Over the last several years, CBD has increasingly been shown to aid in the treatment of seizures. The evidence is so strong that the FDA, an organization notoriously opposed to cannabis, approved the first CBD-based medication for one particular seizure disorder at the end of June.
Multiple studies have shown CBD is effective in treating these ailments in humans, but a small pilot study conducted in Colorado has also suggested it may be useful in helping ease tremors in dogs. Researchers at Colorado State University, Fort Collins conducted a study of 16 dogs that suffer from seizures and found 90 percent of those given CBD oil experienced a reduction in seizures versus 20 percent that were given a placebo treatment.
This is not the first time veterinary researchers have investigated the potential health benefits of CBD for dogs. Last year, researchers at the Fort Collins veterinary school sought to determine the effects of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid on arthritis. Other researchers at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania have also attempted to study the effects of CBD on dogs, but Dawn Booth of Auburn University’s veterinary school was forced to wait for federal approval. Researchers as the University of Pennsylvania halted their study after the DEA declared CBD is still considered part of cannabis’ Schedule I designation.
In the meantime, the American Veterinary Medical Association has expressed its desire for the DEA to reclassify CBD. “The concern our membership has is worry about people extrapolating their own dosages, looking to medicate their pets outside the realm of the medical professional,” Board Chairman Michael Whitehair said last year. “This is an important reason for us to continue the research.”’
CBD products for pets have gained popularity in the years since legalization has become the norm in states around the country, but there is still limited research on its benefits because of federal laws, which has also hindered research into the use of cannabis for human consumption.
The small study at Colorado State University shows promise but requires a larger scale. “Although really exciting results, it still has to be taken with a little bit of a grain of salt, because the power of the study is diminished when you don’t have a lot of dogs involved,” said Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a veterinary neurologist who led the study, while discussing her findings at a press conference on Monday. “Unfortunately, epilepsy is a fairly common condition in dogs,” she said, noting that there are currently very few options to treat it.
Though the pilot study was small and requires further research, more in-depth study into the effects of CBD on dogs may open a door for improved care for them, just as it has for humans suffering from similar ailments.