Hemp oil for horses: benefits, side-effects, dosages

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Introduction to Hemp oil and horses

Horses are one of the most complex animals, and because of this, they have lots of requirements for maintaining their health. No matter what they are used for, including racing, riding, and farm work, they need to receive the best supplements to ensure the best performance and a longer lifetime. One of the most popular products nowadays is hemp oil.

What is hemp?

Hemp is a plant which is a relative of the cannabis plant. It has been used for decades in various industries such as for creating ropes, textiles, and paper. Because of this, it has long been observed and studied.

If you keep track of the different horse products in the market, you may be familiar with hemp seed oil. This form focuses only on the seed of the plant which is known to have a lot of nutritious contents such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. It is given for boosting the overall health of horses.

What is hemp oil?

In recent years, hemp oil, also known as CBD oil, has been very popular among both humans and pets. In fact, it is expected to reach a billion dollars in terms of overall sales by the end of 2021.

Hemp oil comes from all the parts of the plant and not just its seeds. Because of this, it contains more of the contents of the plant, especially CBD.

CBD or cannabidiol is a compound that has been to have a lot of benefits for humans, horses, dogs, cats, and more pets. It has been seen to provide many of the benefits attributed to marijuana without the side effects that come with it.

Is hemp dangerous for horses?

CBD is not dangerous as it does not have psychoactive effects. In other words, it won’t make the horse feel “high”. This is because it contains less than 0.3% of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. The latter is the one that gives these side effects. Hemp in general has a very low amount of this. Aside from this, manufacturers also ensure that their products’ THC content is lessened to be in safe levels.

What can hemp oil do for horses?

The hemp oil contains CBD which then interacts with the horses’ endocannabinoid system or ECS. Through this, various body processes are maintained. CBD does this by activating different receptors in the body which interact with the nervous system, immune system, liver, and more.

Hemp oil for Pain relief

With horses, there seems to be a never-ending source for pain. Their hooves can grow too much and injure them, their joints and muscles are easily inflamed, and they frequently experience cramps. This is to be expected because of all the activities expected of them.

Once they suffer from this, its symptoms include an imbalanced posture, slow speed, and lethargy.

CBD has been seen to help horses be relieved from pain by inhibiting glutamate levels in their body. It can also influence receptors in the nervous system. Through this, horses can feel free from pain when CBD is given every day which can make them active once more.

Hemp oil for Lessening inflammation

One of the best benefits of CBD is reducing inflammation in their muscles and joints. It also extends to inflamed wounds and scrapes. CBD has also been seen to promote healing.

CBD is also recommended for older horses who are experiencing arthritis which can greatly decrease the quality of their lifestyle. After all, it never goes away, and the best thing you can do is to lessen the pain from the increased friction in their joints.

Hemp oil for reducing anxiety and stress

Horses vary in their personality, but in some situations, some are more anxious than others. This can be brought by stress in the environment such as a stable they are not comfortable in, hearing a lot of noises, and more. Once this happens, you will observe them pacing and cribbing more than usual. Aside from being restless in general, it can also cause them to lose sleep and become more tired than usual.

CBD interacts with their nervous system and helps them manage their emotions better. Through this, they can become less impulsive, scared, and restless.

Hemp oil to improve digestion

Horses are herbivores which means that their diet is mostly plants. Even with this simple diet, many horse owners report issues with their horses’ gastrointestinal system. This is because of their constant need for fiber, a constant pattern of grazing, and their need for fermentation to fully process grass. Many horses are reported to develop metabolic syndromes and resistance to leptin and insulin. Once this happens, their overall health continues to degrade. This causes them to store more body fat than usual which puts strain on their limbs. CBD has been seen to improve their digestion. 

Possible side effects of hemp

When taken normally, CBD does not have any side effects. After all, it only promotes the function of homeostasis of the body.

However, there may be side effects when you give too much of it. First, it can cause the horse to be sleepier than usual because of a sudden drop in their blood pressure. This may also cause them to be dizzy and lethargic. Because of this, it is best to introduce it very slowly to their body.

Aside from this, their stomach may also be irritated because oils are harder to process when taken in very high levels. So if you are starting out, always go on the lower side of the suggested serving size. You can increase slowly until you see the positive affects, or if there are any reactions.


Hemp oil can greatly benefit the horse by improving their digestion, improving their mental state, and relieving them from pain and inflammations. Hemp has also been seen to improve their immune system and the growth of their fur.

Overall hemp is generally viewed as safe for them as long as it is given properly. It will not cause them to be “high” because it is not psychoactive and there should be some benefits that you see after starting it.

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