Warsaw Zoo Attempts to Treat Depressed Elephant with CBD

Health News - Elephants

Zookeepers at the Warsaw Zoo in Poland are hopeful that CBD can help alleviate some of the pain sustained by the young female elephant grieving the loss of a family member. 

The death of the eldest female, one of the four elephants at the zoo, has left Fredzia struggling with anxiety and depression. 

Elephants have incredibly good memories, especially when it comes to forming close bonds with elders, and it can sometimes take them years to get over a loss and restore a sense of balance within the herd. 

Workers at the Warsaw Zoo are hoping that CBD oil can help make the recovery process easier. 

The first stage of the experiment has already been completed. This phase involved the collection of saliva, feces, and blood samples from the elephants, which will allow researchers to observe cortisol production — i.e., the hormone that humans and animals produce when stressed.

After CBD is administered, cortisol levels will be measured again to determine whether the oil has any effect. 

Dr. Agnieszka Czujkowska, head of the zoo’s animal rehabilitation department, doesn’t anticipate any severe side effects.

For the time being, CBD oil will only be administered to elephants. If the experiment is successful, this treatment could be used on other stress-prone animals, such as rhinos and bears. Results, however, are not expected for another two years. 

CBD oil is thought to stimulate serotonin and dopamine production and thus effectively combat anxiety and depression.

Although some studies have been carried out on animals, cannabidiol hasn’t been yet prescribed for mental health issues concerning people and animals. 

So far, only one CBD-based drug has been approved in the US, while the UK has allowed the use of two cannabis-based drugs to treat rare forms of epilepsy and muscle spasms.