For many pet owners and veterinarians alike the debate surrounding the use of cannabis for the treatment of various ailments has been a seemingly lengthy and frustrating one. Although pet owners in most U.S. states can legally purchase CBD Hemp oil products, many veterinarians and scientists still continue to be hesitant in recommending CBD as a treatment option for pets, due to ongoing concerns with regards to a lack of clinical research trials and therefore urge pet owners to avoid giving pets cannabis products containing high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, as dogs in particular have a much stronger reaction to the psychoactive compound than humans.
Other conditions that cannabis medicines are thought to be of benefit in treating pets; particularly dogs include and are not limited to, Psoriasis,Myocardial and Cerebral Ischemia as well as Neurodegenerative diseases.
Efficacy of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Epilepsy in Dogs is one of many ongoing clinical trials at The Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University.
During 2016/2017 the CSU team conducted its first cannabis-related study, investigating the safety and measurability of CBD in generally healthy dogs. After comparing three dosing methods namely, capsule, tincture and transdermal cream, the tincture was found to be the best for the safety and measurement in the dogs bloodstream. Reported side effects included diarrhea and an elevated liver enzyme, and that no blood test abnormalities forced any dogs to be removed from the study. After the release of the study’s results, CSU gave the go-ahead for further clinical trials measuring the effectiveness of CBD-rich hemp oil for osteoarthritis and epilepsy. Dr. Stephanie McGrath who specializes in neurology is heading up the study on epilepsy, while CSU veterinary surgeon Dr. Felix M.Duerr is principal investigator for the study on arthritis.
Leading veterinarian supporting the use of CBD, Dr. Steven Ellis at Sunderland Animal Hospital in Massachusetts, told a local news outlet that cannabinoids have been used to treat amongst others, canine seizures, spinal problems, and cancer, acknowledging the therapeutic potential of cannabis for pets. Lisa Moses, who serves on the board of directors for the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, has said that medicinal marijuana use could be beneficial to animals if it is delivered in a well-developed product.
At its November 2017 meeting, the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) concluded that, in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm. A fuller review of extracts or preparations containing almost exclusively CBD, will take place in June 2018, when the WHO expert committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances. A positive outcome will most assuredly pave the way for further comprehensive studies that will not only benefit humans but our fur friends as well.
Studies have also shown that CBD decreases the percentage of animals experiencing severe tonic–clonic seizures. These results extend the anti-convulsant profile of CBD, this evidence strongly supports CBD as a therapeutic candidate for a diverse range of human epilepsies. Once again proving the efficacy of this medicinal plant.