Joseph Wakshlag DVM, Ph.D., ACVN, ACVSMR
Chief Medical Officer – ElleVet Sciences
The use of hemp extracts in veterinary medicine is growing, and each company is looking for an edge regarding efficacy, dosing, and cannabinoid profiles. The majority of comparisons are difficult to make due to the vast differences in concentrations of products, dosing regimens from companies, and how companies report results as total cannabinoids or just CBD concentrations in the bloodstream. The first thing to understand is that all products are unlikely to be identical in delivery due to different extracts and different delivery mediums (oils, chews, etc.). One common thing we are learning is that regardless of the dose and how often it is provided (SID or BID) – giving hemp products to your pets with a meal WILL INCREASE ABSORPTION. Data presented by companies surrounding pharmacokinetics is excellent – however, some companies suggest superiority due to higher maximal concentrations, longer half-lives or improved retention time in a 24-hour single dose scheme. In reality, retention times of between 6-8 hours for all products indicate a BID or greater dosing regimen.
When ElleVet started studying CBD three years ago, it was thought that CBD and CBDA were similar so we published our first paper using a 2 mg/kg dose, which the entire industry has subsequently used as their proposed dosing due to the efficacy in addressing joint stiffness that was observed when using ElleVet. We did not know at that time and have done follow-up studies to prove that our dose, which was really 1 mg/kg of CBD and 1 mg/kg of CBDA, is precisely this. CBDA does not turn into CBD, and it is actually absorbed better than CBD. So, when companies show you data suggesting that their 2 mg/kg dose is absorbed better based on CBD in the bloodstream, it is because we dose CBD lower than other companies. Interestingly, our 1 mg/kg dose is comparable to the 2mg/kg dose that others recommend once a day. In the end, you can use ElleVet at a 4 mg/kg (2 mg/kg CBD and 2 mg/kg CBDA) and get comparable or potentially better pharmacokinetics of CBD. More importantly, you will be getting an equal if the not greater dose of CBDA which has better anti-inflammatory properties than CBD products alone.
Similarly, we have observed other companies showing pharmacokinetic data examining total cannabinoids in the blood and comparing this to CBD from our initial studies. This again is comparing apples to oranges. For example, one company showed nearly 400 mg/mL of total cannabinoids as a maximal serum concentration and attributed it to their oil blend that was hypothetically increasing absorption. When comparing a dose of CBD/CBDA blends from ElleVet, our total cannabinoid maximal concentration was over 500 ng/mL in serum. In the end, there are several products out there that are primarily CBD or CBD blends with lesser cannabinoids. ElleVet is always an effective and consistent blend of CBD and CBDA. We will continue to market and sell ElleVet Products because we know we can get effective levels in the bloodstream using this blend in a 1:1 ratio, and we know its effective in canine joint mobility at a dose of 2 mg/kg (1 mg/kg CBD, 1 mg/kg CBDA) or potentially lower.