All you need to know about CBD for horses

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Introduction to CBD and horses

There are numerous claims out there about how giving CBD to horses would bring all sorts of health benefits to them. From treating various kinds of ailments to improving the overall health of the horses, lots of positive things have been said about CBD.

From just minor injuries to chronic diseases, CBD and all of the products based on it claimed to be able to help treat them all. And it is not just a baseless claim. Experts and experienced users alike have vouched and stand by those claims regarding the health benefits of CBD.

It might sound too good to be true for those who have never used CBD before in any shape or form. And it is perfectly understandable. After all, we’re all so used to the chemical compounds that were designed to only cure one thing, not lots of things at the same time.

But CBD is not a magical drug at all. It is an organic compound that has been around for a very long time. This article is written with the sole purpose of sharing all the things related to CBD. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll have a better idea of what CBD is truly capable of and maybe decide to give some to your horses.

What is CBD and how does it work?

CBD comes from a plant called cannabis. There are two main compounds within cannabis, one is called Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, and the other one is called Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. These two are the ones that give the effect of being “high” and relax when you consume cannabis.

Scientists throughout the ages have hypothesized on the benefits that cannabis could bring both to physical health and mental health as well. But the main drawbacks that prevent cannabis to become a mainstream medicine is its psychoactive compound and addictive nature.

But thanks to the advancement of technology and numerous innovations in the world of chemistry and other related sciences, the scientist found that the one that is responsible for that psychoactive behaviour is THC. CBD in and of itself is not only harmless, but it is also highly beneficial to consume.

They found that CBD works by connecting itself into the endocannabinoid system within our body. Endocannabinoid system is a neurotransmitter that appears all over our body. The brains, the organs, it’s everywhere. It is also responsible for lots of the essential parts of our body.

And curiously enough, this system is not unique to humans, most species of animals also have endocannabinoid systems within their body. Which is why when consumed, CBD would give relatively similar effects to both humans and animals.

By creating a connection between itself and the endocannabinoid system through the endocannabinoid receptors, CBD could temporarily affect the functions and behaviour of some of the most essential parts of our body. And that is how it’s able to present so many different physical and mental health to humans and animals.

But the overwhelming majority of products based on CBD that you could buy in the market right now do not actually come from cannabis. It comes from hemp, one of the subclass plants of cannabis. There are a couple of reasons as to why this happens, but the main one is to maximize production.

The amount of CBD and THC within a cannabis plant is relatively balanced. Hemp, on the other hand, has much more CBD than THC within its system. So when the same amount of cannabis and hemp undergoes the extraction process, hemp will always yield more CBD than its infamous counterpart.

So from a business standpoint, it makes sense for the manufacturers to use hemp instead of regular cannabis. After all, one would create more products than the others for the same amount of weight. That is why CBD oil is sometimes also called hemp oil in the market.

The history of CBD

Though we may only see products based on CBD adorn the shelf of the corner store or appear on Google search results in recent years, cannabis itself actually has a sprawling and complicated history that dates all the way back to around 4000 BCE.

It was used as foods, as material to create textiles and papers, as medicines, and even as an integral part of religious rituals. In a 2005 paper called “History of cannabis as a medicine: A review” by a professor from Sao Paulo university named Antonio Waldo Zuardi, it stated that the first ever recorded evidence of the use of CBD comes from a medical document in 2700 BCE from the era of Emperor Shen-Nung of China.

In a medical document called pen-ts’ao ching, it was described that at the time cannabis was used to treat various ailments such as diarrhea, constipation, malaria, rheumatism, and many others. There were also observations in the document about the hallucinogenic effect of cannabis. Referring to it as “visions of the devils” and “communication with the spirit”.

Cannabis was also heavily used in India around 1000 BCE. It was used both as medicine and a crucial part of religious activities. In a collection of sacred texts called The Atharva Veda, cannabis was even described as one of the five sacred plants that could grant “joy and happiness” to those who consume it.

For spiritual and religious rituals, the Atharva Veda elaborate three steps that must be taken in order to process cannabis. Each one was only used for certain occasions. The weakest one was called Bhang, the one after that was Ganja, and finally the one that would give the strongest effect was called Charas.

From this point forward, people began to use cannabis in various parts of the world. The people of Tibet used it in their Tantric Buddhism activities. Assyria, Persia, different parts of Central Asia, Mediterranean, and cannabis even appear in Europe through the Scythian invaders.

In 450 BCE, Herodotus wrote that the Scythian always burn cannabis seeds during their funeral ritual and inhale the vapors. But this custom did not appear to be followed by Europeans. At the time, they only used cannabis to treat something minor like earache.

The one that was responsible for the spread of cannabis from China and India to the rest of the world was mostly traders. They brought cannabis and the knowledge of how to use it to wherever they were doing business at the time. Arabian traders especially have a huge impact on the use of cannabis within the Mediterranean and all the way to Africa.

There was evidence that suggested the places that were not accustomed to cannabis were still aware of the effect of cannabis on the body and the mind. In 1464, a physician named Ibn al-Badri wrote about how cannabis managed to completely cure epilepsy suffered by the son of a caliph’s chamberlain. But he also noted that the man became highly addicted to cannabis and can’t seem to live without it.

The next group of people that was responsible for introducing cannabis to the people across the Ocean was slave traders. They brought people from Africa to South America, along with their cannabis, in 16th CE. And slowly but surely, it found its way to spread all the way to North America.

But it’s not until late 18th CE that a major breakthrough happened that changed the perspective on cannabis, especially among scholars. The one who was responsible for that was William B. O’Shaughnessy, a physician from Ireland, and Jacques-Joseph Moreau, a psychiatrist from France.

Through his book “On the preparations of the Indian hemp, or gunjah” in 1839, O’Shaughnessy laid out all of the health benefits of cannabis that he had found both from his studies and experimentation. And in 1845, with his book “Du Haschisch et de l’Aliénation Mentale: Etudes Psychologiques”, Moreau sparked interest on the possibility of using cannabis as a means to treat mental illness.

There were hundreds of research conducted on cannabis thanks to these two highly influential books that would lead to numerous crucial findings, such as the effect of THC and CBD. Unfortunately, in the late 19th Century, people began to stay away from its medical and spiritual use and only use it for recreational purposes.

People from all social levels used cannabis recklessly, which resulted in countless people ending up becoming an addict. This phenomenon led government’s around the world to make it illegal to use cannabis.

But as the use of cannabis slowly but surely decreased at the turn of decade, the overwhelming evidence of potential benefits of cannabis, particularly CBD, made the US federal government to overturn its earlier decision and finally legalize the use of cannabis and CBD, mainly as a medicine.

Full spectrum vs Broad spectrum vs isolates CBDs

When you want to buy CBD for your horse, you might be asked to choose between full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD, and isolated CBD. So you might be wondering what is the meaning of those terms and is one better than the other. Well, just like everything else in life, the answer is it depends.

What is full spectrum CBD?

Full spectrum CBD refers to CBD oil that was extracted without filtering any of the other cannabinoids from the hemp. This means in full spectrum CBD, you will not only get the CBD, but also the THC and other minor cannabinoid compounds within the hemp.

But isn’t THC inherently dangerous for animals? Yes, that is correct. But the regulation demands every manufacturer to include only 0.3% of THC within their full spectrum CBD. This trace amount of THC is generally safe for animals. Not only that, thanks to this complete spectrum of cannabinoids, the effect of the extract to your horse would be significantly greater than other types of CBD out there.

What is broad spectrum cbd?

Broad spectrum CBD is a step behind the full spectrum CBD. Unlike the full spectrum, the broad spectrum doesn’t contain any THC inside it. But as the name suggests, it still contains CBD and a broad spectrum of other cannabinoids from the hemp.

The absence of THC may slightly weaken the effect of the broad spectrum if compared to the full spectrum. But it would still pack all the necessary punch needed to increase your horse’s overall quality of life. Not only that, since it doesn’t have any THC inside, broad spectrum CBD is way safer for your horse as well.

What is CBD Isolate?

As you can probably tell from the name itself, this type of extract isolates the CBD from the hemp without any other type of the cannabinoids. This type of CBD extract is as pure as you can get. But that doesn’t translate well into the intensity of the effect. On the contrary, isolated CBD delivers the weakest effect than the other two.

So if it’s not as powerful as the other two, are there any advantages of using it over the previous entries? Yes, absolutely. Isolated CBD is by far the safest option than other types of CBD. Not only that, if you have a horse with a sensitive body, but still needs to be treated with CBD, using isolate CBD is certainly the better option.

Different ways of giving CBD to horses

CBD oil for horses

CBD oil is the most popular CBD product of them all both for human use and animal use. The reason is quite simply because it is so convenient. Giving it to your pet is a simple matter of dropping the oil into their mouth. And since it is just an oil, your pet could feel the effect of the CBD in quite a short amount of time.

But when it comes to giving it to horses, it’s not a good idea to give it using the conventional glass dropper. There is a risk that your horse might move their mouth, which causes the dropper to break and hurt their mouth. If you want to use CBD oil, you should give it to your horse using a specialized plastic syringe for food.

CBD Paste for horses

If you want something that is as convenient as CBD oil and the effect could also be felt just as fast but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting a specialized plastic syringe just for it, then the CBD paste is the best option for you.

Most CBD paste in the market comes in its own plastic syringe. And to use it, all you have to do is simply administer it under your horse’s tongue. It is as simple as that. That way, you could also easily manage how much CBD that you give to your horse per session.

CBD Pellets for horses

If you want your horse to enjoy the CBD more, then you could give them CBD pellets. The main advantage of CBD pellets is definitely the taste and nutritional value. After all CBD pellets are basically just the regular horse foods but with CBD inside it. You could also choose different flavors to increase your horse appetite.

The main disadvantage, however, is it would take longer for the effect of the CBD to kick in. Because just like any other type of food, CBD pellets have to go through your horse’s digestive system first before it would eventually enter the bloodstream. Expect to wait at least between 30 minutes to one hour for the CBD to take effect.

CBD Spray for horses

CBD spray is actually just a CBD oil that you use with a spray nozzle, instead of the usual dropper. But that one simple change in delivery method could actually change the whole dynamic of giving the CBD oil to your horse. Not only that, it would make it way more versatile than a regular CBD oil.

You can buy a separate nozzle for your CBD oil, or just buy a CBD spray with its own nozzle. To use it, you simply need to spray the CBD to the part of your horse that you want to treat. You want to reduce their anxiety, spray into their mouth, you want a remedy to their skin problems, just spray it to the problematic area. But don’t forget to always be aware of the doses of the CBD, especially if you spray it directly into their mouth.

CBD Cream for horses

If CBD oil, paste, and pellets are for internal use while CBD sprays could be used internally and externally, then CBD cream was designed for external use only. Similar to CBD spray, CBD cream works wonders on various skin and muscle problems.

You could use CBD cream if your horse experiences a sprained, redness, rashes, and also other types of joint problems. All you need to do is simply take an ample amount of the cream and gently rub it to the required area. You should see a noticeable improvement after several uses.

How to choose the right CBD supplements for horses

Talk to your vet

Despite having a much larger body than dogs and cats, horses are actually more sensitive to CBD than those two. That’s why if you plan on giving any kind of CBD for your horse, you should talk to your trusted vets first to know what kind of CBD is the most suitable for them.

The other important thing that you should know from your vet is regarding the dosage. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to give CBD to your horses in smaller doses and less frequently. How small should each dose be and how often should you give it to them is something that your vets would decide.

Choose the type of CBD according to your horse’s needs

As explained above, there are three types of CBD that you can choose based on the type of the cannabinoids inside them. And you can give either one of them to your horses. But depending on their health and the kind of physical and mental health that you expect, getting a certain type of CBD would be better than the other types.

If your horses are currently experiencing excruciating pain, then something powerful like the full spectrum CBD could be an appropriate choice. But if you simply want to reduce their anxiety, then a simple isolated CBD could do the job just fine.

Get the most appropriate CBD for your horse

Other than the type of CBD, the next thing that you should know is what kind of CBD is the most suitable for your horses. Some horses might prefer CBD pellets while a simple CBD oil is enough for other horses. You could try and mix it up at first in order to find out which one of them that your horses like the best.

Be sure to look for a product from a transparent manufacturer

Among all of those CBD products that you can find online, you should only buy from a transparent manufacturer that is ready to lay out everything that you need to know about their products.

Nowadays, you could get a CBD products at any price range. But more often than not, the price tag is usually a representation of the quality. So don’t buy the cheapest CBD oil that you can find, you should do your proper research and buy from a reputable and transparent brand. Even if it means you have to pay more for it. Don’t worry though as we have been through the ringer, so you don’t have to. We will have many reviews posted on the best products on the market today.

Risk and Benefits of using CBD for horses

As an Anti-Anxiety. CBD is one of the most effective products when it comes to reducing anxiety. And if you use the full spectrum CBD through either the oil, paste or spray medium, then you can expect your horse to calm down in a matter of minutes. But be sure to only give them CBD as needed. Because horses are quite sensitive to CBD.

As a painkiller. CBD also works great as a painkiller. By affecting the pain management part of your horse’s nervous system, it is able to reduce their pain significantly. Whether it’s pain from external wounds or from internal problems, CBD could help make your horse feel at ease.

To treat epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of the most serious and disturbing illnesses that a horse could have. And treating it could be quite challenging. But CBD has been proven to be effective in not only treating epilepsy, but other kinds of seizures as well.

Remedy for arthritis. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is great for treating joint problems such as arthritis, swelling, redness, etc. But for better results, it is highly recommended to use either CBD cream or CBD spray for this particular ailment.

To increase appetite. Among other benefits that your horse can get from CBD is an increase in appetite. If you regularly give CBD to your horse at the appropriate doses, you should be able to quickly notice an overall increase in their appetite.

For a glowing coat and mane. Other than the appetite, the other things that you won’t fail to notice by regularly giving CBD to your horse is an overall improvement in the quality of their coat and mane. Overtime, your horse would have a thicker and more glowing coat and mane.

The risk of using CBD products for your horses is all about the THC and the doses. If you use a full spectrum CBD, you should make sure it only has 0.3% or less THC in it. Because contrary to its relatively big size, horses are actually quite sensitive with cannabinoids.

So any more than 0.3% THC could have a negative impact on their health. Not only with THC, you should also be very careful with the amount of CBD that you give to your horse. A good rule of thumb is by starting small and less frequent. You can slowly increase the doses and frequency as the time goes. But be sure to consult with your vets first.

Final thoughts, for now, on CBD and horses

CBD is an organic compound with lots of beneficial qualities that has been around since 4000 BCE. CBD comes in three different types and multiple delivery methods.

For the most effective results, you can use either the full spectrum CBD or the broad spectrum CBD. Using either CBD paste or CBD spray is also highly recommended. But be sure to pay close attention to the doses and what you can and cannot legally do with it.

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