Can I Use CBD for Horses?

CBD is often used for furry friends with anxiety, joint pain, or epilepsy. But many equestrians find themselves wondering: can I use CBD for horses? Will it even have an effect on them given their size?  We’re here to answer all of your questions about using the compound for your horse. 

Is CBD safe to give to a horse? 

The biggest question most horse lovers have when it comes to trying CBD is whether or not the compound is safe for their pet. Nobody wants to give their horse something that will damage their health. 

Fortunately for those looking for a natural alternative for their pet, CBD is safe for horses. And no, they won’t get high from it. It all comes down to the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system of receptors and neurotransmitters that work together to maintain homeostasis in the body. Essentially, the ECS regulates a number of processes from mood and appetite to inflammation and memory and more. By regulating these processes, the ECS works to keep the body in balance. 

It’s not just humans that have an endocannabinoid system. The ECS has been found in mammals, reptiles, and even fish. That means our furry friends like dogs, cats, bunnies – and yes, even horses – have an endocannabinoid system. 

CBD works within the endocannabinoid system, indirectly influencing receptors to restore harmony where the ECS is off-balance. This is why even horses can experience therapeutic effects from CBD. 

CBD oil is well tolerated in both humans and animals. Pet owners do not have to worry much about administering the compound to their companion, though there are some side effects to watch out for. 

What are the side effects of CBD?

If you’re considering giving CBD to a horse, you’re probably wondering what the potential side effects are. It’s important to be aware of all possibilities before you dive into something new. 

The most notable side effect is mildly-elevated liver enzymes. However, in the studies that discovered this, researchers were using very high doses – typically much higher than an owner would give their pet. 

It’s worth noting that CBD for other pets has produced some mild side effects that could potentially occur for horses. These include diarrhea, drowsiness, and dry mouth. 

Why would owners give CBD to their horses?

The reasons a pet owner might give their horse CBD do not differ from other species. Whether we’re talking humans or pets, the therapeutic effects do not discriminate. And while we don’t have enough scientific evidence to prove that CBD for horses is beneficial, we have plenty of promising anecdotal evidence along with successful experiences for other species. 

Here are some common reasons owners give CBD to horses:

  • Chronic pain from injury or arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Stress 
  • Post-surgery or injury healing
  • Appetite regulation 
  • Inflammation 

Horses are much larger than say, a cat or even a human, so it’s important to look into the product you’re using and ensure that you understand how the dosing works. There is no universal guide to dosing horses or anyone with CBD, so you’ll have to work with some trial and error. For the best and safest results, we always recommend discussing with a veterinarian before making changes to your horse’s routine. 

We will note that other users who give their horses CBD have mentioned that because horses have slower metabolisms than humans, they don’t necessarily need more CBD to accommodate their weight. This is promising for owners who are worried that using CBD for horses will be too expensive. 

Can I use CBD for horse shows? 

While CBD has many potential therapeutic effects horses, it cannot be used in all scenarios. There are strict rules around medicated horses before shows. If horses in the United States Equestrian Federation test positive for cannabinoids, they will receive violations

Many equestrians will give their horses CBD when training or in other scenarios but cut the use when it comes close to competition and drug testing. 

If you show horses through another organization, it’s important to check with their rules and regulations regarding CBD use. You don’t want to get disqualified or lose credibility because you wanted relief for your horse. On the other hand, you don’t want to skip out on the potential benefits if your organization allows the use of CBD for horses. 

How to select good CBD for horses 

You love your horse. Which means you probably want to keep it healthy and in tip-top shape. If you’re seeking CBD to give to your furry friend, you’ll want to search for pure products. This ensures you won’t give your horse pesticides in CBD oil or other contaminants. 

Unfortunately, CBD is not regulated by any governing body right now. That means there are plenty of products on the shelves with heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, and other hazardous contaminants. 

The best way to get quality products is to only buy from brands that do CBD testing through ISO-accredited laboratories. Third-party lab test results will indicate everything that is in your CBD so you can make an informed decision. 

Reading through labels and finding pure and potent CBD can be a real hassle. That’s why we’re launching a Premium CBD Database with all of the best brands in one place. Stay tuned for that coming soon.


Learn more about CBD at the Premium CBD blog!

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