CBD and osteoarthritis in horses

CBD to relieve joints

Like humans, horses can also suffer from osteoarthritis. Contrary to what one might think, even young horses or horses in the prime of their lives can suffer from this disease. Osteoarthritis makes the horse's joint movements painful and can cause it to limp. Let's see together how to recognize the symptoms of osteoarthritis in horses, and how CBD can relieve them.

CBD and osteoarthritis in horses



What is arthrosis ?

Osteoarthritis is a painful disease of the cartilage, during the mobilization of the articulations. It can affect one or several joints. The cartilage has 2 functions, it is a flexible and smooth tissue which will allow to reduce the friction between two bones of a joint, but also to absorb the pressures which it can undergo. In horses, as in humans, osteoarthritis is characterized by wear and tear of this cartilage. Generally, the wear is slow and very gradual, and the thickness of the cartilage is gradually reduced. This reduction means that it can no longer play its role as a shock absorber correctly, which will increase its wear even further. Osteoarthritis is classified into two categories :

  • Primary osteoarthritis, which is a natural wear and tear resulting from aging
  • Secondary osteoarthritis will appear when the cartilage of the joint has suffered an injury or a disease.


To know if your horse is suffering from the beginning of osteoarthritis, it is important to watch for changes in his behavior. When a joint is painful, even a little, the horse may limp, and sometimes refuse to run or jump. It will also be possible to observe that at rest, he will avoid resting on the painful joint. As the disease progresses, the joint may become partially or completely blocked.


If you have a suspicion, an appointment with the veterinarian is always the best thing to do. The veterinarian will thoroughly examine all the joints of the horse. His diagnosis will also be based on X-rays which will confirm or not the diagnosis.


Osteoarthritis is a disease that cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be reduced. The veterinarian will be able to prescribe painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Long walks should be avoided for the sick dog, but it will be necessary to maintain a sufficient physical activity so that the animal does not lose muscle mass. In the most severe cases, surgery may be considered depending on the health of the dog and the affected joint.

CBD and osteoarthritis in horses

The cannabidiol (CBD) consumed by humans works the same way for horses, because they have an endocannabinoid system like us. CBD is a molecule obtained from industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa) whose therapeutic effects on health have been widely demonstrated, both in humans and animals. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a member of the cannabinoid family, just like THC. THC is the psychotropic substance that is most commonly found in Cannabis Indica. When we speak about cannabis, it is necessary to understand that the cannabis groups together in fact a family of several plants:

  • Cannabis Sativa (industrial hemp) rich in CBD, very low in THC (less than 0.2% according to the law)
  • Cannabis Indica, low in CBD, and very high in THC
  • Cannabis Ruderalis, low in CBD and THC CBD, unlike THC, is not at all psychotropic, so its sale and consumption is perfectly authorized.

According to several studies, the effect of CBD acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. (MECHA et al. 2013, KOZELA et al. 2013, Li et al. 2013) CBD reduces pain, as demonstrated in many studies. (Lu et al.2015, GENNARO et al. 2017)