Researchers at CSU use Novel CBD Treatment for Idiopathic Epilepsy in Canine Patients

In a recent clinical trial, veterinarians at Colorado State University (CSU) used cannabidiol, or CBD, to significantly reduce the number of seizures per month in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic epilepsy in canine patients is defined by seizures that cannot be explained by another abnormality. Epidiolex, the only FDA-approved CBD treatment currently available, has previously been used to treat epileptic syndromes in humans and has been specifically approved to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes, which are early-onset treatment-resistant epileptic syndromes that manifest in young children. Veterinarians at CSU are seeking to elucidate the anti-convulsant effect of CBD in the hopes of using the treatment to help broader groups of patients who may benefit from its use. They also seek to understand how CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream and how long it is effective in the body to increase the safety of the treatment for both animals and humans. The work done at CSU may eventually help to develop novel treatments for medical conditions in both animals and humans.

Key benefits of the findings:

  • Demonstrates that CBD can successfully be used in conjunction with traditional seizure treatment regimens to manage canine epilepsy, much like it is used for similar human conditions.
  • Provides an example of studies in animals that will eventually have a positive effect on humans since researchers are seeking to understand the anti-epileptic effects of CBD for application to a broad group of patients.

We’re really lucky to be on the veterinary side – we get to help the dogs as a population, and our work acts as a translational surrogate for human medicine as well.”

– Dr. Stephanie McGrath


Stephanie McGrath, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Lisa Bartner, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Aaron Rozental, DVM

Brittany MacQuiddy, DVM


Press release:

Press release:

Press release:

McGrath S, Bartner LR, Rao S, Packer RA, Gustafson DL. Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2019 Jun 1;254(11):1301-8.