CBD clinical trial results on seizure frequency in dogs ‘encouraging’
Promising and exciting. Those are the words used by Dr. Stephanie McGrath to describe findings from a pilot study to assess the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, for dogs with epilepsy.
McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, led a small study with 16 pet dogs to assess the short-term effect of CBD on seizure frequency.
Based on her research, McGrath found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. Nine dogs were treated with CBD, while seven in a control group were treated with a placebo.
The research took place from 2016 to 2017, and results are published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Idiopathic epilepsy, which occurs with no known cause, affects up to 5.7% of the pet dog population worldwide, making it the most common canine neurologic condition.
Dogs enrolled in the clinical trial were randomly assigned to the treatment or placebo group. Those in the treatment group received CBD oil for 12 weeks. All of the dogs were required to stay on standard anticonvulsant drugs, including phenobarbital and potassium bromide. The dogs’ owners and CSU medical staff did not know if the animal received CBD or a placebo until the study was complete.
The CBD product used in the study was derived from a hemp plant, which has 0.3 percent or less of the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. The compound is not considered marijuana and can be used for research purposes based on the 2014 United States Department of Agriculture Farm Bill.
Findings highlight effect of CBD oil on seizure reduction
In addition to the distinct reduction of seizures in the group of dogs that received CBD oil, McGrath saw a significant association between the degree of seizure reduction and the amount of CBD concentration in the dog’s blood.
“We saw a correlation between how high the levels of CBD were in these dogs with how great the seizure reduction was,” McGrath said.
This finding led the neurologist to adjust the dose of CBD oil for dogs in a current clinical trial, which was launched in January 2018 and aims to enroll 60 client-owned dogs with epilepsy.
McGrath described the ongoing research as exciting and important.
“It’s really exciting that perhaps we can start looking at CBD in the future as an alternative to existing anticonvulsive drugs,” she said.
Scientists have found in a small study that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. Nine dogs were treated with CBD, while seven in a control group were treated with a placebo.
CBD Oil for Dogs with Seizures
Many people give CBD to their dogs to help control seizures.
Seeing your beloved dog have a seizure can be a frightening experience. Seizures can be subtle, indicated by staring, a dazed appearance, whining, twitching, jerkiness, heavy breathing, or unusually rapid eye movements. They can also be distressingly severe, resulting in uncontrollable fits, tremors, and even loss of consciousness.
Seizures are basically caused by the abnormal firing of neurons in the brain. If your dog has seizures, whether mild or severe, you should visit your veterinarian to determine the cause.
If you want to supplement your dog’s treatment with a natural remedy, CBD oil should be your first option. Cannabidiol (CBD), is a non-psychotropic component of the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been shown to have anticonvulsant properties. Extracted from industrial hemp (not marijuana) and legal in all states, CBD won’t make animals high and there are no known side effects.
How does CBD work to reduce seizures?
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, a network of numerous receptors that regulates body functions. Endocannabinoids are synthesized on demand by the body to maintain homeostasis – a stable internal environment. When a condition such as epilepsy interferes with homeostasis, these internal mechanisms lag behind the body’s needs. Supplementing with the phytocannabinoids found abundantly in hemp can help restore balance.
Two types of endocannabinoid receptors have been identified: CB1 receptors, found predominantly in the brain, nervous system, glands and organs; and CB2 receptors, existing mainly in the regulatory cells of the immune system. While CBD supplements benefit both types, their ability to calm overactive neurons and control seizures comes from the interactions with CB1 receptors. When the nervous system has been impacted by an illness or injury, CBD supplements can restore homeostasis.
How effective is CBD at treating seizures in dogs?
Anecdotal feedback is highly encouraging. There are countless testimonials and endorsements from pet parents sharing how CBD has helped their furry friends overcome dog seizures, including cases where conventional medications haven’t helped. Regular use has shown to decrease both the frequency and severity of seizures.
Preliminary research is so highly promising that the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation is currently conducting research on CBD’s effectiveness at treating seizures in dogs https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/alternative-medicine/cbd-oil-for-dog-seizures/ through Colorado State University https://cvmbs.source.colostate.edu/preliminary-data-from-cbd-clinical-trials-promising/ Initial research found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
Additionally, the National Institute of Health has published CBD research demonstrating strong reductions in epileptic seizures in rodents and shows CBD to be an effective therapeutic anti-convulsant. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22520455
How do you treat dogs’ seizures with CBD?
To reduce the severity and frequency of seizures, give your pet CBD regularly. Typically, relief will be best achieved by dosing twice a day. Dosage amounts can vary quite a bit from one situation to the next, so it may be necessary to experiment to find the right amount, and how often to give. Keep in mind that you cannot overdose and there is no toxicity associated with CBD.
CBD for dogs is available in many convenient forms. Extracts can be given from a dropper bottle directly into the mouth, added to food, dropped on a treat, rubbed into bare skin or inside the ears, or dropped on an animal’s paw so they will lick it off. You can also find hemp CBD biscuits, hemp CBD capsules, honey with CBD, and topical hemp CBD ointments. Make sure the CBD product you choose is lab tested so you can be sure you’re giving your pup the best opportunity for natural relief with hemp CBD.
Many people give CBD to their dogs to help control seizures. CBD has been shown to have anticonvulsant properties.