Boulder-based company funds CSU research on CBD and canine brain cancer


There’s lots of buzz about the benefits of CBD. The non-psychoactive cannabinoid is everywhere: grocery stores, gas stations, liquor stores. A Gallup survey found two-thirds of Americans are familiar with it, and one in seven use it to treat a variety of ailments like pain, anxiety and sleep issues. 

But there’s growing evidence that CBD can also help our furry, four-legged family members, and Boulder-based Extract Labs is helping to further that understanding. The full-service hemp extraction lab recently announced it’s funding canine cancer research being conducted at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital. 

Earlier this year, CSU researchers began studying the impact of CBD on canine glioma cells. The researchers are specifically interested in how CBD interacts with cancer cells alone and in combination with radiation therapy. 

According to Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “Canine gliomas (malignant brain tumors usually found deep within the brain tissue) are the second most common brain tumors in dogs and the hardest to treat. They are especially common in brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds like Boxers and Boston Terriers. Many dogs are treated with symptomatic therapy (steroids and seizure medications) and their average survival is just two months.”

A growing body of research supports the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumor growth in a variety of cancers, and CBD specifically may enhance uptake or increase the potency of certain cancer treatment drugs.

CBD is best known as an effective treatment for seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome in patients aged 2 years and older. In 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified the epilepsy cannabidiol drug Epidiolex from Schedule I to Schedule V.

Just this past June, CSU announced “encouraging” results for CBD trials for dogs with epilepsy, finding 89% of dogs that received cannabidiol experienced a reduction in seizure frequency. 

It’s all encouraging, but more research is necessary.

“We are proud to be one of the few CBD companies in America currently funding canine cancer research through a university that is world-renowned for its medical care and research,” said Craig Henderson, CEO of Extract Labs, in a press release.

Extract Labs is supplying all of the CBD isolate and oils being used for research in the CSU canine glioma study. 

The initial phase of research is almost complete, and the team at Colorado State University hopes to publish study results within the next year.

“While this research is in very early stages, we look forward to learning more about the potential impact that CBD has on canine glioma cells,” said Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at CSU’s veterinary teaching hospital, in a statement about the partnership. McGrath is teaming up with Dan Gustafson, professor of pharmacology and biomedical engineering, on this study.

Consumers who purchase Extract Labs products on the company’s website ( have the opportunity to donate toward funding for the CSU study.