LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: HOW THE CANNABINOID CBN SHOWS PROMISE FOR ANXIETY IN DOGS
*Disclaimer: This article is not meant to serve as a substitute for veterinary advice. Dr.Hempdog believes firmly in the contents of this article because of the thorough research that backs it up and our own experiences with the thousands of dogs that we have helped through the years (including our own). You should always defer to your veterinarian when adding anything to your dog's unique wellness routine.
Have you ever heard of CBN (Cannabinol)? For the past few years, many humans have reported using higher doses of CBN as an effective sleep aid, but now, recent discoveries are showing that CBN could be an incredibly useful tool for managing canine anxiety when dosed properly. Read on to learn more about these remarkable findings and our first-of-its-kind clinical trial showing how CBN could be a powerful tool for alleviating severe anxiety in dogs.
What We’ve Learned About CBN Over the Years
As most people reading this already know, studies show that cannabinoids (such as CBD) can be an incredibly useful tool for managing canine anxiety. Over the years, we’ve seen remarkable results with our original best-in-class full-spectrum hemp oil. However, we were frustrated that there were still a few dogs out there with anxiety so severe that they weren’t seeing the same success, as anxiety is far more complex to treat (though 100% of the dogs that use our products for arthritis do see very good success).
We’ve always been extremely well-versed in cannabinoid science, so we knew that CBN could potentially help dogs with anxiety due to how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. However, we faced a serious obstacle: at the time, it wasn’t possible for us to naturally and legally grow CBN in higher amounts. Fortunately, we were still able to produce enough CBN to perform preliminary experiments.
We started by scouring medical publications to build a comprehensive database of every study ever conducted on CBN. Cannabinoids (like CBN) interact with the endocannabinoid systems of humans and dogs in very similar ways, so we consulted clinical studies related to humans as a baseline. Two sets of findings suggest that CBN can alleviate anxiety when used alongside certain other cannabinoids:
- In 1975, an early study found that CBN acted as a moderate sedative when used with certain other cannabinoids.
- A 2017 review highlights many other studies that demonstrate how CBN activates certain cannabinoid receptors in the brain which are known to cause sedation and relaxation. Specifically, CBN is one of a very small, unique set of cannabinoids that can activate “CB1” cannabinoid receptors, with the only other significant ones being THC and anandamide (the “bliss molecule” that all mammals naturally produce).
The safe limits of THC are well-studied in dogs, and studies show that CBN is similar to THC in many ways, yet is much weaker overall. Thus, we used veterinary safety studies of THC to estimate CBN’s upper dose limits (just to be safe, we kept our actual doses far below those estimated limits). All of this information helped us form the hypothesis that CBN could potentially affect anxiety in dogs by stimulating CB1 receptors (and be safe in doing so).
We then began testing low doses of CBN on ourselves (human author here). We always strive to gain a basic understanding of how any given cannabinoid will affect a mammal’s endocannabinoid system before we even consider using it on animals. Of course, we always take into consideration that animals (especially dogs) have more sensitive endocannabinoid systems than humans; this is why cannabinoids tend to be even more effective for animals than humans (at least for the ailments we use them for).
Eventually, we started testing very small, safe doses of CBN with a few dogs we knew well who were good candidates, and we were impressed by the results. We revisited some of the more challenging anxiety cases that we’d seen in the past - some of these dogs were now reporting significant improvements in anxiety that they hadn’t experienced with any other treatment.
At this point, we had such overwhelmingly positive evidence for CBN’s anxiety-relieving effects that we knew we needed to share our findings with the veterinary community. Once we finally gained the ability to grow high-CBN hemp strains and produce our proprietary CBN formula, we laid the foundation for a formal clinical trial to study this cannabinoid in more detail.
This Led to the First-Of-Its-Kind CBN Trial for Dogs
In August 2021, we initiated a formal clinical trial for CBN with the help of numerous veterinarians and canine health professionals, using a proprietary CBN-dominant product called the “Ultra Behavior Formula” (UBF).
This is the first-ever trial to study the effects of CBN in dogs with anxiety, and we’re excited to share our process and findings with our community. Below, you’ll find a brief overview of our study methodology and the preliminary results we’ve gathered so far.
To start, every dog’s human participated in multiple intake discussions (via email and phone calls), long before they started using the Ultra Behavior Formula (UBF). During these discussions, we had each human identify and quantify the most prevalent anxiety symptoms in their dog(s), establishing a baseline for their condition. We also used this pre-trial period to conduct bloodwork panels and collect other relevant data (household conditions, medical history, sleeping habits, etc.).
Once we gathered that information, participating humans started administering controlled, daily doses of UBF to their dogs with their meals. We checked in regularly with each human to re-evaluate the severity and frequency of anxiety symptoms in their dog, and then adjusted doses as needed. Based on these check-ins, we were able to track the progress of each dog to see how their symptoms were affected.
Preliminary Results & Current Status
After 90 days of consistent administration, reports showed that 100% of dogs involved in the study experienced substantial relief from their anxiety symptoms after using the Ultra Behavior Formula. Every human has reported seeing more effective anxiety relief for their dogs while using the UBF than with any other treatment they had tried up to this point. Furthermore, we’ve received absolutely no reports of any side effects or intoxication, and there have been no detrimental changes in blood work / liver enzyme activity. This data indicates that our Ultra Behavior Formula can safely and effectively be used as a novel treatment for canine anxiety.
Status as of December 10, 2021: This trial is currently ongoing, and is slated to continue at least through August 2022. This month, we’re onboarding our second group of dogs. To see a more detailed breakdown of this trial (including the latest results), you can use the button below to view our comprehensive overview of the entire study.
Have Any Questions?
Our CBN-dominant Ultra Behavior Formula is currently found primarily for sale through veterinarians, canine wellness professionals, or by request on our website. To learn more about the UBF and/or request to purchase, please visit our veterinary products page.
If you have any questions about our trial, Dr.Hempdog’s Ultra Behavior Formula, or using CBN for animals, leave a comment below and we'll get back to you promptly. Alternatively, you can schedule a free, 15-minute call by visiting our website, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contacting us at (720) 773-9595.