HempMy Pet™ and Tarleton University, a member of the Texas A&M University system have partnered together to examine and discover novel holistic approaches to decrease overall equine behavioral stress and stress caused by transportation.
Equine stress or stress in general can be detrimental to the body over long periods of time and have damaging consequences throughout the aging process. Stress may lead to a weakened immune system and the body’s natural response to fight off an infection or foreign pathogen which horses can encounter daily in their ordinary routines of living outside or being transported to diverse environments (1).
The goal of this research study was to determine if stress levels and stress-induced behaviors could be lowered when administering a full-spectrum cannabidiol (CBD) product to horses when they are showing signs of behavioral stress or stress during transportation.
Signs of stress and the results
In this study, behavioral signs of stress were defined as observing how often a horse can pace in their stall, kicking at a neighboring animal, pawing at the ground with their front feet, vocalization through neighing and displaying signs of aggression with their ears pinned back, showing their teeth, and charging the walls of the stall. HempMy Pet’s Full-spectrum CBD product was administered orally to eight stock-type horses, and then compared to the control group who was administered (non-CBD) olive oil orally. Behavioral stress responses including kicking, aggression, pawing, and vocalization behaviors all decreased significantly when administered the full-spectrum CBD product compared to the control.
Transportation may cause stress and can lead to severe outcomes depending upon the type of transport and duration (2). Some health complications that have been associated with transportation are changes in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal aggravation, an increase in body temperature, and external injuries (2).
In this study, six stock-type horses were administered a seven-day oral dose of HempMy Pet’s full-spectrum CBD product compared to olive oil as the control. In each horse, cortisol levels were measured before and after transport and they were compared to the control. Prior to transport, the cortisol levels were the same in the horses that were administered CBD compared to the control group.
Post-transport, cortisol levels were lower in the horses that were administered full-spectrum CBD product compared to those that were administered the control. Both of the control and CBD-treated horses had higher cortisol levels post-transport compared to pre-transport. The temperature of each horse was taken rectally post-transport and a decrease in temperature was seen in the horses that were administered CBD compared to the control.
Although equine CBD research has a long way to go, this is a great first step toward exploring the potential that CBD can have on horses. HempMy Pet™ is proud to participate in this unbiased study and looks forward to additional opportunities in conducting and supporting research studies focused on the expansion of utilizing CBD in horses and domesticated animals. HempMy Pet™ is grateful to be selected by Tarleton University for this study and looks forward to more collaborations in the future. Click here to learn more about HempMy Pet’s Veterinarian Program.
- Cannabidiol: CBD
- Dragoş, D., & Tănăsescu, M. D. (2010). The effect of stress on the defense systems. Journal of medicine and life, 3(1), 10–18.
- Padalino, B., Hall, E., Raidal, S., Celi, P., Knight, P., Jeffcott, L., & Muscatello, G. (2015). Health Problems and Risk Factors Associated with Long Haul Transport of Horses in Australia. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 5(4), 1296–1310. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani5040412