You might well already be aware of cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD) and its increasing popularity in holistic therapy. The stigma of products derived from hemp plants is more and more a thing of the past, and the health benefits of CBD oil for humans, and even for common domestic animals like cats and dogs, are being widely accepted.

But did you know that it can be an effective treatment not just for smaller, furrier pets, but also for horses?

In this article we’ll walk through the various treatments and therapies CBD can be used for in horses, what the main benefits it can have for your equine pals are, and how to use it safely.

Looking to buy CBD for your horse? Check out Canna-Pet. They have potency strong enough for our horse friends.

Is CBD safe for horses?

CBD has been found to help with a variety of ailments in animals, and horses are no exception.

The makeup of a horse’s internal systems are surprisingly similar to humans: they also have an endocannabinoid system and produce endocannabinoids naturally, just as we do. And dogs do as well.

Studies into CBD’s impact on animals are, at the moment, limited, but there are plenty of vets, scientists and medical professionals who recommend its use.

We are not Veterinarians, and this is not intended as medical advice of any kind. Always consult with your licensed Veterinarian.

Given horses are far larger than other pets, and larger even than humans, I would only use CBD oils designed specifically for horses. In my research, the overwhelming advice is to go with CBD oils, however balms/sprays do seem to be effective too, for joint inflammations or similar problems. There are also feeds with CBD added for horses.

How should you use CBD oil for horses?

Horses are extremely active animals, and one of the best uses of CBD oil for them is to treat arthritis and joint inflammation. Prescription painkillers for these ailments tend to have unwanted side effects in horses, but CBD oil can reduce swelling and numb pain, without unpleasant or dangerous side effects.

There are, of course, a wide variety of conditions that CBD can help with in horses, just as there are in humans and in other animals. Things like anxiety, stress, digestion, low appetite, bowel problems and even cancer are common to all creatures, and horses can benefit specifically from using CBD oil in cases of colic, laminitis and desmitis.

As CBD becomes more popular and accepted as a treatment for animals as well as humans, there are a number of oils designed specifically for pets. In the course of researching CBD, I’ve discovered that HempMy Pet and Canna-Pet are the two most recommended brands, with both making an oil designed specifically for horses.

As you would imagine, horses need far higher doses than cats and dogs, and both these brands provide detailed advice on dosage by weight.

Dosing obviously depends hugely on weight, but also age and breed, and as such it’s hard to give hard and fast advice on how to dose accurately.

I’ve found veterinarians recommend around 40-80 mg a day for general health, 100-200 mg for chronic pain, and around 80 mg for anxiety or ulcers.

It is worth starting low, and stepping up the dose over time, and of course consulting with holistic vets before starting any course of treatment.

What can CBD be used for?

CBD’s effects do take a bit of time to show themselves, so don’t worry if you don’t see results overnight, and stay consistent with your dosing, raising it gently and slowly until you find the right level. Horses’ physiology differs enormously, so it’s hard to make definitive statements about what you are likely to see, but here are a few things

I’ve found that CBD oil can help with:

  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Inflammation
  • Colic
  • Laminitis
  • Desmitis
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Allergies and skin conditions
  • Digestive health
  • Anxiety

Are there side effects?

Using CBD oil is considered to be extremely safe for horses. The chances of any negative side effects are very small. As I mentioned before, getting the dose right is important, but in general there is nothing to worry about. There is a very small chance that your horse might experience some mild sedation, depression, or agitation. If you do see any unusual behaviour during treatment, it’s best to consult your vet immediately.

It is really important, however, only to give your horse THC-free CBD oil. As long as you avoid CBD derived from marijuana, or reintroduced to THC, then there is no psychoactive element to CBD oils, and there’s no possibility of your horse getting high (or experiencing other negative side effects).

Is CBD Legal For Horses?

Yes – in all 50 states CBD is federally legal in all 50 states as long as the THC content is less than 0.3%.

Unfortunately there is still a stigma around products derived from cannabis plants. However, the most important element when it comes to legality is the level of THC.

CBD oil designed for medicinal use should have a THC concentration of less than 0.3%, which means that it is not psychoactive, and is not classified as a controlled substance.

This has two upsides – that CBD oil is legal to use to treat your equine friends, and that it won’t end up getting them high! It goes without saying, of course, that it is essential to check everything you purchase to ensure that you are using the right products, but there should be no legal issues using CBD oil whatsoever.

Dos and don’ts

  • Do some research into the recommended dosage, and how much oil you are meant to give to your horse. If you aren’t certain, check with a holistic vet.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t see benefits overnight. Be patient, sometimes things take time.
  • Do make sure you get as much info as you can before buying any CBD products.
  • Don’t buy CBD oil that contains THC.
  • Do ensure the oil you use is 100% natural, lab-tested, soy-free and non-GMO.

What is CBD oil?

There are well over 100 active compounds found in cannabis plants. The most famous (or infamous!) of these is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is found in highest concentration in marijuana.

CBD is another active compound, but one that – unlike THC – contains no psychoactive elements, so doesn’t result in a ‘high’.

It can, however, have a huge variety of health benefits and uses. CBD oil is derived from hemp plants (which have a much lower concentration of THC), and forms a liquid with a very high concentration of CBD.

What is CBD used for?

Research and medical studies into the practical uses of CBD in therapy and treatment are more and more common. Studies show that the use of CBD can effectively relieve pain, and help with a range of issues from depression, stress, and anxiety all the way to bowel disease and cancer.

In fact, the more studies that the medical and scientific professions undertake, the more CBD is seen as a effective alternative to traditional treatments for a large variety of ailments.

The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which have an impact on a number of bodily functions such as the immune system, mood, pain and sleep. In the same way as with vitamin supplements, taking CBD oil helps stimulate the endocannabinoid system, and enhances the effects of the naturally occurring compounds present in our bodies.


CBD oil is an excellent alternative therapy for a number of ailments in horses, and has some wonderful benefits for general good health as well. As the stigma surround cannabis-based treatments subsides, and alternative medicines grow in popularity and reputation, I have no hesitation in strongly recommending CBD oil as a fantastic option in caring for your horse!

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