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      Cannabinoid Study Icon

      *The Dr.Hempdog Science Team updates this list regularly with the latest findings and publications. Last updated: June 10, 2021.

      This is our resource detailing every clinical study thus far related to cannabinoid usage in dogs. We've summarized all of these studies in as fair and impartial a way as possible, but of course, we also provide all the links to the original studies for those who want to do more research. 

      For your convenience, we've sorted these studies into these key categories, all of which explicitly involve dogs:

      1. General Cannabinoid Studies: Studies that involve the administration of plant cannabinoids to dogs, typically to test efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics.
      2. Endocannabinoid System Studies: Studies that pertain to the endocannabinoid systems of dogs, but don't involve the direct administration of plant cannabinoids.
      3. Clinical Reviews: Well-founded academic reviews of prior studies by veterinary professionals, which draw upon both human and veterinary trials to compose broader scientific conclusions
      4. Competitor Studies: Studies from competing CBD companies exploring the effectiveness of different formulations of CBD.
      5. Dr.Hempdog's Cannabinoid Trials: Our studies exploring the canine health benefits of numerous cannabinoids.



      This is the bulk of relevant research regarding the use of cannabinoids in dogs, and covers most of the information we have thus far on the safety and efficacy of CBD and other cannabinoids.






      A Dose Finding Study of Cannabidiol in Dogs with Intractable Epilepsy


      Colorado State University


      Aims to find an effective dose of CBD to reduce seizure frequency in epileptic dogs by 50% (or more). Slated to end 5/31/22.

      Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol, Cannabidiolic Acid, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid and Related Metabolites in Canine Serum After Dosing With Three Oral Forms of Hemp Extract

      Sep 2020

      Collaborative study

      Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, THCA, CBDA, CBC, CBGA, Safety

      Multiple full-spectrum CBD products (two oils and one chew) caused no health or behavior changes at any dose tested.

      The Impact of Feeding Cannabidiol (CBD) Containing Treats on Canine Response to a Noise-Induced Fear Response Test

      Sep 2020

      Lincoln Memorial University & University of Kentucky

      CBD Isolate, Anxiety, Safety

      CBD isolate did not significantly alleviate fear-responses in dogs, and may have interfered with trazodone (a sedative); however, no notable side effects were measured.

      Pharmacokinetic and Safety Evaluation of Various Oral Doses of a Novel 1:20 THC:CBD Cannabis Herbal Extract in Dogs

      Sep 2020

      University of Saskatchewan

      Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, CBC, CBG, Safety

      Full-spectrum CBD was generally well received by dogs, but neurological symptoms did manifest when the highest tested dosage was presented (CBD 10mg/kg, THC 0.5mg/kg).

      Preliminary Investigation of the Safety of Escalating Cannabinoid Doses in Healthy Dogs

      Feb 2020

      Canopy Animal Health (Research Company)

      CBD Isolate, Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, Safety

      Isolated CBD was found to be generally safe in dogs (equivalent to placebo), with only mild adverse effects reported with escalating dosages; THC and CBD/ THC mixtures caused ataxia, lethargy, and hypothermia in higher doses

      Pharmacokinetics of Sativex® in Dogs: Towards a Potential Cannabinoid-Based Therapy for Canine Disorders

      Feb 2020

      Complutense University of Madrid

      Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, Safety

      Sativex (a full-spectrum CBD drug approved in many non-American countries for multiple sclerosis) caused no adverse effects or ataxia in any subjects tested.

      Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats

      Oct 2019

      Collaborative study

      Full-Spectrum CBD, Safety, Cats

      Full-spectrum CBD was shown to be safe and bioavailable in healthy adult dogs. Cats, conversely, demonstrated several neurological symptoms while having less CBD bioavailability, suggesting potential unique risks and considerations for them.

      Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy

      Jun 2019

      Colorado State University

      CBD (Extract Type Unknown), Seizures

      When used alongside normal anti-epileptic treatment, CBD significantly reduced seizure frequency in dogs with ideopathic epilepsy, though two dogs did develop ataxia. CBD seemingly mostly helped dogs who were already responsive to traditional anticonvulsants.

      Species-specific susceptibility to cannabis-induced convulsions

      May 2019

      University of Reading

      Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, Safety, Seizures

      Increasing doses of full-spectrum CBD only caused side effects in higher, sustained doses. Unlike rats, high doses of CBD did not induce seizures in dogs.

      Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs

      Jul 2018

      Cornell University

      Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, CBDA, CBC, CBG, Safety, Arthritis, Pain

      Full-spectrum CBD oil alleviated pain and increased activity in osteoarthritic dogs without any side effects, although an increase in alkaline phosphatase was reported with an unclear source. No changes in weight-bearing capability or actual arthritic conditions were reported.

      Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol administered by 3 delivery methods at 2 different dosages to healthy dogs

      Jul 2018

      Colorado State University

      CBD Isolate, Safety

      CBD was found to be most bioavailable when administered as an oral oil, rather than by transdermal or bead-based methods.

      Effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid receptor agonist, on the triggering of transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations in dogs and humans

      Jan 2009

      Collaborative study

      THC, Gastrointestinal

      THC reduced acid reflux and spontaneous swallowing in 4 dogs, though it did so less effectively than in humans.

      Pharmacokinetics of cannabidiol in dogs

      May 1988

      Hebrew University

      CBD (Extract Type Unknown)

      Intravenous administration of CBD was linked to especially high bioavailability, while oral CBD was shown to hardly be bioavailable (and wasn't detected at all in half of participants), demonstrating very low absorption of oral CBD in dogs.


      These studies pertain directly to the endocannabinoid systems of dogs, and do not involve the administration of any of the plant cannabinoids found in hemp. In humans, CBD is known to increase anandamide levels in the body, in addition to the fact that cannabinoids can all activate the endocannabinoid system to varying effect.






      Cellular Distribution of Canonical and Putative Cannabinoid Receptors in Canine Cervical Dorsal Root Ganglia

      Sep 2019

      University of Bologna


      Numerous cannabinoid receptors and similar cannabinoid-activated receptors (CB1, CB2, GPR55, PPARalpha, and TPRV1) were found in the spine and central nervous system of dogs, demonstrating potential neuroprotective roles of the endocannabinoid system.

      The endocannabinoid system in canine Steroid-Responsive Meningitis-Arteritis and Intraspinal Spirocercosis

      Feb 2018

      University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover

      Anandamide, 2-AG, Inflammation

      Dogs with inflammatory diseases had significantly more anandamide, 2-AG, and CB2 receptors at sites of inflammation, demonstrating the link between the endocannabinoid system and inflammatory processes.

      Localization of cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2, GPR55, and PPARα in the canine gastrointestinal tract

      Jun 2018

      University of Bologna

      Gastrointestinal, Inflammation

      CB1, CB2, GPR55, and PPARalpha cannabinoid receptors were found within the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, demonstrating that cannabinoids could activate these receptors to aid with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and a variety of gastrointestinal conditions.

      Characterization of endocannabinoids and related acylethanolamides in the synovial fluid of dogs with osteoarthritis: a pilot study

      Nov 2017

      University of Bari Aldo Moro

      Anandamide, 2-AG, Entourage Effect, Arthritis

      Anandamide, 2-AG, and multiple entourage compounds were found in increased concentrations within the synovial fluid and joints of osteoarthritic dogs, demonstrating the endocannabinoid system's involvement in the management of arthritis.

      Spatial distribution of cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) in normal canine central and peripheral nervous system

      Jul 2017

      University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover


      Researchers found CB1 receptors densely expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems (brain, spine, etc.) of dogs of all ages.

      Upregulation of CB 2 receptors in reactive astrocytes in canine degenerative myelopathy, a disease model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

      Jan 2017

      Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (Translated; Madrid)


      CB2 receptors were shown to be present in higher concentrations in the spines of dogs afflicted with nervous system/ spinal cord diseases, implying that the endocannabinoid system could be activated for neuroprotective effects.

      Immunohistochemical distribution of the cannabinoid receptor 1 and fatty acid amide hydrolase in the dog claustrum

      Jul 2016

      University of Pisa


      The presence of CB1 receptors and FAAH (the breakdown enzyme for anandamide) were described in the claustrum (a poorly studied portion of the brain) of dogs, proving endocannabinoid system activity in this region.

      High-Fat Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance Does Not Increase Plasma Anandamide Levels or Potentiate Anandamide Insulinotropic Effect in Isolated Canine Islets

      Apr 2015

      Cedars-Sinai Medical Center & University of Southern California

      Anandamide, Gastrointestinal, Obesity

      After inducing insulin resistance in dogs via a high-fat diet, no increase in anandamide levels was detected, demonstrating that anandamide likely only plays a secondary role in obesity in dogs. (For context, anandamide has been linked to insulin production in humans and is often found in high concentrations in obese subjects).

      Preferential epithelial expression of type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) in the developing canine embryo

      Dec 2015

      University of Pisa


      CB1 receptors were found to be present in 30-day-old canine embryos in the same general locations as in adult dogs, presenting a need for study into the effects of cannabinoids on canine pregnancy in order to avoid a risk of developmental conditions or miscarriage.

      Alterations of endocannabinoids in cerebrospinal fluid of dogs with epileptic seizure disorder

      Dec 2013

      Hannover Medicine School

      Anandamide, 2-AG

      Dogs with ideopathic epilepsy were found to have much higher concentrations of anandamide within their cerebrospinal fluid, alongside a seemingly higher concentration of 2-AG. The exact mechanisms and causes of this correlation were not discovered, but nonetheless do demonstrate a link between the endocannabinoid system and seizure activity in dogs.

      Cannabinoid receptor type 1 and 2 expression in the skin of healthy dogs and dogs with atopic dermatitis

      Jul 2012

      University of Pisa

      Topical, Inflammation, Immune System

      Dogs with dermatitis had an even spread of CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout all layers of the skin, with more receptor activity than in dogs without dermatitis. In a related test, CB1 activity was found in the hippocampus of the brain, and CB2 activity was found in lymph nodes in the immune system; together, these strongly suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in a variety of inflammatory and immune-system related conditions.

      Identification of an endogenous 2-monoglyceride, present in canine gut, that binds to cannabinoid receptors

      Jun 1995

      Collaborative study

      2-AG, Pain

      2-AG was found and isolated from canine intestines, and upon testing with mice, was found to bond to CB1 and CB2 receptors and exert many of the same effects as THC (inhibiting adenylate cyclase, reducing pain, inhibiting motion, and acting as a general depressant).


      These are thorough clinical reviews summarizing veterinary experiences and a wide array of prior studies in dogs, humans, and a variety of other domesticated species.






      Hemp in Veterinary Medicine: From Feed to Drug

      Jul 2020

      Università degli Studi di Perugia

      CBD, THC, Endocannabinoid System, Pain, Seizures, Safety

      Discusses the nutritional and pharmaceutical value of hemp in veterinary contexts, citing reasonable safety expectations and current scientific precedents among different species. 

      Does the addition of cannabidiol alongside current drug treatments reduce pain in dogs with osteoarthritis?

      May 2020

      University of Nottingham

      CBD, Inflammation, Arthritis

      Examines whether co-administration of CBD and traditional NSAIDs seems to attenuate arthritic pain, finding that, while owners may commonly result a reduction in pain, vets often don't notice the same pain reduction in practice; more study is necessary to be sure.

      Does the addition of cannabidiol to conventional antiepileptic drug treatment reduce seizure frequency in dogs with epilepsy?

      May 2020

      University of Nottingham


      Examines the ability CBD may have to alleviate epilepsy and seizures in dogs, concluding that, while very promising, evidence is insufficient at this time to be sure.

      The Endocannabinoid System of Animals

      Sep 2019

      Dr. Robert J. Silver, DVM, MS

      CBD, THC, Entourage Effect, Endocannabinoid System, Inflammation, Pain, Anxiety, Cancer, Neuroprotection, Cancer

      Looks at the endocannabinoid system through a veterinary lens, discussing present data on its presence in dogs and precedent for modulation of pain, cancer, neuroprotection, inflammation, anxiety, and cardiovascular health, with mention of several terpenes for similar uses.

      Clinical Reports: Two Hundred and Thirteen Cases of Marijuana Toxicoses in Dogs

      Mar 2004 Poznan University of Life Sciences THC, Marijuana, Safety

      An older look at the symptoms, onset, treatment, and likelihoods of marijuana overdose in dogs and animals, marking several trends over time and clearly depicting signs of static ataxia and THC overdose.




      This section includes studies conducted or sponsored by other CBD-for-animals companies. If you compare Dr.Hempdog's lab work to any of the products used in these studies, you will find that Dr.Hempdog contains more anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety compounds and is more rigorously tested for purity than any of these products. You can verify the contents of our lab work here.






      The Use of Cannabidiol-Rich Hemp Oil Extract to Treat Canine Osteoarthritis-Related Pain: A Pilot Study



      2020 HempMyPet/ Colorado State University Full-Spectrum CBD, Safety, Pain

      Note: HempMyPet's lab work demonstrates a lack of CBDV, and also does not include tests for terpenes or contaminants.

      Full-spectrum CBD successfully reduced pain in 30 of 32 dogs, 23 of which who were on Gabapentin. Nearly all of the dogs on Gabapentin could either discontinue its usage or reduce their dose.

      CBD Substantially Improves Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms in Dogs

      Jul 2020

      CannPal Animal Therapeutics

      CBD, Topical

      Note: CannPal's cannabinoid extracts (and lab work) are currently not publicly available.

      Topical CBD significantly reduced skin inflammation in dogs, without any notable side effects.

      Serum cannabidiol, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and their native acid derivatives after transdermal application of a lowTHC Cannabis sativa extract in beagles

      Jul 2020

      ElleVet  Sciences / University of Florida

      Full-Spectrum CBD, THC, CBDA, THCA, Topical

      Note: ElleVet's lab work demonstrates a lack of CBDV, and also does not test for contaminants.

      CBDA and THCA alike were  found to be more readily absorbed by canine skin than THC or CBD.

      The Use of ElleVet Sciences Calm and Comfort Acute Strength CBD+CBDA Chews for Anxiety Inducing Events in Dogs

      Jun 2020

      ElleVet Sciences / University of Pennsylvania or Cornell

      Full-Spectrum CBD, CBDA, THC, THCA, CBC, CBGA, CBG

      Note: ElleVet's lab work demonstrates a lack of CBDV, and also does not include tests for contaminants.

      A full-spectrum CBD chew successfully alleviated anxiety in 83% of dogs. Little to no side effects were experienced overall, except for vomiting in 4 dogs that ingested the chew on an empty stomach.




      Our ongoing, in-house studies into the potential of various cannabinoids to be used in veterinary contexts.




      The Efficacy of Full-Spectrum CBN Extracts in Dogs with Moderate to Severe Anxiety

      ONGOING Dr.Hempdog Science Team

      CBN, Full-Spectrum CBD, Safety, Anxiety

      An ongoing study exploring the potential of CBN-dominant mixtures to alleviate anxiety in dogs.


      The Dr.Hempdog Science Team is constantly updating this list with new findings.