CBD for Horses: A Pharmacist's Opinion

cbd for horses

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Have you heard about CBD or marijuana products?

Given the massive increase in the production, sale, and variety of these products over the past few years it would be surprising if you hadn't !
More and more consumers and pet owners are hearing about CBD and wondering if the things they hear are true.
Have you heard about CBD's benefits? Better sleep, less anxiety, pain relief, decreased inflammation, and improved appetite?
All without the "high" provided by the THC part of the hemp plant!
CBD has been most studied to have these benefits in humans. Many of them are substantiated by serious research.
But do the benefits also extend to horses?
The evidence for most indications studied so far says yes!

What Are The Benefits of CBD In Horses?

CBD has been studied to show several different benefits in horses.

Studies show that it can help with skittishness and anxiety (including during transport), pain, discomfort associated with injury recovery, and inflammation.

According to Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine, CBD is also useful to treat colitis and other problems of the gut.

CBD has been noted to work for anxiety in humans and horses:

"...cannabidiol is known to be a potent anxiolytic in humans. An anxiolytic effect has been repeatedly observed in horses receiving CBD therapy...Common uses of CBD as a calming aid for horses include trailering, clipping, working during rehab from an injury, introducing horses to a new barn, clinics, and for veterinary or farrier appointments."

It also works for pain:

"notable improvement in baseline lameness scores and response to flexion has been achieved using 0.25–1 mg/kg CBD every 24 h[ours]".

And colitis:

"Colitis in horses is another painful and significant disease process which seems to be highly responsive to CBD therapy. Equine clinicians should consider cannabinoid therapy for cases of chronic colitis or inflammatory bowel disease, especially in those patients who cannot tolerate systemic corticosteroid therapy."

-Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine

If your horse is suffering from pain, anxiety or skittishness, or simply older and needing support to show the same vigor, consider using CBD as part of an integrative approach to help your horse regain their healthy, active self again!

Safety and Side Effects of CBD In Horses

The books and studies published on CBD in horses say that CBD by itself is safe to use in horses .
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is different from tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in that it provides benefits without a "high." This THC "high" leads to most of the side effects associated with hemp extracts.
Studies on CBD without THC show very few side effects in humans, dogs, or horses.
Broad-spectrum CBD extracts have no THC .
THC-free extracts are used in horses extensively without any apparent negative health effects.
That's why you'll see the term broad spectrum used when we talk about our hemp extract.
Full spectrum extracts contain higher THC and are more likely to cause unwanted side effects .
"The use of high doses of THC in horses has not been pursued due to possible unwanted side effects (e.g. ataxia, neurological abnormalities, increased anxiety, etc.) and legal concerns ." - Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine
Low dose THC is sometimes used for horses needing very high doses of CBD. Relievet's highest-potency horse CBD oils do contain trace amounts of THC.
We believe this is an evidence-based approach, providing the best safety and efficacy.
Lastly , you'll see we use MCT oil as the carrier in our CBD horse products. This is for two main reasons:
  • MCT oil works well to keep CBD stable compared to other oils.
  • MCT oil is the part of coconut oil that stays liquid at room temperature. Coconut oil is an alternative energy source for horses. It's safe and good for them!

Best CBD Product To Use In Horses

In general, Relievet prefers the use of CBD oils over any sort of CBD treat or pellet. Our MCT oil formulation can help move the CBD extract through the the lining of the inside of the mouth and directly into the bloodstream .
What does this mean? More of the dose gets into your horse and is used . If the horse swallows the dose, some of it is lost in poop and some is lost in first-pass metabolism. First-pass metabolism means the liver breaks things down as they are absorbed from the gut befpre they can work in the rest of the body, including CBD !
Oils can also be dosed more precisely than treats or pellets. Relievet offers weight-based oils specific for different weight ranges. Our dosing system makes it easy to be accurate.
It's a lot easier to transport large amounts of CBD in a small bottle of oil than in pellets. The same amount of CBD in pellets would be a pretty large bag! This means you can take the large amount of CBD for even big horses in a container convenient for a shirt pocket or purse .
When you need it, you'll have it.
Lastly , if giving your horse a dose in oil based format doesn't work well, you can always put the oil in a small amount of food . You may need to experiment with higher doses doing this -- as mentioned, some of the dose will be lost in the gut.
Work with your veterinarian to come up with a safe, effective dose for your horse.

How Much CBD Should I Give My Horse?

Relievet products come with dosing instructions for 1-2mg/kg . This is in line with most studies for most animals.
Horses can be more sensitive to CBD than dogs, and may need lower starting doses. That said, veterinary professionals have studied horses on much higher doses without harm.
We always recommend working with a veterinarian to establish the best dosing regimen. Every animal is different! If you aren't sure where to start, 1mg/kg is a reasonable dose for most conditions.

Where Can I Buy the Best CBD Products for Horses?

We know that selling honest product based on the evidence is the way to do business. Our products follow published studies, and we make every one of our products in small batches under close supervision . We embrace oversight and industry standards:
  • Our production facility is registered with the FDA.
  • Our CBD horse extract is USDA certified organic.
  • We pay for and provide third party Certificates of Analysis for all our products.
You can verify our certificates of analysis for every lot of Relievet Horse CBD Oil and see the quality for yourself !


CBD shows clear promise of benefits for horses.
If you need help in helping to manage your horse's anxiety, discomfort, pain, colitis, or other gut issues, let Relievet CBD help .
Peer-reviewed studies show that well-made formulations like ours are safe.
We hope you give our products a try with your horses and look forward to answering any questions you have!