Warsaw zoo will administrate CBD to its elephants to reduce their stress

The lucky elephants chosen to take part in the first-of-its-kind pilot, are three African elephants that will be administrated with the liquid doses of CBD extract through their trunks.

african elephant 298.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
african elephant 298.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Warsaw zoo will start administrating medicinal cannabis to its elephants in order to test its effects on their stress levels, according to The Guardian.
The lucky elephants chosen to take part in the first-of-its-kind pilot are three African elephants that will be given the liquid doses of CBD extract, known for its relaxing properties, through their trunks.
While the use of medicinal cannabis is gaining popularity across the world and within the global medical community, “this is probably the first initiative of its kind for elephants,” according to Agnieszka Czujkowska, the veterinarian in charge of the project.
Regarding possible harmful side effects, Czujkowska reassured animal rights advocates that CBD does not cause harmful side effects on the liver and kidneys, and doesn't cause euphoria or emotional states usually connected to consumption of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
The elephant herd at the Warsaw zoo has recently lost its alpha female, resulting in increased levels of stress among the herd. So, the project could not come at a better time, Czujkowska said.
“It’s an attempt to find a new natural alternative to the existing methods of combating stress, especially pharmaceutical drugs,” Czujkowska added.
“Contrary to what some would imagine, the elephants won’t be using cannabis pipes nor will they be getting huge barrels of it” to match their size, Czujkowska emphasized jokingly.
She added that a female elephant has already received a dose of the CBD oil and did not show any signs of objection.
It will take two years before the project yields any conclusive results, Czujkowska says, and hopes that the project will open up new possibilities of using similar treatment with other animals living in captivity.
While stress can help motivate us, it can also have negative physical effects and contribute to health problems, including high blood pressure, heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and more. Its effects on animals are believed to be similar, and hopefully the ground-breaking project at the Warsaw zoo will shed more light on the effects of stress on animals and specifically on animals living in captivity.