Equine dosage for cbd oil

Is CBD Safe For Horses? The Ultimate Guide to Equine CBD

If you’re considering giving your horse CBD, there are a few important things you should know. Find out how to use CBD with your horse safely & effectively.

Article By

You care more about your horse than anyone else. So, when she started turning down food due to pain — you decided to try something different and have been looking into using CBD with your horse.

The truth is, you’re not alone.

More and more equestrians give their horses CBD these days for chronic pain, inflammation, and a host of other symptoms.

Recent evidence shows that CBD is safe, non-toxic, and non-addictive, and safe for animals — including horses.

If you’ve been thinking about giving your horse CBD, keep reading for tips on calculating an effective dose. We’ll also cover how to stay safe when giving CBD supplements to horses and discuss the different ways of administering CBD to your trusty steed.

Table of Contents

Best CBD Oils for Horses

First and foremost, what are the best CBD oils to use for horses?

The truth is that you don’t actually need a specific oil for horses. All CBD oil will work for horses just as they do for humans, and spending extra money on horse-specific products will only serve to markup the price.

The main factor to consider is the size of the animal. Horses are huge animals and may require relatively high doses of CBD. For this reason, we recommend going for some of the higher potency options when it comes to dosing your horse.

Here’s a collection of the best high-potency CBD oils on the market that are safe to use with horses:

    (Best Overall) (USA)

Why Are People Using CBD With Horses?

Horse-owners use CBD to support the horse’s well-being. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects may help horses manage symptoms of common ailments, including:

That said, CBD is not used to “cure” common conditions in horses but to improve the animal’s quality of life. CBD in horses is also used to aid natural metabolic processes and speed recovery after a big day of exercise.

CBD may support horses in the following areas of health:

Some companies make specific CBD pet oils for arthritis or other chronic health conditions. These products are formulated with various other ingredients to help with a specific symptom or condition. You can find CBD pet oils for cancer, epilepsy, anxiety, and more.

Most of these formulas are marketed for dogs because there are many more dog owners than horse owners — but these oils are perfectly safe for both animals. Just be aware that the dose for a horse will be a lot higher than a dose for a dog.

Is CBD Safe For Horses?

Horses, like humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) — which functions as a regulatory system in the body to maintain homeostasis (balance) of many different areas.

Some basic functions of the ECS include regulating digestion, sleep, appetite, inflammation, mood, immune function, temperature, memory, and more.

Although there are no horse-specific studies involving CBD — most of the research performed on both humans and animals shows that CBD is non-toxic and non-addictive [1].

In fact, even when administered in higher doses, CBD is well-tolerated by both humans and animals.

Some common side effects of CBD in animals include diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth — all of which are mild in nature and tend to only result from using very high doses.

CBD May Help Your Horse When Nothing Else is Working

Many times, both hemp CBD and marijuana are used as a last resort for horses with painful chronic conditions.

One example of marijuana use in horses is Tori, a 16-year-old Paso Fino with equine melanoma. When Tori’s owner got the news of the horse’s probable euthanasia, she decided to turn to cannabis as the last option.

So, over the course of a few years, Tori’s owner used cannabis oil (a mix of 6% THC and 11.7% CBD) to keep her alive. Luckily, cannabis had a great long-term effect on Tori.

“Update from 2020: Tori’s tumors continue to look good, and she continues passing full rectums of manure nearing 3 years after it was first proposed to euthanize her for bowel blockage.”

Now, we wouldn’t recommend you give your horse marijuana without consulting a vet, but Tori’s story’s message is that cannabis won’t hurt your horse if used responsibly.

In fact, one veterinarian is making a case for the responsible use of THC in animals by comparing it to common pain medications. The logic behind that is that if you give your animal the minimum lethal dose of THC (3000 mg/kg for dogs), the animal will experience the same intoxication as if it accidentally ate an entire bottle of pain meds.

Now, back to hemp CBD.

Another horse owner decided to give hemp CBD pellets to his horse post-colic surgery. When the owner noticed that one scoop of CBD pellets twice a day didn’t show any results, he increased the dosage to two scoops twice a day and noticed a “huge difference.”

“His lingering edema almost completely went away within a few weeks, and he’s been moving so much more forward and pain-free. People are amazed at how quickly he’s bouncing back in under saddle work now.”

Furthermore, one case report found that 250 mg of pure crystalline cannabidiol administered by mouth twice daily helped a 4-year-old Quarter Horse with a 5-week history of “marked sensitivity to touch” — when traditional meds showed no improvement in clinical signs. When the animal started taking CBD, the clinical signs resolved after two just days [2].

Dosing Guidelines: How Much CBD Should I Give My Horse?

Now, the most important part is, “How much CBD should I give my horse?”

Animals are more sensitive to CBD — horses in particular. According to Dr. Luedke, a veterinarian and leading expert on CBD for horses, Horses require lower and less frequent doses of CBD than other animals.

Dr. Leudke stated that horses need longer dosing intervals than other species and seem to be more sensitive on the “per kilogram” dosing model.

For example, if a CBD dose of 1-2 milligrams per kilogram works well for dogs, horses need a lower dose — ranging from 0.25-1 milligrams per kilogram.

Horses’ sensitivity to CBD may or may not be attributed to how they digest food. As hindgut (large intestine) fermenters, horses get most of their energy through fermentation, not digestion like other animals do.

According to Kentucky Equine Research, simple things such as “feeding too much grain, improper ratios of forage and grain, or moldy forage or grain” can wreak havoc on the equine digestive system. This sensitivity may make horses more susceptible to CBD.

So, when you start giving your horse CBD, make sure you start low and increase the dose gradually. Starting with low CBD doses allows you to track your horse’s progress and adjust the dose when you start to see benefits.

Many people will start with the baseline dose of 40 mg and increase it until they reach the desired results. According to Dr. Juliet M. Getty, the best dosage for horses are as follows:

  • Minis (400-660 lbs) — 25 to 50 mg
  • Full-sized (660-1110 lbs) — 75 to 170 mg
  • Large breeds (1100-1800) — 120 to 200 mg

1. Calculating CBD Oil Dosage For Horses

If you’re using CBD oils, first look at the size of the bottle and the amount of CBD inside. Then, you divide the amount of CBD by the size of the bottle. This will give you the oil potency in milligrams of CBD per milliliter of oil (mg/mL).

So, if your bottle is 30 mL and contains 3000 mg of CBD, you get 100 mg of CBD in 1 mL (a full dropper) — 3000mg/30mL = 100 mg/mL.

Once you know the potency, you can use simple math to find the right dose. If you have an oil with 100 mg/mL CBD, and you want a dose of 40 mg — all you have to do is give 0.4 mL (40% full dropper).

Our product reviews include the potency of each oil in case you’re not math-savvy.

CBD Oil for Horses [The Complete Guide]

With the CBD industry snowballing, it was only a matter of time before people started giving it to their animals. While the cannabinoid is already popular for cats and dogs, CBD oil for horses is less common. However, several companies have now started formulating CBD products specifically for our equine friends.

This article explains all about CBD for horses, its potential benefits, safety, and where to buy. Read on to learn more.

CBD Oil for Horses: How Does It Work?

Like all mammals, horses have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system has a vital regulatory function within the body. It is composed of cell receptors and chemicals known as endocannabinoids.

When these chemicals and receptors bind together, they trigger reactions that help maintain internal balance. The ECS plays a role in everything from appetite to inflammation and mood.

Plant cannabinoids like CBD can also interact with this system and enhance many of its crucial functions. Furthermore, they do so in a way that causes very few side effects. And, unlike its counterpart THC, CBD does not cause intoxication.

This is why CBD products have become so popular in recent years. People frequently use them to relieve everyday complaints, such as anxiety and pain. There is also evidence that CBD helps with more severe issues like epileptic seizures.

So, what are the benefits of CBD for horses? Let’s take a look.

The Benefits of Cannabidiol for Horses

CBD has many of the same positive effects on horses as it does on humans. It primarily helps to regulate the ECS and improve overall health and wellbeing. However, CBD may also have specific benefits for some common equine health problems, including the following.

Stress and Anxiety

Like all animals, horses can suffer from stress and anxiety. These issues may be especially problematic before transportation or shows.

Although there is little research specifically on horses, CBD has calming effects and may help to relax nervous animals.

CBD has calming effects and may help to relax nervous animals. Although there is little research specifically on CBD oil for anxiety in horses, human studies have shown beneficial effects.

This is potentially relevant, not just due to the shared ECS but also because of the surprising results of a study published in Animal Genetics in 2019. Researchers found that over 130 equine hereditary traits, including allergies, asthma, and muscle disorders, were similar to humans. The research team suggested the traits were valuable study models for similar human conditions.

Nonetheless, we still require clinical trials outlining the effects of CBD on horses to determine its efficacy.


Horses can suffer from a variety of inflammatory disorders, especially as they grow older. They include:

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, while desmitis is inflammation of the ligaments. These problems can affect all horses, although athletic horses may have more severe symptoms. Laminitis is a common problem and involves inflammation of the hooves.

Research has shown that CBD has potent anti-inflammatory effects. It could also help to relieve the pain associated with these conditions.

Gastric Ulcers

Gastric ulcers are a widespread problem in horses. They affect over 90% of thoroughbred racehorses and over 50% of the general population.

There is a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system, meaning that CBD can influence its health.

Research on CBD for gastric ulcers in horses is lacking. However, studies on rats have shown that other cannabinoids can reduce gastric acid secretion.

Coupled with its anti-inflammatory effects, this means CBD could potentially offer some relief. Although more research is necessary to draw firm conclusions, it might also benefit other digestive problems like colic.

Other Benefits

There is also anecdotal evidence that CBD offers several other benefits for horses, including:

  • Improving overall digestive health
  • Promoting a healthy coat
  • Relieving allergies and skin conditions

Some sources also suggest that it could help to promote nervous system, immune, and cardiovascular health.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Horses?

One of the primary selling points of CBD is its safety profile, especially compared to many pharmaceutical drugs. However, it does have the potential to cause some side effects in horses, including:

  • Increased thirst
  • Appetite changes
  • Restlessness
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Decreased blood pressure

Find out who says what…

These side effects are most likely to occur during the early stages of use as the horse’s body adjusts to CBD. To reduce the risk of adverse reactions, it is best to start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase it over time.

Please note that it is unwise to administer CBD to racehorses. Several racing authorities around the world have banned its usage. In May 2019, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) announced that positive tests for CBD in horses are classified as GR4 violations.

In December 2020, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) notified trainers that a positive test for CBD or CBD metabolites in blood and urine constituted a class 1, category A drug violation. The penalty for this violation is a minimum 12-month suspension and a fine of $25,000 or 25% of a horse’s race winnings.

CBD Oil for Horses – What’s the Best Way to Provide It?

There is a growing number of CBD products for horses, though most owners prefer to use an oil. Administering the cannabinoid sublingually to a horse could prove challenging. It involves applying the CBD oil beneath the animal’s tongue and getting them to hold it for 60 seconds before swallowing. A more realistic option is to add the drops to the horse’s daily feed or treats.

However, there are plenty of other CBD products for horses available, including:

  • CBD paste
  • CBD horse pellets
  • CBD horse powders
  • CBD sprays
  • CBD balms
  • CBD treats

CBD oil for your furry friend…

CBD Oil Dosage for Horses

There is no widely accepted CBD oil dosage for horses. In general, the amount you administer depends on their weight. Bear in mind that horses can weigh over 1,000 pounds when calculating how much cannabidiol to give them.

Horses have relatively sensitive organs, so start with just 0.25mg-1mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. For a 1,000-pound horse, this would equate to 25-100mg of CBD a day. If your horse has never consumed cannabidiol before, err on the side of caution and stick to the lower end of the range. Wait to see the outcome, and increase by 5mg a day until you’re happy with the results.

The Best CBD Products for Horses

As there is more interest in CBD for horses, an increasing number of brands offer products. However, we believe that the following reputable companies sell the best CBD oil for horses:

  • Holistapet
  • Pet Hemp Company
  • King Kanine
  • HempMyPet
  • Green Flower Botanicals

CBD products for horses tend to be much stronger than CBD for other pets due to their larger size. For instance, Holistapet’s CBD oil for horses contains 7,500mg of the cannabinoid in 120ml of liquid. This equates to 62.5mg of CBD per ml.

The brand also sells bags of CBD Pellets for Horses ranging from one pound to 25 pounds. The latter product contains an incredible 37,500mg of cannabidiol in total!

When buying CBD, bear in mind that the market is currently unregulated. Therefore, some unscrupulous brands are selling items that have little therapeutic value. The brands we have mentioned above are reputable and provide third-party lab reports to prove it. Steer clear of any companies that do not offer this feature.

Other considerations are whether the oil is organic and the CBD extraction process used. Most experts agree that CO2 extraction is superior. It allows the oil to retain its beneficial compounds without leaving traces of potentially harmful solvents.

Many people also prefer to choose full-spectrum CBD oils for horses. They contain a full range of cannabinoids and terpenes, providing additional benefits. Although full-spectrum oils contain traces of THC, it is not enough to cause a high. Furthermore, scientists believe that a little THC can enhance CBD’s effects.

CBD Oil for Horses: Final Thoughts

The CBD oil for pets market is expanding and includes products for cats, dogs, and horses. Proponents suggest it has various benefits, including reducing anxiety, relieving inflammation, and promoting digestive health.

Since all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, it makes sense that CBD could benefit horses.

Unfortunately, there is little research to back these claims at present. Most CBD studies to date have involved humans or other animals. However, since all mammals have an endocannabinoid system, it makes sense that CBD could benefit horses too.

With its excellent safety profile and low risk of side effects, there is little harm in giving CBD oil for horses a try. Just be sure to buy from a legitimate brand and consult a veterinarian before use.