If you own a horse or know someone who does, you might already be aware that caring for equines can be challenging and expensive, but also incredibly rewarding. Because horses live for decades, the relationships between these impressive animals and their owners are exceptionally meaningful. That makes it especially difficult to see your horse experience pain or emotional distress. Many horse owners have started using CBD to alleviate symptoms of pain and anxiety in their animals, and to improve their horses’ general well being as they age. If you’re interested in learning more about CBD for horses research, read on for the latest findings!
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How Does CBD Oil for Horses Work?
Starting with the basics, let’s understand how CBD functions in horses. Like humans and most mammals (including cats and dogs), horses have an endocannabinoid system. In both humans and animals, the endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors scattered throughout the body, which work to maintain homeostasis by regulating key functions such as appetite, immunity, memory, mood, pain, and inflammation. The receptors of the endocannabinoid system are triggered by exposure to compounds called cannabinoids, which occur naturally in CBD. This means that CBD may be an effective treatment for horses that suffer from pain, anxiety, or health concerns related to aging.
Which Equine Conditions Are Treatable with CBD?
Now that we’ve reviewed the basic functionality of CBD in horses, let’s dive into the specific conditions it can treat. CBD may be beneficial for a wide variety of equine health concerns. Consider adding a CBD supplement to your horse’s daily routine if he or she experiences any of the following:
Lots of situations can trigger anxiety in horses; trailering, stall rest, and separation from their herd can all cause horses to experience fear and distress. CBD has been studied extensively as an anxiety-relieving substance for humans and other household pets, and its capacity to reduce fear and anxiety is the same in horses. A daily dose of CBD can help horses overcome anxiety so you can ride, show, or simply spend time with them more enjoyably.
A 1999 study of cannabinoids in animals revealed, “cannabinoids likely have a natural role in pain modulation, control of movement, and memory.” This early research, along with dozens of studies in subsequent years, suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment for pain associated with a wide array of equine conditions. Prescription pain medications for horses are difficult to administer and can have negative side effects with long-term use, making CBD a valuable alternative for pain management. CBD interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system that modulate the body’s pain response, meaning it may be an effective pain relief option for horses suffering from conditions such as ringbone, laminitis, desmitis, strained muscles, and more.
Because of their large size, horses are susceptible to arthritis as they age. This is especially true of horses that have been used for physically demanding sports like jumping or racing. CBD has been studied as a treatment for inflammatory conditions like arthritis in humans, and its effects are the same in animals, including horses. CBD can also be added to equine diets as a preventative anti-inflammatory measure to promote good joint health as your horse ages.
Horses are prone to digestive issues, which can range from colic to gastric ulcers. Digestive distress is a particular concern if your horse requires a diet high in processed grains, which can lead to inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract. CBD can help to calm this inflammation, reduce digestive pain, promote healing, and prevent the development of serious digestive concerns.
Is CBD Safe for Horses?
If you think that your horse might benefit from CBD, you may still have questions about the safety of such a treatment. To keep your equine friends safe, it’s important to purchase high-quality, lab-tested products made with CBD only. THC and other marijuana additives can be extremely harmful to animals, so it’s essential to purchase products made exclusively from CBD. In addition, be sure to purchase from reputable purveyors to assure that the products don’t contain any harmful additives. Finally, never give your horse CBD products designed for humans, which can contain foods and additives that aren’t safe for animals.
Occasionally, some animals may experience side effects such as lethargy, depression, irritability, or other abnormal behaviors after CBD is administered. If you notice any of these symptoms or have concerns about how your horse might react to CBD, check in with your vet before beginning treatment.
How Can I Give My Horse CBD?
Humans who suffer from pain, inflammation, or anxiety can choose to vape CBD, take it in edible forms, or even apply it as a salve—but the options aren’t quite the same for animals! However, there are several choices when it comes to CBD products for horses.
To accurately monitor the amount of CBD your horse is ingesting, most experts recommend using a CBD oil, which can be administered directly under your horse’s tongue or added into their feed each day.
If you find it difficult to administer CBD oil to your horse, several manufacturers have developed CBD pellets that can be mixed into grain. Some even offer equine-safe CBD treats! Finally, some owners prefer to use a CBD salve for horses that suffer from acute joint pain or uncomfortable skin conditions; the salve can be applied directly to the affected areas for more targeted relief.
As noted above, be sure to purchase CBD products formulated specifically for animals, no matter which option you choose. For their safety, horses should never be given CBD products designed for human consumption.
What’s the Right CBD Dosage for Horses?
Because horses are so large, they require a more substantial amount of CBD than other pets. The right dosage of CBD for horses will vary widely based on weight; a small pony will need a much lower dose than a towering draft horse! Most commercial products will include a recommended dosage of milligrams of CBD per pound of body weight. Start with the lowest possible dose, and then work your way up slowly, until you see the desired effects in your horse. If you have questions or concerns about proper dosing for your horse, you can also consult with your veterinarian to determine how much CBD is appropriate and safe.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.