Whether your horse is starting to spook easily on your daily rides, they’ve begun to grind their teeth excessively, or they’re experiencing gastrointestinal issues, it’s critical that you get an uneasy horse the help they need.
Fortunately, animal-friendly CBD oil may help to ease your four-legged companions—no matter their size. CBD oil may help to relieve nervousness and physical aches and support your horse’s overall health.
That said, when considering CBD for your horse, it’s important to understand the potential benefits of CBD oil for animals, what to look for in a CBD company, and what constitutes a safe and effective CBD dosage for horses.
The Science of CBD
Cannabidiol oils—or CBD oils—are products derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant that has low or no levels of THC. Since THC is the chemical in marijuana that can lead to psychoactive effects, CBD oils can provide a way for users to experience the potential positive effects of the Cannabis Sativa plant without risking the less desirable psychoactive effects.
CBD can interact with the group of neuromodulatory lipids and receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS for short), which is found in both animals and humans. The ECS regulates certain immune, nervous, and cardiovascular system functions within the cells, and it may interact with the cannabinoids of CBD when it is consumed orally or applied topically.
CBD for Horses
When incorporating CBD into your horse’s diet, it’s recommended to start slow, observe your horse’s reaction, and increase the dosage as needed.
While the dosage will vary depending on the CBD product’s concentration or your horse’s size, you can check the product’s label to determine how much you should give your horse. For example, when using Canna-Pet® CBD for Horses, it’s recommended that horse owners start with 15 drops (0.5ml) under the tongue three times a day.
When determining how best—and how often—to share CBD products with your horse, always follow the specific instructions on the packaging or given to you by your vet.
Additionally, try to avoid using multiple CBD products at the same time unless your vet tells you otherwise, as that can lead to you giving your horse more CBD than the manufacturers intended.
Bioavailability of CBD in Horses
While the research on horses and CBD is limited, one study conducted by Colorado State University vet resident Alicia Yocom found that CBD is bioavailable in horses when administered orally, meaning horses can metabolize and tolerate CBD oil.
The study involved 12 mix-breed mares who were divided into two groups. The first group was given a low dose of CBD oil (1 milligram per kilogram of body weight) and the second group was given a high dose of CBD oil (3 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) once a day for six weeks.
Note: The higher dosage was more than CBD manufacturers typically recommend
After taking blood samples to measure the amount of CBD in the horses’ blood, it was discovered that CBD can stay in a horse’s body for 24 hours or longer and is particularly effective when administered every 12 hours after a high-fat meal. Additionally, there were no signs of adverse effects.
Potential Benefits of CBD
The ECS is found in all mammals, including dogs and mice. As such, studies conducted on these species suggest that CBD may provide similar positive effects to horses, such as: