Now that CBD and CBG have hit the equine market in a big way it has created a lot of questions for potential consumers. Our Brave Horse cannabis chemist, Shannon Wilkens has created a library of information on our website to help answer those questions.
So, you’ve done your research and decided to try giving your horse CBD/CBG. Now you need to decide how to administer it to your beloved partner, but how do you decide which of the countless products are best for him? Ultimately, you and your horse will have to decide, but understanding the differences between two of the main methods of ingestion is helpful in guiding you to making the best choice.
There are two common methods of CBD/CBG ingestion for horses. It can be consumed as 1) an ingredient in a chewable or 2) oromucosally in a tincture. In a chewable, CBD/CBG is mixed in with other ingredients that have favorable tastes and can be administered like a treat. In tinctures, CBD/CBG is dissolved in an oil (often olive oil or hemp oil) and typically administered under the tongue or cheek of the horse using a dropper or syringe.
1) When your horse consumes CBD/CBG as an ingredient in a chewable, the CBD/CBG travels through the digestive system just like the rest of the ingredients in the treat. It is exposed to all the acids and enzymes and other digestive juices in the stomach before the body sends it to the liver to be metabolized. In this first pass through the liver, much of the CBD/CBG is broken down, while some makes its way into the bloodstream.1
2) When your horse consumes CBD/CBG as a tincture, the CBD/CBG is absorbed through mucosal tissue in his mouth and passes directly into the bloodstream.2
The second ingestion method clearly provides the most direct route to the bloodstream, which also allows the CBD/CBG to begin interacting within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) faster. The tincture method also allows more of the consumed CBD/CBG to be used by the body before it is broken down and eliminated as waste, which makes it possible for the horse to consume less CBD/CBG than he would have to in a CBD/CBG chewable to achieve the same potential effects. Less of the CBD/CBG is discarded before it makes it to the bloodstream where it can travel throughout the body and interact with receptors in the ECS.3
The tincture method is appealing from a logical standpoint and can be a perfectly appropriate way to administer CBD/CBG to your horse. Many people start with this method as it is faster and more direct. In practice, not all horses may be amenable to this, which is why Brave Horse has developed a third method, Kelso’s Cubes.
Kelso’s (Sugar) Cubes offer an option that is between the chewable and the tincture routes. While the horse crunches on the sugar cube, his saliva melts the sugar and allows the CBD/CBG oil to be deposited on the mucosal tissue in the mouth. This allows for more of the CBD/CBG to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream but offers an easier administration method for horses that do not tolerate tincture administration.
Lastly, Brave Horse OatBites are developed for horses that are insulin resistant or just picky eaters who do not tolerate the tincture or sugar cube routes. The OatBites are a chewable that allow horses to consume the CBD/CBG that is then processed by the liver prior to entering the bloodstream.
Brave Horse OatBites are a great option for horses suffering from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), they are packed with 100mg of CBD/CBG and contain only ONE carbohydrate per treat.
Choosing the best way to administer CBD/CBG to your horse may take some trial and error but understanding the common methods of ingestion can serve as a solid starting point. The Brave Horse team is always available to answer questions and provide advice when needed. Please feel free to contact us at 312-296-7900 and check out our website at www.bravehorsecbd.com
(1) Cohen, L.A. Effect of Oral Cannabidiol (CBD) Supplementation in Horses and Effect on Feed Intake, Behavior and Blood Parameters. Master of Science Thesis. Tarleton State University: Stephenville, TX, 2021.
(2) Bartlett, J. A.; van der Voort Maarschalk, K. Understanding the Oral Mucosal Absorption and Resulting Clinical Pharmacokinetics of Asenapine. AAPS PharmSciTech, 2012, 13, 1110–1115.
(3) Nelson, K. M.; Bisson, J.; Singh, G.; Graham, J. G.; Chen, S.-N.; Friesen, J. B.; Dahlin, J. L.; Niemitz, M.; Walters, M. A.; Pauli, G. F. The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Cannabidiol (CBD). Journal of Med