Hemp For Horses

ARTICLE SUMMARY:

  • Learn why horse owners are choosing hemp products
  • Understanding hemp / CBD and knowing what to look for
  • The importance of using hemp products made for horses
  • Exploring the risks with hemp for horses
  • Rules about competition / show horses and CBD products
  • How to choose pet products you can feel good about
  • Recommendations on pet products


  • Hemp for horses - An overview


    While the nutritional value of the hemp plant and its seeds is well known, the current buzz around hemp is about the CBD-rich hemp oil products for both humans and animals. With lots of anecdotal experiences shared from pet owners and people alike, more horse owners are turning to hemp in an effort to see how it may help their horses.

    The medicinal properties of hemp oil with high CBD levels are just beginning to be explored. Most commonly we hear from people using hemp for body comfort, muscle comfort, and stress relief. As humans, and specifically mammals, we have receptors in our organs that allow us to process the cannabinoid compounds in the hemp plant. All mammals have these receptors in most internal organs for the Cannabinoids found in hemp. This is why so many animal products with hemp are beginning to introduce themselves to the market.

    The gut, the liver and the brain all contain receptors for CBD. This means that just as with smaller mammals, horses are able to process the same cannabinoids of the hemp plant that we can(1). For this reason we decided to create a specific formula for hemp oil for horses and larger dogs - focusing on their needs.

    Before we did that, it was important that we understood how hemp and other medicinal herbs affected horses, as well as determining the right amount of hemp for a horse's needs. In order to help you feel great about our products, we are sharing what we discovered and how that helped to shape the final product we created.


    How horses may benefit from hemp

    Horses can suffer from a variety of conditions that may limit their body comfort or mental state. It is very common to see horses suffering from problems of inflammation, due to the activities in which they participate. On the other hand, they can also suffer from problems related to stress and anxiety.

    While studies are too limited at this point to make a definitive connection, many people have been using hemp derived CBD claiming that it helps them with inflammation, mood, and worry. As public perception and awareness around hemp improves, many animal owners are looking at hemp and how it may benefit their animals. Before we go further into this, it is important to talk about how not all CBD is the same! Before considering hemp for your horse, please read the next section - to help understand the options available to you.



    Not all CBD is the same

    Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing hemp products. Not all hemp oils are the same; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working.

    Look for organic. If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents. Organic choices ensure that your hemp oil does not contain questionable ingredients.

    Don’t only shop based on price. Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost. A cheaper option could contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or even heavy metals. Make sure your CBD oil is free of all additives.

    Get the analysis. The manufacturer should provide a certificate of test results that certify the amount of CBD that is in every batch of their product. Many CBD products contain only small amounts of CBD. 

    Buy CBD as a liquid. The most convenient way to buy CBD is in liquid form, so that you can adjust your horse’s usage amount easily. This way, you can adjust your usage amount drop by drop.


    Can I use hemp products for humans on my horse?

    Products meant for human use should be avoided. If the product is not made specifically for horses, it is important to read the label to double-check for ingredients that could be toxic to them such as certain essential oils, and artificial sweeteners. We would recommend not risking this and instead sticking with formulas specifically for horses, to be safe.

    Besides being free of these harmful human ingredients, horse-specific oral CBD products are usually also made with taste in mind. Horses may not like the flavor of hemp products that are made for human consumption.


    What are the risks of treating my horse with CBD?

    The side effects of using CBD in animals are very similar to those experienced by humans. The most common issues include changes to appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea(2). Typically, the higher the CBD dose you give to your horse, the more likely they will have side effects. 

    In most cases, it is not necessary to treat these reactions, as they are generally pretty mild or get better with time. If these side effects don’t get any better or become more severe, you should contact your pet’s veterinarian and keep a close eye on your horse.



    Are studies being done on hemp and horses?

    Yes, numerous studies are currently being done, in fact the researchers from Murray State University hypothesized that CBD appears to lack the degree of adverse side effects in a short-term therapeutic study(3). 

    However, they suggested that further research is needed to examine CBD’s safety over an extended treatment period to determine its potential as an alternative therapeutic approach for a horse condition. Thankfully, this research is already underway.

    Researchers at Tarleton State University’s Equine Center are looking into that right now in a unique study that has the attention of horse owners around the world.

    “I have just been overwhelmed by the level of interest in this study,” said Dr. Kimberly Guay, who is overseeing the research. “By now, horse owners have all heard the hype about the potential benefits of CBD oil. Here at Tarleton, we are working to give them reliable data.”


    Hemp and Show Horses / Competition Horses

    While the hemp plant must be bred to be mostly free of THC (the compound found in cannabis) in order to be grown in the USA, there are small trace amounts of THC present in the hemp plant (less than .03% THC). While this is not enough to feel any sort of sedative or high - the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equine sports, has banned the use of natural and synthetic cannabinoid substances in horses(4). 

    Hence, horse owners are not allowed to administer CBD products to their competing horses. So if you ride competitively in shows that do drug testing, you will need to stop giving your horse CBD at least two weeks before the event.



    How do I know how much hemp oil to give to my horse?

    Because there isn’t much research available on using CBD in animals, it is best to discuss what dose is safe with a veterinarian who has experience using CBD to help animals. That being said, our pet oils come with a recommended usage amount based on the body weight of your horse.

    It is always best to start slow, with less than the recommended usage amount and then to work up from that - based upon how your horse does.

    We do have studies that indicate CBD is non-psychoactive and appears safe to be used on animals in recommended amounts (5). 


    Why our formulas are so unique

    Many horse owners choose to supplement their horses’ diet with CBD in an attempt to support a normal response to inflammation and help address discomfort associated with normal exercise and aging. It is also thought to support a calm, relaxed disposition in horses that experience excess stress and anxiety.

    We took this idea one step further, and infused our hemp oils with supporting medicinal herbs that are safe for both horses and larger dogs. Our four formulations each have two assisting herbs to help your horse. We created three oils, Aja for body relief, Heka for mental ease and to help with fear or worry, and Hercules for muscle support.

    In addition, we took out any filler ingredients leaving our oils nutrient dense, vegan and GMO-free, and 100 % certified organic. Nothing but the very best ingredients, to assist your horse's body or mind.


    How do I know which pet oil is right for my horse?

    Because their needs vary, we created four special formulas designed to assist them in living a comfortable life. Each of these formulas combine hemp CBD, with selected medicinal herbs to support your horse. These formulas were made by an herbalist and pet owner, using herbs found to be safe for both horses and large dogs.


    Aja Organic Pet Oil - For General Body Comfort, Great For Older Pets
    This certified organic whole hemp flower-infused pet oil is specially formulated with supporting herbs that may help your horse with body relief and support their body's natural inflammatory response.*

    Great for: Older horses with mild body aches and pains associated with aging.*

    Herbs: White Willow Bark, Nettle Leaf


    Heka Organic Pet Oil - For Worry and Fear
    This certified organic whole hemp flower infused pet oil is specially formulated with supporting herbs that may help horses with worry, fear, separation, and agitation.* 

    Great for: Horses who worry! Help relieve their fear & agitation due to separation, travel, or thunder.*

    Herbs: Chamomile Flowers, Lemon Balm Herb.


    Hercules Organic Pet Oil - For Active Pets and Muscle Support

    This certified organic whole hemp flower infused pet oil is specially formulated with supporting herbs that may help horses with muscle discomfort and muscle tension.*

    Athletic & working pets with minor and occasional muscle aches, involuntary muscle contraction, and discomfort.*

    Herbs: Hawthorn Barry, Meadowsweet Flowers.


    Sources cited

    1. Cannabinoids and Animal Physiology
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230721/
    2. Iffland, K., and Grotenhermen, F., 2017. An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: A review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Research, volume 2, number 1, 139-154.
      https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0034?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub++0pubmed
    3. Cannabidiol in the horse: pharmacokinetics and effects of a pelleted supplement on reactivity and movement https://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1229&context=etd
    4. 2021 Equine Prohibited Substances List https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/2021%20Prohibited%20Substances%20List.pdf
    5. CBD for Animals https://anticruelty.org/pet-library/cbd-animals

    More reading

    1. FAQs About CBD Use in Pets https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/faqs-about-cbd-use-pets
    2. Evaluation of CBD Supplementation in the Horse https://digitalcommons.murraystate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3402&context=postersatthecapitol
    3. Hemp For Horses? Tarleton Researcher Investigating Benefits https://today.tamu.edu/2020/02/12/hemp-for-horses-tarleton-researcher-investigating-benefits/
    4. CBD and Chronic Pain In Horses https://news.okstate.edu/articles/veterinary-medicine/2020/cbd-and-chronic-pain-in-horses.html

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