Cannabis Therapy for Seizures in Animals

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The use of cannabis as medicine for animals has been acquiring a lot focus in the healthcare, scientific, and pet owning communities. One particular of the possible utilizes displaying the most guarantee is in the remedy of seizures.

The use of cannabis to treat seizures is nothing at all new. Cannabis has been described as a therapy for persons with seizures for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. 1two In current years, cannabis, and cannabidiol (CBD) in certain, are as soon as once more becoming deemed for the remedy of seizures in each humans and animals.

In ancient instances, cannabis was made use of for seizures primarily based purely on observational information, but these days in-depth scientific analysis is becoming carried out to ascertain how and why cannabis is advantageous in the work to ascertain how finest to limit, and hopefully get rid of, seizures.

The Science of Cannabis and Epilepsy

Regardless of the renewed interest and availability for analysis funding, the mechanisms by which cannabis effects seizures are nevertheless unclear. One particular consideration is a precise receptor on neurons, recognized as “GPR55,” which is believed to mediate seizure activity by way of regulating the excitability of neurons. CBD seems to limit GPR55’s capability to trigger neuronal excitation which is speculated to cut down seizures.

Furthermore, some research have shown epileptic individuals to have decreased anandamide (AEA) concentrations in their cerebrospinal fluid and/or alterations in their CB1 receptors. AEA is 1 of the naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the physique that regulates the endocannabinoid program (ECS). CB1 receptors, also portion of the ECS, are binding internet sites for AEA and alterations in AEA and/or CB1 receptors are presumed to lead to alterations in levels of other neurotransmitters that may possibly eventually lead to seizure activity. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds CB1 receptors and, in this way, may possibly cut down seizure activity.threefour

Pre-clinical analysis into other cannabinoids and terpenes recommend other compounds located in cannabis may possibly also be successful for seizure remedy. For sensible and legal causes, on the other hand, a great deal of the existing analysis focuses on CBD.

Even though the precise causes why cannabis compounds have a optimistic impact on seizures are not crystal clear, good strides have been produced with regards to their therapeutic use. In 2018, the FDA authorized the 1st cannabis-derived pharmaceutical, Epidiolex. A single-molecule CBD formulation, Epidiolex is authorized for the use of refractory seizures in two types of pediatric epilepsy recognized as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet Syndromes. Not only is Epidiolex of good advantage for the youngsters it assists, the drug also represents a big step forward in the federal government’s acknowledgement of the medicinal worth of cannabis.

How Does the Science Relate to Animals?

Veterinary precise analysis has also taken a large step forward this year with the publishing of the 1st clinical trial evaluating the effects of CBD on seizures in epileptic dogs. The study, carried out at Colorado State University, evaluated seizure frequency in dogs with and without having the use of CBD. Benefits showed an 89% reduction in seizure frequency in dogs who received two.five mg/kg CBD twice everyday compared to a 43% reduction in dogs not getting CBD. Each groups of dogs had been getting other anti-seizure pharmaceuticals at the time of the study which is the explanation the group not getting CBD had a big reduction in seizures, as properly. Whilst these outcomes are deemed statistically considerable, they are surely not as dramatic as lots of hoped they would be. The authors noted this in their conclusions and stated additional research are warranted to see if greater doses of CBD may possibly be extra advantageous in the remedy of seizures in dogs.five

One particular precise point to note about the study is the CBD formula made use of was not a CBD “isolate.”  The hemp-primarily based formula contained “trace amounts of other cannabinoids” which may possibly or may possibly not have contributed to its efficacy. Analysis suggests that various cannabinoids (CBD, THC, and other folks) as properly as terpenes have anti-seizure properties and it may possibly be that higher effects can be located with a “broader spectrum” formulation.

Speaking from the viewpoint of the rewards of “whole plant medicine,” broad spectrum formulations are commonly extra successful than single elements. That mentioned, from a analysis viewpoint, applying pure CBD would clarify what effects are precise to the 1 compound.

Anecdotal reports from pet owners and veterinarians recommend that cannabis can not only cut down seizure frequency, it may possibly be capable to lessen seizure severity, shorten recovery time, and potentially even protect against an imminent seizure if the animal is medicated at the 1st indicators of problems.

With analysis ongoing, we surely see guarantee in the use of CBD, and potentially other cannabinoids, for the remedy of seizures in animals. That mentioned, cannabis as medicine really should be made use of with caution. CBD provided at moderate to higher doses can potentially impact blood levels of other drugs, which includes anti-seizure drugs. Simply because of this, it may possibly be important to monitor levels at the starting of cannabis therapy. For the security of your furry family members members, generally seek the advice of with your veterinarian ahead of beginning any kind of cannabis therapy for your pet.


Gary Richter, MS, DVM, CVA, CVC, GDWVHM, a Project CBD contributing writer, is an Oakland-primarily based veterinarian. His articles concentrate on sensible facts for applying cannabis to treat healthcare situations in pets.


Copyright, Project CBD. Could not be reprinted without having permission.


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