CBD OIL FOR HORSES
Just like people, horses experience medical issues that can leave owners not knowing how to proceed. We know that you want the very best for your four-legged companion, but what exactly does that entail? Are the potential adverse reactions to conventional medications worth the risk? When problems arise (and they inevitably do) it is important for horse owners to know their options in terms of the way specific ailments are treated. This is where CBD comes into play.
By now you are likely familiar with the benefits that CBD has for people. From managing anxiety to reducing the severity and frequency of seizures, CBD oil is improving lives every single day. It was only a matter of time before people began wondering if the powerful herb could also benefit their animals. As it turns out, it can! In fact, over three decades worth of studies prove the CBD is an incredibly effective way to treat and prevent a slew of ailments in dogs, cats, and horses.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about CBD oil for horses. The ways in which it can benefit your horse may surprise you. Let’s get started!
What is CBD Oil
CBD oil is a liquid substance derived from the cannabis plant. The oil is all natural and non-toxic and is finally getting the attention it deserves in terms of how we treat certain health issues.
With the growing conversation surrounding CBD oil for animals, many pet owners have questions regarding how an herb could have such incredibly medical benefits. Before we dive into all of the ways that CBD oil can help your horse, let’s clear up a few misunderstandings.
Facts Vs. Fiction: What You Need to Know!
Think of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant as a kind of umbrella term. Under the plant are both the marijuana plant and the hemp plant. Although the two have similarities, they also have important differences that horse owners should be aware of.
Cannabis plants are comprised of 80 different cannabinoids. Of these cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most studied. This is also where many misunderstandings stem from.
There is still a rather negative stigma surrounding the cannabis plant due to its association with the “stoner” characters portrayed on television. However, this generalization couldn’t be farther from the truth in terms of the cannabis oil used for treating ailments. In efforts to help remove the stigma, we want to explain a few things more in depth. We hope that our readers will then be able to educate others and more correct knowledge regarding cannabis oil will be passed on from there. The more pet owners that know the benefits of CBD oil, the more animals that can be helped in an all natural, non-toxic way. We feel that’s something we all can stand behind.
Perhaps the most important difference between the hemp plant and the marijuana plant is that CBD oil derived from the hemp plant contains no more than 0.3% THC. Why is this so important? We’re glad you asked.
THC is the chemical compound that gives its users the euphoric, “high” feeling associated with cannabis. Due to the fact that the levels of THC in the hemp plant are virtually non-existent, hemp-derived CBD will not get your horse high or experience any euphoric feelings. Many pet owners wonder if CBD for animals will get their pet “high.” The answer is absolutely not.
It is important to note that CBD can also be derived from the marijuana plant. The CBD oil will contain higher traces of THC, the psychoactive property that most associate with getting high. But with the ability to isolate the CBD to 99.9%, the THC is not present.
Although many studies prove that horses can tolerate marijuana-derived CBD*.
*Additionally, it is necessary to mention that while horses can tolerate marijuana-derived CBD, other animals, like dogs and cats, cannot. Again, in most cases, this won’t be an issue but if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana products it is imperative that you only purchase hemp-derived CBD for your animals.
CBD & Horses: How They Interact
So, how does it all work? Hemp and cannabis both contain chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Horses (like people) have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The receptor system interacts with cannabinoids (such as CBD cannabidiol) to maintain an overall homeostasis within the body. As you may imagine, it is imperative that the system works efficiently.
When a cannabidiol such as CBD is introduced, it helps to support the overall function of the Endocannabinoid System. It is comparable to the way that vitamin C supports the immune system. CBD oil also proves to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve stress on the body. As you can see, more and more people are turning to CBD oil instead of harsh, conventional medications whenever possible.
CBD Hemp Oil Benefits for Horses
Horse owners are finding that hemp derived CBD oil can benefit their four-legged friend in a number of ways. In fact, CBD oil is proving to not only treat common health conditions, but also help to prevent them from developing or worsening. Let’s take a look at all the ways CBD oil can benefit your horse.
ARTHRITIS IN HORSES
One of the most common health conditions that many horses face is arthritis. The disease is caused by chronic inflammation which leads to permanent degradation of the cartilage surrounding the horses’ joints. Arthritis can cause the horse to experience a terrible amount of pain and ultimately affect their quality of life. Luckily, CBD can help. When it comes to arthritis, the disease is unable to be entirely reversed. However, pet owners can help prevent it from worsening as well as alleviate any associated pain that their horse is experiencing with CBD oil.
CBD HEMP OIL FOR PAIN
Perhaps the hardest part of being a pet owner is recognizing that your horse is in pain. Conventional pain medications are accompanied by a slew of potential adverse reactions that leave many wondering if the risks are worth the possible reward. Of course, you don’t want your beloved horse to be in pain, but at what cost? Thankfully, horse owners now have options when it comes to alleviating their horses’ distress.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are what make it such an effective remedy for pain relief. In fact, CBD is so effective at relieving pain that experts are considering it to be a new drug class for treating chronic pain in people and animals alike. Hemp-derived CBD oil can also help provide relief for horses facing acute pain. The best news? CBD hemp oil has virtually zero side effects, much unlike those associated with conventional pain medications.
GASTRIC ULCERS IN HORSES
At one point or another, many horses are diagnosed with gastric ulcers. Sadly, up to 90% of adult horses will be diagnosed with gastric ulcer disease at some point in their life. The ulcers can be incredibly painful and affect the horse’s appetite and overall nature. In cases of equine gastric ulcer syndrome, CBD oil can help. By implementing CBD oil, pet owners can help to relieve their horse’s discomfort and support the body’s natural healing process.
Every day, hundreds of horses are diagnosed with a disease called laminitis. Laminitis is the inflammation of the tissues within the horse’s hoof. The disease often causes the horse to experience a severe amount of pain and negatively affects their quality of life. If your horse has been diagnosed with laminitis, implementing CBD oil can help.
Another ailment that can benefit from CBD oil is colic. Colic is a condition that affects the gastrointestinal tract and can cause the horse to experience horrific abdominal pain. In cases of colic, a CBD supplement can provide pain relief and work to reduce present inflammation affecting the horse’s GI tract.
Desmitis is caused by inflammation of the horse’s ligaments, typically in the legs and coffin joint. The commonly diagnosed disease is another which can benefit from a CBD oil supplement.
CBD oil can also help support cardiovascular health. The supplement reduces harm to the blood vessels and protects against damage from an irregular heart rate. CBD oil can also help decrease an elevated heart rate and blood pressure caused by stress and anxiety.
ALLERGIES AND SKIN CONDITIONS
By reducing inflammation, CBD oil also proves to effectively reduce and control allergies. Many times, allergy symptoms appear in the form of skin conditions which can create even bigger issues for a horse owner. Skin issues such as hives and pruritus (severe, intense itching) can be managed and prevented by implementing CBD oil into your horse’s life.
SUPPORTING IMMUNE FUNCTION
CBD hemp oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that these fatty acids help to absorb vitamins and therefore support overall immune function. By implementing CBD oil into your horse’s diet you can effectively help their body fight off disease and prevent illness.
IMPROVING JOINT HEALTH
Added stress on the joints, either due to trauma or chronic wearing, will ultimately lead to the development of arthritis. If your horse is aging or has experienced physical trauma of any kind, consider implementing a CBD product into their diet. CBD oil has the ability to not only support joint health but also improve its current status.
CBD FOR DIGESTIVE HEALTH
Additionally, CBD oil proves to help the overall health of the digestive system. In horses, CBD oil can help alleviate conditions like bloating, nausea, indigestion, lack of appetite, and heartburn.
Interestingly enough, in humans, CBD has also proven to effectively relieve nausea and boost the appetite. The research is even acknowledged by the National Cancer Institute.
MANAGING ANXIETY WITH CBD
Just like humans, horses can experience bouts of anxiety, particularly when traveling in a trailer. Additionally, some competition horses may experience something called “arena anxiety” which can also affect the anxiety level of their rider. In these instances, CBD can help. Clinical trials prove that CBD oil is an effective way to manage present anxiety as well as prevent it. Horse owners can administer the oil prior to a stressful event and help control their horse’s stress levels. Because hemp-derived CBD has less than 0.3% THC, your horse won’t feel loopy or drowsy. They will still be able to perform or travel, just without the associated anxiety of doing so.
Additionally, horses are herd animals and can often face separation anxiety if they are left alone for periods of time. Luckily, CBD proves to provide relief. If you know that your horse is going to be on their own for an extended period of time, we recommend using CBD oil as a preventative measure.
REDUCING INFLAMMATION: WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT
When we look at the vast majority of health issues (including nearly all of the aforementioned conditions), we find that they all have one major thing in common: inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of nearly every disease that both people and our animals face. From cancer to allergies, inflammation is to blame. Therefore, reducing inflammation is paramount not only in providing relief for current health issues but also to prevent diseases from developing in the future.
CBD oil is an all natural anti-inflammatory. Countless studies show that it is able to reduce present inflammation and is a key factor in preventing the development and spreading of inflammation.
By implementing CBD oil into your horse’s life, pet owners are able to have control over health issues that once seemed out of their hands.
CBD Oil for Horses: Dosage
The dose of CBD oil varies greatly from species to species as it is typically based on weight. Obviously, a horse will require a significantly higher dose of CBD oil than your dog. Any CBD product that you purchase will have a recommended ml per lb label which can help pet owners accurately administer the product. With that said, as always, we recommend consulting with a holistic veterinarian regarding the appropriate CBD dosage for your horse’s individual needs. Some conditions may require less or more of the supplement than others.
Choosing the Best CBD Product
With the rise in popularity of CBD oil, many companies are producing a wide array of CBD products. From balms to sprays to specially formulated treats, the options are growing by the day. When it comes to CBD for horses, most experts suggest sticking to CBD oil. CBD oil comes in tincture form with an easy-to-use dropper. The dropper allows pet owners to have total control over how much of the product their horse receives. Additionally, most horse owners report that administering CBD oil is an easy process that their horse doesn’t seem to mind one bit.
HOW TO USE HEMP OIL FOR PAIN
In order to alleviate pain resulting from chronic inflammation, we recommend using CBD oil. The oil can be administered directly into the horse’s mouth. Experts recommend administering the oil under the horse’s tongue (when possible) as it will be absorbed the fastest that way. Again, the appropriate dosing will be provided on the label but we also recommend talking with your holistic veterinarian. Acute pain and chronic pain may require different dosages.
First and foremost, make sure that the CBD oil that you purchase for your horse is all natural. If the product is not all natural then it may have been treated with pesticides, fungicides and/or solvents. Using a CBD product that contains traces of these toxic chemicals ultimately defeats the whole point of choosing a holistic alternative for conventional medications. Choose all natural! You won’t regret it.
Next, make sure that the CBD oil comes with a certificate of analysis. The certificate of analysis is a lab report which shows exactly how much CBD the product contains. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity, many companies are selling products that only contain traces of hemp extract, yet they are marketing when as CBD products. Not only are these products a waste of money, but they won’t deliver any positive results. Any reputable company should be able to provide their product’s certificate of analysis.
FULL SPECTRUM CBD
Additionally, we recommend purchasing full spectrum CBD oil as opposed to CBD isolate. Full spectrum CBD offers more benefits in terms of alleviating both pain and anxiety. CBD isolate is cheaper for companies to use and, therefore, many companies use it. However, it is important to choose a company that uses full spectrum CBD if you want to see optimal results.
Finally, let’s discuss price points. With so many companies producing CBD oil and CBD products, you’ll likely find a wide range of prices. When it comes to CBD you truly get what you pay for. Yes, some companies may sell their oil at a lower cost, but are you reaping all of the possible benefits that the oil has to offer? Are you purchasing a lab tested, quality product? These are questions pet owners must consider before choosing the best CBD oil for their horse.
Is CBD Safe for My Horses
Yes. Clinical studies prove that CBD oil is safe for horses and can deliver incredible results. If your horse is suffering from any of the aforementioned health concerns, CBD oil can help. Furthermore, if you are actively seeking ways to prevent diseases from developing, we highly recommend implementing CBD oil into your horse’s life.
CBD Oil for Horses: The Bottom Line
We know that your horse means the world to you. Most owners would go to the ends of the earth to ensure their horse’s happiness and health. We also know how difficult it can be when health issues arise. For some, the ailments are nearly impossible to prevent. If you recognize any symptoms of disease, don’t delay in getting your horse the help they need.
Before we close we want to mention one thing. Even though experts have been studying the effects of CBD oil on animals for over three decades, there is still research that needs to be done before all pet owners will willingly hop on the CBD bandwagon. We get it. The idea that an herb can provide such incredible benefits can be a lot to process and many people may find themselves skeptical. However, for those who have seen the results firsthand, the proof is as clear as day.
Is CBD ok for horses, and should you try it?
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Understanding CBD for horses
Few health-related products have ramped up as quickly as CBD. What was once thought of as taboo is now a widely-available tool for humans and animals, alike.
You see CBD everywhere these days, but does it really work? Is it safe? The short answers: sometimes, and sometimes.
There is a growing body of evidence that cannabinoids, found in the hemp and marijuana plant, can be beneficial to humans and horses. Research and studies have shown cannabinoids like CBD, and even THC, can have powerful medicinal benefits ranging from things like pain relief, inflammation, anxiety, and better sleep.
More recent research has shown promise in the regrowth of bone and even controlling drug resistant ‘superbugs’ like MRSA bacteria (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
The number one rule is to source substances from brands you can trust—as in, don’t buy CBD at a gas station! And, as with any drug for your horse, always start by asking your vet for advice and guidance.
What are Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid System?
Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is biological system comprised of neurotransmitters and receptors called CB1 and CB2, both endocannabinoids, which are created within the body, and phyto-cannabinoids (like CBD or cannabidiol), which are created by the cannabis plant interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
- CB1 receptors are contained mostly in the brain and central nervous system.
- CB2 receptors are found mostly in the gut, organs, and throughout the body including skin and other tissues.
The ECS is the largest system in the body and helps to regulate processes including mood, pain, memory, brain function, immune function, bone and more. The ECS functions like a regulator for the body helping it to maintain homeostasis, also called “The Goldilocks Zone.”
Cannabis is the common name for the Cannabis Sativa L plant species, the plant is split into two classifications based on the amount of THC in the plant, Marijuana and hemp. Marijuana, either medical or recreational, is generally regarded for its THC content, the cannabinoid that causes a “high.” THC also has a number of medical benefits, like pain relief.
Hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC and is legal in all 50 states (Europe is 0.2%). Non- intoxicating cannabinoids can be found in both plants, but are primarily derived from hemp due to the legal restrictions of working with marijuana. Don’t worry, as long as you steer clear of THC, your horse won’t be getting high.
Hemp can be confusing. You may have seen hemp seed oil in your local tack shop or on grocery store shelves. This is very different from the oils that contain cannabinoids.
Hemp seed products do not contain cannabinoids, but offer a lot of other benefits and are a rich source of antioxidants and a high quality source of fat and energy.
Hemp hearts and other cereals use seed and fiber from the plant’s stalk. The cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are produced in the flower or “buds” of the plant.
Cannabinoids in sports
Athletes are turning to cannabis in increasing numbers looking for alternatives for recovery from training and competitions. NFL players like Rob Gronkowski and Marvin Washington, and US Soccer star Megan Rapinoe have used CBD products as an alternative to opioid painkillers with harmful side effects.
Horse and dog owners are starting to take notice and studies in dogs have shown a reduction in the effects of arthritis and a number of promising equine trials are underway. Much like human athletes the benefits for cannabinoids in equine sports appear to have the same benefits for their horses as they are showing for riders like Olympic dressage medalist Stephan Peters who has been using a CBD product for years to help manage his own anxiety.
On the equine end of the partnership, international event rider Ema Klugman has been finding success managing the stress of early training and improving focus in her young horses by using Equilibrium from CannaHorse (use code HORSEROOKIE15 for 15% off!).
But is it safe and how much does a horse need?
When it comes to safety, high quality CBD products have shown to be safe in multiple animal species including a number of trials that have recognized safety in horses. The issue with safety is what is on the label is not necessarily what is in the product and that’s why it’s vitally important that products are purchased from reliable manufacturers using premium quality ingredients.
Companies like CannaHorse use an organic medical grade hemp that was grown specifically for human medical patients and processed in pharmaceutical compliant facilities.
Cannabinoids are complex molecules and have an interesting relationship with oxygen. Like many substances, air (Earth’s atmosphere is about 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen) can cause CBD products to degrade. Oxygen can also change the composition of certain cannabinoids like THC. When left out in the air, THC will degrade into a separate cannabinoid called CBN, which could cause more drowsiness than originally intended.
Hemp can also be an amazing bioaccumulator, meaning it will absorb anything and just about everything from the ground or that might be sprayed on it while growing. It’s important that it is grown in conditions free from toxins in the soil, or dangerous herbicides and pesticides often sprayed on crops.
Dosage is sort of a moving target in humans and animals. In humans, dosage is somewhat dictated by the desired outcome, with certain ailments requiring a higher dose than others.
In horses a couple of studies have shown that in doses below 150mg there seems to be little benefit, but doses at 250mg have shown to relieve pain in horses with injuries.
The format that the CBD is provided in is going to dictate how much you need to give your horse, as well. Water soluble products like CannaHorse Equilibrium (use code HORSEROOKIE15 for 15% off!) are designed to be absorbed orally to provide maximum effect. In comparison, pellet products have to be absorbed by the horse’s gut, which is very big and often filled with roughage, so it can be slow acting and much less is absorbed by the horse.
I want to try it, what should I look for?
CBD products for humans come in a variety of formats from oils, tinctures, capsules, to gummies and novelty products like cookies and even ice cream. Topical products are becoming more popular and can provide targeted relief of physical issues.
Tracing ingredients and knowing how much is actually in a novelty product is hard and requires a high level of trust in the manufacturer.
Manufacturers of CBD products vary in quality, and while it’s good advice to only buy from a brand you trust, it’s hard when so many brands are new. Look for brands with a quality website, high quality packaging, and transparency in their ingredients. Every company should offer Certificates of Analysis for each lot of their products.
There are a couple of additional things to keep in mind:
- How is the product stored? Pelleted products may be convenient, but when opened, they are exposed to air. Is the CBD content the same on the day you buy it as it is on day 30 after opening? Probably not.
- Also watch out for wild claims of medical benefits, as these are usually associated with companies making dodgy products that can’t be sold on their own merit.
Whether to try CBD for your horse is a personal decision, and one to make in consultation with your vet. Having a natural option to try, depending on the issues you horse is experiencing, may make all the difference. If you have more questions, reach out to the team at CannaHorse!