It’s already been known to help people who are suffering from chronic pain, anxiety and stress, but could CBD oil also help animals? A vet at Warsaw Zoo in Poland is using a herd of depressed elephants to try to find out.
Zookeepers were alarmed to notice that the spirits of their three African elephants took a drastic dip after the herd’s matriarch, Erna, died recently. But it was a 23-year-old female named Fredzia who took it the hardest – since March she’s been in deep mourning which had led to her becoming depressed and extremely stressed.
“When Erna passed away, everything changed. I don't think Fredzia was ready for such a big change,” says Dr Agnieszka Czujkowska, the zoo’s head veterinarian. “It can take months or even years for elephants to cope with the loss of an elder and restore a sense of harmony within the herd.”
She and her team tried everything they could think of to help the elephant, but Fredzia has proved inconsolable. Now they’ve decided to turn tocannabidiol (CBD) oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant.
that CBD oil boosts the production of dopamine and serotonin which help ward
off depression. But unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive
component of cannabis, CBD oil will not make the animals high – so there’s no
chance of them being harmed.
Doses will be given to Fredzia and the other two elephants with their food then they will be closely monitored. The vets will be on the look out for any changes to their levels of cortisol (stress hormone). If they come down, then it will be a sign the CBD oil is working.
Other studies have shown that the oil reduces anxiety in horses and dogs and zoo experts have high hopes that this specific study might show that it also helps to calm elephants.
Other animals at the zoo, including rhinos and bears, also stand to benefit if the oil helps to cheer up Fredzia and her herd.
“If the results are good, we hope to invite further animals for an adventure with hemp,” Czujkowska says.
SOURCES: BBC.COM, HUFFPOST.COM, NOTESFROMPOLAND.COM