Last Updated on February 21, 2022 by Allison Price
The horse industry is seeing an increase in hemp products. While hemp and marijuana are both considered cannabis, hemp contains minuscule levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the well-known psychoactive substance found in marijuana.
Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D. is a nutritionist at Kentucky Equine Research. bedding, and oil from hemp seeds are the primary uses for hemp in horses’ lives.
Crandell stated that hemp oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are well-known for their health benefits. Crandell said that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acid can help balance the ratio between omega-3s and Omega-6s in horses’ diets and facilitates absorption of various fatsoluble vitamins such as A, D, and E.
Omega-3 fatty acids also have other benefits:
- Reducing inflammation;
- Supporting immune function;
- Horses with allergies and skin conditions
- Improvement of respiratory problems and combined health
- This contributes to positive reproductive outcomes like improved fertility, enriched colonstrum quality and enhanced passive transfer of antibody to foals and increased Sperm Concentration, viability and motility.
Crandell stated that omega-3s are beneficial for both immature and mature horses. Supplementation reduces stress, enhances learning, cognition, and prevents the development of stereotypic behavior such as cribbing.
She said, “Hemp oil does not contain as many omega-3s than the tried-and-true fish oils and may not be as effective at balancing out the omega 6 to 3 ratio if the diet contains a lot of omega-6s.” For optimal omega-3 supplementation, you should consider taking a supplement with a marine-derived omega-3 fat acid such as EO*3.
Crandell stated that EO*3 has the same benefits of hemp oil, but contains a high amount of DHA and EPA and is backed up by solid research.
Check with the relevant governing body to confirm that hemp oil is permitted for competition. Some organizations have banned natural and synthetic cannabinoids as well as other cannabimimetics.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!