CBD For Horses: What Are The Benefits? Everything You Need to Know!

CBD has exploded in popularity recently. You’ve probably seen ads everywhere about the positive effects this compound has on you, and even for your pets. Increasingly, pet foods and supplements contain CBD to bring benefits to our pets, including horses. Horse snacks made with CBD are now commonplace, and many horse owners are turning to CBD as a natural alternative to other remedies.

While CBD is certainly not new, the research on it is. Research into the use of CBD in horses is still limited, so most of what we know is anecdotal or comes from research done on other species, such as humans, dogs, or cats. Our knowledge of CBD is evolving every day, but this article will outline what we know about CBD right now, so you can decide if it’s a good choice for your horse or not.


What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is just one of more than 80 cannabinoids that can be found in the cannabis plant. Long used medicinally, the cannabis plant has earned a distinct reputation as a mind-altering drug due to another cannabinoid it contains known as THC. THC is a cannabinoid in marijuana that causes a psychoactive effect, also known as high. But CBD is a completely different compound, and there is no high association with CBD.

While it doesn’t make any real changes to your mindset, CBD does other things in the body. For example, CBD can decrease pain and inflammation. It can also help reduce the effects of arthritis. CBD can even inhibit neuropathic and inflammatory pain, which Harvard Health Publishing says is the most difficult form of pain to treat. Indeed, all of these effects have been demonstrated in humans, not horses, but it is believed that similar effects carry over to other species.

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CBD still has more proven benefits. It is effective for treating some forms of epilepsy, for example. You can also use CBD to help with anxiety, and it has been shown to be effective against insomnia as well.


Is CBD Safe For Horses?

As you can see, CBD comes with some impressive effects. The question remains, is it safe for horses? We know that’s fine with humans, but horses are a completely different species. According to the Ph.D. and horse nutritionist Juliet M. Getty, there are no real studies showing the safety of horse CBD, but anecdotally, it all looks good. Horse owners who have administered CBD appear to report that the compound has the same effects on the horse’s endocannabinoid system as it does on humans, with no signs of mind changes or side effects.

CBD Side Effects

When dosed appropriately, CBD has no negative side effects, although you can cause some mild effects with an overdose. This includes:

  • Lethargy

  • Drowsiness

  • Diarrhea

  • Fatigue

  • Dizzy

  • Blood pressure drop

Benefits of CBD for Horses

horse galloping in the field

There is very little research on the benefits of CBD for horses. That said, we know a lot about how CBD use affects humans, and we can surmise that many of the effects should be the same for our equestrian counterparts. Also, users who have given their horses CBD anecdotally show some positive benefits for their horses. Some of them are:

  • Relief from arthritis

  • Reduce pain

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Anxiety is reduced

  • boil

  • Emphasize

  • Appetite regulation

How Much CBD Should a Horse Give?

It appears that horses are slightly more sensitive to CBD than other animals. They are also much larger, so while the dose per pound for horses may be lower than for dogs or cats, the overall dose will be much higher. Oftentimes, if people don’t see the desired effects of CBD with their horses, the problem is a lack of dosage. Remember, horses weigh 1,000 pounds or more. It takes a good amount of CBD to work on such a large creature.

The general guideline is 100 mg-125 mg for full-size horses. Of course, there is no research to back this up; this is an anecdotally chosen number that seems to work with a lot of users. But this is for standard therapeutic doses. If your horse is in severe pain or has severe inflammation from arthritis, you may need to give up to four times this amount, for a total of 400 mg-500 mg at most.



Should You Give CBD To Your Horse?

Every horse owner must decide what is right for their horse. Only you know your horse’s situation. CBD has been shown to slow down arthritis and reduce pain and inflammation in humans. Horse owners say the same to horses, but you’ll have to see for yourself as there hasn’t been a thorough research on the topic. Until the research is done, you should trust your best judgment. Fortunately, CBD appears to be essentially harmless in small doses, so it might not hurt to give it a try if your horse is suffering from symptoms that CBD can manage.

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