dogs were randomly assigned to one of five groups. Dogs received either CBD oil (1, 2, 4, or 12 mg/kg) or a placebo once daily for a period of 28 days. The participants were observed daily and blood and urine samples were gathered to conduct detailed biochemical analysis.

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Study Observations & Adverse Effects

The study's authors wrote: "Interest is increasing in the potential therapeutic uses of cannabinoids, particularly CBD, in veterinary species. Safety and tolerability studies reveal that, in dogs, CBD generally has a favorable safety profile and is well tolerated when administered for 1 to 3 months at dosages ranging from 0.5 to 1.2 mg/kg once daily or 2 to 10 mg/kg twice daily (4 to 20 mg/kg/d) or as 10 escalating doses (2 to 62 mg/kg/dose, with 3 days between doses)."


"Safety and tolerability studies reveal that, in dogs, CBD generally has a favorable safety profile and is well tolerated."

The study reported a potential adverse effect of the CBD as gastrointestinal disturbance resulting in loose feces. The research noted that it was only the fourth of its kind to analyze CBD safety and tolerance in canine subjects.


CBD Safety for Dogs Study Results

CBD Safety for Dogs Study. The researchers found that CBD "was determined to be well tolerated by the dogs" and that "no clinically relevant changes were observed related to the administration of any dose of CBD." It should be noted that the goal of the goal of the study was to investigate the safety and tolerability of CBD in canines, not to examine any particular efficacies gained.

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CBD Safety for Dogs Study Conclusions

CBD Safety for Dogs Study. The following is an excerpt from the concluding Discussion section of this study.


"Although the efficacy of CBD was not evaluated in the present study, information was obtained on the relationship between CBD dose when administered PO for 28 days and a sustained plasma CBD concentration over time. Values for the 24-hour Ctrough of CBD were dose dependent; chronic administration yielded maximum individual values of approximately 10 ng/mL (1 mg/kg), 20 ng/mL (2 mg/kg), 50 ng/mL (4 mg/kg), and 100 ng/mL (12 mg/kg). Importantly, within each dose group, mean values for Ctrough of CBD were comparable after 2 and 4 weeks of administration, indicating that a steady-state plasma concentration had occurred within approximately 2 weeks after administration began.


"Other formulations of CBD can be purchased for dogs, such as soft chews, soft gels, tablets, and creams."

"A strength of the study reported here was that we evaluated the safety and pharmacokinetics of chronically administered CBD in an oil matrix that, along with tinctures, is a formulation that is easily amenable to dose adjustment. Other formulations of CBD can be purchased for dogs, such as soft chews, soft gels, tablets, and creams, and additional research is warranted into their safety and pharmacokinetic profiles following chronic administration.


"Limitations of the present study should be acknowledged and included the small size of each treatment group (n = 4), particularly given the observed interindividual variability in pharmacokinetic parameters for CBD and its metabolites. During statistical analysis, correction for multiple comparisons was applied within variables but not across variables, which may have inflated the rate of false-positive results (ie, type 1 error).

A tincture bottle of CBD oil.
CBD is safe for dogs

"Given that the terminal pharmacokinetic phase was not well-defined for every dog over the 24-hour blood collection period, the time to achieve a steady state and the relationship between dose and elimination half-life were challenging to determine. Our findings suggested that future pharmacokinetic studies should incorporate additional blood collection time points that also span a longer period (ie, > 24 hours).


"Overall, chronic administration of a highly purified CBD isolate in MCT oil for 28 days in the present study was well tolerated by healthy adult Beagles."

"Overall, chronic administration of a highly purified CBD isolate in MCT oil (1 to 12 mg/kg, PO, once daily for 28 days) in the present study was well tolerated by healthy adult Beagles, and no clinically relevant changes in measured safety outcomes were observed at any point. The observed increases in serum ALP activity, which may have represented an early adaptive response to CBD metabolism, warrant further investigation in longer-term studies.

"Repeated administration led to CBD accumulation in circulation and dose-dependent increases in total systemic exposure and 24-hour Ctrough of CBD. The observed maximum individual Ctrough values for CBD following chronic oral administration (approx 10, 20, 50, and 100 ng/mL for 1, 2, 4, and 12 mg/kg/d, respectively) may guide selection of a starting dose or dose adjustment of a comparable formulation for therapeutic indications. Additional research is needed to establish the therapeutic effectiveness of a given plasma CBD concentration when CBD is used as a primary or adjunctive treatment."


View the original study.

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