Methods: Single-dose pharmacokinetics was performed using two different doses of CBD enriched (2 and 8 mg/kg) oil. Thereafter, a randomized placebo-controlled, veterinarian, and owner blinded, cross-over study was conducted. Dogs received each of two treatments: CBD oil (2 mg/kg) or placebo oil every 12 h. Each treatment lasted for 4 weeks with a 2-week washout period. Baseline veterinary assessment and owner questionnaires were completed before initiating each treatment and at weeks 2 and 4. Hematology, serum chemistry and physical examinations were performed at each visit. A mixed model analysis, analyzing the change from enrollment baseline for all other time points was utilized for all variables of interest, with a p ≤ 0.05 defined as significant.
There was no significant difference in subjective veterinary lameness score and weight-bearing capacity throughout the study. Kinetic data was obtained from these dogs (data not shown), however 11 of the 16 dogs had significant bilateral disease (stifle, coxofemoral, or elbow) making evaluation of peak vertical force or symmetry tenuous at best. Unilateral disease in any of the aforementioned joints would be ideal to study the kinetic effects of this or similar extracts for pain relief leading to better objective outcomes. The population we used in our investigation was representative of dogs presenting in a clinical setting for management of OA and represents the typical OA patient.
The study population consisted of client-owned dogs presenting to Cornell University Hospital for Animals for evaluation and treatment of a lameness due to OA. Dogs were considered for inclusion in the study if they had radiographic evidence of OA, signs of pain according to assessment by their owners, detectable lameness on visual gait assessment and painful joint(s) on palpation. Each dog had an initial complete blood count ([CBC] Bayer Advia 120, Siemens Corp., New York, NY, USA) and serum chemistry analysis (Hitachi 911, Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN, USA) performed to rule out any underlying disease that might preclude enrolment. Elevations in alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) were allowed if prior hepatic ultrasound was deemed within normal limits except for potential non-progressive nodules (possible hepatic nodular hyperplasia). All owners completed a brief questionnaire to define the affected limb(s), duration of lameness, and duration of analgesic or other medications taken. All dogs underwent radiographic examination of affected joints and a radiologist confirmed the presence or absence of OA, and excluded the presence of concomitant disease that might preclude them from enrolment (i.e., lytic lesions).
Table 1. Serum pharmacokinetic of single oral dosing (2 mg and 8 mg/kg) of CBD oil in dogs.
36. Bornheim LM, Correia MA. Effect of cannabidiol on cytochrome P-450 isozymes. Biochem Pharmacol. (1989) 38:2789–94. doi: 10.1016/0006-2952(89)90432-2
Preliminary evidence to date suggests cannabinoids may play a role in anxiety, chemotherapy symptom management (nausea, vomiting), epilepsy and joint pain and inflammation relief (such as associated with osteoarthritis). 1 2 Canopy Animal Health is focused heavily on furthering this research in companion animals.
We’re actively investing in research in the following areas:
We are conducting research on the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids at cutting-edge academic and private research centers in both Canada and the United States.
Our commitment to systematic research, our prioritization of animal health and safety, and our partnerships with scientists and veterinary professionals demonstrate our commitment to moving cannabinoid science forward ethically and responsibly.
“I have never seen an added benefit to liposomal encapsulation with these molecules” he explains “I think in theory makes a lot of sense, but we haven’t seen the data to support that at this point.”
Still, other experts disagree. Stephen Cital, a veterinary anesthesia & pain management specialist points out this study didn’t test the CBD levels in the blood after dogs ingested these two CBD options. They just looked at the outcomes in the dogs’ behavior. He’s not convinced liposomes make a difference.
Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea or vomiting also occasionally occur for some dogs, but Richter and Cital say it is unclear if this is related to the CBD or the oils and other compounds in CBD products.
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“Within three days I noticed that his back leg stopped shaking.” Cital reports, recalling how his elderly dog was more able to walk up the stairs and play. Cital says he has seen many dogs in his practice see similar improvement with CBD. “You just see the life brought back into them. and [you] get a few more quality years out of them comfortably.”
While there has been previous research suggesting CBD can help with canine osteoarthritis, this study looked at both traditional CBD and CBD in a liposomal formulation, a method used to make it easier to absorb CBD, which isn’t very bioavailable on it’s own. “It’s kind of like a Trojan horse, or a water balloon” explains Halpert. “We put the CBD inside of that and the liposome itself, the balloon itself, is actually very bioavailable.”
These results add additional scientific backing to the emerging market of CBD for pets. There is currently a wide variety of products geared towards dogs and other pets. According to the Brightfield Group, a consumer research group focused on the cannabis space, the US Pet CBD market expanded by more than 10 times its 2018 size in 2019, producing $321 million in sales. In 2020 it is projected to reach $563 million in sales.
Even two weeks after the dogs stopped taking the CBD, those in the higher dose groups were still showing improvement. “This would tell us that the CBD was in fact addressing the underlying inflammatory issues” Halpert explains. “It wasn’t just masking the pain”