Best CBD Oils for Dogs With Seizures & Epilepsy (2022)

Illustration for CBD for dog seizures reviews
Written by Nina Julia | Last updated: July 28, 2022

Dogs can suffer from seizures due to a variety of reasons, from underlying health conditions to toxins.

CBD oil has been shown as one of the best natural remedies for dog seizures and related symptoms — making it a viable alternative to conventional prescription drugs.

In this article, we shed light on the best CBD oils for dog seizures, explain how CBD may help your canine friend, and how to ensure a well-informed purchase.

CBD & Dog Seizures (Highlights)

  • Seizures are sudden changes in behavior caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. They can occur as trembling, twitching, confusion, drooling, loss of balance or consciousness, involuntary urination, and convulsions.
  • Dogs may seize due to food poisoning, diseases like distemper, liver disease, kidney failure, brain injury, cancer, a stroke, or a hereditary disease such as epilepsy.
  • Conventional medications may provide short-term relief from dog seizures, but they come with unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, irritation, hypersensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and sedation.
  • CBD is one of the two major cannabinoids from cannabis plants. It’s non-intoxicating, so it won’t get your dog high. It can, however, help with the management of a wide range of symptoms and health conditions, including seizures.
  • By interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD reaches specific receptors in the brain and dampens the activity of the nervous system – reducing the frequency and intensity of dog seizures.
  • In one clinical trial, 89% of dogs that received CBD had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. The research team concluded the results were significant and promising for future research.
  • Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD oil for seizures. CBD interacts with at least 60% of prescribed medications, so a consultation with a vet will help you avoid the risk of cross-side effects resulting from those interactions.

Best CBD Oil for Dog Seizures

1. Royal CBD

RoyalCBD 125mg Pet Oil Bacon flavor

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Pros Cons
  • Non-GMO, pesticide-free hemp from Colorado
  • CO2 extraction
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • Up to 500 mg per bottle
  • Bacon flavor
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Limited flavor options
  • Not available in local stores (yet)

Royal CBD is a premium brand that uses the same premium-quality CBD extracts in its line for pets as it does in its collection for humans — ensuring the highest safety and efficacy.

These CBD pet oils are considered one of the best CBD oil for dogs which contain the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, leveraging the entourage effect in hemp and increasing CBD’s efficacy overall.

You can choose from two potencies: 250 mg (small and medium dogs) and 500 mg (large dogs).

The oil is suspended in organic MCT oil that boosts its absorption and ‘dilutes’ the hempy flavor.

Speaking of which, if your buddy dislikes the taste of unflavored CBD oil, the bacon-flavored version will change its mind in the nick of time.

All Royal CBD products are triple-tested in an ISO-certified laboratory, with complete results for the potency of CBD, the entire cannabinoid and terpene profile, and contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and mold.

2. Gold Bee

Gold Bee Bones CBD Pet Oil

Pros Cons
  • Organic hemp
  • Supercritical CO2 extraction
  • Full-spectrum CBD
  • 600 mg per bottle
  • Batch-specific lab reports
  • Only one strength is available
  • It can be difficult to dose in smaller dogs

Gold Bee is a company founded by people with remarkable expertise in the superfoods industry. Its products are made in one facility and in small batches, ensuring top-shelf quality.

Gold Bee offers all-organic products for dogs, such as full-spectrum CBD oil and CBD Goofy Bones (treats). Look for these products in CBD stores for dogs near you.

The oil contains 600 mg of full-spectrum CBD, sourced from organic, terpene-rich hemp strains that Gold Bee grows in collaboration with local farmers. It comes in a delish peanut butter flavor.

At 20 mg of CBD per mL, this oil is a great pick for larger dogs and those whose seizures require high doses of CBD daily. You can also give it to a medium-sized dog and benefit from longer-lasting supplies.

However, when it comes to small breeds like Schnauzers or Chihuahuas, we recommend the low-potency option from Royal CBD.

Does CBD Oil Help Dogs With Seizures?

Yes, a few studies — including one clinical trial — as well as anecdotal evidence from dog parents indicate that CBD can help with dog seizures.

CBD targets specific receptors in the brain (TRPV1 and GPR55) to prevent excessive activity in the central nervous system.

It also helps raise GABA levels — another inhibitory neurotransmitter.

The above mechanisms answer why CBD appears to help where conventional seizure medications fail to produce the desired results.

In fact, CBD became popular worldwide because of a young girl Charlotte Figi whose parents used CBD to reduce the frequency and severity of human epileptic seizures with great success.

CBD stands out from other health supplements thanks to its versatility. Not only can it help with dog seizures, but it also aids in reducing anxiety, joint pain, digestive problems, inflammation, and loss of appetite.

Here we explain what makes CBD so special.

How CBD Works to Reduce Seizures in Dogs

The anti-epileptic mechanism of CBD in dogs stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a complex neurochemical network made of neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids), receptors, and enzymes. Together, these components create the master regulatory system in all mammals that promotes and helps maintain homeostasis throughout the body.

CBD and Cannabinoid Receptors

CBD indirectly acts on the activity of CB1 receptors in the brain. It also binds to CB2 receptors, whose highest concentrations can be found in the immune system and peripheral organs.

Seizures are bursts of uncontrolled activity between the nerve cells. It leads to disrupting the distribution of signals and inflicts inflammation upon neurons.

Studies have found that ECS and epilepsy are closely linked together. CBD has been highlighted by researchers as a potential anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotectant.

Hence its potential to treat epilepsy in dogs.

Is CBD the Only Anti-epileptic Cannabinoid?

CBD oil contains more than 400 chemical compounds. Another anti-epileptic cannabinoid is CBDV (cannabidivarin). Both cannabinoids interact with the TRPV1 receptor.

This receptor mostly occurs in the brain’s hippocampus region. It controls many cognitive processes, such as memory, learning, and decision making — but it’s also associated with seizure activities.

One theory proposes that CBD and CBDV can prevent epilepsy by blocking the overexcitement of this receptor.

In a similar fashion, CBD can modulate the activity of neurons by acting on other seizure-related receptors, such as G-protein-coupled receptor-55 (GPR55) and the equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT-1).

Studies on CBD and Dog Seizures

Image of Dog Tasting CBD Oil for Seizures & Epilepsy

  • A 2019 study published in the journal Molecules concluded that CBD is a potentially effective remedy for epilepsy, and it comes without the side effects of conventional anti-epileptics.
  • A 2017 study compared the anticonvulsant effects of CBD and CBD. The authors concluded that CBD has a stronger anticonvulsant profile than THC.
  • In another 2021 study, the researchers found that CBD enhanced the efficacy of clobazam, a common pharmaceutical anticonvulsant.

What Are Clinical Trials Saying About the Efficacy of CBD Oil for Dog Seizures?

CBD shows significant potential as a treatment for dogs with seizures. The AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC HF) has recently run a clinical trial that analyzed the efficacy of CBD oil for dogs with epilepsy.

This was the first study that used whole-plant CBD oil instead of synthetic cannabidiol.

The experiment was conducted by two important scientists in the veterinary space – Stephanie McGrath, a veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University, and Diane Brown, the CEO of the AKCC HF.

The study started by administering CBD oil to nine dogs and a placebo to seven others in laboratory conditions. Neither the owners nor the scientists knew which substances each dog took.

The team monitored the dogs with seizures for the next three months. Once the trial ended, the dogs went through a 4-week washout period. At the end of the study, each dog received whichever substance they didn’t get the first time for the same time.

As reported by Science Daily, 89% of dogs in this study experienced a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of seizures. The result was statistically significant, showing great promise for parents who want to use CBD oil to treat epilepsy in their four-legged friend.

How to Give Dogs CBD Oil for Seizures

Consistency is critical if you want to achieve the best results with CBD and significantly reduce seizures in your dog.

You need to administer it regularly.

Not just during a seizure attack but every single day.

CBD modulates and helps optimize your dog’s ECS, so if the seizures stem from a clinical endocannabinoid deficiency, you can use CBD and other cannabinoids in CBD oil to regulate the activity of brain cells.

This makes CBD a potential preventive option when it comes to dog seizures.

How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work for Dog Seizures?

Image of How long does CBD take to help Dog Seizures

The acute effects of CBD oil on the nervous system can take anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour to take hold. However, for effective seizure management, you may need to show more patience — for up to two weeks.

If you do not see any results, increase the dosage and continue for around 5 days. Repeat until you find the optimal amount of CBD for your dog.

CBD and Dog Seizure Medication: Can You Give Them Together?

Earlier, we mentioned that CBD could potentiate the effects of clobazam, an anticonvulsant drug used to treat epilepsy.

That’s because CBD interacts with a broad range of pharmaceutical medications.

CBD is a potent inhibitor of the CYP450 enzyme system — a set of enzymes that metabolize the majority of drugs in the liver. When it interacts with a drug, it can increase or decrease its levels in the bloodstream.

When you use high doses of both substances together, CBD could potentially lead to a dangerous buildup of the drug — and cause toxicity.

Sometimes, CBD may hinder the efficacy of drugs; it depends on the type of interaction in the liver.

Talk to your doctor before giving your dog CBD oil for seizures; it’s the best choice to avoid the said interactions and ensure safe supplementation.

How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog for Seizures?

You’ll need to experiment most of the time.

Every dog is different, and since CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, there is no official serving size or dosage chart for CBD for dogs when it comes to general supplementation — let alone medical conditions.

As a rule of thumb, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. Start at the low end, e.g., with ¼ – ½ dropper, and see how your dog responds to that dose.

Experts recommend giving 0.25 – 0.5 mg of CBD for every pound of the dog’s weight. Obviously, a 30-pound dog will need less CBD than a 60-pound breed.

As you start adding CBD oil to the dog’s routine, slowly adjust the dosage until you find the amount that works best for its seizures, and avoid having your dog overdose with CBD oil.

FAQ

Looking for more answers about seizures and how CBD oil can help? Here are the most frequently asked questions.

What are seizures?

The term ‘seizure’ refers to a sudden change in behavior caused by unusual electrical activity in the brain. They often manifest as trembling, drooling, twitching, loss of balance, convulsions, and loss of consciousness.

Although some seizures might be mild, others can last for minutes and cause issues with coordination or other health concerns for hours after the attack is over.

Most of the time, seizures indicate serious health problems such as epilepsy, organ failure, rabies, brain tumors, or liver disease.

Why do dogs seize?

10 million dogs in the United States have seizures. The causes and severity vary; a dog may seize because of diseases like liver disease, epilepsy, or kidney failure, but it may also occur as a result of food poisoning or an injury to the brain or spine.

How will I know if my dog is having seizures?

If your dog is having a seizure, it will give telltale signs, such as head or eye twitching, whimpering, whining, rapid body movements, growling, or loss of consciousness.

Seizures can be as short as a few seconds up to several minutes and may also cause involuntary urination or defecation.

What should I do when my dog has a seizure attack?

First of all, notice how long it lasts and observe any changes to your dog’s behavior once the seizure is over. If your dog doesn’t regain consciousness, take them to the vet or the nearest emergency room right away.

Other animals and people should be kept away from your seizing dog. Stay with your buddy until the seizure ends, and refrain from placing any objects or your hands in their mouth, as they may accidentally snap it. When your dog is choking, the Heimlich maneuver may come in handy.

Dogs are more likely to have another seizure after a day or two from the first one, so make sure to keep a close eye on your dog for the next 24 hours. While most dogs recover from seizures without help, some may suffer from severe side effects and require medical intervention.

Epileptic dogs usually experience more seizures than dogs with other conditions, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior to notice any changes that could indicate another seizure.

What are some other medications for dogs with seizures?

  • Antidepressants: amitriptyline is one of the commonly prescribed antidepressants for dog seizures because it can reduce the severity and frequency of seizures in some dogs.
  • Benzodiazepines: drugs such as diazepam and midazolam can be used to relieve anxiety and panic during a seizure.
  • Phenobarbital: this is a barbiturate that doctors use to manage seizures in dogs.
  • Potassium bromide: also used to manage seizures, potassium bromide can be used on its own or in conjunction with phenobarbital.
  • Zonisamide: Another anticonvulsant that doctors sometimes prescribe to dogs with seizures.

Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs with seizures?

Although CBD oil isn’t a prescription drug and veterinarians can’t officially prescribe it, many vets now recommend CBD oil for dog seizures because the benefits outweigh the risk. Veterinarians often choose CBD oils as the go-to format, but in some cases, treats or a topical product may be recommended.

Can CBD oil make seizures worse?

CBD oil shouldn’t make seizures any worse. In fact, it can reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in some dogs. However, if you give your dog another medication in combination with CBD oil, such as phenobarbital or clonazepam, you should consult with a veterinarian.

If your dog receives two similarly acting compounds, it can lead to overdose symptoms, such as sedation, drowsiness, and confusion.

Can I give my dog CBD every day?

Yes, CBD is non-intoxicating, so it won’t get your dog high. It’s also non-toxic, meaning you can safely use it as a daily health supplement.

However, make sure that your CBD oil comes from organic hemp and has been extracted with CO2 to ensure maximum purity.

Speaking of which, you can easily verify the product’s purity by looking at its certificate of analysis (CoA) from a third-party laboratory.

Never trust a CBD brand that doesn’t post the lab reports on its website or, at least, send it to customers via email.

Is CBD safe for dogs?

Yes. CBD oil is a natural product with a remarkable safety profile. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges CBD as safe and well-tolerated by humans and animals.

Key Takeaways on the Best CBD Oils for Dog Seizures

More and more dog parents are turning to CBD oil in hopes of relieving seizures in their furballs.

Unlike conventional seizure medications, CBD has a decent safety profile and uses certain neurochemical mechanisms that these drugs ignore.

Not only can CBD reduce the intensity of a seizure, but it can also prevent it by modulating the communication between neurons in your dog’s brain — bringing them to the state of homeostasis.

Always choose third-party lab-tested products that come from organic hemp, such as the brands we’ve mentioned in this article.

Check up with your veterinarian before giving your dog CBD oil for seizures; doing so will help you prevent negative interactions with other medications and gauge the most effective dosage.

Sources:

  1. Zou, S., & Kumar, U. (2018). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(3), 833. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030833
  2. Iannotti, F. A., Hill, C. L., Leo, A., Alhusaini, A., Soubrane, C., Mazzarella, E., Russo, E., Whalley, B. J., Di Marzo, V., & Stephens, G. J. (2014). Nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoids, cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabidiol (CBD), activate and desensitize transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channels in vitro: potential for the treatment of neuronal hyperexcitability. ACS chemical neuroscience, 5(11), 1131–1141. https://doi.org/10.1021/cn5000524 [2]
  3. Sharir, H., & Abood, M. E. (2010). Pharmacological characterization of GPR55, a putative cannabinoid receptor. Pharmacology & therapeutics, 126(3), 301–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.02.004 [3]
  4. Silvestro, S., Mammana, S., Cavalli, E., Bramanti, P., & Mazzon, E. (2019). Use of Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Efficacy and Security in Clinical Trials. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(8), 1459. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24081459 [4]
  5. Perucca E. (2017). Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Hard Evidence at Last?. Journal of epilepsy research, 7(2), 61–76. https://doi.org/10.14581/jer.17012 [5]
  6. Chuang, S. H., Westenbroek, R. E., Stella, N., & Catterall, W. A. (2021). Combined Antiseizure Efficacy of Cannabidiol and Clonazepam in a Conditional Mouse Model of Dravet Syndrome. Journal of experimental neurology, 2(2), 81–85. https://doi.org/10.33696/neurol.2.040 [6]
  7. McGrath, S., Bartner, L. R., Rao, S., Packer, R. A., & Gustafson, D. L. (2019). Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional anti-epileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 254(11), 1301–1308. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.254.11.1301

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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