In case you're wondering if CBD oil can be used on a horse, here's a little disclaimer:
CBD oil, unlike medical CBD used in studies, is regulated as a cosmetic in Germany. Since it cannot be sold as a dietary supplement due legal regulations, it should not be swallowed. In other countries such as the UK, however, CBD is already approved as a dietary supplement and can be consumed. To avoid confusion, we explicitly state that our statements refer to CBD in general and not to specific oils or products.
On the legal position of CBD in the Therapeutic Products Advertising Act:
There are numerous studies that provide evidence that CBD has various therapeutic properties and can provide support for many ailments. Since cannabidiol is currently covered by the Therapeutic Products Advertising Act, we are not allowed to make any therapeutic claims at this point. We would also like to point out that our products are not considered as medical preparations.
The CBD boom has long since found its way into the animal world. Thus, there are CBD oils for dogs and cats, as well as for horses. This article aims to provide answers to essential questions about CBD oil for horses, including how the cannabinoid can affect a horse, what dosage is recommended, and what effects can be expected.
Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system, which is part of the
nervous system, and consists of the associated cannabinoid receptors and
its ligands (endocannabinoids). Both endocannabinoids (the body's own
cannabinoids) and cannabinoids from the hemp plant bind to the
cannabinoid receptors, triggering various effects. In this context, the endocannabinoid system is significantly involved in important biological processes. These include pain perception, emotions, sleep and appetite, the immune system and many other functions in the body.
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabinoid from the hemp plant, has shown diverse therapeutic potential in various studies. Among other things, it is said to have an anxiety-relieving, calming, and anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, studies indicate that CBD can positively influence the sensation of pain. Since horses, just like humans, have an endocannabinoid system, it can be assumed that the same effects can be seen here.
CBD: Studies on animals
Specific studies examining the efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD) on
horses are few and far between. The focus of the few studies is
primarily on the anti-inflammatory effect.
In one study, scientists:in investigated the effects of orally administered CBD in exercising Thoroughbreds. The animals received oral doses of 0.5, 1 and 2mg/kg CBD dissolved in sesame oil. Blood and urine samples were then collected before and 72 hours after administration.
Although the effects were inconsistent, the results suggest that CBD was able to influence various inflammatory parameters. The researchers state that the results, in conjunction with previous reports on other animals, suggest that further studies of CBD in horses are warranted before its use as an anti-inflammatory agent can be recommended.
CBD against inflammation in horses
Another study is
also interesting. This is a so-called in vitro study. This means that
the effect of CBD was not studied directly in the horse, but in a
controlled artificial environment outside the organism.
The researchers used 99.9 percent CBD isolate and studied its effect on the blood of older horses. It was found that CBD at a concentration of 4 µg/mL significantly reduced the production of several cytokines.
To explain: cytokines are special messenger substances that the body produces when the immune system reacts. With the help of cytokines, certain defense cells can be activated. Among other things, the messenger substances have effects on bacterial proliferation, inflammatory processes and the development of cancer.
As a result, the researchers stated that further studies with CBD would be useful to determine whether it can be effective as an anti-inflammatory treatment for chronic inflammation in horses.
CBD for colic
Colic is a common digestive disorder in horses and one of the most
common problems in equine medicine. There is growing evidence in the
literature that cannabinoid receptor activation may have beneficial
effects on gastrointestinal inflammation.
The aim of one study was to localize cannabinoid receptors in the intestines of healthy horses and indeed the researchers:in were able to demonstrate a broad distribution of cannabinoid receptors in the intestines. Accordingly, it is conceivable that CBD could be used in horses as a supportive treatment for intestinal disorders, although studies on efficacy are lacking.
Difference between CBD oil and hemp oil
When buying products made from hemp, horse owners should know the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil. The latter is a high-quality edible oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and does not contain CBD. Instead, hemp oil offers valuable omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids such as the important gamma-linolenic acid, as well as other vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
For CBD oil, the cannabidiol is not extracted from the seeds but from the plant material and then dissolved in a carrier substance (e.g. hemp oil, sunflower seed oil or MCT oil). In contrast to hemp seed oil, CBD is said to have a wide-ranging effect.
CBD oil for horses: What to watch out for?
Each body reacts individually to the cannabinoids from hemp, so it is important to keep the dosage low at first and observe the animals.
An undesirable effect in horses can be increased fatigue. In rare cases, there are also symptoms such as nausea and vomiting - especially if the dosage is too high. Since CBD can develop appetite-suppressing properties, CBD administration is not recommended in low-weight horses.
If a horse needs to take medication on a regular basis, it is highly recommended to discuss the use of CBD oil with the veterinarian.
In addition, it is also worth mentioning that CBD oil should not be administered to pregnant or nursing horses, or to foals.
CBD oil for horses at tournaments and competitions?
The World Anti-Doping Agency has removed cannabidiol (CBD) from the list of banned substances - but this only applies to humans. The German Equestrian Federation (FN) includes the term hemp on its list of banned substances. In this respect, CBD products would also belong to doping substances.
The World Equestrian Federation (FEI), on the other hand, has directly banned all cannabinoids, including CBD. The reason for this is that the effect of CBD on the horse has not yet been sufficiently researched.
Can CBD oil be given to horses?
It can be assumed that CBD oil can have a similar effect on horses as it does on humans. Many horse owners report that the well-being and quality of life of their animals increases.
What is the effect of hemp seed oil on horses?
Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant and
contains numerous valuable ingredients, such as omega-3 and omega-6
fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. These can have a
positive effect on the health of animals. At the same time, hemp seed
oil should not be confused with CBD oil.
Which CBD oil horse?
In the search for a suitable CBD oil for horses, horse owners come across a wide variety of information and recommendations. Since the effect of CBD oil on horses has not yet been sufficiently researched, the whole thing should be approached with a certain degree of caution. It is recommended to use a THC-free CBD oil. Although CBD oil contains only small traces of THC, even small amounts of the intoxicating cannabinoid could have a negative effect on the psyche of the horse.