The anti-convulsive properties of CBD oil have been found to help minimise breakthrough fits common in dogs with epilepsy and other health concerns that result in seizures.

 How does CBD work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis plant species. It works in the body through its relationship with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex system interdependent and interwoven with almost every other system in the body.

The ECS functions through the stimulation of cannabinoid receptors. Medical cannabis treatment can activate these receptors and are thought to account for CBD’s positive benefits in neuroprotection, pain, and inflammatory conditions.

How can CBD potentially help pets with epilepsy?

With the use of CBD oil for children and adults with epilepsy, there is now a surge in interest for how this cannabis-derived medicine may help our pets who suffer similar seizure disorders.

A number of studies confirm CBD has anti-epileptic and anticonvulsant actions, which may reduce the frequency and in some instances the severity of seizures.

Additionally, animal studies and in vitro research show CBD exhibits neuroprotective effects which may aid in protecting against damage to the brain and nervous system during seizures.

Research on CBD and dogs with epilepsy

Research on CBD is still in its infancy. There is one notable clinical trial however that showed CBD reduced seizures in epileptic dogs.

This clinical trial was conducted blind – meaning the pet owners weren’t aware if their dog was receiving a placebo or CBD oil treatment – and a number of different breeds were included. Dogs were treated over a 12 week period in combination with their normal medications. At the end of the study period, the CBD group showed a 33% reduction in seizure frequency.

The extent of seizure reductions were correlated with blood levels of CBD, which led the authors to propose that future studies with different doses may result in greater reductions in seizures.

CBD as a standalone vs adjunct therapy for epilepsy

Not only is CBD oil being used in conjunction with other therapies and medications for epilepsy such as Pexion and Phenobarbital, but also as a solo treatment to assist and reduce the amount of seizures per week and the overall intensity.

CBD may also be considered when pet patients have not responded well to first line therapies and those with other medical conditions which exacerbate the common side effects of these medications in other areas of the body.

If your dog has epilepsy or is struggling with seizures, please contact CBD Vets Australia to see if your pet’s condition is suitable for CBD therapy.

CBD Vets Australia works with veterinarians offering a legal pathway to prescribe CBD for animals. Visit their website for more information or call their team on (02) 8294 9303 or via email if you have any questions.