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Is CBD Safe For Horses? The Ultimate Guide to Equine CBD

If you’re considering giving your horse CBD, there are a few important things you should know. Find out how to use CBD with your horse safely & effectively.

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You care more about your horse than anyone else. So, when she started turning down food due to pain — you decided to try something different and have been looking into using CBD with your horse.

The truth is, you’re not alone.

More and more equestrians give their horses CBD these days for chronic pain, inflammation, and a host of other symptoms.

Recent evidence shows that CBD is safe, non-toxic, and non-addictive, and safe for animals — including horses.

If you’ve been thinking about giving your horse CBD, keep reading for tips on calculating an effective dose. We’ll also cover how to stay safe when giving CBD supplements to horses and discuss the different ways of administering CBD to your trusty steed.

Table of Contents

Best CBD Oils for Horses

First and foremost, what are the best CBD oils to use for horses?

The truth is that you don’t actually need a specific oil for horses. All CBD oil will work for horses just as they do for humans, and spending extra money on horse-specific products will only serve to markup the price.

The main factor to consider is the size of the animal. Horses are huge animals and may require relatively high doses of CBD. For this reason, we recommend going for some of the higher potency options when it comes to dosing your horse.

Here’s a collection of the best high-potency CBD oils on the market that are safe to use with horses:

    (Best Overall) (USA)

Why Are People Using CBD With Horses?

Horse-owners use CBD to support the horse’s well-being. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects may help horses manage symptoms of common ailments, including:

That said, CBD is not used to “cure” common conditions in horses but to improve the animal’s quality of life. CBD in horses is also used to aid natural metabolic processes and speed recovery after a big day of exercise.

CBD may support horses in the following areas of health:

Some companies make specific CBD pet oils for arthritis or other chronic health conditions. These products are formulated with various other ingredients to help with a specific symptom or condition. You can find CBD pet oils for cancer, epilepsy, anxiety, and more.

Most of these formulas are marketed for dogs because there are many more dog owners than horse owners — but these oils are perfectly safe for both animals. Just be aware that the dose for a horse will be a lot higher than a dose for a dog.

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Is CBD Safe For Horses?

Horses, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) — which functions as a regulatory system in the body to maintain homeostasis (balance) of many different areas.

Some basic functions of the ECS include regulating digestion, sleep, appetite, inflammation, mood, immune function, temperature, memory, and more.

Although there are no horse-specific studies involving CBD — most of the research performed on both humans and animals shows that CBD is non-toxic and non-addictive [1].

In fact, even when administered in higher doses, CBD is well-tolerated by both humans and animals.

Some common side effects of CBD in animals include diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth — all of which are mild in nature and tend to only result from using very high doses.

CBD May Help Your Horse When Nothing Else is Working

Many times, both hemp CBD and marijuana are used as a last resort for horses with painful chronic conditions.

One example of marijuana use in horses is Tori, a 16-year-old Paso Fino with equine melanoma. When Tori’s owner got the news of the horse’s probable euthanasia, she decided to turn to cannabis as the last option.

So, over the course of a few years, Tori’s owner used cannabis oil (a mix of 6% THC and 11.7% CBD) to keep her alive. Luckily, cannabis had a great long-term effect on Tori.

“Update from 2020: Tori’s tumors continue to look good, and she continues passing full rectums of manure nearing 3 years after it was first proposed to euthanize her for bowel blockage.”

Now, we wouldn’t recommend you give your horse marijuana without consulting a vet, but Tori’s story’s message is that cannabis won’t hurt your horse if used responsibly.

In fact, one veterinarian is making a case for the responsible use of THC in animals by comparing it to common pain medications. The logic behind that is that if you give your animal the minimum lethal dose of THC (3000 mg/kg for dogs), the animal will experience the same intoxication as if it accidentally ate an entire bottle of pain meds.

Now, back to hemp CBD.

Another horse owner decided to give hemp CBD pellets to his horse post-colic surgery. When the owner noticed that one scoop of CBD pellets twice a day didn’t show any results, he increased the dosage to two scoops twice a day and noticed a “huge difference.”

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“His lingering edema almost completely went away within a few weeks, and he’s been moving so much more forward and pain-free. People are amazed at how quickly he’s bouncing back in under saddle work now.”

Furthermore, one case report found that 250 mg of pure crystalline cannabidiol administered by mouth twice daily helped a 4-year-old Quarter Horse with a 5-week history of “marked sensitivity to touch” — when traditional meds showed no improvement in clinical signs. When the animal started taking CBD, the clinical signs resolved after two just days [2].

Dosing Guidelines: How Much CBD Should I Give My Horse?

Now, the most important part is, “How much CBD should I give my horse?”

Animals are more sensitive to CBD — horses in particular. According to Dr. Luedke, a veterinarian and leading expert on CBD for horses, Horses require lower and less frequent doses of CBD than other animals.

Dr. Leudke stated that horses need longer dosing intervals than other species and seem to be more sensitive on the “per kilogram” dosing model.

For example, if a CBD dose of 1-2 milligrams per kilogram works well for dogs, horses need a lower dose — ranging from 0.25-1 milligrams per kilogram.

Horses’ sensitivity to CBD may or may not be attributed to how they digest food. As hindgut (large intestine) fermenters, horses get most of their energy through fermentation, not digestion like other animals do.

According to Kentucky Equine Research, simple things such as “feeding too much grain, improper ratios of forage and grain, or moldy forage or grain” can wreak havoc on the equine digestive system. This sensitivity may make horses more susceptible to CBD.

So, when you start giving your horse CBD, make sure you start low and increase the dose gradually. Starting with low CBD doses allows you to track your horse’s progress and adjust the dose when you start to see benefits.

Many people will start with the baseline dose of 40 mg and increase it until they reach the desired results. According to Dr. Juliet M. Getty, the best dosage for horses are as follows:

  • Minis (400-660 lbs) — 25 to 50 mg
  • Full-sized (660-1110 lbs) — 75 to 170 mg
  • Large breeds (1100-1800) — 120 to 200 mg

1. Calculating CBD Oil Dosage For Horses

If you’re using CBD oils, first look at the size of the bottle and the amount of CBD inside. Then, you divide the amount of CBD by the size of the bottle. This will give you the oil potency in milligrams of CBD per milliliter of oil (mg/mL).

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So, if your bottle is 30 mL and contains 3000 mg of CBD, you get 100 mg of CBD in 1 mL (a full dropper) — 3000mg/30mL = 100 mg/mL.

Once you know the potency, you can use simple math to find the right dose. If you have an oil with 100 mg/mL CBD, and you want a dose of 40 mg — all you have to do is give 0.4 mL (40% full dropper).

Our product reviews include the potency of each oil in case you’re not math-savvy.

H.J. Equine, Inc. Blog

Can you give your horse too much CBD Oil? The answer is no. There hasn’t been any evidence that you can overdose or intoxicate your horse, dog or even yourself if you take too much CBD Hemp Oil. However, when it comes to CBD for animals, your horse or dog might become calm, sluggish or even sleepy if the dosage is too high. Mammals actually tolerate CBD oil fairly well. The body will use what it needs and then expel the rest.

CBD in equines does not have the same calming effect that it does with dogs or even people. However, we have found that horses are less anxious while still performing at a high level, trailering calmer and not as spooky in new arenas. If you are using CBD for your horse on stall rest, we do recommend doubling the dosage. Your horse will let you know how much or how little he or she needs after a couple of days.

Unlike human dosage, equines have an extremely sensitive intestinal system. So administering the right dose of CBD for animals is extremely important. You cannot use the same dosage guidelines for humans with the equine family. Dosage for humans and dogs is typically figured out by the weight. Horses and other members of the equine family, the calculations are much different. Typically 25 mg a day is the correct dosage for all members of the equine family. We recommend cutting that dosage in half for miniature horses.

When it comes to CBD, more isn’t necessarily better. As a matter of fact, once your horse is on CBD for several months, you might find that your horse needs only half a dose. Your horses will let you know quickly if they need more or less. You will be able to tell by the way they are moving and eating.