Poland Zoo Starting CBD Trials On Elephants to Treat Stress and Depression

[Edited] Elephants in the Warsaw Zoo have begun trials for CBD Oil to treat depression, stress, and anxiety after the matriarch of their group passed away back in March of this year. The supervising vet is monitoring cortisol levels in the elephants’ blood, feces, and saliva to track the effects of the CBD oil treatments.

Warsaw Zoo Testing CBD Oil In Stressed and Depressed Elephants

The elephant residents of the Warsaw Zoo in Poland experienced a great loss recently. Erna, the largest elephant and matriarch of the herd, passed away this past March, triggering depression and anxiety symptoms in the younger elephants. The BBC reports that Fredzia, one of the three remaining African elephants, has taken Erna’s loss the hardest out of the group. (1)

The zookeepers and the onsite veterinarian, Dr. Czujkowska, noticed her malaise and decided to try a more natural route to help the herd move on, bond together, and adjust to the new group dynamic — CBD oil – a derivative of cannabis, which does not contain THC, the euphoria-inducing compound of the cannabis plant. (1)

As one of the few experiments of its kind exploring the effects of CBD oil on animals, the experiment has gotten off to a good start. According to a news article by USA Today, the zookeepers plan to take other samples from the trio after the first and subsequent doses of CBD are administered. Elevated cortisol levels are present in humans and animals when the being is under significant stress or anxiety, so any decrease in these levels for the elephants would be helpful to aid a smooth transition into their new lifestyle. (2)



  1. Nevett, B. J. (2020, August 25). Elephant at Warsaw Zoo to test cannabis-extract oil. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53907689
  2. Bote, J. U. T. (2020, August 27). Stressed-out elephants at this zoo in Poland are being given CBD oil. USA TODAY. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2020/08/27/warsaw-zoo-giving-cbd-oil-elephants-reduce-stress/5646170002/
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