First Federally-Approved Study Of CBD Pet Treatment Begins In Canada

By Benjie Cooper

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Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained a lot of notoriety in recent years due to its ability to combat seizures, reduce anxiety, and accelerate healing in humans. But while anecdotal evidence and current research have proven the cannabinoid to be effective for many people, one of Canada’s largest cannabis companies is starting research focused on bringing the benefits of CBD to pets.

On Wednesday, Toronto-based Canopy Animal Health announced that it had received approval from Health Canada to research the effectiveness of CBD at treating anxiety in animals. The trial signals the first time that a company has sought and federal approval to add the non-psychoactive cannabinoid to pet food.

“There has been very little done with CBD or other phytocannabinoids in pets up until now,” said Canopy Animal Health executive vice-president and chief scientific officer Dana Vaugh in an e-mail to The Star. “No drugs containing cannabis have been authorized for veterinary use in Canada.”

The company hopes to establish solid clinical data demonstrating how CBD interacts with animals of different sizes and species.

Earlier this year, Canopy Health Innovations filed eight provisional U.S. patents for the delivery and application of cannabis and cannabis-based therapeutics for fibromyalgia, ALS, anxiety in humans and animals, opioid sparing, pain, cognitive enhancements, and smoking cessation. As of April, the company had filed a total of thirty-nine provisional patents in the United States.

Once the current study is complete, Canopy Animal Health plans to make the data available to pet owners, including information on how to determine the proper dosage for different sizes of animals.

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