Hemp with CBD for horses

Hemp with CBD for horses
Hemp products with CBD for horses, there are plenty of horse owners who swear by them. Not surprisingly, according to research, these products are becoming increasingly popular among horse owners.

What is CBD?
Numerous substances called cannabinoids occur naturally in the hemp plant. One of these cannabinoids is cannabidiol, better known as CBD. Unlike another well-known cannabinoid, THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties, is not addictive and does not cause hallucinations. In addition, it is good to know that hemp products for horses, containing the naturally present CBD, are produced from European permitted hemp varieties specially selected for their low THC content (<0.2%.

What CBD does to the body
Both humans and animals have a so-called endocannabinoid system (ECS). This biological system can be seen as a control system of the body and is universally constructed in mammals. However, small differences can exist between species, but also within species, which means that not all animals react in exactly the same way.

The ECS consists of a combination of receptors and substances that influence these receptors and can activate or deactivate them. The receptors can be divided into 2 types, CB1 and CB2, and are mainly concentrated in the brain and nervous system (type CB1) and in the cells of the immune system and organs (type CB2), see also figure below. The substances that can activate the receptors can be the body's own substances, the so-called endocannabinoids, but research has shown that certain substances from plants, the cannabinoids, such as CBD from the hemp plant, can also influence these receptors.

Research has shown that the ECS affects stress response, immune system, appetite, body temperature, energy metabolism, brain function, anxiety, reproduction, nervous system and analgesia, among others. The main function of the ECS is to keep the body in balance. If the body's own endocannabinoids are deficient, the balance of the ECS can be disturbed. To bring the ECS back into balance, it can be supported by providing cannabinoids from outside. Research has shown that hemp products containing CBD are generally safe to use by humans and animals.

Figures on CBD support
Further scientific research is needed to clarify the exact mechanism behind the interactions of cannabinoids like CBD from the hemp plant with the body. Consequently, more and more research is being conducted on the effects of cannabidiol (CBD). In an unpublished study, 30 horses in 3 different stables were given a hemp product containing CBD. When the horses' owners were asked for feedback, they reported that the product had a relaxing effect and that it supported their horse's mobility. Most telling was that by the end of the study, most horse owners did not want to stop providing the hemp product with CBD.

This is in line with previous results, where the relaxing effect was described in cases where horses were exposed to new or stressful situations, such as transport or visits to a vet or farrier. In addition, other studies also show that providing hemp products with CBD can be related to smooth movement and support of joint function.

It should be noted that at the time of writing (01-12-2022), all hemp products are on the doping list, making these products unsuitable for horses participating in competitions.

Sources: Brightfield Group; In: Pets International (2022) Cital et al. (2020) De Petrocellis et al. (2004) Di Marzo et al. (2005) Gamble et al. (2018) Hartsel et al. (2019) Lutz et al. (2015) Silver (2019) Silver (ongepubliceerd; In: Hartsel et al. (2019)) Luedke & Wilhelm (2021)