A CBD oil product successfully reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in horses being transported.
The study was carried out at Tarleton University, a member of the Texas A&M university system, on a commercial product made by HempMy Pet.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-intoxicating and one of many phytochemicals found in the Cannabis-sativa plant.
Tarleton used the company’s Full Spectrum Abacus CBD oil on horses to determine whether it might have a role in mediating stressors, reducing injury risk during transport and handling, and minimizing overstimulation of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, commonly called the HPA axis.
The research showed that higher doses of CBD (.6mg per kilogram of body weight) were more effective overall compared to lower doses of CBD (.3mg per kilogram of body weight).
In both dosages, CBD was non-detectable after 24 hours, with the highest blood concentration levels peaking four hours after the dose was given.
There was no difference observed in the effects of CBD in male and female horses, but there was an increase in feed eating times at both the low and higher CBD dosages. The higher dosage was seen to have a much longer feed time compared to the lower dosage.
The research showed there was a decrease in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the transportation portion of the study, and that there were no long-lasting effects of the CBD at either dose level.
Environmental stressors such as handling, transport, and housing can affect aspects of a horse’s behavior, such as weight gain and feed efficiency, in addition to stimulating stereotypic behaviors, such as bar biting, self-mutilation, and excessive aggression.
CBD has been shown to decrease anxiety from a variety of stimuli in previous studies of both dogs and mice, and researchers were buoyed to see similar results with horses.
Dr Kimberly Guay, an associate professor in Tarleton’s equine science department, has been investigating CBD use in animals, including horses. “My research goals are to perform as many projects as necessary to better understand the physiological and behavioral responses of animals when they consume CBD and hemp processing byproducts such as hempseed meal.
“It is important to recognize the differences in these products so that we can categorize and utilize them in safe and useful ways.
“There is still much to be done, and we will continue to fill in the blanks that remain regarding these products in our animals.”
Guay praised HempMy Pet for making what she termed a responsible and conscientious decision to subject their products to unbiased analysis.
HempMy Pet co-founder and chief operating officer Natalie Mondine said the Tarleton work was the second clinical trial involving the company, but the first it has done with horses. She said the company was pleased with the results.
“Being approached by Tarleton University to collaborate on a study was very exciting for us, as it shows that the interest in the therapeutic benefits of hemp are valid and have a real future in medicine.
“If we look at the science and data behind all of the research that has been done so far, it’s impossible to ignore that CBD and hemp derivatives have an overwhelmingly positive effect on a myriad of health concerns and are a real alternative to pharmaceuticals.”
HempMy Pet offers CBD-infused products for dogs, cats, and horses. All are made with its in-house, full-spectrum oil grown in Colorado greenhouses.