The results of a controlled animal study published in PLoS One in December 2014 suggest that administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid (known for its numerous potential health benefits including inflammation and pain reduction), may be useful in reducing damage caused by intervertebral disc degeneration.
Researchers studied 19 rats and created a model of human intervertebral disc degeneration by using needle punctures to injure intervertebral discs of the tailbone area of the rats’ spines. The subjects were then split into three groups, and each immediately treated with a different concentration of CBD (30, 60, or 120 nmol). The discs were then examined using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and histologically (under a microscope, in order to see the injuries in finer detail).
MRI analysis showed that treatment with 30 and 60 nmol of CBD did not result in improvements in injury. However, the group that had been administered 120 nmol of CBD did experience reduced damage. By MRI, improvements were noted within 2 days of injury/treatment, and they endured until at least day 15 post-injury/treatment (the last day of the experiment) when examined by MRI and histologically.
Although the sample size of this study was very small, the researchers note, “Considering that cannabidiol presents an extremely safe profile and is currently being used clinically, these results suggest that this compound could be useful in the treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration… Although further research is necessary to clarify the mechanisms involved in CBD effects, the present results suggest the possibility of its use for disc degeneration treatment.”
Pets with Degenerative Disc Disease
There was a recent breakthrough that has proved that CBD can be very helpful in treating dogs with degenerative disc disease. For pets that have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease CBD can be used as a natural alternative to other drugs that can cause further complications and side effects.