Hemp-seed supplements are rich in healthful omega-3 fatty acids, plus horses seem to enjoy the seeds’ taste.

Hemp May Help Horses

Hemp is part of the cannabis family, but it contains little to no THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana. Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious, however, with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks also contain cannabidiol (CBD), whose medicinal properties are now being explored. Long a staple in health food stores, hemp-seed supplements and CBD oils are now on the market for horses and other animals. Check with your veterinarian when deciding if a hemp product might benefit your horse. Not yet known is how sport and breed organizations will view CBD-containing substances.

[READ: Vitamins & Minerals Guide for Horses]

CBD Potential Benefits

(From Left): blueringmedia/istockphoto.com; kowalska-art/iStockphoto; Kensee/dreamstime.com

Fighting inflammation: Pain-relieving qualities, plus anecdotal data point to joint-function benefits.

Aiding digestion: Appetizing, plus cannabidiol may positively impact horses’ digestive functions.

Calming: In adequate dosages, cannabidiol may help reduce a horse’s anxiety and nervousness.

Proliferating Products

An extensive range of hemp-derived products are now on the market, and the quality and concentrations of key elements vary widely. Research carefully any product you consider. Types of products of greatest interest to horse owners include:

  • Hemp-seed supplements in meal or in pelleted form.
  • Concentrated CBD oils.
  • Bedding (soft and long-lasting) made from the processed stalk of the hemp plant. 

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