While this research is certainly exciting, it’s vital to remember that these are only preliminary findings carried out in petri dishes. However, the study does support the body of research that has already taken place into CBD and human cancer as well as the host of anecdotal reports from pet parents who say CBD oil helped manage their own dog’s cancer.
The investigators were keen to test out whether they could prove some validity to the much touted entourage effect whereby the synergistic action of all the active molecules found in cannabis and hemp are more efficacious than cannabinoids used in isolation.
This mirrors our experiences at CBD Dog Health whereby whole plant CBD oil containing all the naturally occurring compounds in hemp not only outperforms CBD isolate products, but requires significantly lower dosing.
CBD and Chemotherapy
For some time now, scientists have been investigating the antitumoral effects of cannabis on cancer cells, in particular turning their attention to special compounds only found in cannabis called cannabinoids.
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While studies date back to the 1970s , it’s only been in the last twenty years that researchers have made significant discoveries. In general, the goal has been to find out whether cannabinoids might be anticancer drugs of the future in humans, but in the process most of the research has taken place either in petri dishes or on rodents (and occasionally dogs).
CBDA, CBD’s acidic precursor is found in abundance in raw hemp and only turns into CBD with exposure to heat. Until now, few studies have examined whether CBDA has an anticancer effect, so the researchers thought they’d observe whether the raw cannabinoid on its own had any noticeable antitumoral effect.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many chemicals identified in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as hemp. It has been used for palliative care in oncology, but recent studies in humans and rodent models show that it may have direct anti-cancer effects. Since there is little data on the effects of CBD in canine cancer, investigators at Cornell University are studying what happens to canine cancer cells when they are exposed to CBD alone or in combination with common chemotherapy drugs (AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) Grant 02643-A: Examination of the Effects of Cannabidiol on Canine Neoplastic Cell Apoptosis/Autophagy and Potential for Chemotherapy Resistance or Sensitivity). Results were recently published in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology 1 and offer hope for canine cancer patients.
This study documents the anti-cancer effects of CBD alone and in combination with chemotherapy drugs. It also provides hints as to the mechanisms and pathways that CBD influences in canine cancer cells. Additional study is needed to better understand these mechanisms and define safe and effective dosages for dogs. Whether CBD is used as a primary treatment or to manage the side effects of chemotherapy, additional knowledge will allow for safer and more effective use. CHF and its donors remain committed to exploring new and better treatments for canine cancer, like CBD. Learn more about our cancer research at akcchf.org/oncologyRPA.
Cell cultures from different canine cancers (osteosarcoma, mammary carcinoma, and lymphoma) were exposed to various concentrations of CBD alone and in combination with the common chemotherapy drugs doxorubicin and vincristine. CBD oil caused a significant decrease in cancer cell reproduction in all cell lines studied. Use of CBD-rich whole help extract was able to reduce cancer cell reproduction at lower concentrations than CBD oil alone. This is likely due to the ‘entourage effect’ where the mixture of numerous chemicals seems to work in concert to produce a greater effect. The phenomenon needs more study though, since different cancers have different receptors for these chemicals and not all cultured hemp plants contain the same amounts of these chemicals. CBD in combination with the chemotherapy drug vincristine also decreased cancer cell reproduction in a synergistic way – or with greater effect than either chemical alone. When CBD was combined with doxorubicin, the results varied depending on the concentration of each chemical used.
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.
1. Henry, J. G., Shoemaker, G., Prieto, J. M., Hannon, M. B., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2020). The effect of cannabidiol on canine neoplastic cell proliferation and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation during autophagy and apoptosis. Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, e12669, e12669. https://doi.org/10.1111/vco.12669
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Cancer treatment for dogs  can be difficult. Surgical removal of tumors is typically the first step, followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation. Even if these treatments are effective, they often come with side effects of their own. Loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting are fairly common side effects and some dogs experience lingering pain.
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There is a reason they say dogs are a man’s best friend. Our dogs are more than just pets – they’re members of the family. This is why it’s particularly devastating when they get sick. Keeping up with routine veterinary care and providing a nutritious diet are two of the most important ways to support your dog’s health. However, dogs can get sick even when they have the very best of care.
When it comes to CBD for dogs, there are many products to choose from. Dog CBD products are not all created equal, however, and it’s your job as a pet owner to shop smart. Read on to learn what to look for and to see our top 5 picks for CBD oil products for dogs.
Though you may be familiar with cannabis in the form of marijuana, this isn’t something you should offer your dog. Marijuana contains high concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive compound which can be very dangerous for pets  . One of the other active ingredients in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), however, can actually be very beneficial.