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Cannabis For Horses
 By Winniefield Park   •   9th Jun 2018   •   897 views   •   0 comments
Cannabis For Horses

Marijuana legalization is a hot topic. Here in Canada, itís about to be legalized. It already is in several states and countries. Iím not going to comment about the pros and cons of legalization, or of its use in general. After reading about the effects of dogs (and looking through one of those incredibly long and inflamed threads on Facebook where it degrades to grade school name calling in short order) my thought was, what about horses? Medical marijuana obviously has its uses, and this is supported by research. And if Iím going to have any opinion at all, itís that itís no different from any other drug that affects the central nervous system and like those drugs, needs to be treated with respect. Back to horses.

History
Apparently there is some suggestion the Ancient Greeks gave cannabis to horses for treating wounds, but the actual sources that this information is supposed to come from are difficult to find. Youíll also find lots of articles online that mention that the U.S. Cavalry gave marijuana to their horses to treat internal parasites and spasmodic colic. The actual text, called ďThe army horse in accident and diseaseĒ does recommend the use of cannabis indica several times, mostly in conjunction with other elixirs made of things like belladonna and opium. While this is interesting, I feel itís important to remember that animals and people were fed a lot things and illness and injury treated in ways that ultimately did more harm than good. Doctors and vets prescribed a lot on narcotics. They could see the short-term effects, but not the long term. So the history isnít terrible useful.

What Could It Be Used For?
Most information about the use of cannabis for horses say itís effective for pain control as a safer alternative to butazone. And there is some that suggest it is useful for keeping a horse calm. An oil called CBD extracted from cannabis, but does not have the psychoactive properties is used for wound care, increasing appetite, calming and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. There are warnings though that not all CBD oil is equal and there are plenty of fake CBD oils out there.

What Does Science Say?
Here the information becomes much thinner. There is some anecdotal evidence that cannabis can be used in veterinary medicine to good effect. But there seems to be a consensus that more research should be done.

But Is It Toxic?
The ASPCA lists marijuana as toxic to all pets with the following being a result of ingestion:

Prolonged depression, vomiting, incoordination, sleepiness or excitation, hypersalivation , dilated pupils, low blood pressure, low body temperature, seizure, coma.

The information states that death is rare. One online article suggests that cannabis could affect fetal foals, but the reference points to a human study. There is no suggestion as to how much a horse would have to ingest to be harmful. Like many things, the toxicity is in the dose.
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