We often talk about CBD for dogs and cats, probably because they’re the most common pets in American households. We’ve even talked about our research with tigers and pythons.
But did you know that horses also benefit from CBD, for a variety of reasons? Yes, our equine friends can also get CBD on the regular.
So, we’ve covering those big beasts today! And it’s important not only to talk about how CBD can help our horses, but also to provide a little guidance on CBD dosing for horses.
CBD for Our Equine Friends
We’ll start by saying that while there is very little research specifically on CBD for horses, the available data (and our own experience) shows that CBD stimulates the horse’s endocannabinoid system (ES) the same way it stimulates our own.
The ES regulates and helps maintain balance within the central nervous system. A few of the functions it regulates include:
- Appetite and digestion
- Immune function
- Temperament and mood
- Pain and inflammation
Because of this, horse owners are turning to CBD as an alternative treatment for many common equine medical conditions. We’ve seen incredible results working with different horses with such issues as:
- gastric ulcers
CBD vs. Phenylbutazone (Bute)
From our own experience, one of the most important applications of CBD for horse health and wellness is its use for equine arthritis.
Currently, for pain relief, horse owners typically turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), more specifically, Phenylbutazone (Bute). Bute is cheap, and it’s effective for reducing the swelling and pain caused by inflammation, especially with regard to arthritis.
However, Bute also causes NSAID Toxicosis, with symptoms and side effects ranging from ulcers to bone density issues. The GI tract and kidneys are most commonly affected by NSAID toxicity.
And not just with long term use – studies show that even short term use can result in these undesirable side effects.
Thankfully, CBD has been shown to have none of these side effects, and toxicity is not an issue. It offers a far more sustainable alternative, one that is safe for long term use.
[RELATED] We’ve worked with countless equines over the years. Here’s just one story where CBD saved the day.
CBD Dosing for Horses
There are a few different things to consider when it comes to CBD dosing for horses.
To start, like humans, dosage is based on weight. A good baseline is 0.1 to 0.2 mgs per pound of body weight, 0.1 as a starting point, and working up to 0.2 for more serious cases.
- Minis (400-660 lbs) — 25 to 75 mg
- Full-sized (660-1110 lbs) — 75 to 200 mg
- Large breeds (1100-1800) — 120 to 250 mg
So, how much is that, exactly?
Well, here’s what we’d recommend with our tinctures. For our 2000mg Equine Tincture, each dropper offers 66.6 mg. So, for a horse weighing 1000lbs, you could start with 1-2 droppers a day, divided up for am and pm.
Give this dose for a few days to give your horse time to adjust, and to assess the results. Then, you can work up to a bit higher dose over time if you think it’s required.
You also want to consider the condition or symptoms you’re giving the CBD for.
For more serious cases, you might opt for the 5000mg tincture, which offers 166mg per dropper. You could start with 1 dropper per day and work up, adjusting, again, according to your horse’s weight and what’s working.
How to Give Your Horse CBD
When you start giving your horse CBD, make sure you start low and increase the dose gradually. Starting with a low CBD dose allows you to track your horse’s progress and adjust the dose when you start to see benefits.
We’ve found that giving the dose directly into the mouth, under your horse’s tongue, works best. This way the CBD is absorbed by the mucous membranes and doesn’t have to be work its way through the digestive tract, meaning it gets to work faster.
If that doesn’t work, you can also add it to their food.
In our opinion, CBD is the future of health and wellness for our horses. With research in the works, we’ll keep you updated.
*CBD is safe for horses, but if you have any concerns about using it, or about specific CBD dosing for horses with specific health conditions, speak to your trusted veterinarian for more guidance.