The Use of Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil in Pain Management in Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Use of Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil in Pain Management in Dogs with Osteoarthritis

This study’s objectives were to determine basic oral pharmacokinetics, as well as assess safety and pain relieving effects of CBD oil in dogs with Osteoarthritis (OA).

Whilst routine nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatments prove effective, they may not provide adequate pain relief due to osteoarthritis, and come with potential side effects such as gastrointestinal disturbances, especially in older dogs with certain co-morbidities. In addition, other pharmacological agents such as gabapentin or amantadine, although advocated, show little evidence regarding their effectiveness in dogs with chronic or neuropathic pain relate to osteoarthritis. Pet owners showing a medical interest in alternative therapies for pain relief for their dogs have resorted to trying hemp related products that are rich in cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a group of as many as 60 different compounds that may or may not act at CB receptors; these receptors (CB1 and CB2) are widely located throughout the central and peripheral nervous system as well as the synovium.  One class of cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) is reported to have immunomodulatory, anti-hyperalgesic and anti-inflammatory effects in lower vertebrates, making it a suitable therapeutic treatment option in dogs with OA.

In this study, two different doses of CBD oil were used (2mg/kg and 8mg/kg). Thereafter, a randomized placeco-controlled, veterinarian and owner blinded cross-over study was conducted. Dogs received each of two treatments: CBD oil of 2mg/kg or placebo oil every 12 hours. Treatment lasted 4 weeks with a 2 week washout period. Before the commencement of each treatment, a veterinary assessment was undertaken, as well as a questionnaire completed by the pet owners. This occurred again at weeks 2 and 4 of the study. Haematology, serum chemistry and physical exams were conducted at each visit.

Pharmacokinetic results showed an elimination half -life of 4.2 hours at both doses, with no visible side effects. It also demonstrated significant pain reduction as well as an increase in activity with CBD oil. Veterinary assessments demonstrated decreased pain during CBD treatment, with owners reporting no side effects. Serum chemistry did however show an increase in alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment.

The results of this study suggest that 2mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity levels in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Link to full original research article:

Front. Vet. Sci., 23 July 2018

In the below video, Dr Heather K. Streppa from Nashville Veterinary Specialists gives a specialist's opinion on the use of CBD oil in dogs.

Video credit: Nashville Veterinary Specialists 

Video segment on CBD Oil: 15:47 - 29:10

To all veterinarians and veterinary practices, what have your experiences been with the use of CBD oil in dogs, and is there a product on the market that you would recommend?


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