To witness your dog having a seizure is a frightening experience. Most commonly, seizures in dogs are caused by canine epilepsy(1), though liver disease, kidney disease, and brain tumors and also cause them.
Unfortunately, there still is no great way to treat canine epilepsy. Epilepsy medications, such as diazepam, phenobarbital, and a range of other anticonvulsant drugs can cause severe side effects(2). Also, a lot of times those meds don’t even work, and up to 30 percent of dogs with epilepsy don’t experience a notable reduction in seizures.
The good news is, as researchers continue in the search for an effective treatment for canine epilepsy, they may have found it in CBD(3).
The Research On CBD For Dog Seizures
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there regarding all the health benefits of CBD for dogs. Lots of dog owners swear by it for things like canine anxiety and arthritis. However, now some scientific evidence has started to roll in that confirms what they’ve been saying all along.
So much research has been done on using CBD for human epilepsy and seizures(4), with plenty of convincing results. The FDA has even approved a CBD-based drug specifically for treating rare forms of epilepsy in children(5).
While studies on CBD for use in canine epilepsy is much less abundant, what has been done has shown promising results. A study conducted by Colorado State University neurologist Dr. Stephanie McGrath looked into how CBD would affect seizure frequency in dogs.
The results(6), published in the June 2019 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, found that 89 percent of dogs who had received CBD in the randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial had a reduction in seizure frequency.
Even though the study was small (it only included 16 dogs total), the results were very promising. After all, 89 percent is a large number, even with a small sample size. Plus, not only did CBD cause a reduction in seizure frequency, it also reduced their severity. What’s more, there was a significant connection between the CBD concentration in the dog’s blood and the degree of seizure reduction it experienced.
McGrath is working on a much larger study(7) now to confirm the results of the first one, and she remains hopeful.
Research in recent years have shown that CBD, a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant, appears to have a variety of medicinal benefits. One of those, and perhaps the most studied one, is its ability to reduce seizure frequency and severity.
The effectiveness of CBD is thought to stem from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. Both humans and dogs have an endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids receptors are found all over a dog’s body, including in the brain, central and peripheral nervous system, immune system, and many organs.
With the research that’s already out there and now what is currently underway, it seems possible that CBD could be viable as an alternative for treating canine epilepsy over traditional anticonvulsant drugs.
FDA Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or prior to using any CBD products.