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Internet searches seemed promising. Advocates, entrepreneurs and even scientists have advocated CBD as a treatment for a wide range of canine and feline maladies from allergies to anxiety. There are widely-repeated industry claims that the pet market for CBD doubled between 2008 and 2014, with further projections of 3-5% annual growth in the market.
CBD is not psychoactive in humans, unlike THC, the compound that gets people and other animals high.
But like THC and other compounds in cannabis plants, CBD interacts with the human – and mammalian – endocannabinoid system. The precise effects of CBD on our bodies are a matter of extensive ongoing research, but advocates of marijuana as a medicine have long held that CBD can treat epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety and other maladies.
A selection of recent findings suggest that it may be useful for humans in treating problems like PTSD, chronic pain and the psychological effects of long-term cannabis use.
CBD also supposedly moderates the effect of THC, so it has been deliberately cultivated in certain strains and introduced into extracts on the theory that it creates a smoother high. (Informal “testing” supports this view.)
But what does the science say? At Colorado State University, the veterinary school has the wheels turning on a long-term study of the effects of CBD on pets, including any therapeutic benefits. So far, the results are encouraging.
A team led by Dr Stephanie McGrath found an 89% reduction in epileptic seizures for dogs treated with CBD. They are moving on to study CBD as a treatment for osteoarthritis in dogs, and are recruiting for a larger epilepsy study.