cbd oil for horse collapsed joint

CBD for Your Team Roping Horses: What You Need To Know

The 2018 Farm Bill opened the legal gate on a robust national hemp industry, with CBD products galore for humans and horses alike emerging shortly thereafter. Hemp-derived products may seem like an answer to your rope horse’s joints’ prayers, but questions remain: What are these products? Can we use them? How should we use them? And, do we want to use them?

On December 20, 2018, the federal government put its signature on the 2018 Farm Bill, thereby legalizing hemp in the United States. Sort of.

The ins and outs of the new, legal hemp industry are more contorted than a rope with a bad backswing and a twisted honda, but that hasn’t prohibited a rapid emergence of countless new products for humans and horses alike. Particularly in cannabis-friendly states and across social media, CBD is being promoted as what can look like an end-all-be-all, magical, cure-all elixir, and the answer to everything from headaches to cancer and to horses whose aches and anxieties just might be the death of them.

But, what is CBD really? Or, for that matter, what is cannabis and what is hemp? Can we get high from it? Is it toxic to our animals? How should we use it? And, finally, which products can we trust?

Back to Basics

Hemp has a fascinating history that begins as one of the world’s first agricultural crops. Without going on too much of a deep dive, a few hemp history highlights include its use on our battleships from the time of colonial Jamestown through WWII; Henry Ford building a car out of hemp in 1942, the same year the U.S. government launched its “Hemp for Victory” campaign that urged farmers to grow the crop for the war effort; and, just this year, Porsche revisiting Ford’s endeavor with its $175,000 race car that has replaced the carbon fiber with hemp.

So, if hemp’s so industrious (some sources say it has more than 50,000 uses), why are we just hearing about it? Short answer: Politics (a topic we won’t be covering here). Second short answer: Misinformation and murky definitions that persist even today.

Hemp ran into trouble with the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, which placed a collapse-inducing tax on all cannabis sales. Both marijuana and hemp come from cannabis sativa, though there are different types of cannabis that marijuana can come from. All hemp, which is often referred to as a cousin of marijuana, however, comes only from cannabis sativa. So, since 1937, hemp and marijuana have been lumped together under the cannabis umbrella.

Marijuana is potent in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—the psychoactive component from which people get high. Hemp, on the other hand, produces an abundance of CBD (cannabidiol), which cannot get you high. Both plants can produce both THC and CBD, but for the plant to be defined legally as hemp (and therefore legal according the 2018 Farm Bill), it has to contain less than 0.3% of THC.

This small amount is what’s referred to as a “trace amount.” It cannot get you high, but it will be evident in a blood sample. For young ropers, in particular, who may be playing sports for high school or college, for instance, this is an important detail because there is no one policy that covers each of the different organizations, and any evidence of THC in the bloodstream can carry very real consequences for an athlete.

Similarly, for those whose horses compete in various arenas governed by different associations, it is worth reaching out to each of those associations for official language regarding this detail. Professional team ropers should know that “the use of CBD Oil on all horses and livestock used for contest purposes is prohibited by the PRCA at all sanctioned rodeos and will remain prohibited until further research becomes available.” The official statement from the organization goes on to clarify that “any use of CBD sponsor patches is prohibited at all PRCA-sanctioned rodeos.”

Of course, the U.S. hemp industry is estimated to be a $1.4-billion market this year, and it would be prudent to expect that regulations at all levels of government (from sporting leagues and associations to state governments and federal policy) may be seemingly fluid for the next few years.

Not to mention, even though the federal government signed off on U.S. hemp cultivation, what it actually did was invite the states to participate in a legal, federal hemp program. At press time, there were nine states (and Washington, D.C.) not participating in the program and which, therefore, still consider hemp to be illegal. As a result, folks crossing state lines often don’t realize that the rules and regulations are so wildly inconsistent and very much in their infancy.

The History of Hemp

The Science of It

2019 marks the 180 anniversary of a published study on the medicinal use of cannabis in 1839. The knowledge didn’t disappear—as evidenced by New Mexico’s 1978 Controlled Substance Therapeutic Research Act—but it was largely ignored—as evidenced by the breakthrough research conducted by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in 1980 no one knows about in which seven-out-of-eight epileptic patients saw transformative results from their CBD treatments. 

Research then focused on understanding how cannabis interacted with the body. By 1995, it was discovered that mammals, including humans, are equipped with an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), which regulates bodily functions including pain, sleep and appetite, for example. The ECS creates cannabinoids and has receptors throughout the body—in the skin, the brain, the nervous system, the bone, etc. Uniquely, the cannabis plant also produces cannabinoids (CBD and THC being the best known of the 113 known cannabinoids), which fit into the ECS receptors like a key in a lock. Therefore, if there is an imbalance or deficiency in the ECS, it may be beneficial to supplement the system with cannabinoids like CBD from hemp.

Despite the long history cannabis has in the research lab, in truth, coming by legitimate, scientific research has been an upward battle because of its federal classification as a Schedule I drug. With the legal separation of hemp from its cannabis cousin, however, that is changing, and many veterinarians are eager to see what the plant can offer their four-legged patients, pending more peer-reviewed research.

Until then, there is no short supply of anecdotal claims about what CBD can and has done for ourselves and our animals. Often, an owner seeking results for one ailment will notice a positive change in another aspect of their animal’s health and will become an advocate for the product, making claims of “wonder-drug” status. The hype generally lends itself to two reactions: One of enthusiasm with an elevated expectation of a product’s abilities, and one of skepticism, no thanks to the endless marketing we encounter daily.

In reality, CBD products do have the potential to support multiple maladies because of the nature of the ECS, but it is important to remember that no two animals possess the same ECS, meaning each will have its own unique experience with the product. Also, though largely not yet proven in animals (perhaps with the exception of rats and mice), studies abound that document the efficacy of CBD in the management of inflammation, seizures and anxiety, and demonstrate that it can be effective in treating chronic pain.

HempMy Pet, of Colorado, for instance, is on the verge of publishing the positive results of their study with Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Downing Center for Pain Management on the efficacy of their canine product in the treatment of dogs with chronic pain. CSU and Cornell universities have already published other independent canine CBD findings, too, but for the time being, equine-focused research is solely the result of companies like HempMy Pet with equine CBD products driving the demand for science. Kahm CBD—a Nevada-based company—has reportedly commenced researching the impact of its pellets on horses with severe arthritis and navicular and anticipates the results will be published by their partner university at the end of the summer. Similarly, Colorado’s VetCS has been testing bloodwork at another university lab to determine the half-life of CBD in horses.

The History of Hemp continued. 

“Half-life is the peak of the most effective window,” explained Trish Wilhelm, CVT, a certified veterinary cannabis counselor who co-owns VetCS with Dr. Chelsea Luedke, DVM. “Right now, it is papered and peer-reviewed that dogs have a four-hour half-life of CBD proven in their systems, so, the first four hours is when it’s the most effective, but it stays in the system the full eight hours. With horses, however, we’re finding in our own studies that horses are actually double that. Their half-life is actually around eight hours. That’s why, for horses, we, as a company, only feel the need to dose once a day.”

Best Practices

Dosing can cause a bit of confusion for a horse owner. Recommended amounts vary according to companies, as do intervals. The reason for this, again, is because there aren’t any official, peer-reviewed studies to lean on. For this reason, Wilhelm recommends the motto, “Low and Slow.” Begin with a low dose and increase the dose slowly until you are able to recognize improvements. Give your horse up to 48 hours before deciding the amount you’ve dosed was negligible.

With that advice, however, also comes the assertion that owners should absolutely consult their veterinarians to design a whole-systems treatment plan. Vets know from treating dogs that CBD can interact with drugs the dog is already on.

“We do know, specifically, that CBD is metabolized through the P450 enzymes in the liver,” Wilhelm said. “So any concurrent medications these animals are on that might be metabolized through the liver, it has the potential to actually accentuate that circulation of the other drug through the system and heighten that experience.”

To add to what you need to know, different types of products may be more effective in attaining different goals. Without making things overwhelmingly complicated, hemp-derived CBD products are available to your horse in different formulations in tinctures, pastes, pellets and powders. Pastes and tinctures, for instance, can offer the convenience of being able to dose anywhere, anytime, and may be more suitable for treating time-sensitive issues (think, for example, a horse that’s too anxious to load). Pellets and powders, on the other hand, make for great daily dosing regimens, and may be more effective for long-term care, like an older horse with arthritis may require. Consider the needs of your horse and your goals when looking for a product, then start asking questions.

CBD for horses

CBD stands for cannabidiol and is the main ingredient in recently popular natural medicines that can solve a great range of health problems in humans and animals. Cannabidiols belong to the group of cannabinoid substances found in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, with which they have a very similar chemical structure, it is not a psychoactive substance. Cannabidiol was first studied in detail by scientists as early as the 1940s. The chemical formula was derived from the method of its separation from wild hemp, the stereochemical arrangement given in 1963. It is now clear that it is one of the 113 cannabinoids identified in the plant and the second most used after THC.

CBD has been known for this for decades. Over that period, scientists have published a number of scientific studies that are gradually legalizing it around the world. The most common form of this substance’s use is CBD oil. Its effects are very important, built on interaction with the endocannabinoid system. These are powerful antioxidants that enter the brain or central nervous system very easily. However, we must also mention the high antioxidant capacity.

CBD for horses

CBD for horses is a natural way to enhance the quality of life for these animals. Horses are exposed to high physical and mental stress, but there are not many ways to protect them, or they are costly and may have some negative effects due to side effects. As is known cannabidiol is already widely used in human medicine. However, scientists and veterinarians have also been conducting research that confirms the anticancer, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects of the substance in animals. A great advantage is the possibility of using CBD as an effective analgesic without side effects. The most common use of CBD oil for animals is for horses. As we mentioned, no adverse reactions are observed after taking the substance.

Effects of CBD on horses

  • Anxiety and stress: relaxing and calming effects
  • Atritis: relieves pain and thus promotes mobility
  • Desmitis: relief and relief from pain
  • Eczema: soothing effects
  • Skin diseases and itching: soothing effects
  • Laminitis: anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects
  • Colic: Anti-inflammatory and relaxing effects
  • Stomach ulcers: relieves pain, stimulates appetite and promotes general well-being

CBD oils contain essential omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6 acids (LA, linoleic acid). It is their deficiency that results in a number of widespread diseases. Thanks to them, both humans and animals have a strong immune system and healthy skin (coat). Due to the influence of the external environment, genetic factors, factors related to the immune system, dysfunctional enzyme systems or various obstacles in the metabolic pathways, animals and humans may suffer from deficiencies. By taking CBD oil and other products containing this substance, we can cure or prevent health problems. Omega-3 fatty acids also include alpha-lonolenic acid, which lowers levels of the “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) that can clog arteries. In addition, it helps prevent depression, anxiety, heart problems or arthritis.

CBD for pain

Horses experience various forms of pain. If a joint is troubling them it is highly unpleasant. They mainly suffer from the harsh terrain, but the factors that threaten these animals are extremely numerous. It is important to prevent them with proper care. The average horse has a body weight of 500 to 900 kilos and their physique gives them a hard time. That is why you should take care of proper nutrition or exercise. So even if you choose the route of supplementary feed to nourish the joints, without care it will be counterproductive.

Make sure to feed a balanced ration, which should contain not only the main substances such as non-nitrogenous substances, fiber or energy, but also phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium or calcium. The proper functioning of the musculoskeletal system is achieved with these. A good move is to bet on complete blood mixtures, which will relieve you from paying attention to the correct proportion of individual components. You can choose from those suitable for horses in convalescence, heavy, medium or light exercise. However, the basic dosage must include forage, good quality hay and grazing. This is also true for trace elements, vitamins and minerals. However, if they are violated, try to choose the natural way. CBD oil is one of them. The latter is used in treatment with their inflammations, etc. In addition, it will help you with chronic stress, and thanks to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, it is also a painkiller. CBD oil also helps with internal organ problems due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

Back pain in horses

Back pain in horses is very unpleasant. This is an insidious matter, as they can manifest themselves in different ways. Symptoms of back pain in horses include lameness, changes in gait, pain upon touch or changes in behavior. The most common causes include:

  • Crooked rider (negative effect on the whole body of the animal) – imbalances in the rider’s
    body, blockages
  • Vertebrae – osteoarthritis, spondylosis, kissing spine
  • Poorly positioned saddle – causes imbalance in the whole body, negatively affects the health
    of the rider, the back tissue also negatively affected
  • Soft tissues – supraspinal ligament desmitis, inflammation of the epaxial muscles
  • Injuries and Accidents
  • How to work with the horse when longeing or from the saddle – blockages or stiffness in the
    back can occur
  • Body structure of a horse – if they have an elongated back, they are at a higher risk of
    stretching muscles and ligaments, otherwise there are problems with the vertebrae

CBD for arthrosis

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of lameness in horses. We observe changes in the structure of articular cartilage and, consequently, changes in its biochemical composition. All this causes a loss of elasticity. In osteoarthritis, the horse suffers from a softening of the cartilage, which is thinner and has a friable surface. The cartilage can even disappear completely, causing bone growths to form and expose the ends of the bones. The surrounding tissues are also negatively affected, which are irritated and worn out. Symptoms of equine arthrosis include the onset of severe inflammation, which tends to return and is manifested by limited mobility, swelling, pain and increased joint temperature. This disease can lead to a permanent strengthening of the joint capsule, the disintegration of the layer of bone under the cartilage (subchondral bone) or joint fusion.

Cause of arthrosis

The cause of the disease is usually mechanical damage to the intercellular mass and cartilage cells during impacts and excessive shocks to the limbs. Problems also occur with intra-articular fractures or long-term and repeated inflammation. They occur with poor handling, excessive training, poor shoeing and hoof trimming, irregular stance of the limbs or when moving on hard surfaces. Predisposing factors include poor breeding of the horse at a young age (reduced cartilage resistance), overweight or osteochondrosis (developmental disease).

Ankle, hoof and wrist joints are most often affected, but there are virtually none in the safe. Symptoms include lameness of varying intensity, enlargement and stiffening of joints, reduced performance, the swelling or cracking of joints. It is a good idea to confirm its existence, as it may be due to other joint diseases.

This is a worsening and irreversible problem. However, if you take early treatment in an appropriate form, supplemented by proper exercise and nutrition regimen, it is possible to keep it within acceptable limits. But treating a horse with osteoarthritis is also possible through natural means, not just strong medications. CBD oil for equine arthritis prevents the onset of inflammation and can treat it. In addition, it helps to suppress painful conditions. If you combine it with the right feed for an arthritic horse, give it all-day exercise and keep the affected joint warm, you can help the horse live to a ripe old age without suffering.

CBD oil for Cushing-syndrome

It is also known by the abbreviation PPID (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction). This is one of the most common endocrine disorders in horses. It is accompanied by an unhealthily high production of pituitary hormones, which are behind the appearance of typical clinical symptoms. Normally, pituitary hormone production is controlled by dopamine, which is released in the nerve endings of the hypothalamus. In Cushing’s syndrome, we observe their death, which results in a reduction of dopamine. Both sexes and all breeds are at risk, but especially horses over 15 years of age.

Symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome in a horse:

  • Neurological symptoms
  • Blindness
  • Fertility problems
  • Unexpected and recurrent laminitis
  • Recurrent infections and poor wound healing
  • Frequent urination and unnatural thirst
  • Atypical fat deposition e.g. above the eyes, on the neck or at the base of the tail
  • Large belly
  • Impaired performance up to lethargy
  • Loss of muscles in the back or hump area
  • Weight loss occurs despite the same volume of diet or its increase
  • Insufficient or excessive sweating (thermoregulatory disorders)
  • Poor coat quality, which is wavy and elongated, especially on the lower torso and legs

Life expectancy with Cushing’s syndrome

The life expectancy of a horse with Cushing’s syndrome may not be dramatically reduced at all. However, if treatment is underestimated, horses may be euthanized due to poor health and severe pain. As far as treatment is concerned, it is important to remember that even this problem cannot be completely cured. It is a chronic disease, the symptoms of which can be significantly suppressed and the animal’s quality of life improved. Pergolide tablets are often used. However, similar drugs can cause negative side effects such as digestive problems, colic, weight loss or depression.

In recent years, however, their owners have been reaching for other products that contain cannabidiol. In fact, you can find CBD oil for horses with Cushing’s freely available on the market. They are susceptible to laminitis and possibly excessive weight gain, which has a negative effect on their joints. CBD can regulate and eliminate the condition, and by interacting with the ESC endocannabinoid system) it can also regulate inflammation in the body, which also contributes to pain and tissue damage. CBD helps to rebuild muscles or maintain stress levels at a healthy level. Its calming and relaxing effects will prevent the onset of chronic stress, which results in a wide range of negative health manifestations associated with this syndrome.

CBD oil for Equine laminitis

A health problem popularly called laminitis. This is caused by failure or separation of the mechanism of the hinge apparatus of the hoof bone. This connects this bone to the hoof wall. Inflammation of the hoof joint is unpleasant, which can result in loss of the aforementioned connection or rotation or dropping of the hoof bone. These changes cause horses to be in extreme pain, which manifests itself as an unusual posture, lameness or reluctance to move. In most cases, the following creeping symptoms of laminitis appear:

  • Total body temperature
  • Overheating of the hoof for several hours
  • Shortening of the stride in turns or on harder surfaces
  • Refusal to move
  • An atypical stance in which the animal walks on the heels of the forelimbs, typically shifting
    weight to the hind limbs. Often the forelimbs suffer first, sometimes only those.

Stages of equine laminitis

In the early stages of the disease, the horse does not show clinical signs. The movement of the horse suffering from laminitis is consequently lame, which is when the disease is detected. In the chronic type, symptoms are manifested, which result from the recurrence of previous disorders. If we find growth rings around the hoof wall, it means that the horse has already had laminitis attacks, so the condition is likely to worsen.

Cause of equine laminitis

Laminitis, as a rule, is caused by metabolic irritations, which may result from a variety of factors. Experts most often mention long-term use of medications (especially corticosteroids), severe hoof injuries or serious illnesses. Leminitis is also caused by the poor feeding of horses. The diet then contains excessive amounts of starch or fructan in the pasture. A high percentage of sick horses suffer from hormonal problems, most commonly Cushing’s syndrome or equine metabolic syndrome.

Treatment of equine laminitis

Treatment of laminitis should be based on early veterinary diagnosis and the subsequent elimination and slowing of unpleasant symptoms. Laminitis is curable but not completely. You yourself can also help your pet by placing it in a suitable stable with not too deep or soft bedding, by quieting it down or by cooling its hooves. Of course, it is necessary to stop the medication behind the cause or to adjust the diet. Special hoof treatment or specific orthopaedic shoeing is also suitable. An extremely effective method is cryotherapy. In more severe cases, surgery is necessary.

Alternative treatment of equine laminitis

An alternative treatment option for equine laminitis is CBD oil. It can reduce inflammation or pain, or help the homeostasis of the body, which will have a positive effect on the quality of life of your horse. Various scientific studies have shown that CBD effectively and safely reduces symptoms to the same or greater extent as traditional medications, but without the adverse side effects. Since horses also have an endocannabinoid system, researchers can rely on existing studies in other animals or humans, such as those conducted by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Similar research, this time based on improved health in dogs given consistent doses of cannabidiol, was conducted by Baylor College of Medicine. The therapeutic benefits of CBD in both humans and animals suffering from chronic pain or episodes of acute chronic pain were published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology.

CBD for headshaking-syndrome

Headshaking is not a modern health problem at all. It was first encountered more than 200 years ago in New York, where it was referred to as the disease of unworked and overfed horses. This is a strong and frequent shaking of the head without apparent stimulus, often in a vertical direction. It most often occurs after the horse has warmed up during physical activity. This condition makes the horse extremely uncomfortable to ride and handle, which can also cause an accident. If we cannot determine the exact cause of the syndrome, we speak of an “idiopathic headshaker“.

The main symptoms of headshaking in a horse:

  • A horse behaves similarly to an insect entering its nose
  • The head shakes in a vertical direction, which manifests itself in waves of a seizure This
    condition can last up to several minutes
  • We observe anxiety
  • Typical is the horse rubbing its nose against the front leg or head against other objects.
    Therefore, we also observe abrasions on the nose
  • Sputtering almost all the time while working
  • Symptoms worsen with exertion
  • The horse tries to hide its head in the shade or in a barrel
  • When shaking its head, it may dig with its feet

The horse even beats its head from stress; it doesn’t have to be purely a physical problem. This is where preparations containing cannabidiol will help. CBD has a positive effect on the psyche of both humans and animals, reducing anxiety and acting as a natural antidepressant. However, the researchers suspect that this is a multifactorial problem. Triggers can be an inflammation of the ears, eyes, oral cavity and upper respiratory tract, irritation of the ears and eyes (headshaking from the sun), excessive noise or fragrance levels, musculoskeletal or neurological disorders. Up to 60% of horses have a seasonal manifestation of shivering, appearing at the turn of summer and autumn.

Effective treatment of head tremor

Which headshaking treatment is successful? There are four basic cathegories:

  • diet
  • environmental
  • modification
  • medication or combination therapy

In the case of diet, it is advisable to supplement the diet with magnesium, which is involved in nerve functions and helps to reduce the stimulation of the trigeminal nerve (its damage can bring this syndrome). The hormone melatonin is also important. In the context of food supplements, CBD oil is suitable, which has a positive effect on the animal’s psyche, relieves painful conditions, prevents inflammation and prevents neurological disorders. Although conventionally used drugs have similar effects, they are often associated with side effects. It also helps horses to build various shelters or apply eye shades, as excessive sunlight is a common trigger.

CBD oil for anxiety

The most common psychological problems in horses are depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders. It can be said that when in distress the horse looks sad. When we break it down into components, we can see several signs that something is wrong. Like humans, they experience a reduction in contact, loss of interest in mundane activities, a restriction of physical activities, lack of appetite, and all of this is accompanied by the loss of learned behavioral patterns. We often observe a kind of lull during the day, as if the horse is preparing for a night’s sleep. All of this of course has a negative impact on the owner or people who want to enjoy a rest on horseback.

Trigger of anxiety

It is necessary to find out what the horse is afraid of or what the trigger is. This is often a psychogenic factor. Difficulties were noted in horses that had lost a partner (living as a couple) or had been moved to different places than those they had trusted for a long time. It is not uncommon for psychological problems to arise when the owner or the person who cared for them dies. As a treatment, it is important to relieve the horse’s stress. To do this, sometimes all you need is to improve access to the horse, to give it more attention or to improve its living conditions. If these classic and simple steps do not help, it is advisable to opt for medication. However, natural ones are more likely to be recommended, as animal antidepressants are also associated with adverse effects. Try CBD tablets for horses, which can work wonders for the animal’s psyche too.

As a 2014 scientific study showed,”CBD also shows antidepressant or anti-anxiety effects in animals. A good interaction between the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor and CBD has been demonstrated. This receptor is a subtype of the serotonin receptor, which is also the target of pharmaceutical companies in the production of conventional drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.”

CBD oil for inflammation

Inflammation tends to be an extremely widespread cause of painful conditions in horses. They are subjected to a lot of physical strain, especially on their joints. Laminitis, which is a chronic or acute inflammation of the bone wall joint, is also unpleasant. Veterinarians have a variety of anti- inflammatory drugs at their disposal, but there are often side effects to be expected. But there is another way. If you’re searching for over-the-counter anti-inflammatories for horses, try those that contain cannabidiol. As various scientific studies have shown, CBD contains these properties. Its anti-inflammatory effects relieve pain in horses and will contribute to achieving a higher age and better quality of life.

CBD reduces the amount of inflammatory cytokines involved in the onset or progression of inflammatory processes in both humans and animals. These even cause various autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivity or allergies. For inflammation, cannabidiol’s great effect in combating stress, the chronic form of which prevents muscle regeneration, or the body’s fight against inflammation itself, also helps.

CBD oil for narcolepsy

Sleep is quite often underestimated in horse care. In such cases, however, there is a risk of various physical or psychological problems that can lead to serious injuries. These animals have been shown to have regular natural sleep for approximately three and a half hours per night. The duration of each phase is relatively constant. REM sleep accounts for 15% of total sleep time, slow-wave sleep 65%, and light sleep makes up the rest. If they do not get enough REM sleep at night, they tend to fall into it standing up during the day. This subsequently causes a collapse in their muscle recovery. And here we arrive at our problem. A narcoleptic horse does not suffer from sleep deprivation, it is often a disease. In this case, it falls into REM sleep while standing even without being tired.

Cause of narcolepsy

Narcolepsy in horses can occur for a number of reasons. Often it is a change in their upbringing (new owner, change of environment), or various health problems (most often orthopedic). This is a very dangerous phenomenon that often ends badly. More than 90% of horses sustain an injury after falling. Knee injuries are the most common, with about a third suffering head injuries. In addition to injuries, they also suffer from psychological problems. You can see them walking in the stable, shaking their heads or snorting. Many of them become very nervous or apathetic.

Treatment of narcolepsy

The treatment of a horse with narcolepsy should first and foremost identify the reason for the horse’s reluctance to lie down at night and fall asleep. Sometimes, however, it is enough to solve another health problem that causes this or other sleep disorders. In recent years, horse owners often reach for preparations with cannabidiol. CBD has a relaxing effect on the mind and body, which contributes to a better night’s sleep. After these preparations horses achieve a shorter time falling asleep and reduce bad dreams as well. The basis is the interaction with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating the natural rhythms of wakefulness and sleep. CBD improves the mental state of horses and calms them down. It is thus a natural way to avoid pure hypnotics.

CBD oil for allergies

This immune disease, in which the body develops an inappropriate immune response to contact with a common substance in food or air, also afflicts animals. Horse allergy can be observed depending on the seasons. Thus, we may not notice it at the beginning, the symptoms become more and more obvious as the disease progresses. Allergic reactions in horses manifest themselves as a gnawing on various parts of the body, intense scratching in the anal area or on the head, loss of shine and thinning of the coat, thickening of the skin, vomiting, diarrhea or darkening of the skin in uncoated areas.

Dust allergy

Most often we encounter pollen allergy or horses allergic to dust. It may happen that some are sensitive to multiple allergens at once. Therefore, a thorough veterinary examination, allergy diagnosis and allergen identification are important. Sometimes it is enough to modify the diet, but often it is necessary to obtain immunosuppressive agents. Immunotherapy, which focuses directly on the cause of the allergy itself, is also a new method.

Treatment of allergies

Tablets for equine allergy are available, but a visit to the vet is often necessary and side effects are to be expected. However, this can be avoided if you obtain CBD tablets. Why this substance? When the body starts to notice a certain harmful substance or danger, it starts to produce histamine, which causes inflammation. Since cannabidiol eliminates these inflammations or relieves pain, it can also relieve allergic attacks. Another effect is the ability to fight germs and infections that often develop during allergic attacks. We can also mention relief of breathing or relief of nasal pressure. Last but not least, it is an immune system booster.

CBD oil for general unrest

Even horses can have “bad days“. If the horse feels inner turmoil, certain mechanisms are triggered in it, which are also noticeable at first sight. Especially in the case of fear, it can also cause the animal to be aggressive. They often choose a defence strategy in the form of biting or kicking. The horse’s inner turmoil tells its body to execute hormone-driven impulses that can be dangerous to its health and to those around it. So if you see a restless horse in the stable or notice signs such as fearfulness, fright or aggression (physiological problems such as diarrhea or other stomach problems are also symptomatic), you should consider the correct treatment.

One way to resolve a horse’s inner turmoil is to support its nervous system with amino acids. The administration of various soothing herbal mixtures on a natural basis can also help. If you want to avoid conventional pharmaceutical preparations, try CBD-based products, which have similar effects but are freely available on the market and free of side effects. In addition, they also have other health advantages, such as a comprehensive improvement of the immune system and the adjustment of homeostasis in the body. The key is to maintain to the correct feeding intervals and perhaps improve your approach to them and behave a little friendlier. It is scientifically proven that horses, like humans, should be supplemented with magnesium.

CBD oil for laminitis

Laminitis is a serious disease of the hoof of the horse, resulting in pathological changes in its functional and anatomical arrangement. It is an inflammation of the hoof joint and there is also damage to the foot joint, which is a very painful condition. Laminitis hoof most commonly occurs due to overfeeding the horse with easily digestible glycidic feeds or prolonged use of medications. Laminitis in the horse also occurs with systemic disorders or overuse of the limbs. The initial phase of laminitis lasts 40 hours (after ingestion of large amounts of the aforementioned feed), followed by an acute stage accompanied by pain, increased hoof temperature, pulsation of blood vessels or lameness.

Treatment of laminitis

Treatment of laminitis should begin with early diagnosis. Then provide the patient with quiet in the stable, soft comfortable bedding or cooling of the hooves. If an acute phase occurs, pain-relieving drugs are given. Cannabidiol-containing preparations such as CBD oil or tablets have been shown to be extremely beneficial in this regard. These prevent the spread of pain stimuli and also treat inflammatory conditions. In horses, they also act as natural antidepressants and thanks to the calming effect, the animal is able to fall asleep and avoid the chronic stress that prevents the body from returning to normal.

Dosage of CBD oil for horses

Buy CBD oil for horses and you will receive a product with a precise and simple dosage that can solve the many physical and psychological problems of these animals. It is recommended to start with smaller doses. The initial dose depends on the weight of the horse and the severity or type of disease. For mild discomfort or short-term problems, 0.25 mg of the active substance per kg of horse weight is recommended. In chronic pain or its acute phases, 0.5 mg per 1 kg of live weight. Ideally, CBD oil should be dripped directly under the tongue, where it is best absorbed into the body and the effects are observed most quickly. If this does not suit the animal, add the preparation to its food or sprinkle on a sugar cube.

For optimal effects, a daily dose of 84mg active ingredient/4ml is recommended for 7 days, at which time interaction with the endocannabinoid system should take place. Then, from day 8 onwards, stick to these recommended doses (unless the animal reacts differently to the substance):

Correct dosage of CBD for horses

Illness Dosage
General health enhancement 42 to 63 mg per day
Chronic pain 84 to 126 mg daily
Ulcers 63 to 126 mg per day
Anxiety 42 to 84 mg per day
Inflammatory diseases 63 to 84 mg per day
Before a race or similar performance 84 to 169 mg an hour in advance

Which CBD products are suitable for horses?

CBD horse pellets contain a number of active natural substances such as cannabidiol or omega fatty acids. It is up to you whether you feed them before and after the season, or include them as conventional permanent feed. They help to strengthen the horse’s health, for physical exertion or mental problems, but also for more serious health problems. However, the most widely used is horse CBD oil, which is particularly popular because of its easy dosage and extremely rapid onset of positive effects. All forms of CBD drugs for these animals are free of the more serious and common side effects.

Side effects in horses

Side effects accompanying CBD preparations for horses are extremely rare and very quickly overcome. In all cases, the side effects should disappear as soon as the active substance has disappeared from the body. However, be careful during tournaments and competitions. CBD oil should not be given to pregnant horses. Very occasional side symptoms include hallucinations, mood changes or anxiety. Do not administer preparations containing more than 0.2% THC.

Caution urged around using cannabis-derived products in animals

Cannabis-derived products may have therapeutic potential, but scientific evidence supporting their use in animals remains limited, according to researchers.

The authors of a just-published review caution that few well-controlled studies have explored the use of cannabis-related products in animals.

Nancy De Briyne and her colleagues, writing in the journal Animals, said veterinarians are seeing more cases of cannabis toxicosis in pets as cannabis-based products have become more available for human use, both medical and recreational.

Animal owners are showing increasing interest in giving these products to their pets, they said. “These clients understandably are asking, ‘Are these products legal, safe, and effective for treating medical conditions in animals?’.”

In their paper, the international team set out to consider the different types of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, and the questions currently arising around their use in animals.

Cannabis and its related products are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. Most research to date has focused on the biologically active cannabinoids (CBD) it contains. More than 100 different cannabinoids have been identified.

The main psychoactive substance in the plant is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The tightest controls center on products containing THC.

The authors noted that the use of cannabis-related products in horses and humans is not new.

Early Greek writers reported the use of cannabis for dressing sores and wounds in humans and horses. The dried leaves were used against nosebleeds and the seeds against tapeworms. The green seeds were steeped in a liquid such as water or a variety of wine, pressed out, warmed and then instilled into the ear for pains and inflammation associated with blockages.

The Berlin Hippiatrica, a collection of horse remedies, reveals that chopped leaves were used to dress a wound. Another collection, the Cambridge Hippiatrica, offers a recipe for the treatment of tapeworms for horses.

Until relatively recently, cannabis was found in a large number of veterinary medications designed to treat colic, spasmodic colon, and other horse ailments. The bottles of some of these veterinary drugs survive to provide evidence of the therapeutic uses of this plant.

In the 1800s, American veterinarians routinely prescribed equine colic medication which contained high doses of marijuana. The Parke Davis pharmaceutical company was one of the leading suppliers of top quality “liquid cannabis” in the US.

The company, having collected hemp seeds from India and Nepal at the start of the 20th century, began growing high-grade marijuana in Michigan and the Blue Ridge mountains. The US Department of War had no hesitation in recommending its use for colic. Its 1915 Manual for Farriers, Horseshoers, Saddlers and Waggoners recommended giving colicky horses “one teaspoon of liquid Cannabis Americana mixed with one tablespoon of olive oil”.

Cannabis Americana was offered as a cure for colic in horses.

The review team noted the growing relaxation of laws around cannabis production and use around the globe.

Although the legal cannabis market in Europe is targeted strictly towards medical consumers, the consumption of hemp-derived non-psychoactive CBD-infused products for non-medicinal purposes is legally permitted across much of the world.

The current market size for CBD in Europe is about €450 million, representing 31% of the global CBD oil market share.

“There are many companies in the European Union marketplace today selling ‘nutritional supplement’ cannabis-derived products for dogs, cats, and horses, some of which make what clearly appear to be therapeutic feed claims.

“These products are being promoted as aids for itching, anxiety, nausea, poor appetite, seizures, cancer, digestive problems, inflammation, immune disease, and reduced mobility due to joint pain in animals.

“It is against the law to make therapeutic feed claims about nutritional products.

“Veterinarians,” they said, “cannot offer scientific advice on the effectiveness of a nutritional product to treat a disease, as it is not a medicine and such claims are (a) illegal; (b) unproven; and (c) potentially unsafe.”

No health claims relating to hemp or CBD products are authorized under EU regulations.

There are no authorized cannabis or cannabis-derived veterinary medicinal products on the market in the EU, US, or Canada, they said.

On the EU market, one product is authorised in Germany as a homeopathic veterinary medicine, while one CBD product is registered in several EU nations as a feed supplement.

“The off-label use of human medicinal products might be allowed to be used in animals in certain EU countries or in the US, only when using EU or FDA-approved products, respectively,” the review team said. “It is the responsibility of the veterinarian to understand their legal obligations.”

They said the available scientific evidence on their use in animals is currently limited and focused on companion animals and horses.

“Some findings from a few well-controlled clinical studies have been published, other information is gleaned from anecdotal support, historical records, and case reports or has been extrapolated from studies related to use in humans, including the study of animal models for that purpose.”

A young cannabis plant in the vegetative stage. Plantlady223 [CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons] Areas of interest include its use for pain, immune-mediated and inflammatory allergic disorders, cardio-vascular and respiratory conditions, and epilepsy.

According to the scientific literature review, CBD products are mainly used in the treatment of pain, especially osteoarthritis pain.

It is difficult, they said, to estimate the effectiveness of using cannabinoids in animals.

“There is also interest in using CBD and other cannabis-derived products for horses, e.g., against arthritis and negative stereotypical behaviours in horses,” the review team noted.

However, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has declared all cannabinoids as banned substances on its Equine Prohibited Substances List. Products that cannot be given to competition horses include natural and synthetic cannabinoids and other cannabimimetics.

The authors cautioned that CBD oil products may be marketed that do not conform to regulations, both animal and human.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration has also had to cite multiple companies illegally selling CBD products because the companies claimed they could prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure disease, with some of these companies marketing products targeted toward animals.

“The marketing of illegitimate products occurs, particularly when the regulatory framework is not well known and during periods of the rapid expansion of any particular sector,” the authors noted.

“In all regions, the inaccurate labelling of the identity and strength of active ingredients is of particular concern, making administration according to a dosage regimen very difficult to impossible.”

They noted that few studies have been done on the safety and tolerability of these products in animals.

“Several studies have shown quality and safety issues related to the use of products, often illegal, labelled for animal use, some of which have been associated with toxicoses.”

The review team noted that veterinarians were seeing more cases of toxicosis in animals arising from the use of cannabis-derived products.

Veterinary cases of cannabis toxicosis in dogs stem most commonly from exposure to edibles. Cats may also directly consume the plant material.

“The likelihood of pets becoming exposed is increasing as cannabis and cannabis products become more widely available and recreational drug use more commonplace.

In 2019, the Animal Poison Control Center run by the US-based ASPCA animal charity noted a large jump in calls about marijuana ingestion by animals.

There is currently little research performed on thresholds for toxicosis in animals.

“Although the available data suggest that CBD may be well tolerated by animals and produces few side effects, the lack of industry-wide quality control can result in an animal’s exposure to hemp or CBD products contaminated with THC or toxins, such as heavy metals or pesticides, that may cause harm.”

In the US, animal poison control organizations indicate that up to 50% of pets exposed to products labelled as CBD or hemp may develop clinical signs severe enough to require veterinary intervention, indicating that such products may not be pure CBD.

“Several deaths were reported to have been related to cannabis toxicoses, and these appear to be the result of associated complications, such as aspiration.”

Because no antidote has been described to date, the treatment of cannabis toxicosis consists of supportive care. Because of the wide margin of safety of most known cannabinoids, toxicosis is rarely fatal.

The review team called for more research to improve the understanding of the safety and effectiveness of cannabis-derived products in veterinary medicine.

“Current research is limited, mostly done on small samples and at times with conflicting outcomes.” Research thus far suggests that cannabinoid products may potentially be beneficial in certain cases to reduce pain, particularly osteoarthritis pain, and as an adjunctive treatment of canine epilepsy.”

Currently, no cannabis-derived veterinary medicinal products are authorised in the EU or North America.

The authors said well-controlled clinical trials were required in support of EU and North American approval for suitable cannabis-derived products. This would ensure that high-quality products of known safety and efficacy can be made available for veterinarians and their patients.

“Clinical trial studies should be encouraged to investigate the potential therapeutic value and safety of hemp-derived products for companion animals.”

There should be a ban on producing pet food with cannabis-derived products without known safety and efficacy and without the knowledge of the intended purpose of the included cannabis-derived products, as specified by the manufacturers.

There should also be a prohibition on producing feed supplements or beddings for food-producing animals with CBD/cannabis without known safety and efficacy data.

“We encourage veterinarians to act cautiously, as there may be risks associated with having such products in their possession if the product(s) were subsequently shown to contain illegal levels of THC.”

They said greater international cooperation is needed to help define standards, promote safety, education, research, and policy around the use of cannabis-derived products.

The review team comprised De Briyne and Sarah Moody, with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe; Danny Holmes, with Holmes St Anthony’s Veterinary Hospital in Ireland; Ian Sandler and Enid Stiles, with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association; Dharati Szymanski, with the American Veterinary Medical Association; Stephan Neumann, with the Institute of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Goettingen in Germany; and Arturo Anadón, with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain.

De Briyne, N.; Holmes, D.; Sandler, I.; Stiles, E.; Szymanski, D.; Moody, S.; Neumann, S.; Anadón, A. Cannabis, Cannabidiol Oils and Tetrahydrocannabinol—What Do Veterinarians Need to Know? Animals 2021, 11, 892. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11030892

The review, published under a Creative Commons License , can be read here .