CBD for Horses: the basics

a horse standing in a muddy field
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Introduction to CBD and horses

CBD has been one of the most talked-about health supplements. It is promoted by celebrities, health bloggers, and its active users. It can be used for dogs, cats, humans, and horses. With the legalization of hemp in 2018, it has reached billions of dollars in sales in its variety of forms including oils, pills, and treats. It is very popular among many horse owners because of its calming and health-boosting effects.

First things first, what is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. The chemical improves the condition of the body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Discovered in the 90’s, this body system that is also called as ECS is responsible for maintaining the balance in our body’s immune system, digestive system, blood vessels, and more. CBD is a form of cannabinoid which promotes the actions of the ECS, therefore making the animal healthier. 

Is CBD safe for horses?

When talking about its safety, one must first know the difference between CBD and THC. When talking about its safety, one must first know the difference between CBD and THC. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is also extracted from cannabis plants. The difference is that it’s a fact it is much more intense compared to CBD. THC often delivers what people call the high feeling, versus CBD which has very little psycho active effects. It also has most of CBD’s benefits, but it comes with negative side effects. It can be harmful or toxic for horses in very high dosages.

CBD, on the other hand, is very safe for animals. It does not have any known side effects even when taken in very high dosages aside from the usual ones like bowel irritation or diarrhea that are mostly because of other components that are included by some manufacturers. CBD is gathered from hemp plants which have long been used for various industries such as clothing and ropemaking. 

What can CBD do for horses?

Many experts are acknowledging the therapeutic potential of using CBD for horses. One of its primary benefits is that it can help in managing and even treating the symptoms of epilepsy. It can lessen the tremors that the horse may have and make them more relaxed. It has also been seen to be good for lessening the inflammation of the muscles in the joints from arthritis. Through this, horses can have relief from chronic pain.

Another great benefit of using CBD is for lessening the anxiety that horses feel. This is especially beneficial as many horse owners know that they can be easily startled especially in areas with a lot of loud noises and lights. With the use of CBD, they can be calmer and more relaxed.

Your horse will not feel euphoria or the feeling of being “high” when using CBD. THC is the chemical that is responsible for this response when using cannabis plants. Because of this, it is usually completely removed or given in very low levels to ensure horses will not get this effect.

How is CBD given to horses?

CBD comes in a lot of forms that makes it very easy to give to your equine companions. First are oils which come with their own drops. This can be administered orally to the horses or given through their food. There are also pellets, tinctures, paste, and creams which you can give to them. To ensure that you are a horse will get the best results from it, be sure to thoroughly read the ingredients of the brand that you will purchase. Review the composition of the CBD and check the various ingredients that are mixed with it.

Horses can take a moderate amount of CBD. To be sure that you are giving them the correct dosage, start by giving it in very low dosages which will then increase. You can stop when you finally notice the effects. Be sure to read the dosage limits, though, to be sure. A standard dose for horses would be somewhere between 100 to 125 mg. It is also good to speak with a vet if you are going to be starting CBD with your pet, as it is always good for them to know and provide tips for dosage.

Precautions in using CBD with horses.

There are almost no side effects with using CBD encountered. This does not mean it doesn’t happen though, so for safety always start with a low dose. Like anything else health related, it is much better to start slow with lower amounts than the maximum on the first time. This way if there are any issues or allergic reactions they are minor compared to bigger doses.

One thing to keep in mind, if you have a competition horse, is that CBD is not allowed in all competitions. If this is your situation it is best to get all the info and regulations of your competitions prior to starting with CBD oil.

Aside from this, it is good to ensure that the product you choose has a good reputation. You want to ensure that the company has been around for a while, and/or see good reviews. If it important to get a product with as low of THC levels as possible. As advised before, THC can be toxic for them when given in high levels.


CBD is excellent for horses. First it can be used for lessen their anxiety and to make them more relaxed. Next, this also lessens the pain that they may feel from inflammations of the joints and muscles. Through this, they can move like usual and retain their youthful energy.

Before buying one, make sure that it will have a very low THC level not higher than 0.3%. This can be easily seen in the packaging. Its effect can be felt usually during the first week of using it as long as you are given the recommended dosage.

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