EVERGREEN, COLO. — The animal health division of Canopy Growth Corporation, a company that researches and develops cannabis- and hemp-based consumer products, has completed two cannabidiol (CBD) companion animal studies that have been published in peer-reviewed veterinary industry journals. 

The two studies include a randomized and placebo-controlled 28-day safety and pharmacokinetics study on CBD in healthy dogs, published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research. With this study, Canopy Growth sought to improve understanding of the long-term impact of daily CBD use and how it interacts in the canine body.

The second Canopy Growth study that was recently published is a safety and tolerability study of escalating cannabinoid doses in healthy cats published in the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. This study was Canopy Growth’s first feline study.

The publication of these studies supports a better understanding of the safety of CBD use in both dogs and cats.

“While cannabinoids, particularly CBD, are of growing veterinary research interest, there is a lack of data, especially in cats,” said Justyna Kulpa, Ph.D., senior scientist for Canopy Growth. “We sought to address relevant research gaps through well-designed blinded and placebo-controlled studies. The results lend to our continued exploration of the potential therapeutic applications of CBD in companion animals.”

Conducted in the autumn of 2019, the 28-day CBD safety study in dogs looked at the pharmacokinetics and long-term tolerability of CBD in dogs given daily over the course of 28 days. 

The randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial saw five groups of dogs receive one of four doses of CBD or placebo oil orally once daily for 28 days and found that repeated CBD administration was well-tolerated by dogs, with no veterinary reported clinically important abnormal findings or severe adverse events. The full study and its findings were published in the May 2021 issue of American Journal of Veterinary Research.

Conducted in the Summer of 2018, the CBD safety study in cats examined feline tolerability and pharmacokinetics when CBD, THC or CBD plus THC was administered in escalating amounts.

The randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial saw 20 healthy adult cats randomly placed into five treatment groups, each group was then given up to 11 escalating doses of the trial formulations orally with at least three days between consecutive doses and found that both CBD and THC were generally well-tolerated by healthy cats, with only mild adverse reactions reported. The full study and its findings were published in the March 2021 issue of American Association of Feline Practitioners’ Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

“Both of the most recently completed studies are trailblazing in the field of veterinary CBD research,” said Robert Menardi, DVM, director of veterinary educational and technical services at Canopy Growth. “We are confident this and subsequent research will provide valuable knowledge for the veterinary community and consumers.” 

Canopy animal health also had a study published in the February 2020 issue of Frontiers in Veterinary Science that shared a preliminary investigation of the safety of escalating CBD doses in healthy dogs.

According to Canopy Growth, the company works closely with the veterinary and academic community, regulatory authorities and leading scientists to ensure the company’s CBD products meet quality standards. Scientists conducted both studies’ animal care and experimental procedures under protocols approved by the research facility’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in accordance with the Principles of the Animals for Research Act, as well as guidelines from the Canadian Council on Animal Care and the Veterinary Drug Directorate of Health Canada. All Canopy Growth studies are conducted safely, ethically and responsibly.

Links to all three studies mentioned can be found on the Canopy Growth Animal Health website.

Canopy Growth created the treat brand SurityPro CBD for dogs and recently partnered with Martha Stewart on a line of CBD dog treats.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.