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The benefits of cannabis on humans has been widely touted, but there is now massive interest in CBD’s impact on animals too.
So much so that the Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine Symposium was held at Colorado State University in October 2017 attracting pet owners and vet professionals across the state.
Doctors who have researched cannabis with animals spoke on the latest research, particularly in epilepsy and osteoarthritis in dogs.
Speaking to Westworld, Dr Stephanie McGrath, who specialises in neurology, spoke of the drug trials that have taken place in her field of medicine.
“We have diseases that we don’t have treatments for that work, so there’s a problem. A solution to that problem is trying to find a solution that does work, so we are always searching,” she said. “That, along with this drug becoming legalised, prompted a lot more questions from clients and veterinarians. And [with] me being unable to answer their questions, that really bothered me. So the more I started looking, the more I realised what a void there was in cannabis research.”
Epilepsy affects between three to five percent of dogs, and 14 million dogs in the U.S. alone suffer from arthritis. While traditional pharmaceuticals have offered no widespread solution, cannabis is being touted as a serious alternative.
Two studies at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital – trialling CBD’s effect on arthritis and epilepsy – are currently running. The CBD product is very low in the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, making it safe for use in dogs.
The trials are taking on dogs who have epilepsy, are experiencing at least two seizures a month and have been receiving regular anticonvulsants. Medication adjustments will be made prior to starting the trial.
According to the study, the aim is to assess the efficacy of CBD, in treating canine epilepsy. Each dog will be randomly assigned to receive either CBD or a placebo for 12 weeks and then switch to the opposite medication for an additional 12 weeks.
While CBD dog treats are not new, this is one of the first scientific studies into the benefits of cannabidiols for dogs.