What do we know about CBD use in horses, and is it beneficial?
Have you been hearing about this thing called CBD for awhile and wondering what it is all about? Or have you or someone you know been taking a CBD supplement and seeing beneficial results? In either case, you may be wondering “is this something that could be beneficial to my horses?”.
The answer to that is an absolute, resounding YES! The reason for this is that horses have what is called an Endocannabinoid system, just like all other vertebrate species, and have the receptors in their various body tissues to accept these cannabinoids. The presence of this system means that cannabinoids (CBD as well as others) can have an affect on the health of any internal organ with these cannabinoid receptors. Some of the most important of these in our equine partners are in the gut, brain, and liver.
While there may be very few research papers out there on the effects of CBD in horses specifically, there is a significant body of evidence that CBD may be beneficial in dogs and humans (over 23,000 published papers), both of which have the exact same internal system for metabolizing CBD. There is also a very large amount of anecdotal evidence from horse owners that CBD is helping their horses with joint discomfort, stomach issues, anxiety and hyperactivity as well as an overall increase in general well-being.
The main question now is, how do I administer CBD to my horse? There are several options, the first and most common being some sort of an oil. Some people like this, but in our experience, it is slightly inconvenient and often gets missed or forgotten about, not to mention the amount of CBD in the oil is so small that dosing it for a horse can be very expensive. The solution that we came up with is a full-spectrum hemp pellet, with no fillers whatsoever, which is easy to feed with your horse’s daily grain supplements. There are some other CBD containing pellets on the market, all of which are loaded with fillers as well as artificial flavors and colors. Fortitude Equine’s full spectrum hemp pellets are all natural, organically grown hemp, and they contain all of the wonderful terpenes, amino acids and fatty acids that are naturally present in the hemp plant and the seeds within the hemp flower. In addition to this, they are guaranteed to be 5% CBD by weight minimum, 750 mg per dose. This is a much larger dose size than other competitor supplements (at a lower price point), and most of the research in dogs and other mammals that find positive results use a dose size of at least 1mg CBD/kg bodyweight.
Overall, the body of evidence that points the finger at CBD as a great potential alternative to traditional drug treatments for a wide range of conditions is very compelling to say the least. So far (after 23,000 published papers) there have not been any significant side effects attributed to CBD supplementation in any animals (some canine trials noted diarrhea and possible interaction with prescribed drugs), so the potential benefits definitely outweigh the risks, especially if you are potentially looking to CBD as an alternative to chronic use of phenylbutazone for pain relief or omeprazole for stomach ulcers or other gastric issues, since both drugs have well documented negative side effects with chronic use. While CBD may not be the cure all that it is sometimes marketed as, it has absolutely proven itself as a supplement that belongs in your barn.