Study review: Safety and efficacy of cannabidiol-cannabidiolic acid rich hemp extract in the treatment of refractory epileptic seizures in dogs

Date: 29 June 2022
Publication: Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Authors: Garcia Gabriel A., Kube Stephanie, Carrera-Justiz Sheila, Tittle David, Wakshlag Joseph J.
Location: Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
Using: two daily doses of 2 mg/kg of full-spectrum CBD in capsule form for 24 weeks
Full study:


CBD and CBD-A have both shown anti-convulsive properties in numerous studies and are now commonly used in treating epilepsy in children. So, researchers wanted to know if these cannabis compounds are also beneficial for dogs who experience epileptic seizures.

Over 24 weeks, they gave 14 dogs diagnosed with epilepsy a twice-daily 2 mg/kg of full-spectrum CBD oil rich in CBDA – or placebo oil.

The researchers analyzed the dogs’ blood at three intervals throughout the study and observed the animals to see if they experienced fewer seizures.

The study found that dogs taking CBD had comparable bloodwork results to the placebo group, except for elevated levels of the liver enzyme ALP (as seen in many studies).

However, dogs in the CBD group had a greater reduction in symptoms than the placebo, leading the researchers to conclude that a 2 mg/kg dose of CBD every 12 hours can increase the effectiveness of canine epilepsy treatment plans.

“The number of dogs with a 50% reduction in epileptic activity while on treatment were 6/14, whereas 0/14 had reductions of 50% or greater while on the placebo.”


Researchers carefully assessed all the dogs taking part in the study, giving them MRI scans and analyzing their blood and spinal fluid for any prior health issues aside from epilepsy.

They chose dogs from 2.9 – 9 years-old and from a range of breeds. All of the dogs were taking anti-seizure medications like potassium bromide, zonisamide, phenobarbital and levetiraceta at the time of the study.

All the dogs in the study had been diagnosed with epilepsy for at least one year, experienced at least one seizure per month, and did not find that the “common highest tolerable doses” of standard canine epilepsy medications were working for them.

To track the dogs’ responses to CBD supplementation for seizures, their owners kept a “seizure diary” and filled out a survey about side effects, which the researchers later analyzed.

Researchers defined clinically successful treatment as “a reduction of 50% in seizure activity.”

CBD used

The CBD used in the study was a full-spectrum extract with high levels of CBD-A. The extract contained approximately 1:1 CBD to CBD-A. It was administered orally in the form of capsules that contained a sesame-seed oil carrier.

The study doesn’t appear to mention if the capsule was taken with food, or how the CBD was extracted from hemp.


“The major finding of our study is the statistically significant reduction in epileptic seizure frequency, as well as the number of epileptic seizure days, as assessed through diaries kept by owners.”

The researchers noted the possible presence of the entourage effect in their study.

“No dogs were discontinued from the study due to adverse events related to the use of CBD/CBDA.”

The researchers also pointed out the small size of their study, plus the fact that the CBD/CBDA blend used in the study is not widely available to consumers.