What are the CBD Health Benefits for your horse? In this article we explore this topic in detail.
Some people may get berated for riding around on their high horse, maybe that’s actually not such a bad idea.
The medicinal uses of compounds found in the cannabis plant have been in practice for thousands of years and are only recently coming under official scrutiny and serious study. These cannabinoids have a wide range of health properties. CBD is enjoying increasing popularity these days. Not only are people using it to combat everything from inflammation to anxiety, but animals are enjoying its benefits, as well.
Horses are no exception. Company’s such as Nature’s Arc Organics are offering a variety of products that can support equines. So does CBD really affect horses?
What Is CBD?
CBD is the term for cannabidiol, the chemical derivative from the hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s the part of chemical makeup that does not cause the psychoactive “high.” While both members of the cannabis family, marijuana may get you “high,” while hemp can’t and won’t. Hemp still contains some THC, but at such low levels, it’s almost not worth mentioning.
Unlike marijuana, CBD, or hemp oil, is considered a food supplement and is widely available. The oil has been shown to have a wide range of benefits for both humans and animals and is used to help control inflammation, pain, and stress. There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in a single hemp plant, and they all have healthful benefits.
In addition, CBD oil contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. It’s also rich in omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids and is a great source of protein and chlorophyll.
Cannabidiol works by boosting immune functions and suppressing pain signals, and can do so quickly. It can even help to support and enrich the body’s cell functions. People and animals have a body system, called the endocannabinoid system that contains receptors specifically for these cannabinoids. That means we’re all able to process, metabolize, and use CBD.
That all sounds well and good, but just what CBD Health Benefits are there for horses?
CBD For Equine Pain and Inflammation
One of CBD’s biggest benefits is its ability to fight inflammation, especially in the joints. Chronic inflammation is what can lead to arthritis, chronic pain and performance and even cardiac issues. Pain medications are commonly used, but can have serious side effects on the liver and gastrointestinal system. They may also leave your horse feeling sedated and sluggish.
If the inflammation can be eased naturally, less pain medications may be necessary, if at all. Think of CBD as a natural alternative to bute or banamine, working to reduce the swelling around joints. If the pain and inflammation is severe enough, CBD can be still be used in conjunction with these medications.
CBD can ease the pain and discomfort that comes with inflammation and can be used after surgery to help reduce swelling.
It can be used as an analgesic (pain reliever), blocking pain receptors from activating. This effectively stops the pain signals from traveling to the brain.
CBD For Your Horse’s Stress and Anxiety
Equine nutritionist, Kathleen Crandell, PhD., notes that supplementation can “decrease stress, improves learning and cognition, and staves off the development of stereotypic behaviors, such as cribbing.” That’s good to hear, considering that horses are highly emotional creatures that quickly react (or over-react) to stressful situations.
Known as an anxiolytic, CBD can be a great asset in your tack box for hauling or stressful long horse shows, especially if your horse gets arena anxiety. Long term, it can be used to settle a horse prone to nervous disorders like weaving and cribbing. It can often quiet a horse prone to be herd bound, suffering from separation anxiety.
CBD For Equine Digestive Issues
When we domesticated the equine, we took them off of their roaming, foraging, varied-diet lifestyle, placed them on a carpet of sugary sweet grass, enclosed them in a box, and forced a high-grain diet upon them. There are so many things wrong with this scenario, but just know that it’s no wonder our horses suffer from frequent digestive problems from ulcers to colic to bloating to decreased appetite. Add in the stress of competition and travel, and we’re asking for trouble.
Relying on the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil can help to alleviate these issues. It counteracts the irritation caused by processed grains. It can help with the pain and stress associated with gastric ulcers.
Used in people and dogs to stimulate the appetite, CBD can be used to the same effect in horses.
What other CBD Health Benefits are there for your horse?
There are various other CBD Health Benefits. It can be used to alleviate or support a wide variety of other issues that may come up for your horse. They include immune conditions, anxiety, cancers, poor skin, coat, and hair, and vaccine reactions. CBD is often used to help combat seizures and may be called upon to treat disorders that can trigger those symptoms.
Can a Horse Overdose on CBD?
CBD doesn’t throw your horse’s system off because it promotes homeostasis. Unlike THC-containing marijuana, there is no known risk of serious side effects.
There is a rather large safety profile on CBD. If too much is given, there may be some mild side effects including decreased blood pressure, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue. If you see any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you reduce the dose you are giving.
Always consult a veterinarian before giving to pregnant or nursing mares.
Do you agree with my assessment for CBD Health Benefits for horses? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
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