CBD Is ‘Safe For Long-Term Use’ In Dogs, National Animal Supplement Council Concludes After Funding ‘Comprehensive’ Study

The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is promoting a new study that it says shows CBD is “safe for long-term use” in dogs—a significant finding given emerging research that cannabis can effectively treat conditions such as anxiety and certain skin diseases among canines.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science last week, found that a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD, CBDA and CBG, were “well-tolerated” in healthy dogs at a dose of 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day.

To investigate the issue, researchers designed a randomized, 90-day repeat dose study with a two-week recovery period. Thirty-two healthy dogs were given either a placebo, CBD, CBD+CBG or CBD+CBDA and tested weekly for body weight, food consumption and clinical pathologies.

“Cannabinoids were well tolerated when healthy male and female beagles were dosed for 90 consecutive days,” the study found. “Based on the data available it would be the conclusion of the authors that the substances do not pose significant risk to dogs in long-term use.”

In addition to the trial involving the 32 beagles, the study also involved a separate analysis of more than 10 years of post-market surveillance data from the NASC Adverse Event Reporting Database (NAERS), a robust monitoring system that tracks supplements given to companion animals.

From 2010 to 2023, the rate of adverse events for CBD was 2.1 for every one million administrations and 0.01 serious adverse events for every one million administrations.

NASC President Bill Bookout, whose group funded the study, said in a press release on Tuesday that the results show the cannabis components that were examined “are safe for long-term use in healthy dogs when given at the dose studied.”

“With safety studies, no matter how well controlled or meticulously defined, it is impossible to account for everything that can occur when a product is commercialized. That is why this safety study includes not only data from a well-designed study protocol, but also 10 years of post-market surveillance data,” he said. “No other study that we are aware of is as comprehensive and includes both data sets.”

The study adds to the growing scientific literature around cannabis and canines.

For example, another recent case study found that cannabis appears to be a “viable alternative” treatment option for dogs suffering from a common skin disease—especially if they experience adverse side effects from conventional steroid therapies.

A study that was published in January found that dogs that receive daily doses of CBD see “significant reductions” in stress and anxiety related to car travel.

Other studies have demonstrated benefits of CBD such as reduced frequency of seizures among dogs who receive the cannabinoid. Also, a study published in 2018 found that dogs with arthritis see improvements with CBD treatment.

Last August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that cows that are fed hempseed cake retain very low concentrations of THC and CBD in their bodies, indicating that meat products from hemp-fed cattle are safe for human consumption.

Another federally funded study published in 2022 found that feeding cows hemp reduces their stress. Researchers have also looked into how CBD affects stress and pain in horses.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to a series of businesses marketing CBD products for animals in 2022, cautioning that there’s a “lack of data on what levels of potential residues are safe for a person consuming the foods that come from CBD-treated animals.”

Meanwhile, late last year, the governor of New York vetoed a pair of bills that would have allowed hemp seeds to be included in animal feed for pets, horses and camelids such as llamas and alpacas—citing a lack of information about the safety of such uses, which she wants the state to study in an “expeditious manner.”

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