The goal of pharmacokinetic (PK) studies is to provide a basis for appropriate dosing regimens with novel therapeutic agents. With a knowledge of the desired serum concentration for optimum pharmacological effect, the amount and rate of drug administration can be tailored to maintain that concentration based on the 24-hour PK modeling (eg, every 24 hours, every 12 hours) to achieve therapeutic ranges. This dosing and PK information are tailored to maintain that concentration. Typically, these optimum serum concentrations pertain across species. Single-dose PK modeling provides fundamental parameters to suggest dosing regimes. Multiple-dose PK studies provide information on steady-state serum levels to assure that desired therapeutic levels are maintained during chronic administration. Clinical trials using dosing suggested by these PK determinations provide proof that the compound is producing the desired therapeutic effect. A number of PK studies with cannabinoids in humans and domestic animals have been conducted with the goal of determining appropriate clinical use with these plant-derived products. The following review will focus on the PK of cannabidiol (CBD) and the lesser-known precursor of CBD, cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). Although Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has profound pharmacological effects and may be present at variable and potentially violative concentrations in hemp products, PK studies with THC will not be a major consideration. Because, in domestic animals, hemp-CBD products are usually administered orally, that route will be a focus. When available, PK results with CBD administered by other routes will be summarized. In addition, the metabolism of CBD across species appears to be different in carnivorous species compared with omnivorous/herbivorous species (including humans) based on current information, and the preliminary information related to this will be explained with the therapeutic implication being addressed in Currents in One Health by Ukai et al, JAVMA, May 2023.
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