CBD for Horses and Ponies: What Every Owner Should Know

CBD for Horses and Ponies

CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years as a natural remedy for various ailments in humans.

It is worth noting that CBD has applications beyond human use, as it can also benefit horses and ponies.

CBD for horses is gaining popularity as more and more horse and pony owners are turning to natural remedies to help their equine companions.

As horse owners, it may not seem like a promising option to seek CBD products to support the well-being of their equine companions. However, although CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant, it does not have psychoactive effects and is safe for animals to consume.

Therefore, in this post, we will discuss how CBD works in horses, the benefits of CBD for horses, and what to look for when choosing CBD products for horses and ponies.

How CBD Works for Horses and Ponies

CBD works in horses by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is a complex biological system in all mammals, including horses and ponies. Therefore, it helps regulate various physiological processes, such as pain perception, inflammation, sleep, appetite, and mood.

The ECS consists of two main types of receptors: CB1 and CB2. These receptors are throughout the body, including the brain, central nervous system, immune cells, and peripheral tissues.

So CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors within the ECS, regulating their activity and influencing the release of neurotransmitters. This interaction can result in different effects and benefits, like pain relief.

Potential Solutions and Benefits of CBD for Horses and Ponies

 

Early studies have shown promising results regarding the effects of CBD on horses. Also, according to anecdotal evidence, using CBD for horses could be advantageous.

1. Pain and Inflammation Reduction and Management

Horses and ponies are prone to arthritis and joint pain.

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can assist in reducing pain and discomfort caused by conditions such as arthritis, which in turn can enhance the quality of life of your equine companions.

A 2024 study evaluated the effects of oral cannabidiol (CBD) administration on 20 horses with mild joint osteoarthritis.

Equine osteoarthritis (OA) is arthritis that affects the entire joint. Inflammation is a defining characteristic of this condition.

Horses suffering from OA often go through the experience of pain and lameness.

In this study, treatment with CBD in hemp oil in combination with phenylbutazone (NSAID) for 14 days showed a significant reduction in pain scores and inflammation.

Another 2022 study included a 4-year-old Quarter Horse mare with a 5-week history of sensitivity to touch near the withers/shoulder region. An insect bite was considered a possible cause.

It was given pure crystalline CBD (250 mg by mouth twice daily), which is known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects. The condition significantly improved after 36 hours, and the dose of the CBD decreased by one-half after 60 days.

However, this reduction resulted in a recurrence of the clinical signs after one (1) day.

The original dose was modified and decreased over two months without experiencing further increased sensitivity. The maintenance dose was 150 mg once a day, resulting in a 90% improvement.

It may be beneficial for horse and pony owners to consider using CBD. But consult your veterinarian before giving your horse or pony any new supplements or medications.

2. Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Some horse and pony owners have reported that CBD can help calm their anxious or nervous equine companions.

Anxiety and stress can affect horses and ponies in different situations, such as when traveling, competing, or exposed to loud noises.

The relaxing effects of CBD may aid in promoting calmness and decreasing behaviors related to stress.

So, they will become more calm and manageable when being trained, transported, or competing.

A 2022 study focused on the stress of transportation and a myriad of behaviors on horses. They demonstrated that higher doses of CBD are more effective overall than lower doses. Also, there was a decrease in cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the transportation portion of the study, and there were no long-lasting effects of CBD in either the low or high dosages.

3. Digestive Support

Horses and ponies often suffer from digestive problems such as colic and ulcers.

CBD may help protect the gastrointestinal system, potentially benefiting the treatment and prevention of digestive issues plus promoting a healthy appetite.

What to Look for When Choosing CBD Products for Horses and Ponies

Choose high-quality products designed for equine use when using CBD for your horse or pony. Thus, consider the following factors:

1. Full Spectrum CBD Products

They are considered superior to other CBD formulations due to their comprehensive chemical composition.

These full-spectrum CBD products contain a diverse array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and additional beneficial compounds naturally present in the cannabis plant. This full-spectrum approach leverages the synergistic “entourage effect,” whereby the combined actions of these various phytochemicals result in enhanced therapeutic efficacy compared to isolated CBD alone.

By harnessing the collective power of the cannabis plant’s natural constituents, these CBD products for horses can deliver more potent and well-rounded health and wellness benefits.

2. Third-Party Testing

When purchasing CBD products for your horse or pony, it is important to prioritize quality and safety. One way to ensure this is by looking for products that undergo third-party testing.

Thus, an independent laboratory has analyzed the product to verify its potency, purity, and absence of contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides. By choosing products that have been third-party tested, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are giving your animal a safe and effective CBD product.

3. Dosage

When giving CBD to horses and ponies, determine the proper dosage based on their weight and health.

Start with a low dosage and gradually increase it until the desired effects are observed, closely monitoring your animal’s response.

This approach helps ensure that your horse or pony receives the most effective and safe CBD quantity.

 

Conclusion

CBD for horses is an area of research still in its early stages, but there are some promising indications that it may be beneficial. There is evidence to suggest that CBD may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It could assist in reducing anxiety and stress while also offering digestive support.

Therefore, CBD presents a promising avenue for horse owners seeking alternative therapies or remedies for their animals.

Before introducing CBD to your horse or pony, consult or confer with your veterinary CBD consultant. They can guide you in effective and safe methods to support your equine’s health.

REFERENCES

Frontiers in Veterinary Science. (2024). Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.

Kasparek, K., Strohalm, J., Mach, K., & Svoboda, M. (2022). Cannabidiol and the possibilities of its use in veterinary medicine of dogs and horses: A brief review. Veterinarni Medicina, 67(9), 398-409.

PR Newswire. (2022, July 28). CBD Study Shows Reduced Stress in Animals During Transport.

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