CBD is one of the biggest supplement raves today; it is everywhere, and you might already have heard of it and the numerous health benefits it is said to possess. However, what you may not know is that animal owners are also using this “miracle supplement” for horses.
Horses are considered as one of man’s best friends, and, like their human friends, they are also susceptible to common ailments and sickness. Since research has proven that CBD can be beneficial to the human system, some wonder if the same concept applies to horses. However, before diving into the question of whether or not horses can benefit from CBD, it is important to understand what CBD is first.
What Is CBD And How Does It Work?
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is one of the many compounds found in cannabis, and which accounts for 40% of the plant’s extract, making it the second highest compound in cannabis (marijuana), the highest being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
It is important to note that CBD does not give a “high” as it is very low in THC (less than 0.3 percent), which is responsible for most of the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
CBD operates by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. All mammals have ECS, which is responsible for the production of hormones related to stress response and biological balance maintenance. The ECS consists of two receptors, the CB1 and CB2, which are the ones stimulated when administering CBD.
When a horse takes CBD, it might interact positively with their ECS, thereby producing great results. CBD comes in different forms, such as tinctures, pills, edible gums, etc. Some CBD brands have also developed CBD products suitable for horses, an example of which is the Holistapet’s hemp oil for horses, which can be found in the link here.
Benefits Of CBD For Horses
1. Manages Chronic Pain And Arthritis
Like humans, horses are not exempted from pain or even chronic pain. They also tend to develop arthritis as they get older due to stress and their large size. Whichever the case may be, pain and arthritis can significantly reduce the quality of life as well as the productivity of your horse. Seeking prescribed medications is not bad, but, in most cases, these may come with adverse side effects.
CBD has been found to provide pain relief and manage arthritis without the harsh effects.
A study on animals agrees that CBD may provide a more natural option for relieving pain.
2. Helps In Treating Inflammation and Joint Problems
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD may prove useful in treating horses suffering from inflammation and joint problems. It does this by reducing swelling around the horse’s joints, as well as stopping certain receptors from reacting to pain. Because CBD does not have any psychoactive effects, your horse can still go about with their normal activities.
3. Reduces Anxiety
Horses may also experience anxiety and emotional distress. Horses are emotionally intelligent animals, thus they are also prone to anxiety, especially when doing things they are not comfortable with. CBD can help in calming nervous horses, especially racehorses during pre-race preparations. It is usual for some horses to suffer from arena fright, but with the help of CBD, your horse can participate in any activity without experiencing anxiety.
4. Improves Digestive Health
Horses are prone to gastrointestinal issues, such as ulcers, indigestion, nausea, lack of appetite, etc., due to their diet and their demanding lifestyle, especially in the case of competitive horses. Regular use of CBD oil can aid in their digestion and prevent digestive tract problems.
5. Treats Laminitis In Horses
Laminitis is a disease that causes the inflammation of the tissues in the horse’s hoofs. It is a condition that leads to the loss of proper alignment between the coffin bone and the hoof capsule. If left untreated, it can negatively impact their mobility. Laminitis is usually caused by poor blood circulation, and CBD can improve blood flow by stabilizing blood pressure.
6. Improves Skin Condition
The use of CBD may also improve your horse’s skin and mane. It is useful in treating skin issues, such as intense itching, hives, etc. CBD can also significantly enhance bad hair coat and mane in horses.
7. Treats Seizures
Conditions like tetanus, rabies, and infections can cause seizures in horses. CBD has been proven effective in combating seizures in humans, and there is a possibility that it could also help in stopping seizures in horses. Nonetheless, there is a need for more research to further substantiate this potential.
Warning: CBD should not be used for young, nursing, and pregnant horses.
Despite the many benefits presented above, it is still necessary to be careful when administering CBD to horses. Despite the abundance of personal testimonies that support the “miracles” of CBD, science and medicine are yet to provide substantial evidence to support these claims.