CBD for Horses: How and Why It Works

People first began turning to animals for companionship and help with their workloads thousands of years ago. Over time, the bond between humans and animals continually evolved. From the beginning, people did what they could to help their animals through emotional and medical crises. Veterinary medicine didn’t officially become an industry until the 1700s, though. Since then, countless medications have been developed for pets and working animals alike. Many of them are geared specifically toward horses.

Although most of those medications help ease common equine ailments, many are synthetic and can cause uncomfortable or dangerous side effects. Some of them only offer minimal relief at best. With this in mind, veterinarians and horse owners are increasingly turning to a time-tested, natural remedy. Reports show a great deal of promise for CBD for horses and indicate this long-running herbal supplement may be one of the most versatile treatments available.

How CBD Works

For millennia, healers have been using cannabis as a treatment for countless conditions. They initially understood very little about how the drug actually worked. They simply knew it helped with a wide range of sicknesses and symptoms. It wasn’t until 1992 that scientists discovered why people and animals react positively to CBD and other cannabinoids.

Living creatures have an internal mechanism known as the endocannabinoid system. Horses, as well as humans and other animals, naturally produce neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids. One of the most abundant of these is anandamide. Those chemicals interact with receptors in the endocannabinoid system to generate various physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Digging Deeper

Though studies of the endocannabinoid system are still in their infantile stages, scientists have made a few surprising discoveries about this mechanism and its interactions with cannabis. They now know the endocannabinoid system helps regulate a wide range of bodily functions, such as memory, sleep, mood, and pain perception. CBD doesn’t have quite the same molecular structure as anandamide and other endocannabinoids, but it happens to fit perfectly into the body’s endocannabinoid receptors. As such, it elicits many of the same responses as natural endocannabinoids.

CBD has long been used to treat a variety of conditions in humans. These include pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and glaucoma to name a few. Studies show CBD can also have a similar effect in horses without producing the same harmful side effects as many of the synthetic equine medications on the market.