Can CBD Relieve Arthritis in Dogs?

Many pet owners have turned to CBD to help relieve pain or even reduce anxiety in their dogs. But with so few studies done in the United States because of the illegal status of cannabis, many have been left to wonder how CBD for pets might treat specific conditions, such as arthritis.

We’re all about to find out.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine is about to investigate what CBD for pets can do to treat symptoms of joint immobility in dogs. The researchers, led by Kimberly Agnello, an associate professor of small animal surgery, have teamed up with Denver-based Dixie Brands Inc. for the study.

Agnello told Philadelphia Magazine that she hopes the study might also provide insight into how well CBD products might work with humans who suffer from arthritis.

CBD For Pets

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is a chemical ingredient in cannabis that does not cause the “high” feeling. It is often derived from the hemp plant, which Congress made legal in 2018. Since then, the already popular CBD market has become even more so.

People also are using CBD for pets. There is much anecdotal that speaks to the effectiveness of CBD.

However, because the federal government continues to make marijuana illegal, there have been few studies conducted on both marijuana and CBD in the U.S. That’s why the Pennsylvania researchers were interested in conducting the study.

“We want to validate whether this is actually helpful and if it’s something we should be recommending,” Agnello told the magazine. “Up until now, there haven’t been too many great studies showing that CBD is beneficial in helping to relieve pain in people or dogs with arthritis.”

How The Clinical Trial Will Work

So, how do you conduct a clinical trial involving dogs? Researchers plan to gather 60 dogs for the study over the next year. The dogs will be split into three groups. One group will receive a CBD formula created by Therabis, an affiliate company of Dixie Brands. A second group will receive CBD alone. A third group will receive a placebo.

In a news release announcing the study, Dixie Brands said it is the first double-blind study of this kind ever conducted. A double-blind study means that neither the dog owners nor the researchers know which dogs are receiving the placebo, the CBD or the Therabis formula.

Dr. Stephen M. Katz, co-founder of Therabis, said in the news release that the company is honored to be selected for the study. He said tests conducted in the company’s labs have shown that CBD “is an effective treatment in reducing the inflammatory response. We have a passion for improving dogs’ quality of life, and we look forward to learning all we can about therapeutic methods to achieve this.”

Dog owners would echo that sentiment. Hopefully, they will soon have scientific proof that CBD for pets can help their four-legged companions.

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