Loss of matriarch elephant at Warsaw Zoo opens door to a CBD trial to reduce stress

Fredzia a young female elephant

The management at Warsaw Zoo have taken the opportunity to test out CBD oil on a couple of female elephants who it was decided were displaying signs of stress and anxiety because of the loss of their matriarch, Earna who died in March aged 35.

The zoo believe that it is the first study of its kind. CBD is short for cannabidiol which is one of the non-psychedelic active ingredients found in cannabis. It is known to have curative properties of various kinds and is often used on people.

If the experiment is successful the treatment will be extended to other animals.

Fredzia a young female elephant

Fredzia a young female elephant being treated for stress with CBD oil at Warsaw Zoo. Photo: BBC.

The two females in the trial, Fredzia and Buba were going through a difficult time during the establishment of a new hierarchy made particularly difficult because this is a very small group of two. They are closely related and have to get along. I’m told that it could take a very long time for the social order to be re-established after such a big change.

Fredzia is being treated with direct oral doses of CBD oil. It is being mixed with food. Cannabis with THC removed creates CBD oil. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol produces the well-known “high” connected with cannabis. In humans it has been tested for treatments of conditions such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and chronic pain. It is taken in small droplets of oil to treat stress and insomnia in people.

CBD oil is developing as a treatment for pets suffering from pain, arthritis or sleep loss.

The director of the zoo said that they will be monitoring the elephants’ health by taking blood samples. It appears that the elephants have not complained about eating CBD but the zoo manager says that it all depends on whether they like the smell and taste of it.