What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a tincture made from the compound known as cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the active compounds present in cannabis, and it possesses numerous healing properties for both humans and animals.
It's important to note that CBD does not have any psychoactive effects on its users. The compound in cannabis that gives users a high is the infamous tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is the compound that has made the herb popular for recreational use.
Not only does CBD not have any psychoactive properties, but if you purchase a high-quality CBD product, it will never have come into contact with THC.
CBD oil is a highly concentrated form of the compound made by placing a solvent (like alcohol or olive oil) on the surface of a hemp plant. This solvent then makes its way through the plant, absorbing CBD along the way. The solvent is then extracted from the plant, and what you are left with is a high concentration of CBD in an all natural, non-toxic form that is safe for use with animals and humans.
There’s some controversy around cannabis products like CBD oil because of recreational marijuana use. But there’s growing awareness about the possible health benefits of CBD oil.
Why is it so Popular?
It has been discovered that ALL people and animals (with the exception of insects) have an endocannaboid system throughout the body which provide receptors for these medicinal compounds. This indicates that the body has an innate ability to process, metabolize, and utilize cannabis. And, it means that CBD oil has the potential to help many different body systems and organs including the digestive system, cardiovascular health, the immune system, the musculo-skeletal system, and the brain and nervous system.
How Does it Work?
CBD helps regulate the user's mood, sleep cycle, appetite, immunity, and pain levels. It does this by stimulating cannabinoid receptors in your brain and supplementing your ECS system. This system is responsible for various aspects of your health. CBD that comes from hemp strains of cannabis are THC-free, so they give you the health benefits of the plant without any psychoactive effects. Humans, cats, dogs, as well as birds, reptiles, and mammals, share this system, which is why they are all able to benefit from the effects of CBD.
CBD oils act like a traditional vitamin supplement. In the same way that taking a Vitamin E supplement will boost your heart and skin health by increasing your body's Vitamin E supply, CBD oils give your overall health a boost by giving your ECS system cannabidiol to stimulate your cannabinoid receptors. Even though you may be hesitant at the idea of giving your horse CBD due to the stigma around cannabis, it isn't much different than giving them a standard vitamin.
What Are the Benefits?
CBD oil is able to help manage a large variety of health issues in horses. While most of the research on this compound has been conducted on people, cats, and dogs, each day there are more and more studies looking into the benefits it can have for horses and other animals.
CBD Oil can safely be used for those horses who are afflicted with pain, inflammation, stiffness, sluggish digestion, anxiety, and those horses with chronic stress. Use it for horses on stall-rest, horses with herd-bound issues, high stress levels, chronic illness, and sore joints or muscles. CBD Oil also has a beneficial effect on various immune problems as well. CBD Oil can promote a sense of greater physical, mental, and emotional relaxation and wellbeing for horses who have the following health conditions:
Can Horses Have CBD Oil?
If your horse is suffering from any of the above conditions or leads an active and demanding lifestyle, you may be considering using CBD oil to improve your horse's quality of life.
CBD is generally believed to be completely safe for most animals. However, before giving your horse any new medication, it's important to make an educated and informed decision about whether or not it's right for your animal's routine.
The best way to determine if CBD oil is right for your horse is to consult with your local holistic vet, especially if you have taken your pet to that vet before.
They'll be able to properly assess your pet's lifestyle and give you advice on whether or not they should take CBD, how much they should take, how to introduce it to them, and more.
This is especially important if your horse is already on a medication, as mixing medications without consulting a vet can have serious consequences.
You shouldn't give CBD oil to a horse that is pregnant or nursing since the CBD compound could transfer to the newborn foal.
What Are the Side Effects?
The chances of CBD harming your pet are exceedingly small. Like any form of medication, CBD oil can have a negative impact on your horse if improper dosages are administered. You should only give your horse THC-free CBD oil.
THC is toxic to some animals, so always opt for pure, high-quality CBD supplements. Never give your horse marijuana directly. Some of the negative side effects that could occur include lethargy, depression, agitation, or other unusual behaviors. If you notice any of these symptoms, stop giving them CBD supplement and speak to your vet before continuing to manage your horse's health with CBD.
How Does CBD Oil Differ From Hemp Seeds, Oil, and Protein?
Hemp oil and seeds have been readily available for many years and are harvested from industrial (not medicinal) hemp which contains no CBD’s or medicinal properties. However, they are used for their nutritional benefits. The seeds are the most nutritious part of the plant and they are high in protein, various minerals, and healthy fats. Hemp seeds and their oils are considered to be the perfect balance of omega-3 (linolenic acid) and omega-6 (linoleic acid). This is important since most feeds and many vegetable oils contain too much omega-6 causing inflammation and immune problems.
Hemp oil is extracted from the seed but should not be used in excess or for long-term since horses are not anatomically or physiologically designed to digest and metabolize excess oils, despite marketing claims.
Hemp protein is what is left over after the oil is extracted from the hemp seeds. The remaining seed meal is then processed into a powder. It is relatively high in protein and contains a lot of fibre. To keep the oils fresh keep both the seeds and the oils refrigerated.
What Does the Science Say?
CBD supplements have burst onto the scene so quickly, the excitement surrounding the product hasn’t allowed enough time for the science to really catch up. Researchers are just beginning to test the long-term effects on horses, so we can’t 100 percent know all the side effects and potential dangers. That's why it's important to always consult with a veterinarian and do your own research before trying out any new supplement.
"CBD products have been pushed to consumers as being extremely effective in horses to treat a variety of medical issues from behavior to analgesia,” says Dr. Kent Allen, DVM, the lead veterinarian at Virginia Equine Imaging. “Even if some of these claims have some validity, the science is lacking. In the U.S., the production of hemp products is not regulated and efficacy claims are not evaluated by the FDA. CBD oil and related products are prohibited by the FEI and USEF. ... the use of these products in horses is done at the consumers own risk."
It is important to note that CBD oil can only help with the symptoms of the conditions above, not cure them. You should not use CBD as a cure for serious health issues. And while there aren't many (if any) scientific studies for the affects and benefits of CBD oil for horses specifically, some equestrians think the risk is worth the reward. Despite the unknowns, there is obvious support for the possible benefits of using CBD oil as a supplement. We recommend doing more research into some other scientific studies done with humans and dogs to better educate yourself before making a decision to try this new and promising supplement with your horse.
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