Summary of arthritis study about CBD in dogs

One of the most common conditions in horses is discomfort or pain in the musculoskeletal system. This shows in many forms, with some horses being lame in one specific joint or area, while others have multiple sites. Many treatments are used, including NSAID’s which often have undesirable side effects. Horse owners have been exploring the use of CBD in horses as one possible way to combat joint pain. This dog study supports the idea that more research is needed in the horse world and shows how CBD for horses may be used to help support those with arthritis. 

In a recent study conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine the potential therapeutic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) for arthritic pain in dogs were assessed. The study, which was published in the journal Pain, found that CBD, a non-addictive product derived from hemp (cannabis), can significantly reduce the production of inflammatory molecules and immune cells associated with arthritis. In addition, the study showed that in dogs diagnosed with the condition, CBD treatment significantly improved quality of life as documented by both owner and veterinarian assessments.

The study focused on dogs because their condition closely mimics the characteristics of human arthritis, the leading cause of pain and disability in the U.S. for which there is no effective treatment. The researchers found that CBD treatment resulted in reduced production of both inflammatory molecules and immune cells linked to arthritis. They also found that the effect was quicker and more effective when CBD was delivered encapsulated in liposomes, which are artificially formed tiny spherical sacs that are used to deliver drugs and other substances into tissues at higher rates of absorption.

The study supports future scientific evaluation of CBD for human arthritis, and the authors of the study believe that follow-up investigations in humans are warranted. "CBD is rapidly increasing in popularity due to its anecdotal health benefits for a variety of conditions, from reducing anxiety to helping with movement disorders," said corresponding author Dr. Matthew Halpert, research faculty in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Baylor. The study also indicated that CBD treatment seems to be safe and no significant detrimental impact of CBD administration over the 4-week analysis period was observed.

Nine of the 10 dogs in the study showed improvement, which is very encouraging. 

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain. Verrico, C; Wesson, S, Konduri, V et al. PAIN 161(9):p 2191-2202, September 2020. | DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001896

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