Page 88 - August 2019
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                                 Hemp Powder makes daily dosing easier.
“This is just anecdotal, but we’ve been
able to transition some horses that were not tolerating long-term use of NSAIDs (including Equioxx). They tend to do really well on a daily dose of CBD to keep the inflammation in their system down,” she says.
Some horses are extremely sensitive to CBD and only need a small dose to get the benefi- cial effect. “CBD is safe, but we don’t want
to unnecessarily give high doses, even though
a lethal dose has not been experimentally at- tainable. The main concern with using a high dose is that it would be expensive, considering the size of a horse. Thus, it is important to determine the effective dose for each horse. We discovered a subset of horses that are very sensi- tive to CBD and get by with a low dose, such as 60 to 70 milligrams per day, as opposed to the horse with severe arthritis pain that was getting 2500 milligrams,” says Luedke.
“This tells us that a lot more research needs to be done. We are currently doing a pharmaco- kinetic study on eight horses, using a laboratory at Colorado State University. We give them a certain dose and check their blood level at six different time points in the first 24 hours. This will tell us how long it lasts in the blood plasma. It will give us the half-life, and more insight into why different horses are affected differently. This is a small study, but a stepping stone to more research on efficacy and how to use CBD.”
In humans and pets, CBD can help for seizures, cancer and renal failure, but these are things we don’t see very often in horses. “The main indications for use in horses are anxiety, osteoarthritis and laminitis. I have also used a hemp extract with success in horses with decreased appetite. I think we’ll find a few more applications in horses, but we’re not making a lot of claims until more research is done,” says Luedke.
Once there are more studies, and more literature, these products will become more acceptable and some of the other applications will be discussed and addressed. “Today, however, there is a broad array of products and claims, and clarification is needed. For instance, hemp seed oil does not have any CBD in it,” she says.
Indications for use in horses (diseases and problems in horses that people are treating with CBD) are mainly anecdotal. For instance, Lu- edke recently used CBD on a client’s horse at a showground when the horse was in a panic. He had recently been imported from Germany and was not adjusting well to his new environment. He was in training and not competing yet.
“This horse was climbing the stall walls and very upset,” says Luedke. “We first used traditional sedatives to help calm him. We’d
given him enough Dormosedan and Torbugesic to last about an hour and it did sedate him, but after the hour elapsed, he went back to panic. We tried walking him, putting different horses next to him; we’d done everything we could think of management-wise. After several hours, however, because he was not going to be show- ing, we tried the hemp paste.
“After dosing him, I was across the aisle working with another horse and within 10 minutes all the noise and clamoring in his stall stopped. He was standing in the back of his stall, relaxed. At that point he’d been going crazy in the stall for about seven hours, with intermittent attempts by us to try to calm him. The effect of the paste lasted about 12 hours.”
That was a dramatic case in which the CBD showed a calming effect. “Anxiety is strongly affected by CBD. It is a very strong anxiolytic in humans, and there is quite a bit of research on this. We are using it ‘transla- tionally’ in horses for that effect and find that with most anxious horses something between 80 and 100 milligrams of CBD has a benefi- cial effect,” she explains.
This makes sense because the body’s own endocannabinoid system regulates alertness. “There is a reason that CBD works to calm a horse or a human because it is affecting those receptors and regulating the level of anxi- ety. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system and the receptors of that system can be accessed using phytocannabinoids (CBD, THC, CBN, etc.) to alter mentation status,” she says.
Another indication in horses that Luedke wants to study more is laminitis. “We’ve had good success treating laminitic horses with CBD, for pain modulation. In most of these horses, we are first treating the underlying con- dition, whether metabolic issues or mechanical (support limb overstress) and we reach for a NSAID like Bute to control the inflammation. Some cases have not responded, and either the coffin bone continues to rotate or sink, or we can’t get the pain under control, so we’ve used CBD as an adjunct,” says Luedke.
“This requires a high dose, usually be- tween 400 and 500 milligrams per day, but within 24 hours of the first dose those horses become much more comfortable. If you can keep a laminitic horse comfortable while you are changing all the other aspects and treating the primary problem (whether it’s taking the horse off lush pasture, addressing the feet, etc.), you can manage the pain a little better using CBD. This can buy time to address what’s going on with the feet and provide a better outcome. In practice, CBD is not my first line of treatment, but if I need something additional, I will bring it on board for lamini- tis/founder cases,” she explains.
 At VetCS, the manufacturing process uses fractional distillation and removes all the THC so the final product has zero percent THC.
horse was standing up and moving, even to the point of running around his pen. He also started eating better,” Luedke says.
“We did five daily doses on that horse, and then 24 hours after the last dose he started becoming lame again. We then tried different doses to find a dose that worked. Every horse is different and with cannabinoids (and CBD therapy in particular) you must adjust dosage to the individual,” she explains.
A proven use for CBD in dogs is reliev- ing pain of osteoarthritis, and it seems to also work in horses. “In situations where it is contraindicated to inject multiple joints, such as senior horses or in insulin-resistant horses, CBD works as an anti-inflammatory because it is affecting the whole system and not just a single joint. I like this aspect of CBD and this is why we came out with a hemp powder that makes it easier for daily dosing,” says Luedke.
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