CBD:  Is it "Show Legal"?

For Competing Horses, NO.  For Competing Riders, Trust Trove!

CBD is currently not a permitted substance for horses in competition per USEF and FEI.  In 2019, the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF), the governing body that sets the rules for most of the country’s competitive horse events, announced an explicit ban on CBD for horses in competition noting that "...cannabinoids have gained increased attention and have become nearly mainstream."  The rulemaking body said that a horse testing positive for CBD would violate competition rules because the cannabinoid is “likely to [affect] the performance of a horse due to its reported anxiolytic effects,” referring to the compound’s apparent role in reducing anxiety. [1]  The body that governs international competitions of many equestrian disciplines, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), also currently disallows use of CBD for horses in FEI competitions. [2]  We always recommend that you check specifically with relevant governing bodies, TDs, and show management as the rules relating to prohibited substances are subject to change and interpretation.

Fortunately, additional formal research studies on the pharmacokinetics, elimination, safety, and efficacy of CBD in horses as well as documented case studies and clinical evaluations are currently underway and planned at an increasing number of equine research centers and practices.  Current research studies, including at Colorado State University and Texas A&M University, seek to determine (among other things) withdrawal/elimination times for CBD in horses. We anticipate results to be published mid-2021, and are very hopeful that this will provide some concrete guidance for all of us who compete.  You can learn more about this in A Primer on CBD for Horses on the "LEARN" section of the Trove website.  And hopefully, with more focus on clinical case studies and research into the safety and efficacy of quality equine CBD products, a re-educated and enlightened USEF might reconsider its ill-advised ban for competing horses.  Trove and other reputable brands are working to support research and advance science to this end, and we look forward to continued successful, well-documented results with CBD for horses.

It is interesting to note that, by contrast, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the body that governs all human Olympic athletes, has removed Cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of prohibited substances provided that such CBD contains no THC or other cannabinoids. "All natural and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited except for cannabidiol (CBD)...Cannabidiol (CBD) is no longer prohibited.  Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance." [3] [4] [5]

But beware.  Not all CBD products are created equal.  Many popular CBD brands for people and animals may contain varying, even non-reported, amounts of THC and other unwanted cannabinoids.  Competing riders can rely on Trove.  All Trove products are formulated with pure CBD extract, are verified with a Certificate of Analysis to be THC free, containing no detectable levels of THC or other unwanted cannabinoids, and are triple tested to assure purity, concentration and consistency.  So competing human athletes subject to strict WADA requirements -- even Olympians -- can use all Trove hemp-derived CBD ingestible and topical products for themselves to address pain and inflammation, calm show nerves and anxiety, and promote general health and wellness -- before, during, and after the show.

SO. . .WHAT ABOUT CBD FOR MY HORSE?

As we eagerly await more data and concomitant, warranted policy change from rulemaking bodies, there are many horses outside of the competition arena that may greatly benefit from the diverse benefits of Trove Equine CBD products:  high anxiety, spooky, distracted, and hypersensitive horses, horses in training, in transit, on stall rest, recovering or rehabbing from injury/surgery, aging or senior horses, as well as horses that are not competing and would generally benefit from increased calm, focus, exercise recovery, or inflammation/pain relief. 

Trove CBD products contain organically-grown USA hemp and are crafted with the same premium ingredients and with the same quality standards as our people products. All Trove products are THC free and triple tested for quality, consistency and concentration. With a range of options and CBD strengths specifically formulated for people, horses, dogs and cats, Trove can help owners and their healthcare/veterinary professionals tailor a regimen that works.

Burgeoning research and experiential evidence suggests that CBD may benefit horses in the following ways:

  • promoting calm and focus
  • addressing inflammation, pain, soreness
  • aiding in exercise/injury/surgery recovery
  • surviving stall rest/rehabbing from layup
  • supporting the neurological, digestive, circulatory, immune, and musculoskeletal systems

HOW DOES CBD WORK?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of at least 100 chemical compounds unique to the cannabis sativa or hemp plant.  These compounds are referred to as cannabinoids. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is the cannabinoid most commonly associated with marijuana.  However, unlike THC, CBD is non psychoactive and has been shown to offer a myriad of wellness benefits without the "high" effect of THC.  Research and experiential evidence shows that CBD may be helpful in promoting calm, addressing muscle tension and soreness, and supporting the circulatory, GI, musculoskeletal, nervous, and immune systems, among other useful applications.  Adding to these benefits, CBD is non habit-forming, and well tolerated, making it a desirable supplement choice.

Cannabinoids are naturally effective in our bodies because, throughout our evolutionary development, we have been hardwired to gain the benefits of the cannabis sativa plant through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex signaling network that functions as a lock and key mechanism when cannabinoids are present or introduced into the bloodstream.  Cannabinoid receptors exist throughout the body -- nervous, musculoskeletal, digestive, immune, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, and other systems -- and are the reason why cannabinoids can have such diverse and profound effects.  All mammals, including horses, have an ECS, and the body produces "endo" (internal) cannabinoids that operate to keep the body's systems in balance.  However, when an external force such as injury, illness, or stress is introduced, the body's own endocannabinoids may be depleted, resulting in an interruption to homeostasis that can manifest as anxiety, pain, inflammation, compromised immune function, and more.  CBD and related "phyto" (plant) cannabinoids are natural compounds that can supplement the body's own cannabinoids and lock into cannabinoid receptors to address the imbalance and restore homeostasis.

WHERE'S THE EQUINE SCIENCE?

We all want to know whether CBD is safe or effective, and the research to find out is in its infancy.  Scientific data on CBD use in horses are even scarcer than data on dogs and cats.  However, eagerly anticipated results from an ongoing study at the Texas A&M University system seeks to shed some much needed light.  Researchers at Tarleton State University’s Equine Center in Stephenville, Texas are conducting a unique study to learn more about the effects of CBD in horses, one that has the attention of horse owners around the world. [6]

“I have just been overwhelmed by the level of interest in this study,” says Kimberly Guay, PhD, assistant professor at the university who is overseeing the research study. “By now, horse owners have all heard the hype about the potential benefits of CBD oil. Here at Tarleton, we are working to give them the reliable data that’s just not there yet,” says Guay.

The Tarleton study seeks to quantify how CBD affects inflammation, stress and stereotypical negative behaviors in horses.  Guay and her student researchers are administering ingestible forms of CBD to the study horses, and measuring the physiologic effects of the non-psychoactive substance on the horses’ heart rates and cortisol levels. They are also observing the horses after dosing with CBD to note its effect on any common obsessive/compulsive behaviors common to horses that spend time in a stall or trailer, such as cribbing.  Dr. Guay hopes to have data that will help define and document how CBD can help horses.  Is it actually helping to minimize stress, inflammation, and stereotypical behaviors?  Horse owners and care providers are eagerly awaiting the Tarleton study results, expected to be published in 2021.

"We are also tracking how long CBD stays in the horse's system," Guay says. "Many people who compete with their horses are interested in using CBD products to reduce stress and inflammation, but many event organizers are still working through their CBD restrictions for horses in competition." 

WHAT PRODUCT, WHAT DOSE?

Trove offers a full line of hemp-derived CBD products for horses and humans.  Which product you select and how you administer it will depend on the issue(s) you are seeking to address as well as the observed response of each individual.

For topical application to address targeted areas of pain, swelling, or inflammation, apply Trove Equine CBD Balm 750 to area(s) of concern, gently massaging into skin in order to penetrate beyond the surface hair coat. Your horse will likely enjoy the touch, and the time spent massaging will discourage rubbing or licking, allowing the CBD to start to absorb into affected areas of inflammation. Avoid eyes, and do not apply directly on open wounds or incisions. Apply 2-4 times daily. Trove Equine CBD Balm 750 contains a powerful concentration of 750 mg CBD per 1.7 oz jar and a unique formulation of coconut oil, arnica butter, shea butter, and vitamin E to nurture the skin, as well as organic tea tree essential oil for its added anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial therapeutic properties.

Trove Equine CBD Oil 750 contains 25 mg CBD per 1 mL, and Trove Equine CBD Oil 1500 is a stronger formulation, containing 50 mg CBD per 1 mL. Much like people or dogs, individual horses will respond differently to varying doses of CBD. Therefore, suggested dosages will depend on a variety of factors, including severity of symptoms, whether treating for an acute or chronic condition, and effectiveness of other supportive therapies. Most often, you will be able to assess your horse's response in a very short amount of time, and can choose which Trove Equine product is most advantageous for your horse.

Trove Equine CBD Capsules 150 offer the highest dose of CBD (150 mg CBD per capsule) in a convenient capsule form, and therefore may prove to be helpful especially in acute or complex situations, intermittent/occasional use such as trips to the vet or away from the comfort of your home barn, or where you prefer to start with a high impact approach and then adjust to maintenance on a lower dose of Trove Equine CBD Oil 750 or 1500.  Capsules may be added directly to feed, or quickly dissolved in a mash.

You may continue therapy, adjusting dosage or frequency of administration as long as necessary to achieve desired results based upon your assessment (along with your vet) that your horse is benefitting from Trove.  Every horse and every situation is unique.  Some will continue to benefit from a therapeutic daily dosage or occasional use, while others will return to normal work without continued Trove CBD maintenance.

SHOP NOW for all the "show legal" Trove CBD products for people.  Visit www.trovecbd.com for more information or call us at 1-833-GO-TROVE.

 Copyright © 2021 Deborah Carter  All rights reserved

[1] https://www.usef.org/media/press-releases/usef-announces-positive-tests-of-cannabinoids

[2] https://inside.fei.org/fei/cleansport/ad-h/prohibited-list

[3] https://www.wada-ama.org/sites/default/files/prohibited_list_2018_summary_of_modifications_en.pdf

[4] https://www.wada-ama.org/en/content/what-is-prohibited/prohibited-in-competition/cannabinoids

[5] https://www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/cannabinoid

[6] https://today.tamu.edu/2020/02/12/hemp-for-horses-tarleton-researcher-investigating-benefits/