August 28, 2018

Cannabinoid Product Shown to Increase Comfort, Activity in Dogs With OA

Findings from a new study show the benefits of cannabidiol-based oil in dogs with osteoarthritis and multi-joint pain.
By Kerry Lengyel
Dog CBD Oil OADogs suffering from osteoarthritis (OA) are usually prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but NSAIDs sometimes are insufficient in alleviating pain and also have potential adverse effects, particularly in older pets with certain comorbidities.

Late last year, ElleVet Sciences—a US manufacturer of cannabinoid-based soft chews and oil products for dogs and cats—launched what has been dubbed a “game-changing” canine mobility supplement made from a proprietary hemp oil blend.

RELATED:
Now, with help from investigators at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the findings of the first pharmacokinetic, safety, and efficacy study on the use of this cannabidiol (CBD) oil in dogs with OA pain have been published in the journal Frontiers.

Pharmacokinetic Study
To determine single-dose oral pharmacokinetics and short-term safety of ElleVet’s CBD product, investigators first performed a pharmacokinetic study on 4 beagles. Each dog received 2 treatments—2 and 8 mg/kg of CBD oil—with a 2-week washout period between treatments.

A physical examination was performed at 0, 4, 8, and 24 hours after treatment, and blood samples were taken at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 hours after treatment.

Results showed no obvious psychoactive properties or side effects at any times for either dose over 24 hours. In addition, the terminal half-life of oral CBD was 4 to 5 hours, suggesting bioavailability with a dosing schedule of 2 mg/kg at least twice daily. 

Clinical Trial
Next, investigators conducted a clinical trial with 16 client-owned dogs with clinically and radiographically confirmed OA. Each dog received 2 treatments—2 mg/kg of CBD oil every 12 hours and placebo oil every 12 hours—in random order. Each treatment was administered for 4 weeks with a 2-week washout period between treatments.

Blood was collected and a chemistry analysis completed for each dog at weeks 2 and 4 for both treatment arms. Dogs were also evaluated based on the Canine Brief Pain Inventory (CBPI) and the Hudson activity scale by a veterinarian and the owner before the treatments began and at weeks 2 and 4.

Results showed a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity at weeks 2 and 4 during CBD treatment compared with pretreatment baselines. Owners reported no side effects, but serum chemistry did show an increase in alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment.

Summary
Even with the small sample size and short study duration, the investigators concluded that 2 mg/kg of CBD oil twice daily can help increase comfort and activity level in dogs with OA.

ElleVet is planning a long-term safety and pharmacokinetic study on cats to launch a new product—ElleVet Feline—as well as 3 additional clinical trials in fall 2018 in partnership with the University of Florida.

Sign up to receive the latest news in veterinary medicine.

Latest Issue

Client Education

October Client Handout

American Veterinarian