CBD company aims to launch ‘scientifically sound’ pet products

March 9, 2020

This newcomer to the veterinary market—its parent company has been making human CBD products since 2014—expects to have companion animal CBD products available as soon as this year.

Cannabidiol (CBD) use in pets to help treat conditions like anxiety, digestive issues and inflammation continues to gain popularity, but research detailing its safety and efficacy for these ailments is limited.

In its efforts to be “the most trusted source on CBD science,” Canopy Animal Health—a division of Canopy Growth Corporation, the first publicly traded cannabis company (NYSE-CGC])—is collaborating with universities and industry leaders to investigate potential benefits of CBD use in pets with a number conditions, according to the company’s website.

Canopy Animal Health has dedicated the past three years to studying the clinical effects and safety of CBD in dogs and cats in preparation for launching “the most scientifically sound companion animal CBD products,” the first of which is expected to be available later this year.

While the company is remaining tight-lipped about specific products, Bob Menardi, DVM, director of veterinary technical and educational services for the company, was happy to share the company's main research targets with dvm360.

"First and foremost, we are concentrating on safety and tolerability," Dr. Menardi says. "Beyond that, research targets are in the area of pain and inflammation, situational and general anxiety, and seizure disorders like epilepsy.

With 22 rigorous scientific studies either completed or underway, the company hopes to gain the comprehensive understanding of cannabinoid safety for pets that is currently lacking.

“We are committed to the idea that any product must be supported by thorough research before it ends up in the hands of pet owners,” says Dana Vaughn, PhD, Canopy Animal Health’s chief scientific officer and vice president of global research and development, in a press release. “To ensure safety and the optimum benefit to our pets, it’s necessary to perform scientifically valid CBD studies in several formulations and at multiple doses,” Dr. Vaughn says.

Canopy Animal Health is currently sponsoring research at Colorado State University. Lead researcher Stephanie McGrath, DVM, MS, a veterinary neurologist, is conducting four preliminary studies to explore the potential use of CBD for mitigating signs of epilepsy in dogs and to better determine its safety in cats.

“The research we are conducting to understand the potential synergies between CBD and other drugs used to treat epilepsy could be groundbreaking for the field of veterinary medicine,” Dr. McGrath says.