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Does the addition of cannabidiol alongside current drug treatments reduce pain in dogs with osteoarthritis?
  1. Lisa Morrow and
  2. Zoe Belshaw
  1. Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, UK

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Bottom line

  • The current evidence suggests that adding a specific CBD oil alongside NSAID treatment may reduce owner-assessed pain in dogs with osteoarthritis. However, no changes were detected in vet-assessed pain. Better quality evidence is required to definitively answer this question.

Clinical scenario

Alfie, an elderly golden retriever, developed osteoarthritis (OA) several years ago, and this is being managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You have tried additional gabapentin and tramadol, but neither has had much impact on his pain-related behaviour. Alfie’s owner is keen to explore additional supplements or treatments that can be added in alongside the NSAIDs. She has read online about other owners using cannabidiol (CBD) oil and asks whether you think the addition of CBD to Alfie’s current medication would reduce his pain.

The question

In [dogs with osteoarthritis] does [cannabidiol in combination with current treatment compared with placebo plus current treatment] [reduce pain]?

Search parameters

The search strategy can be viewed at, and it is also available as a supplement to this article on Vet Record’s website at

Supplemental material


Search outcome

  • Four papers were found in the Medline search.

  • Three were excluded because they did not answer the question.

  • In total, one relevant paper …

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