Horses are mammals, too. Much bigger than humans, and four-legged but, we share many of the same medical problems.
Anecdotal history and veterinary science have been finding remedies in CBD-oil, enough so, it’s worth exploring.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in cannabis and hemp. They match and map to endocannabinoids in the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) found in all mammals. These systems are not identical across the species, but they function in much the same way.
Phytocannabinoids trigger a whole inventory of medical therapeutic applications. THC is the best known of these elements, the one that produces the psychoactive effects that placed it on the FDA’s Schedule 1 drugs. Hemp, on the other hand, has less than .3% THC, and Hemp-extracted CBD-oil is legal in all 50 states.
The ECS is common to mammals. It involves their brains, organs, nervous systems, and immune systems in extensive and complex ways. The prescription medications used to treat medical conditions must be processed by the animal’s physiology. But, cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids are simply assimilated.
Cannabinoids and their effects on animals
An extensive study in 1999 on Cannabinoids and Animal Physiology concluded with the following highlights:
- “Cannabinoids likely have a natural role in pain modulation, control of movement, and memory.
- The natural role of cannabinoids in immune systems is likely multi-faceted and remains unclear.
- The brain develops tolerance to cannabinoids.
- Animal research has demonstrated the potential for dependence, but this potential is observed under a narrower range of conditions than with benzodiazepines, opiates, cocaine, or nicotine.
- Withdrawal symptoms can be observed in animals but appear mild compared with those of withdrawal from opiates or benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium).”
Admittedly, the research has been focused on the reaction of lab animals, but there are fundamental commonalities in the physiology of domestic pets and livestock.
Cannabinoids and their effects on horses
Horses live in a constant state of “fight or flight.” They have instinctive fears of tripping or falling. Unable to see behind them, they worry about what’s going on back there. And, if you have been around horses enough, you realize they really would prefer to run wild.
In addition to their anxiety, horses are subject to many medical problems: arthritis, chronic laminitis, herd bound issues, muscle soreness, stall rest, trailering fear, and more.
- Equine Arthritis: Just like humans, aging horses develop Degenerative Joint Disease (DID) that appears as pain, swollen joints, and stiffness.
- Chronic Laminitis: According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, “Laminitis results from the disruption . . . of blood flow to the sensitive and insensitive laminae. These laminae structures within the foot secure the coffin bone (the wedge-shaped bone within the foot) to the hoof wall. Inflammation often permanently weakens the laminae and interferes with the wall/bone bond. In severe cases, the bone and the hoof wall can separate.” Among other causes, laminitis relates to aging, digestive issues, and severe colic.
- Herd Bound Issues: Horses are prey animals that find comfort in membership in a herd with other horses. They are social in their fear, so they suffer anxiety when separated from the horse social circle you call “a herd.”
- Muscle Soreness: Horses suffer muscle strain and pain, especially after exercise. It is usually relieved with rest and physiotherapy. But, riders and owners are often insensitive to the pain horses feel around the saddle area and in their legs following an active ride.
- Stall Rest: Equiresearch explains, “Weeks of cooped-up idleness can make your horse aggressive, anxious, or dull, and can even interfere with his healing unless you anticipate and counteract the effects of confinement.”
- Trailering Fear: Horses are claustrophobic. As an animal of prey, they instinctively prefer open space. Small, tight, mobile areas frighten them because they restrict escape and even the room to turn around. In addition, horses have long memories of uncomfortable and unstable rides in the past.
CBD (cannabidiol) has proven beneficial effects for all these conditions and more. In horses and other mammals, CBD-rich extracts can help to treat:
- Chronic Pain
- Digestion and Appetite
- Separation Anxiety/ Generalized Anxiety
The values in CBD Oil
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis sativa plant and hemp. CBD oil is an extract that lacks the psychoactive THC. Veterinarians and equine researchers have become very interested in the health benefits following the administration of full-spectrum CBD oil.
Our Hemp Extract CBD oil contains a full spectrum CBD extract, delivering a blend of naturally occurring terpenes and active ingredients to support a healthy endocannabinoid system. CBD oil contains vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. It’s rich with omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. And, it is a good source of chlorophyll and gluten-free protein
Full-spectrum CBD oil for horses will act as an analgesic, anti-anxiolytic, anticonvulsant antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumoral therapy. It produces no negative side-effects, and it can be administered easily.
Because of its strictly natural origin and production, the FEI and U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) do not list it as a prohibited supplement in competition rules (although you may want to double check the regulations at your local competition).
At its core, CBD oil treats a broad spectrum of anxiety-related issues in horses, thoroughbreds, quarter horses, and pets.