Study Summary: CBD for Cats & Dogs

A 2019 study entitled "Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats" that was published in the journal Animals investigated the potential medicinal efficacy of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) for canine and feline subjects.

"The purpose of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics and preliminary safety of an oral canine whole-plant CBD-infused soft chew and oral feline CBD-infused fish oil," explained the study's authors. The research effort involved eight dogs (Beagles) featuring a mean age of 3.2 years and eight cats (domestic shorthair) with a mean age of 4.5 years.


"The purpose of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics and preliminary safety of an oral canine whole-plant CBD-infused soft chew and oral feline CBD-infused fish oil."

The scientists noted numerous design limitations of the study, including the fact that it did not feature control groups that received only placebo and no CBD and that the sample size was obviously very small, decreasing the applicability of the data.


"Besides the lack of a control group as a major limitation discussed above, other limitations must be recognized. This was a small homogenous population of dogs and cats being utilized in a contract research facility, which may not reflect the companion animal dog or cat living in a common household," disclosed the researchers.


The Study

The dog group was administered CBD-infused chews for 84 days at a dose of two milligrams per kilogram of body weight, while the cats were given CBD-infused fish oil comprised of a 50/50 mix of CBD and its acidic precursor, CBDA, at the same dose of two millligrams per kilogram of body weight for an identical observation period of 84 days.


"The use of cannabidiol (CBD)-rich hemp-based nutraceuticals is increasing in dogs and cats for disorders related to anxiety, seizures, cancer, and pain," noted the researchers.

"The use of cannabidiol (CBD)-rich hemp-based nutraceuticals is increasing in dogs and cats for disorders related to anxiety, seizures, cancer, and pain," noted the researchers, who observed that "there is little information related to appropriate dosing or long-term effects."

The CBD molecule


The study observed that CBD is increasingly popular "in both human and veterinary medicine due to federal legislation changes for hemp, making distribution of hemp and hemp-based products legal in the United States, so long as they contain less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)."

The scientists noted that "current [U.S.] Food and Drug Administration [FDA] recommendations discourage the use of hemp products in pets, and regulatory policy surrounding hemp use is uncertain."


The study noted the safety profile of CBD in humans and most animals, stating that it is non-psychotropic and is "highly tolerable, with no known clinical toxicity recorded."

The research noted the safety profile of CBD in humans and most animals, stating that it is non-psychotropic (not psychoactive) and is "highly tolerable, with no known clinical toxicity recorded." The same cannot be said for delta-9 THC, which is known to produce static ataxia in dogs, a form of intoxication involving loss of motor control that is unpleasant for the animal.


To learn more about static ataxia in dogs, see our article The ECS of Animals from our exclusive ad-free Study Summary series.

The study reported that the biochemical properties of CBD make this phytocannabinoid "an attractive cannabinoid for therapeutic use in companion animals." It also suggested that the efficacy of whole-plant formulations—involving dozens of cannabinoids and terpenes, among other types of compounds—may be greater than that of CBD isolates.


"Some evidence points to the potential for whole plant-derived CBD being more effective than synthesized or highly purified CBD, suggesting that other cannabinoids or terpenes may have additive or synergistic effects with CBD."

"More interestingly, some evidence points to the potential for whole plant-derived CBD being more effective than synthesized or highly purified CBD, suggesting that other cannabinoids or terpenes may have additive or synergistic effects with CBD," reported the scientists.


Results

The study noted that other scientific investigations "have shown that delivery of between 2–20 mg/kg of CBD in an oil base appears to be the preferred method of delivery for absorption" and that oil beadlets and transdermal approaches "are also effective, but not as effective as infused oils."


The study noted that data gathered from human trials of CBD suggest that "the oral absorption of CBD in fasting individuals is less than 10 percent of the dose" and that the research literature indicates a major increase in bioavailability is achieved if CBD is consumed with food. "Recent pharmacokinetics in humans show that giving 1500 mg of CBD with food increases absorption 4–5 fold."

Image courtesy Leafwize Naturals


When CBD is used to control seizure activity in dogs, "therapeutic dosing might be approximately 2.5 mg/kg of CBD," reported the study, adding that its "positive clinical study in canine osteoarthritis using a whole plant extract showed benefits at 2 mg/kg."


The study spotlighted the fact that CBD-rich whole-plant extracts (both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum) may be administered in lower doses than CBD isolates. The study observed a "97 percent acceptance of the soft chew" among the canines, with the only side effects noted being "occasional episodes of loose stool and vomiting."


The study's authors summarized that "hemp-based CBD appears to be relatively safe in healthy populations of dogs and cats" and that dogs appear to absorb CBD better than cats.

Conclusions

The study's authors summarized that "hemp-based CBD appears to be relatively safe in healthy populations of dogs and cats" and that dogs appear to absorb CBD better than cats.


The study noted that "use of CBD-rich hemp products requires monitoring of liver enzyme values" in both cats and dogs. It recommended further studies to better determine safety in dogs and cats. "Studies should also examine drug interactions in patients on multiple medications," added the researchers.


View the original study.


76 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All