Joseph Wakshlag DVM, PhD, 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 the ways in which companies are reporting 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 great – however some companies are suggesting superiority due to higher maximal concentrations, longer half-lives or improved retention time in a 24 hour single dose scheme. In all reality with retention times of between 6-8 hours for all products really indicates a BID or greater dosing regimen.
When ElleVet starting 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. What we did not know at that time, and have done follow up studies to prove, is 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 due to the fact that we dose CBD lower than other companies. Interestingly, our 1 mg/kg dose is comparable to the 2mg/kg dose that others are recommending 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 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. As an 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 you compared a comparable dose of CBD/CBDA blend from ElleVet our total cannabinoid maximal concentration was over 500 ng/mL in serum. In the end there are a number of 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 osteoarthritis at a dose of 2 mg/kg (1 mg/kg CBD, 1 mg/kg CBDA) or potentially lower.