• Shelby McDaniel

Horses and CBD

If you are a pet parent, you probably have heard about the thousands of CBD products directed towards our fuzzy friends. However, most CBD pet products are made for cats and dogs. What about our bigger four-legged family members?

As someone who was raised with horses, I was interested when I first heard of CBD products designed specifically for horses. There were already products designed to help with overanxious behavior in horses before CBD took off, but this was a new angle for the CBD market.

But just like we would with any other four-legged friend, we want to make sure we purchase the right product and that we purchase a product that will work. After all, no one wants to spend money on a product that won't work.

According to Equine Wellness Magazine, "High quality CBD, appropriately dosed, should take effect in five to 15 minutes, not weeks or months. Clinical trials have shown that horses seem to respond well to 20mg to 30mg for behavior/anxiety problems, and 50mg to 60mg for pain issues."

While research on how CBD interacts with horses is still primitive, there is enough to have an understanding of how to administer CBD and the possible side effects associated with it. According to Mayo Clinic, CBD can cause "dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners."

Just like with humans, cats, and dogs, CBD interacts differently with each horse as well. Starting out with a smaller dose and adjusting dosage based on how the CBD interacts with the body is a safer alternative than diving right in with a large dose. If you have an older horse on any vet prescribed medications, always consult with your vet before adding CBD to the regime.

It is also worth noting that horse owners should avoid using CBD in conjunction with other calming aids. With CBD research involving horses being at its current stage, it is best to avoid doing so until further research is conducted.

Competitive horse owners should also be aware of competition rules concerning CBD. The USEF banned the usage of CBD products during competition in a September 2019 press release, stating, "USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Rules prohibit cannabidiols (CBD) and their metabolites. While hemp does not contain more than 0.3% THC, it does contain CBD. CBD, both natural and synthetic forms, are likely to effect the performance of a horse due to its reported anxiolytic effects. This substance is no different than legitimate therapeutics that effect mentation and behavior in horses. It is for these reasons that USEF prohibits CBD and all related cannabinoids. Horses competing under USEF rules who test positive for natural cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and other cannabimimetics will be considered in violation of GR4 beginning September 1, 2019."

CBD has many wonderful benefits that are being discovered every day. Through dedicated research, we are unlocking the full potential of a plant with many uses. CBD horse products are an alternative to calming aids and pain killers, however, pet parents should do their own research when it comes to choosing a high-quality CBD product. With time, we will understand how CBD fully interacts with humans and horses alike.

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