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When it comes to treating pets and animals with cannabis-based medicine, Colorado State University (CSU) is truly taking the dog by the bone. Headed by neurologist Stephanie McGrath, the team at CSU has devoted significant resources to uncovering the potential merits of treating canines with CBD.

Working out of CSU’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, McGrath and her team recently revealed the findings of its first clinical trials into the use of cannabis-based medicine in animals – work that ultimately hopes to alleviate the suffering of the three-to-five percent of dogs dealing with genetic epilepsy.

“Unfortunately, epilepsy is a fairly common condition in dogs,” McGrath told reporters. “At this point, we don’t have great drugs to treat the disease. So we’re always searching for a new better drug.”

That drug may well prove to be cannabidiol. In humans with epilepsy, research has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that CBD helps to mitigate and sometimes eradicate seizures. The CSU study revealed that 90 percent of epileptic dogs tested had fewer seizures than the placebo group.

CSU Leads the Charge on Pet CBD Treatment
Of the 16 dogs enrolled in the study, nine were treated with CBD and seven were placed in a control group and given a placebo. McGrath’s team found that CBD proved to be very helpful and the findings have been labelled revolutionary, as this was the first study of its kind ever completed.

Headed again by McGrath, Colorado State is also looking at the use of CBD for treating arthritis in dogs, which affects around 14 million worldwide. Working with canines that have had arthritis in one or more joints as well as a visible lameness, the general purpose of the research is to determine whether CBD can be used to treat pain from osteoarthritis in canines.

“People are using CBD and they are excited about its potential,” McGrath explained to reporters. “It’s a topic that is gaining traction in the media, but we truly know very little about it from a scientific standpoint.”

A number of questions – efficacy, safety and dosing, to name a few themes – have yet to be conclusively answered, and McGrath believes a larger test group should be established before results are published. But the research is promising, and so long as scientists like McGrath and institutions like Colorado State are involved, so too will the discourse around cannabinoid treatment in animals continue to progress.

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