The Current State of Cannabis Research in Veterinary Medicine

Updated: Apr 6

1. All medical cannabis is derived from Cannabis sativa L. Legally speaking, cannabis plants that naturally produce greater than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are considered to be “marijuana” and are federally illegal.

2. Medicinal hemp plants contain relatively large amounts of CBD, which, while legal, is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

3. As with any other nutritional supplement, the FDA is watchful to ensure products do not make “drug claims” or are otherwise suggesting their product is a pharmaceutical. This landscape is responsible for the unusual terms sometimes seen on products, such as “phytocannabinoid rich (PCR) oil,” “hemp extract,” and “full extract cannabis oil (FECO).”

4. One constant in botanical medicine is that medicinal plants rarely, if ever, contain only one biologically active compound. Cannabis plants produce a wide range of phytochemicals including phytocannabinoids and terpenes. Phytocannabinoids are plant-based compounds that act on endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body.

5. To demonstrate safety, the CSU study administered oral CBD to dogs at 10 mg/kg/day or 20 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks and found it to be well tolerated in the study population. More than one-third (36%) of animals in the study showed elevations of serum ALP (alkaline phosphatase level) while all other blood parameters remained normal. The elevation in ALP could indicate CBD has the potential to interfere with the metabolism of other hepatically metabolized pharmaceuticals.

Bonus: The first data for veterinary-specific use of CBD for seizures were evaluated and published in 2019. Seizure frequency of dogs was evaluated with and without the use of cannabidiol in conjunction with other drugs. The study showed a statistically significant 89% reduction in seizure frequency in dogs receiving CBD at 2.5 mg/kg q12h compared to a 43% reduction in the control group. Both study groups were concurrently receiving conventional anti-epileptic drug therapy.No severe adverse effects were noted in the study, and blood levels of anti-epileptic drugs in participants were not affected by the addition of CBD.


Reference: https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/the-current-state-of-cannabis-research-in-veterinary-medicine/

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