CBD for Horses? Really?
Nervousness, stress, anxiety, and joint pain are medical conditions that impact both humans and animals alike. Most medications that treat these conditions have a long list of associated risks and side-effects that have sparked a shift towards alternate medication. This is being done in an attempt to get similar relief as pharmaceutical drugs, but with lower to no side-effects after treatment.
With this change of attitude, cannabis and its derivatives are increasingly gaining the limelight. Lately, this natural cannabinoid source is being hailed for its medicinal properties and therapeutic effects for a wide range of health conditions.
What’s even more interesting to note is the fact that even the veterinary sector is willing to try the option. Dog owners have sworn by cannabis for soothing anxiety in their furry friends. There are accounts of dogs remaining calm and not getting agitated with the sound of fireworks during the 4th of July for example.
Similarly, CBD is also being hailed as an effective alternative medication for horses. Yes, you read it right, horses! How do you ask? Well here’s the answer to the question:
How Does CBD Interact With The ECS?
All vertebrates, and even some invertebrates, have a special regulatory system in their bodies that goes by the name of the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is extremely important for regulating a number of physiological functions like stress, anxiety, appetite, inflammation, and pain. While other bodily functions focus on specialized processes, the jurisdiction of the ECS is very vast. It works to keep a balance between all bodily functions, ensure their smooth functioning, and help the body attain homeostasis.
Primarily, the ECS is composed of three important components: cannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that are produced naturally by the body to help regulate the ECS. When the ECS does not function smoothly, introducing important components like cannabinoids, exogenously into the system can help restore its function.
This is where the cannabis plant comes into the picture.
In alternate medicine, cannabinoids are readily obtained from the cannabis plant in the form of THC and CBD. As soon as these cannabinoid compounds come into contact with the receptors present in the ECS, their therapeutic magic begins.
Since horses are also vertebrates, they have a fully functional ECS the science behind which is exactly as just explained. Here are some instances where administering CBD to horses can be beneficial for their healthy well-being.
What Does CBD Have In-store For Horses?
Before moving on to the number of conditions CBD can soothe in horses, it is worth mentioning again that CBD is non-toxic. Although its close family member THC can exert some psychoactive impacts on the users, CBD is absolutely safe in this regard.
So without any further ado, let’s take a look at how CBD can help horses get relief.
CBD Relieves Chronic Pain
Arthritis is a very common and painful condition that attacks horses, especially the older ones. At its roots, arthritis is caused due to an inflammation of the joints. The pain becomes chronic when the immune system is not able to soothe it in due course of time. CBD is full of anti-inflammatory properties that enable it to calm down joint pains. It targets the inflammation that’s causing the discomfort, making the horse feel dandy again.
Helps to Calm Down Anxiety
Imagine being the center of attention between hundreds of people, surrounded by loud music and different sounds. Without a doubt, these circumstances will make you a little anxious if not more.
Anxiety for horses can stem from a number of situations. Being herd animals, horses require companionship to feel secure. They will feel comfortable grazing all day, eating small amounts of food. Putting these animals away from their instinctive needs can trigger their anxiety.
Therefore in situations that can carry probable anxiety triggers, CBD can be of great help. It regulates serotonin levels in the body, which can help manage anxiety effectively in horses.
Relives Colic Pain
“Any horse has the ability to experience colic,” states Dr. Michael N. Fugaro. “The disorder is indiscriminate of age, sex, breed, occupation, or environment.”
Classic signs of colic include loss of appetite, lethargy, and pawing. If not addressed at the right time, colic in horses gets bad enough to require surgery. Using CBD not only soothes the symptoms of colic but may also prevent the ailment from happening. In addition to this, CBD can also address other digestive issues in horses.