CBD for Horses
What it is & who it’s for:
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that comes from a cultivar of the Cannabis sativa plant known as hemp. Hemp has 0.3% or less THC, the psychoactive component. Hemp has been selectively bred to be high in cannabinoids and low in THC, while marijuana has been selectively bred to be low in cannabinoids and high in THC.
Many horse owners choose to supplement their horses’ diet with CBD 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.
SmartPak looked at a variety of case reports, soon-to-be-published research studies, and history of use within the marketplace as documented by the National Animal Supplement Council. Serving sizes range widely for horses, but many fall within the 100 to 200mg daily range. Depending on the desired results and each individual horse’s response to CBD, it may be necessary to increase or decrease the serving size for a particular animal.
For horses who may need calming support, CBD can be paired with traditional ingredients in this category such as magnesium, vitamin B, and amino acids, as well as botanicals such as Five-Flavor Fruit (Schisandra chinensis) and Siberian ginseng.
To help support a horse's joints and movement, traditional joint supplement ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM are often combined with CBD. Newer supportive supplement ingredients like turmeric and resveratrol are also appropriate.
Selecting a CBD supplement should be done with a consideration for the quality and safety of the product. An independent, third-party laboratory should verify that each lot of CBD raw material is below 0.3% THC. Ingredients should also meet the specification for purity (CBD content), as well as be tested for contaminants such as microbials, pesticides, mycotoxins and heavy metals.
SmartPak recently ran a study on the safe use of CBD in horses with Louisiana State University. A one-page summary of the favorable results is available here.
If showing, note that CBD is currently published by US Equestrian as a prohibited substance. Questions about CBD and competing should be directed to the governing body for any organizations being shown under.