If you are scratching your head, wondering how on earth a little compound from a plant can have such a diverse effect on a mammal’s body, then you probably haven’t yet heard of the endocannabinoid system.
It is because of this very system that the cannabis plant is proving to be a steady supplement for many people and pets. So, what is the endocannabinoid system, and why does it matter?
The endocannabinoid system is believed to be a part of most mammals’ bodies. Horses, dogs, cats, humans- they all have an endocannabinoid system, and it generally works the same way in most bodies. The endocannabinoid system (the ECS) is a regulatory receptor system that interacts with cannabinoids- both phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants) and endocannabinoids (cannabinoids already naturally present within the body).
This interaction among the ECS and the cannabinoids help to maintain homeostasis within the body, and many of the essential systems.
This homeostasis is synonymous with health, for if the essential bodily functions and systems are in balance, then they are in good health. Having a healthy endocannabinoid system is necessary for the overall health of the body.
These cannabinoids, such as CBD, can assist in maintaining a healthy endocannabinoid system.
When cannabinoids are introduced to the body, they interact with the two main receptors:
– CB1 receptor
– CB2 receptor
Now that we have a general understanding of how the cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, let’s take a look at how this interaction manifests in benefits:
Improves the Immune System
Cannabinoids such as CBD can support immune function. One product that you can get for your aging horse (or your own aging body for that matter) is CBD hemp oil. This is a CBD product that contains omega-3 fatty acids, and some studies show us that these fatty acids can assist with the absorption of vitamins as well as support the overall immune function.
When CBD hemp oil is implemented into your horse’s diet, your horse could experience an overall increase in health and wellness.
Reduce the Risk of Disease
As your horse gets older, he or she can experience a weakened immune system and becomes more susceptible to disease and infections. As we have mentioned in the previous point, CBD supplements could be an effective immune booster, helping to ward off disease and infections.
Certain studies identify that because of the CB1 and CB2 being located in the immune system, CBD could be useful for immune regulation.
Effective Pain Reducer
There are many cases where CBD is used as an effective pain reducer, and these studies back up the claims. While more research needs to be published to determine correct dosages for pain relief, so far we can see that CBD has the potential to overtake pain medication. Regular, pharmaceutical pain medication is not a sustainable long-term solution. In contrast, CBD can be used as a medication as a long-term option, without the accompanying side effects that pharmaceuticals often bring.
Assist with Blood Flow
Many horses experience swelling in the legs, and a variety of things can cause this. The most common cause is fluid that has built up from the blood vessels in the legs. This can be uncomfortable and even highly painful for many horses. Because CBD can assist with blood flow throughout the body, it can also help to reduce the swelling of these susceptible areas.
As we mentioned in the above point, CBD has shown great promise as an anti-inflammatory. Aside from easing swollen legs due to fluid buildup, CBD can also assist as a general anti-inflammatory. This is excellent news for people with horses that may have led an active life, such as racehorses, that may have had injuries that still cause inflammation.
Numerous studies show us how effective CBD is in the treatment of inflammation, including the treatment of muscle sprains which is often seen in racehorses.
Since horses generally lead an active life, it is common to see injuries in the form of sprains, muscle tension, and connection tissues. CBD can assist in lowering inflammation in these injuries.
Reduce Muscle Pain and Promote Recovery
Aside from alleviating general pain, CBD can also be useful in the treatment of major muscular pain and everyday muscle pain and stiffness.
Tired muscles are common for horses, especially among horses who have led or are leading a more active lifestyle. Many athletes have made the news over the recent years because of their use of CBD in their post-workout recovery. Studies attribute CBD for the recovery of muscles after strenuous activity, and aging horses could benefit from this as well. As your horse ages, the muscles may take longer to recover.
CBD could be used to manage and even regulate chronic pain, as well as help with the recovery of tired muscles.
Help with Symptomatic Relief of Chronic Laminitis
Chronic Laminitis affects many horses. This disease describes the alignment loss between the coffin bone and the hoof capsule. It can result in a degrade in health and overall well-being. If the condition is left untreated, it could result in various issues, such as the bone beginning to rotate to compensate or the bone beginning to sink (known as distal descent).
Two common signs of chronic Laminitis is a hoof that begins to appear wider at the heel than the two, and a stretched white line.
This condition is often the result of poor blood flow, and the laminae (the binding between the bone and the hoof wall) is thus affected. Therefore, when this condition manifests, the most important concern is to restore efficient blood flow. This could prevent the condition from developing into chronic status and prevent the condition from recurring.
Because of CBD’s ability to stabilize blood pressure, people are using CBD to manage Chronic Laminitis in their horses. In most cases, CBD can lower blood pressure levels, resulting in proper blood flow to essential areas such as the laminae. CBD can also give your horse some reprise from the pain as you seek other medications for this serious condition.
Arthritis Symptomatic Relief
Research for CBD in the treatment of Arthritis is picking up momentum. Studies show how cannabinoids can treat and manage the symptoms of this debilitating condition.
Aging horses, especially those who lead an active lifestyle, are susceptible to Arthritis. Equine Arthritis is a common condition among many horses and is a result of the long-term wearing down of the joints.
We already know about the numerous studies done to examine how effective CBD is in treating chronic pain, and we are also privy to studies done on how CBD can alleviate the stiffness that so often arises from Arthritis. This helps the horse to move comfortably with less pain.
As we touched on in the previous point, CBD can assist horses with increased mobility by alleviating the pain and inflammation associated with Arthritis and other similar conditions.
CBD is being used as a treatment for anxiety across the globe for many humans. Since the ECS system is almost identical in humans and horses, it makes sense that horses with anxiety are being treated with CBD as well. Because just like us humans, many horses experience anxiety too.
Whether it is separation anxiety, anxiety in a storm, healing from trauma, traveling, or just your aging horse becoming neurotic in his old age, CBD could help lower anxiety levels.
Certain clinical trials identify CBD as a successful treatment to ease stress and anxiety in stressful situations.
The anti-anxiety effects of CBD have been studied in increasing depth over the recent years. One of the most ground-breaking discoveries is that CBD rapidly affects serotonin levels by interacting with the 5-HT1A receptor.
Studies conducted with mice show that consistent CBD dosing assisted in the regeneration of neurons in the hippocampus, a major key player in both cognition and anxiety and depression regulation.
As any body (whether horse or human) ages, issues are bound to make themselves present. One such issue is gastric and digestive health. Anecdotal reports, as well as research, notes how CBD can assist in the reduction of bloating, indigestion, and nausea.
Adding to this, CBD has a regulatory effect on the metabolism as well and could boost appetite if your aging horse begins to lose his.
Another major area of concern that comes with age is cardiovascular health. Studies note how CBD can stabilize irregular heartbeats and support blood vessels. Also, CBD can help to decrease a high heart rate due to CBD’s relaxing effect.
How to Choose the Best CBD Product for your Horse
As you may already have noticed, there is a wide array of CBD products on the market. This increase is due to the rise in popularity (and research into) CBD and cannabis in general. You will be able to find almost any product you can think of, from balms to suppositories and treats to oils. But when it comes to horses, which product is the best?
CBD oil is one of the most versatile products and can be administered to your horse with ease. Most CBD oils come with a dropper, making it easy to administer precise dosages to pets.
How much CBD do I give my horse?
Okay, so now you have decided that you want to give your horse CBD, now you need to know how much CBD oil to give to your horse.
There are two main questions most people consider:
– The amount administered will depend on the severity of the condition
– The amount will depend on the age and weight of the horse.
However, when you are considering the dosage, it is important to bear in mind that there is not yet enough research to validate and implement the above considerations into recommended dosages.
According to Green Flower Botanicals, the best way to dose CBD for your horse is with the Stepwise Dosing Procedure:
– Begin with a low baseline dose
– Slowly increase the dosage in increments over a set time
– Determine the point where you witness the dose have a positive effect on the condition
Isolate, Full Spectrum Or Broad Spectrum?
Full spectrum CBD is recommended over CBD Isolate. This is because while the CBD Isolate may be cheaper, the results may not be the same. You may also notice that many companies are selling CBD Isolate, and this is because it is cheaper to produce. When you are looking for a CBD product, choose a full-spectrum CBD oil.
What To Look For In A CBD Company (Lab Testing, Where Hemp Is Grown, Quality, Effectiveness & Transparency)
Shopping for a CBD product online can be overwhelming if you are unsure what to look for in a CBD product. When you decide to use CBD for your horse, it is important to remember that cheaper does not always mean better. And if you find a company selling CBD at a much lower price than other companies, it may be time to raise a red flag.
How to know you found a good CBD oil:
Look out for certified organic products. Products that are not all-natural or organic could have been treated with a toxic array of pesticides and other chemicals, including solvents.
Third-Party Lab Tested
Look out for the company’s COA (certificate of analysis). This certificate will allow you to see what is in your product, and you will be able to certify the authenticity and quality of the product. Since the influx of interest, companies looking to make easy money have begun selling compromised products, or even just traces of hemp oil to the public. Most reputable companies will have a COA readily available.
With the market saturated with different products and companies, you have a fairly wide price range. But before you grab the cheapest deal, remember this; with CBD, you pay for quality. That doesn’t mean that the most expensive product will be the highest quality. It means that the higher price range will offer you a higher quality in general.
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