Mature horses with osteoarthritis show improvement with CBD

Horses aren't humans, but this study complements several human studies on the effectiveness of CBD for osteoarthritis. It was published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science in February 2024.

24 older horses (about 20 years old) with mild osteoarthritis were included. All horses were treated with phenylbutazone (2.2mg/kg daily) for 5 days. Half were then treated with 0.03mg/kg of CBD daily for 14 days via an oromucosal oil in addition to the 5 days of phenylbutazone. 

The CBD group horses' weight averaged about 442 kg, so 0.03mg/kg is only about 13mg CBD per day. For a 75kg human, the equivalent dose would be 2.25mg CBD. Evan at this low dosage level, the study showed greater pain improvements in the CBD group.


Pain was measured daily for 14 days by three trained and independent observers using the Horse Chronic Pain Scale (HCPS). HCPS is a validated questionnaire consisting of 15 questions assessing various aspects of the horse’s behavior on a numerical rating scale. The observers were unaware of the treatment regimen.

Overall, the CBD group showed significantly lower pain scores on days 9 through 14 when compared to the control group.

Results in the authors' words:

a significant reduction [in HCPS] at various times in the CBD group compared to the C group

there was a significant reduction in HCPS scores from T3 to T14 in both groups

No adverse reactions were observed during or after CBD administration. 


The authors' concluded:

The addition of a cannabidiol-based product to an analgesic protocol was well tolerated and showed positive effects on the treated subjects, improving their quality of life and pain relief.


The full text article is here at PubMed Central.



Interlandi C, Tabbì M, Di Pietro S, D'Angelo F, Costa GL, Arfuso F, Giudice E, Licata P, Macrì D, Crupi R, Gugliandolo E. Improved quality of life and pain relief in mature horses with osteoarthritis after oral transmucosal cannabidiol oil administration as part of an analgesic regimen. Front Vet Sci. 2024 Feb 6;11:1341396. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2024.1341396. PMID: 38379920; PMCID: PMC10876772.