Evaluation of oral supplementation of cannabidiol (CBD) in horses
The use of hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) as a supplement for horses has gained popularity within recent years. The objectives of this study were to determine an appropriate dosage, CBD clearance from the blood, and to evaluate physiological and behavioral effects of a one-time oral dose of CBD in light-breed horses. CBD was reconstituted in olive oil which was fed on a mg/kg basis.
Eight horses (4 mares and 4 geldings), were blocked by age and gender. Horses were acclimated to stall environment and feeding methods a week before treatment. One week later, horses were assigned one of 2 treatments: LOW dose (0.3 mg/kg) and HIGH dose (0.6 mg/kg) of a CBD/olive oil mixture. Venous blood was collected by jugular puncture at h 0, 1, 4, 24, and centrifuged with serum/plasma aliquots.
CBD concentrations were analyzed using an LC/MS. Additionally, heart rates were recorded every 15 min for 3 h, feed and water intake was recorded for 24 h. Videos were also taken of each horse to evaluate behavior and time of initial meal. Data were analyzed using SAS © 9.3 PROC MIXED procedures. Horses receiving HIGH dose had higher (P = 0.005) mean levels of plasma CBD compared with horses receiving LOW dose; with concentrations (2.55 ng/mL and 0.51 ng/ml respectively) peaking at h 4.
Feed intake, as a percentage of BW, tended to be higher (P = 0.06) in horses fed the HIGH dose and time of initial meal differed (P = 0.002) with HIGH averaging 271.4 min compared with 135.15 min for LOW). Overall heart rates tended to be higher (P = 0.07) in LOW horses; however, all heart rates were within normal resting values throughout the collection period.
A single dose of orally-administered CBD oil, at either 0.3 mg/kg or 0.6 mg/kg, did not result in abnormal heart rates or feed intake in horses over a 24-h period. These results were used to determine a dose amount for a longer duration (5-d feed trial0 study of CBD supplementation and feed intake in horses.
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