Assessing the effectiveness of cannabidiol additive supplementation on canine behavior and cortisol levels

Heliyon. 2024 May 15;10(10):e31345. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e31345. eCollection 2024 May 30.


In veterinary medicine, Cannabis has been used to treat pain conditions, inflammation, and seizures. However, little is known about its effect on dogs' behavior. This preliminary research aims to address this knowledge gap by evaluating the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) oil in canine behavioral therapy. Twenty dogs, diagnosed with behavioral disorders and housed in a municipal shelter, participated in a double-blind trial. Ten dogs received CBD oil treatment, while the other ten received a control oil without CBD. Before (T0) and after (T1) the treatment, all the dogs underwent a temperament test to assess their behavior in the presence of four different stimuli: a human stranger, a novel object, a child-like doll, and a conspecific (another dog). Each stimulus was presented individually, and the dogs' behaviors were recorded on video and analyzed. Additionally, hair samples were collected using a shave-reshave technique for cortisol determination through Radio-Immuno-Assay. No behavioral differences were found between the two groups at both T0 and T1. There were no significant differences in the behavioral responses of either group when comparing T0 and T1. However, individual responses to the CBD oil treatment appeared to vary among subjects. A significant increase in hair cortisol levels (p-value <0.05) was observed in the group treated with CBD oil [T0 = 1.60 (1.44-1.93) pg/mg, T1 = 4.81(2.57-6.01) pg/mg]. These findings highlight the importance of individualized treatment when using Cannabis and encourage further research on the use of CBD oil in animal behavioral medicine.