A small study conducted in Japan has demonstrated the potential for CBD to be used as an anti-epileptic drug (AED) to reduce seizures in dogs with the condition.
AED’s are recognised as a highly-effective veterinary medicine but are known to cause side-effects.
Researchers at Yamazaki University of Animal Health Technology set out to discover whether dogs respond to CBD as well as young children with certain types of epilepsy.
The researchers gave three dogs two doses of CBD administered 12 hours apart. The efficacy, tolerability and safety were assessed every two weeks for eight weeks.
One owner reported a considerable improvement in their dog’s symptoms, another reported improved symptoms and the third reported no improvement.
The greatest improvement was seen in the 10-year-old dog which only had one attack for the duration of the study. The dog also showed less aggression around familiar people, such as the owner’s children.
The two-year-old Labrador slept more during the day and barked less frequently, even when other dogs were excited.
The authors believe that the reduction in seizures could at least in part be attributed to the anti-anxiety effect of CBD.
The authors wrote:
“In this study, the seizure frequency improved considerably and owners reported a positive impression.
“Mental stress, such as anxiety, can influence seizure episodes.
“Dogs with more severe epilepsy phenotypes [characteristics] may be administered AEDs. To investigate the potential interactions of CBD with AEDs, further research is needed.”
In September 2018, the UK’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate issued a statement clarifying the status of CBD as a veterinary medicine.
“As there are currently no CBD products authorised in the UK for veterinary use, a veterinary surgeon may prescribe a legally obtained human CBD product under the provisions of the prescribing cascade.
“Administration of an unauthorised product containing CBD without a veterinary prescription is an offence under Regulation 8 of the VMR (Veterinary Medicines Regulations).”
Childhood epilepsy medicine Epidiolex was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2018.