Of the 32 dogs who completed the study, just two showed no improvement. For all the others, pain was reduced from an average of 3.2 on the pain scale, to just 0.97.
Seven of the dogs’ pain scores did not change, but they were able to move from treatment with gabapentin to CBD.
(image source: researchgate.net/publication/339698157_The_Use_of_Cannabidiol-Rich_Hemp_Oil_Extract_to_Treat_Canine_Osteoarthritis-Related_Pain_A_Pilot_Study)
Table 2. Starting and ending numeric rating score, CBD dose, and Gabapentin doses in a clinical trial of dogs receiving CBD for the treatment of chronic pain
Of the 30 dogs who benefited from CBD oil treatment, six experienced significant pain reduction of five or more points.
Like other studies, the researchers noted an increase in dogs’ levels of liver enzymes. More unusually, however, an increase in the enzyme ALKP was detected, not ALT as would be expected. As with other studies, this one calls for more research on the effects of cannabis compounds on the liver.
Also worth noting: this study had no placebo group. Results were also partly based on a subjective pain-interpretation scale.
The study in quotes:
“When pet owners were asked to compare cannabis products to other forms of medication or therapy, 93% reported that cannabis products work better than other treatments.”
“Many pet owners and veterinarians working with animals suffering from OA-related pain desire an alternative to traditional medications.”
“NSAIDs, as well as other drugs such as gabapentin, are sometimes inadequate in relieving OA-related pain and come with potential side effects.”
“hemp-derived CBD oil appears to positively affect dogs with chronic maladaptive pain by decreasing their pain, thereby improving their mobility and quality of life.”
“The CBD dose was adjusted as needed in response to the new assessment. CBD dose escalations of 0.5 to 0.75 mg/kg approximately every 12 hours were prescribed at each reassessment until the patient’s pain score on palpation was 0 to 1 on a scale of 10.”
“The primary goal was to achieve acceptable comfort without inducing sedation.”
“Only 2 dogs deemed by their owners and supported by the veterinary assessments to have achieved no measurable improvement.”
“It is unclear why some patients responded to a very small dose of the CBD product.”
“Quotes from clients include: “She’s more like a puppy”; “He is acting like a much younger dog”; and “I haven’t seen him play like this for a long time.” Additionally, several of the dog owners reported noticing that their dogs were more attentive, animated, and mentally engaged after starting the CBD oil.”
“These results strongly suggest that a CBD product, at an appropriate therapeutic dose, may provide a gabapentin-sparing effect for dogs experiencing chronic maladaptive pain.”