Fabulous news for equestrians across America: yes it’s true, our horses can benefit from supplementing with hemp CBD horse pellets – meaning non-psychoactive. Humans most definitely aren’t the only major beneficiaries of country-wide Endocannabinoid System (ECS) awareness and the end of hemp farming prohibition.
As a writer-researcher within the hemp industry I began hearing about and seeing hemp CBD products for pets around 2015. It started with cats and dogs then naturally stretched into the equestrian community a couple years later. Of course! As far as we can tell all animals except insects operate on an ECS along with a vast assortment of plants.
“The ECS is a physiological homeostatic regulator that’s been evolving through and in countless lifeforms on our planet for hundreds of millions of years.”
What’s truly incredible the more you learn about the ECS (not to mention ecological impacts) is the damage hemp prohibition inflicted on our people, pet and horse populations, farmland and agriculture – parallels are staggering.
Horses have known hemp as long as we have; perhaps longer. All the way into the 20th century, horses were alongside us planting and harvesting hemp-cannabis since early domestication 4 to 5 thousand years ago. They used to sleep on hemp straw, tug strong hemp rope, pull hemp-covered wagons with hempen saddles upon their backs, and get plenty of hemp seed and oil in their food like other farm animals. What’s important is now we can begin reincorporating hemp back into their lives, like our own, through two basic ways:
- Seed-based products for the nutritional benefits.
- Plant-based extracts/concentrates for more potent levels of ECS supplementation.
From there will spring tens of thousands of other uses on the consumer end, industrial products, housing & energy applications and more. But, it starts with the plant’s simplest components – seed and the powerful cannabinoids it creates to help put itself atop the plant kingdom hierarchy. Not to mention fiber, but we’ll save that topic for another time.
Horses & CBD: A Quick Refresher
Horses have an ECS no different than ours. If you were to dig into any ECS 101-style content to get the gist of its triadic makeup – receptors, enzymes, cannabinoids – and overall function, you could basically switch humans for horses and everything would still be essentially correct. While the focus has been on us and our house pets thus far, behind the scenes a small army of passionate holistic veterinarians, horse owners, farmers, trainers, small businesses, and folks involved with initiatives like horse sanctuaries have been compiling data; pushing forward. What other choice did they have, since mainstream funding for conventional research (expensive!) was largely nonexistent outside the human world.
Thing is back in 2012-2015 searching online regarding horses and CBD, or horse-focused ECS science, brought up little to no information. Today, wow! I’m honored to assist Hemp for Fitness add to it and fortify the widespread adoption of natural cannabinoid-based therapies which boost horse ECS power.
Note: For another brief look, check out my Endocannabinoid System 101 article. It’s short and sweet and provides a few more details without delving deeply into the science.
The Basics of CBD Applications in Horses
Not going to lie to you here, I’m not an equestrian. I’ve ridden horses a few times (including once in the mountains of Wickeburg Arizona during a horse camping trip in high school), have groomed them a bit, played guitar for some horses at night a few times, and I have a deep love and respect for these animals…but at the end of the day I’m not a rancher’s son or a veterinarian. I’m a humble writer and hemp supporter.
That being said, here are the common areas where Hemp CBD Horse Pellets are showing serious anecdotal and initial scientific results:
- Chronic Laminitis or Desmitis: hoof, joint, or ligament pain & inflammation.
- Any Anxiety-Based Issues: trailering problems, herd-bound stress, separation, etc.
- Muscle Soreness: that horses deal with regardless of their function in life.
- Stall Rest/Pent Up Restlessness: cribbing; when they need help staying calm.
- Kissing Spine: spinal pain & inflammation; bone cysts and other arthritic issues.
- Gastrointestinal: a big one would be gastric ulcers in adult horses.
- Other Issues: race horse injuries, breeding strategies, increased medication usage, etc.
- Behavioral: for example overcoming certain fears, age-related, appetite, etc.
When you boil it all down it’s exactly the same between humans and their horses – we can enhance ECS effectiveness by providing phytocannabinoids to supplement our endogenous cannabinoids. In terms of reduction, we can group most issues into three categories: reduction of pain, stress, and inflammation. For production, it’s about producing better mood, performance, and health or well-being.
The Core Benefits of Hemp CBD
Horses in training! Horses in rehabilitation! Horses with injuries!
Because there’s such an ample supply of ECS information out there at your fingertips, we’ll skip the biology lesson. In essence though, again it’s the same for horses as it is for us because of the nature of this amazing health-sustaining system.
- Since their ECS is located throughout their bodies, organs, central nervous system, brains, etc., providing an increased supply of cannabinoids could produce a wide variety of positive health impacts beyond the issue you’re seeking to address when looking at ingestion vs. using it as a topical on a specific site.
- Hemp CBD is non-psychoactive, safe, and non-habit forming. Anecdotally speaking, horses tend to either need less conventional medications or none at all after a relatively short time with no widely recognized side effects. In humans, this is increasingly being well-established for Americans using hemp-cannabis as a way to combat the opioid epidemic.
- Typically not needed on a continuous basis – although it’s becoming common in this niche for horses to begin getting a small steady supply on a regular basis as part of their dietary regimen – and there’s no excess buildup of the extract in their systems (doesn’t apply to any extra ingredients, just the plant compounds which the ECS naturally breaks down).
A really important note, if you’re reading this and seriously considering Hemp CBD supplementation for your horse(s), please understand it’s a nascent industry. Quality is paramount and horse-specific products in the American market are largely unregulated. What this means is a) you need to make a call – ensure your provider’s product is clean and lab tested, and b) the product has a reliable consistent potency for the money.
Enter Hemp CBD Horse Pellets
Due to the significantly larger body mass of horses, costs in this area have been somewhat of a stumbling block for researchers. First of all, costs are going to quickly change over the coming years as American domestic hemp farming spreads from coast to coast dramatically increasingly supply. Most industry experts predict a thriving industry by 2022 in full swing. Right now horse pellets are among the only really accessible ways outside purchasing custom orders from select suppliers or doing your own thing – meaning, say, purchasing a hemp tincture and infusing horse treats with it. There are a few companies out there for sure, Hemp for Fitness being among them and in business a good while.
I’ve seen their IRON Laboratories results myself, at least for one of their most recent batches as of the writing of this article showing a full spectrum plant-based extract infused in the pellets rather than an isolate:
- 10.0 mg/g CBDA – the acidic form of CBD.
- 3.6 mg/g CBD
- 0.4 mg/g CBC – Cannabichromene, one of the core six primary phytocannabinoids prominent in current human/animal medical research; non-intoxicating and synergistic.
- 0.2 mg/g THC
If it were an isolate or synthetic version of CBD, you wouldn’t see that spread because of the costs associated with extraction + liquid chromatography, or separating and then custom mixing specific amounts of cannabinoids.
- The pellets come with specific amounts of full spectrum hemp extract/CBD per serving so you have complete control over intake.
- Hemp for Fitness offers pellets flavored with molasses for taste, or a powdered form without the sweetness removed which can be mixed in with other foods.
- Do some homework! Over the next couple years conventional clinical research will likely be released BOTH supporting and refuting anecdotal findings of people like us giving varying types and potencies of hemp CBD to their horses and seeing fantastic results.
Yes, your horse has an ECS. And yes, just like your body would it can/may use extra cannabinoids from hemp (the body treats them like endocannabinoids) to produce positive results, but nothing is certain. However, as long as you know it’s a clean toxin-free product, there’s almost zero risk of harm.
While Hemp for Fitness stands behind its products along with stringent lab-testing to ensure potency and purity, they cannot make ANY medical promises. No doctors can either. Please be sure to consult with your holistic veterinarian regarding the usage of hemp-based CBD (vs. sources from psychoactive cannabis) to suit the horse’s individual needs.
Basic Dosage Information
Again, there’s almost no conventional or clinical information on any kind of universal dosage method per weight, breed type, physiological issue, etc. There will be as the industry progresses, but for now, here’s a very rough outline to follow when you’re just getting started with a horse:
- Miniature: <350lbs = 10 mg
- Pony: <900lbs = 20 mg
- Horse: <1500lbs = 50 mg
- XL/Draft: >1500lbs = 65 mg
One universal recommendation even for us humans is to start small with perhaps a portion of any suggested dose you can slowly ramp up to whatever degree needed or to see if there’s any real benefit. Again, generally speaking you can administer hemp CBD horse pellets twice a day with roughly 6-8 hours between. Or, you may find you increase it to three times a day when issues come up that need to be more readily addressed.
It’s all rather subjective though when you begin browsing available customer reviews and testimonials online. One barrel horse might use x-amount to get over their hesitations, while another uses x-amount. For your horse, maybe just one serving a few hours before a competition will do the trick, there’s no way of knowing until you try.
Hemp for Fitness sells Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Horse Pellets for both private customers, as well those interested in wholesale and distribution. Custom orders are welcomed. And again, there’s the powdered form as well if that makes life easier. Their team is at the ready to answer any questions as best they can, so don’t hesitate to reach out or leave a comment under this article. In fact, if you have any experiences using CBD with your horses and would like to share in a comment it’s highly encouraged and will help a lot of horse-loving seekers like you.