When you’re taking care of a horse experiencing discomfort, the hard reality to face is that most options for care are costly and typically full of harsh chemical substances. Though these options will surely help your horse feel better, a lot of horse owners are turning their attention to a more natural alternative, administering CBD.
In this comprehensive article, we’ll focus on the largely overlooked topic of CBD for horses and include information on dosage, benefits, and give you 3 tips for choosing the best CBD for your equine friend.
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, and it’s one of the most popularly used cannabinoids today. Both the hemp and marijuana plants are home to a wide variety of natural cannabinoids, including: CBD, CBDA, CBC, CBN, THC, and more.
But of course, we can’t discuss CBD without mentioning another cannabinoid, THC. THC is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, and it’s a cannabinoid known for creating a “high” feeling. In marijuana, THC levels are high while CBD levels are low. In hemp, CBD levels are high while THC levels are low.
Therefore, CBD is non-intoxicating and does not result in a “high”. This differentiation between marijuana and hemp-derived CBD is the very reason that it's rising to prevalence and becoming more socially sanctioned.
CBD contains all of the benefits that medicinal cannabis contains, yet it’s more low-risk, with far less likely to display the negative side effects of marijuana like increased paranoia, decreased motor responses, or appetite irregularity.
How Does CBD Work?
The mystery of why CBD works in mammalian bodies, comes down to the Endocannabinoid system (ECS).
This system works somewhat like a conductor in a symphony, overseeing many of the most complex physiological systems in our bodies. By playing the role of regulator, the ECS promotes homeostasis, thereby positively contributing to both physical and mental benefits.
Benefits of CBD For Horses
Horse-lovers are turning to CBD oils because like a lot of caring pet owners, they’re tired of treating their equestrian friends with remedies that only work like a bandaid. With the help of CBD, your horse can enjoy support for:
- Healthy mobility
- Normal recovery post workout
- Normal digestion
- Healthy immune function
- A sense of calm
- Management of everyday stressors
- Normal inflammatory response
More on Normal Inflammatory Response
Among CBD’s bevy of health benefits is its ability to help support normal inflammatory response, and it's this ability that’s likely to account for a large scope of CBD’s benefits.
The body reacts with excess signaling of inflammation (swelling, pain, and redness) in response to injury or discomfort.
For example, when you wear a really uncomfortable pair of shoes, you can often feel physical heat emanating from that area—That heat is inflammatory, and though this response is normal for the body to heal, prolonged inflammation develop into an issue.
The ability to rest and recover is imperative to our equine companions. With the addition of hemp-derived CBD, you can help to support a normal inflammatory response through CBD’s restorative properties.
3 Tips For Choosing CBD For Horses
As the CBD market grows & thrives, it’s important to be selective. CBD is intended to help to support normal recovery and a sense of calm, so you’ll want to ensure that the CBD you’re selecting doesn’t have any strange ingredients that could work against the positive benefits you desire.
Here are 3 tips to keep in mind when it comes time to choose high-quality CBD products for your horse.
1. Check for 3rd Party Testing
Every reputable CBD company will have 3rd party lab testing results available. Why is this so important? The Certificate of Analysis (COA), commonly called lab results, list the accurate ingredients and cannabinoid amounts found in your CBD products.
These days it’s more important than ever to verify the CBD content so you can be sure of what you’re purchasing. Make sure to check for these documents on the product listing of the product you’re interested in purchasing.
2. Go Full Spectrum
Not all CBD products are created equally. For example, do you know how wheat bread is considered healthier than white bread due to less processing? The same goes for CBD.The least process form of cannabis plant is called a Full Spectrum extract.
A full spectrum extract is capable of the entourage effect, this is the concept that the naturally occurring compounds of an herb work together when combined to produce stronger effects.
Therefore, full spectrum CBD oil extracts contain many cannabinoids: CBD, THC, CBN, CBC, and more.
The aforementioned “white bread” of CBD is called CBD isolate, a name that alludes to the fact that this extract contains only CBD and no other cannabinoids. Not only is this extract over processed, it’s runs the risk of being synthetic and lab made, which is far from the the plant-based CBD a horse owner would hope to give their horse.
When you distill one cannabinoid away from the rest of cannabinoids, as some popular CBD horse products do, you’re potentially missing out on the effects the cannabinoids could have when working together in conjunction with one another.
3. You Get What You Pay For
There are a wide range of price points when looking forCBD for horses. And while it is tempting to go for a lower price option, it’s never a good idea to invest in a low-price, low-quality CBD product.
There are currently minimal regulations on hemp based products, so the market is booming with hemp-derived CBD that doesn’t meet the quality standards your horse deserves. A higher-priced CBD option will likely offer lab results, customer service, and return policies that guarantee you’re making a safe and responsible choice for your equine friend (and your wallet too!)
CBD Dosage for Horses (Chart)
CBD for Horses Dosage is always tricky and takes some time to fine-tune.
For one, given a horse’s size and stature, they’ll require more CBD than a human or a dog would. The best rule of thumb is to follow the dosage instructions on the CBD product you’re purchasing. Monitor your horse for a week before increasing or decreasing their CBD dose, and of course, always make sure to consult with a veterinarian or holistic practitioner to adjust the CBD oil dosage to best fit your horse.
Is CBD Safe For Horses?
In a recent report The World Health Organization (WHO) deemed CBD “safe and well tolerated in humans (and animals)" . In fact, there are only two situations in which we could imagine CBD being unsafe for horses.
Firstly, CBD could be unsafe for horses if it’s purchased from a non-reputable supplier. The potential of purchasing a CBD product without proper testing or verification of purity poses the risks of exposing your horse to unsafe or unregulated chemicals. As aforementioned, do your due diligence in selecting the right CBD for your horse.
Secondly, CBD could be unsafe for your horse if you give your horse more CBD than is recommended. However, even in this case, CBD in overly high quantities will only result in drowsiness, dizziness, or nausea.
What Does CBD For Horses Research Say?
Similar to most specific areas of CBD, CBD for horses research is still a new field. However, preliminary studies are set to release their results soon. For now, there are future studies planned and observations from equine experts for us to rely on.
In 2020, Dr. Kimberly Guay from Tarleton State University announced she’d be studying the effects of horses CBD. Her study aims to find how hemp affects stress and stereotypical negative behaviors in horses, while also looking at what’s the most effective form to deliver CBD to horses: pellets, oils, etc. To date, Dr. Guay’s study is the most promising to come about in this field, with results expected to come out in 2021 .
Additionally, researchers at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) are closely looking at CBD and its effect on horses.
Horse expert & nutritionist, Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D explains, “Hemp is hardy and fast-growing and can be harvested for industrial and commercial products such as rope, clothes, paper, textiles, plastics, and biofuel. For horses, the two primary uses of hemp include bedding and best CBD oil combined with hemp seed oil. Hemp oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their health benefits. The nervous system of both mature and immature horses also benefits from Omega-3s, as supplementation decreases stress, improves learning and cognition, and staves off the development of stereotypic behaviors, such as cribbing” .
Neurogan CBD Horse Pellets Testimonials
We asked our friends and local community partners at Mary’s Tack & Feed to share their results with supplementing CBD for horses:
“Our customers share their stories with us of their horses changing after taking Neurogan horse pellets. They say they were able to notice changes in their horses demeanor and energy level surprisingly fast, especially in older horses”.
We wish your horse the best on their health journey. Contact our team for any further questions.