Joint Action

Arthritis is CBD’s biggest success story when it comes to pets. Dogs, cats, and even horses have all shown tremendous improvements even from short term use of CBD. And it’s not just due to placebo effects. Arthritis is one of the few ailments in pets that has well designed science to back up CBD effectiveness. 

Traditional treatment involves non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but many older pets can’t take them because of side effects which include ulcers and liver and kidney damage. CBD may help alone or along with NSAIDs. 

CBD has been shown to have potent anti-arthritic therapeutic action, resulting in clinical signs of improvement in both joint protection and diminishment of established inflammation, swelling and sensitivity to pain. 

Promising CBD Research

In 2018, researchers at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine tested 16 dogs with arthritis, randomly assigning half of them to receive either a month of CBD (2 mg/kg, or 4.4 mg per pound, twice daily) or a of placebo, with neither the researchers nor owners knowing which treatment the dogs were getting. After one month, the dogs then received nothing for two weeks before switching to the opposite treatment for another month. Owners completed questionnaires about their dogs’ activity and pain, and veterinarians conducted physical assessments on the dogs.  

Owner surveys showed the dogs were perceived to be more active and in less pain when taking the CBD as opposed to the placebo, and veterinary assessment also found the dogs appeared more mobile and in less pain when given CBD. Overall more than 80 percent of the dogs showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life. Lead investigator, Joe Wakshlag DVM, PhD, DACVN said that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after just days on CBD they were trotting around and even climbing stairs. Read the full research study here.  

During the same year, a private company found promising results in a randomized placebo-controlled study focused on canine pain management. According to the study, dogs with diagnosed osteoarthritis who received a daily dose of 0.3 mg per kg of CBD-infused oil for four weeks showed significantly reduced pain and improved functional performance. Two years later, a Colorado State University clinical trial

 gave 32 dogs with arthritis a full-spectrum CBD oil for 90 days and found that 94% of the dogs demonstrated decreased pain, improved mobility, and improved quality of life. 

Arthritis relief and CBD 

While CBD has been found to be safe for dogs, its safety margin has not yet been studied in older dogs, dogs with liver or kidney problems, or in conjunction with NSAIDs. It’s always wise to ask your veterinarian before starting your dog on a CBD regimen. Also be aware of human CBD products that could contain ingredients such as THC, grape seed oil and even xylitol, which are dangerous or even deadly to pets. Examine the ingredients closely and stick with products made for pets like SperoCBD pet treats. 

You can also help your pet in other ways. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially those in green lipped mussel powder, have shown some positive effects in battling arthritis. Traditional favorites such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are actually less effective. 

For pets suffering from arthritis, be sure to provide plenty of padded places to lie and warm sleeping areas. Offer stairs or other means to get on and off beds and furniture without jumping and ramps to aid in negotiating steps.  And do offer treats, because treats make everything better. 

Dr. Caroline Coile

Dr. Caroline Coile, award-winning canine science expert and author of “Cannabis and CBD Science for Dogs” has analyzed over 30 years of research related to CBD applications in pets ranging from inflammation and anxiety to pain, cancer and seizures. The results turned her from a self-proclaimed CBD skeptic into a CBD advocate as she introduces the science and reasoning behind the many potential health applications of cannabis products for dogs in her book.