CBD Use in Dogs: An Update
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been used for several years in dogs. Results of arthritis treated with CBD are positive, although most studies used higher dosages than recommended. The first study published actually measuring the dog’s gait on a plate did not find any effect on decreasing arthritis. CBD has been used for epilepsy, and is reported anecdotally to be effective, but was not effective in the majority of cases with treatment resistant epilepsy. CBD has been found to be somewhat effective when used for anxiety and fear-based aggression. One study did show decreased aggression from anxiety and, in many dogs, improved behavior. CBD has shown to reduce growth of some cancer cells in the lab.
Contaminants are always a concern when giving your pet any neutraceutical, as there is very little testing required and these products are not regulated by the FDA. Dr. Robert Silver, DVM, MS, said in dvm360 Magazine that CBD seems to be safe if the recommended dosages are followed and the product does not contain contaminants, and is more absorbable if given with food. Concerns about interactions with other drugs and other herbs exist, as no studies have been performed to determine this issue.
CBD has been shown to increase the alkaline phosphatase levels in the blood due to enzyme induction in the liver. Symptoms of CBD toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, slow or fast heart rate, rapid breathing and pale gums and other mucous membranes. There are still many unknown facts about CBD in dogs, but studies are slowly being performed to answer these questions.