Feeding decreases the oral bioavailability of cannabidiol and cannabidiolic acid in hemp oil in New Zealand White rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Am J Vet Res. 2022 Aug 13;83(10):ajvr.22.01.0006. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.22.01.0006.


Objective: To determine the pharmacokinetics of a solution containing cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), administered orally in 2 single-dose studies (with and without food), in the domestic rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

Animals: 6 healthy New Zealand White rabbits.

Procedures: In phase 1, 6 rabbits were administered 15 mg/kg CBD with 16.4 mg/kg CBDA orally in hemp oil. In phase 2, 6 rabbits were administered the same dose orally in hemp oil followed by a food slurry. Blood samples were collected for 24 hours to determine the pharmacokinetics of CBD and CBDA. Quantification of plasma CBD and CBDA concentrations was determined using a validated liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) assay. Pharmacokinetics were determined using noncompartmental analysis.

Results: For CBD, the area under the curve extrapolated to infinity (AUC)0-∞ was 179.8 and 102 hours X ng/mL, the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) was 30.4 and 15 ng/mL, the time to Cmax (tmax) was 3.78 and 3.25 hours, and the terminal half-life (t1/2λ) was 7.12 and 3.8 hours in phase 1 and phase 2, respectively. For CBDA, the AUC0-∞ was 12,286 and 6,176 hours X ng/mL, Cmax was 2,573 and 1,196 ng/mL, tmax was 1.07 and 1.12 hours, and t1/2λ was 3.26 and 3.49 hours in phase 1 and phase 2, respectively. Adverse effects were not observed in any rabbit.

Clinical relevance: CBD and CBDA reached a greater Cmax and had a longer t1/2λ in phase 1 (without food) compared with phase 2 (with food). CBDA reached a greater Cmax but had a shorter t1/2λ than CBD both in phase 1 and phase 2. These data may be useful in determining appropriate dosing of cannabinoids in the domestic rabbit.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Cannabidiol* / adverse effects
  • Cannabidiol* / pharmacokinetics
  • Cannabinoids* / analysis
  • Cannabis
  • Plant Extracts
  • Rabbits


  • Cannabinoids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cannabidiol
  • hempseed oil
  • cannabidiolic acid