02323: Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the Treatment of Canine Epilepsy

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $356,022
Stephanie McGrath, DVM, MS; Colorado State University
December 1, 2017 - May 31, 2021

Sponsor(s): American Brittany Club, American Miniature Schnauzer Club, American Pointer Club, Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, Bichon Frise Club of America, Inc., Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc., Field Spaniel Society of America, French Bulldog Club of America, Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America, Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Inc., Miniature Pinscher Club of America, Inc., National Beagle Club, Norwegian Elkhound Association of America, Inc., Portuguese Water Dog Foundation, Inc., Rhodesian Ridgeback Charitable Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Epilepsy Initiative
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Epilepsy is the most common neurologic condition in dogs. Approximately 20-30% of dogs receiving standard therapy remain uncontrolled for their seizures. Additionally, the side effects of the antiepileptic drugs (AED) are often unacceptable. Thus, there is a need for an AED that is efficacious with minimal side effects. Cannabidiol (CBD), a prominent non-psychotropic component of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been shown to have anti-convulsant properties. While CBD offers promise as a treatment for canine epilepsy, controlled studies are needed to prove its effectiveness. In this randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial, client-owned dogs with uncontrolled epilepsy will be enrolled following a full seizure evaluation, including bloodwork and magnetic resonance imaging. The canine patients will first receive either a placebo or CBD in addition to their standard AED protocol and then the opposite drug in this crossover designed study. Seizure frequency and medication side effects will be monitored by owners using a seizure log and questionnaire. Regular CBD plasma concentrations, routine bloodwork and serial physical examinations will be monitored by the investigator. The primary goal of the study is to determine the efficacy of CBD in the treatment of canine epilepsy. If CBD is effective in decreasing seizure frequency, it has the potential to improve the quality and length of life for dogs with uncontrolled epilepsy, and add a much-needed tool for veterinarians in the treatment of canine epilepsy.

Learn how you can participate in this study!


Hartsel, J. A., Boyar, K., Pham, A., Silver, R. J., & Makriyannis, A. (2019). Cannabis in Veterinary Medicine: Cannabinoid Therapies for Animals: Clinical Efficacy of CBD for Treating Osteoarthritis and Refractory Epilepsy in the Dog: A Pilot Study. In R. C. Gupta, A. Srivastava, & R. Lall (Eds.), Nutraceuticals in Veterinary Medicine (pp. 121–155). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04624-8_10
Rozental AJ, Weisbeck BG, Corsato Alvarenga I, et al. The efficacy and safety of cannabidiol as adjunct treatment for drug-resistant idiopathic epilepsy in 51 dogs: A double-blinded crossover study. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2023;37(6):2291-2300. doi:10.1111/jvim.16912

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