CBD is one of the latest trends to hit the world of equine supplements. It has a long list of potential health and mental benefits. But as with every new trend, you can’t help but wonder if and how it works. And are there really any benefits of CBD for horses?
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of 100+ bio active chemical compounds found in hemp flowers, a strain of the cannabis plant. Unlike some of the other compounds found in this family of plants, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it won’t produce a high.
Is CBD safe for horses?
Because CBD doesn’t create a high, it is safe to feed to horses. Early research has shown no short term side effects of feeding horses CBD. Looking at longer studies on humans and other animals suggest that it is unlikely to have negative long term effects.
However, you should make sure that any product you feed has been checked in a lab for any contaminents and to make sure it meets legal requirements. Most reputable companies will be sending their products to an independant lab and be stating this on the label.
Does CBD work for horses?
There has been very little research into whether CBD works in horses specifically. Most of the research has happened in other animals and humans. Current understanding is that CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Since horses also have an ECS, it is believed that CBD should work the same way as found in other animals. The ECS is responsible for many essential bodily functions as well as pain reception and mood. There have been some small studies in horses what do suggest that CBD does work for horses. But these studies have been too small to draw solid conclusions from.
What are the benefits of feeding horses CBD?
There are lots of potential benefits of CBD for horses. However, these should all be taken with a pinch of salt for now, until there has been more research in horses. Most of the potential benefits are ones seen in other animals, backed up by more annecdotal evidence in horses.
Physical Benefits of CBD
There have been plenty of studies in humans and other animals to show that CBD can reduce pain and inflamation. Early research suggests that this is also the case in horses. This means it can potentially help with:
- Joint mobility
But there are other potential physical benefits of adding CBD to your horses diet. These include:
- Gastrointestinal comfort
- Immune system boost
- General health & nutrition
Mental Benefits of CBD
CBD has been found to reduce stress and anxiety in humans and so far it seems to be having the same affect in horses. It can be used in the same way as a calmer for a number of different situations, including:
- Moving yards
- Returning to work
- Rehab after an injury
It’s still early days for a definitive answer on the benefits of CBD for horses. But all the research so far seems positive. Plus there have been so many positive stories from owners after feeding CBD to their horse, so it certainly feels like it is worth trying if you are struggling with something in particular.
I was recently sent a tub of CBD from Hempine to review. Scottie has been having it for about a week now (maybe 2) and I do feel like it has helped in certain situations. Keep your eyes peeled for my full review!
Last Updated on 10/03/2023