CBD oil in horses: does it really make sense?

CBD oil for horses

Anyone who is considering giving their horse CBD oil needs to be well informed beforehand. We have summarized the most important information in this article so that you do not have to struggle with searching the net. 

Areas of application of CBD oil for horses

Use horse owners CBD oilto support the horse's wellbeing. The anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects of CBD oil can help horses manage symptoms of more common ailments, including:

  • Pain
  • inflammation
  • anxiety
  • Chronic stress
  • Soreness and stiffness

However, CBD is not used to “cure” common diseases in horses, but to improve the animal's quality of life. CBD oil is also used in horses to support the natural metabolic processes and to accelerate recovery after a strenuous day.

CBD oil can support horses' health in the following areas:

  • Metabolism and appetite
  • Emotional state and mood
  • Immune system
  • Mobility
  • Digestion and Gut Health
  • Irritated skin

Some companies make special CBD animal oils for arthritis or other chronic conditions. These products are formulated with a variety of other ingredients to help with a specific symptom or condition. You can find CBD oil for cancer, epilepsy, anxiety, and more.

Most of these formulas are marketed for dogs because there are many more dog owners than horse owners - but these oils are completely safe for both animals. You just have to note that the dose in horses has to be much higher than in dogs.

CBD oil for horses: effect

CBD oil works by regulating your horse's pain level, immunity, appetite, sleep cycle, and mood. This is made possible by stimulating the cannabinoid receptors in the brain as well as supplementing the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Is CBD Oil Safe for Horses?

Horses, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) - which functions as a regulatory system in the body to maintain homeostasis (balance) in many different areas.

Some basic functions of the ECS include regulating digestion, sleep, appetite, inflammation, mood, immune function, temperature, memory, and more.

While there are no horse-specific studies with CBD oil, most studies done in both humans and animals show that CBD is not unhealthy and not addictive.

In fact, even when given in higher doses, CBD oil is well tolerated by both humans and animals.

Some common side effects of CBD oil in animals are diarrhea, drowsiness, and dry mouth - all of which are mild in nature and usually only occur at very high doses.

Side effects of CBD oil in horses

CBD oil is only legal if the THC content does not exceed 0,2%. If the horse is given CBD oil which contains more than 0,2% THC, the horse can suffer from mood swings, anxiety and hallucinations. 

But legal CBD oil can also harm the horse. Although this happens very rarely, the horse can still suffer from nausea and vomiting. It can also be that the horse is very sleepy or sleeps longer than usual. 

Should these symptoms occur, the dose should be reduced. 

When does CBD oil make sense for a horse?

Due to the decades of research deadlock in the United States, there is limited amount of clinical research on the use of CBD in animals. Recent studies however, have shown that CBD holds great promise in some very common problems in horses and dogs, such as behavior problems related to anxiety and pain in arthritis.

For more serious conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, and diabetes, zookeepers should seek the advice of a knowledgeable veterinarian before attempting high-dose cannabinoid use.

How should one dose CBD oil for horses?

How to dose CBD gradually:

  • Step 1:: Determine your starting daily base dose. (Recommended starting dose of 40mg CBD daily)
  • Step 2:: Set the dosage with which you will slowly increase the daily dose in each level. (Suggested increase of 20mg)
  • Step 3:: Start by administering CBD in the basic daily dose for a full 7 days (40mg daily). Watch for and record any changes in your horse's symptoms or condition. The 7 days give the CBD time to build up an accumulative effect.
  • Step 4:: If you do not achieve the desired results with the basic dosage after 7 days, increase the dosage by one level (20mg) to create a new basic dosage.
  • Step 5:: Administer the new increased dosage (3mg + 8mg) over the next 10 days (day 40-20). Watch for and record any changes in your horse's symptoms or condition.
  • Step 6:: Repeat. If after 3 days of administration at the new dosage you still have not achieved the results you want, continue increasing the dosage by 3mg every 20 days until you find the minimally effective dose that relieves symptoms. This may take several steps, be patient and stick with the process. For example, if your pet's minimum effective dose turns out to be 120 mg, it would take 19 days to apply the incremental dosing to find the most effective dose.
  • Step 7:: Refine the dosage. Once you find the dose that is right for your horse, you can refine the dosage by reversing the process and decreasing the dose in small 5 mg increments in 3 day increments to choose a more accurate dosage.
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