What if cannabis had therapeutic properties for dogs?

What if cannabis had therapeutic properties for dogs?

The pharmacological properties of cannabis have been known since Antiquity, but the virtues of this substance on animals are still unknown. A Brazilian study demonstrates the effectiveness of cannabis oil in the treatment of certain canine diseases.

Researchers from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) have discovered that this substance can reduce the symptoms of discoid lupus erythematosus. This immune disease mainly affects the dog’s skin, and manifests itself in the form of skin lesions, redness, hair loss, crusted ulcers and pigment changes. Although the clinical signs may vary from one animal to another, this disease particularly affects the dog’s nose and ears.

Currently, discoid lupus erythematosus is treated by giving corticosteroids to dogs. But, according to scientists, dog owners could also use cannabis oil to relieve their little companions suffering from this disease.

The co-signatories of this study, published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, discovered the medical benefits of cannabis in dogs suffering from discoid lupus erythematosus by testing, on a two-year-old crossbreed, a variety of oils, with different levels of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or both of these active ingredients. Corticosteroids and other treatments prescribed for discoid lupus erythematosus did not seem to work for this dog.

The scientists gave him one drop of each oil orally once a day, for three days, to test for possible negative reactions. They did not notice any side effects, which prompted them to continue this experimental protocol for several weeks. After a year, all symptoms of discoid lupus erythematosus disappeared. “Throughout the treatment period, the dog demonstrated strong overall well-being, remained active and playful, and saw his dermatological signs stabilize. No corticosteroids were required during individualized cannabinoid therapy“, they explain in their study.

Researchers see this as proof that cannabinoids could be a “viable and health-conscious alternative” for dogs suffering from discoid lupus erythematosus. But, more generally, they are convinced that cannabis derivatives can be valuable allies in the treatment of many inflammatory diseases that our little four-legged friends can suffer from.