Is CBD for dogs effective? New study shows promise

cbd for dogs

Interest in CBD for dogs has been growing, and for good reason: the compound may have myriad benefits for our furry friends. A wide variety of CBD pet products have emerged, becoming a big segment of the cannabis market. More studies are revealing how CBD can help pets—and the latest research is definitely paw-some.

According to a new study out of the United Kingdom, CBD can help dogs achieve a “significant reduction” in stress, specifically during car rides. Scientists at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute conducted the placebo trial, with 20 canines participating over 24 weeks.

The research team measured the dogs’ stress levels in multiple ways, including physiological and behavioral responses. Measures included cortisol and glucose levels as well as reactions such as persistent licking and whining. 

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The dogs’ stress levels were noted before, during, and after car rides. All of the animals exhibited signs of stress during their journeys, but those who were given CBD saw substantial improvement.

Canines in the CBD group were given four milligrams of isolate per kilogram of body weight, taking softgels inside pill pockets with breakfast. Scientists found that the compound was most effective 90 minutes to two hours after consumption.

“Some measures of stress were significantly influenced by CBD administration across multiple tests, indicating daily dosing at 4 mg/kg may have a mild anxiolytic effect on dogs when traveling in a car,” the study authors wrote.

The research team noted reduced stress levels in both groups by the end of the trial, likely due to the dogs getting used to their regular car trips. They also noted that there were still small amounts of cortisol in dogs taking CBD, meaning the compound may not completely eliminate stress—but certainly helps.

The findings align with a previous study conducted by the UK research team showing that CBD can help calm dogs during stressful events. Other canine inquiries have mirrored the results of human CBD trials, showing the cannabinoid may help ease seizures, joint pain, and inflammation in pups. 

Study authors concluded that CBD may not be a silver bullet for canine anxiety, but it can help our four-legged friends in a big way. For the folks who are curious about cannabis for their pets, it may be worth throwing a bone—just be sure to chat with your vet first.

rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter