The Science on CBD for Pets: Scientists Hope it Can Help 4-Legged Patients with Arthritis, Allergies and Anxiety

The potential of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating various ailments in pets has generated considerable interest among scientists and pet owners alike. Case reports and early studies suggest that CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, may offer relief for conditions like arthritis, allergies, and anxiety in dogs. For instance, anecdotal evidence from pet owners highlights instances of dogs experiencing significant improvements in mobility and reduction in seizure frequency after CBD administration. Chie Mogi, the lead veterinarian at the Animal CBD Research Society in Japan, has documented cases where dogs benefited from CBD, showing improvements where traditional treatments had failed. Such reports are bolstered by more controlled trials that indicate CBD’s potential efficacy. Veterinary neurologist Stephanie McGrath from Colorado State University, who coauthored a review on CBD for pets, points out that while the evidence remains mixed, the positive outcomes in these trials provide a hopeful outlook for incorporating CBD into veterinary medicine.

The increasing interest in CBD for pets follows the loosening of cannabis regulations, notably the 2018 US Farm Bill, which legalized hemp products with low THC content. This regulatory change spurred a surge in CBD products for pets, aiming to address issues such as pain, anxiety, and seizures. Despite the burgeoning market, there are challenges related to inconsistent product quality and varying legal restrictions on veterinary recommendations. Research has shown mixed results; for example, some studies reported significant improvements in seizure frequency and reduction of itchy behaviors in dogs, while others showed no significant effects. Joseph Wakshlag from Cornell University emphasizes that the efficacy of CBD can vary depending on dosage and product composition. He advocates for purchasing CBD products from reputable sources participating in voluntary quality assurance programs. Overall, while CBD shows promise, more rigorous and large-scale studies are needed to clarify its benefits and ensure consistent product quality for treating pet ailments effectively.

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