In the last five years there has been a sharp increase in Google searches related to “CBD for pets,” apparently, an increase of about 9200%! While there have been massive efforts to market CBD products for pets, the science to prove any potential benefits has been lacking.
A recent study out of the UK shows that “CBD for dogs” is not all hype.
A group of UK researchers conducted the study to elucidate the effects of a single dose of CBD distillate on dogs that were under stress. 40 healthy adult dogs including Labrador Retrievers (17), Beagles (8), and Norfolk Terriers (15) that were housed in kennels at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute took part in the study. The dogs were offered comprehensive training and socialization suited to their unique needs as determined by the Institute. The dogs were also weighed to determine sufficient CBD dosage which was offered at 4 mg/kg body weight.
This was a blinded parallel study where the dogs were divided into a placebo and treatment arm. The dogs were subjected to two anxiety-inducing scenarios; separation from familiar surroundings and a car journey. The researchers used wearables, video cameras, and blood samples to collect information. The overall study duration was six months, though the researchers reported findings after the first CBD/ placebo dosing that was followed by immediate exposure to the testing scenarios. Note that the CBD that was offered to the dogs was completely THC free.
The researchers made two observations. Subjecting dogs to separation or car travel causes significant stress. Secondly, CBD might have significant efficacy in relieving acute stress experienced by dogs.
Given that this research is still ongoing, it will be interesting to understand the full-term effects of using CBD to manage stress in dogs and other pets. Future research is also needed to give direction on optimal dosing as well as the risks versus benefits of offering broad-spectrum CBD as opposed to pure CBD to pets.