The Remarkable Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Horses

The Remarkable Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Horses

Hemp seed oil is a relatively recent addition to the array of oils used in equine nutrition, yet its virtues are rooted in a long history dating back to China’s Ming Dynasty. What sets hemp seed oil apart is its unique combination of essential fatty acids, including Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, and an intriguing component called GLA (gamma linolenic acid).

The Power of GLA

GLA plays a pivotal role in regulating prostaglandins, essential hormone-like substances that act as chemical messengers within cells. Prostaglandins influence various physiological processes, including inflammation. Among the prostaglandins, two stand out: PGE-1, the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin, and PGE-2, the pro-inflammatory counterpart. Hemp seed oil, rich in GLA, increases the production of PGE-1, thereby reducing the levels of PGE-2. In fact, some common medications for horses, like misoprostol for hind gut ulcers, are synthetic forms of PGE-1.

Additionally, prostaglandins play a role in increasing the secretion of protective mucus in the GI tract. This makes hemp oil’s GLA a valuable ingredient for horses dealing with ulcer issues.

Sustainable and Natural

Hemp seeds, unlike corn, soy, or canola, have not been genetically modified or engineered. These seeds, cultivated predominantly in Montana, USA, are developed to be THC-free. Hemp has a long history of cultivation, with records dating back at least 10,000 years. Its’ versatility is astounding, with over 15,000 different products that can be made from hemp.

Nutrient-Rich Profile

Hemp seeds offer a rich nutritional profile, boasting vitamins like E, minerals including Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, and Zinc, and essential nutrients such as B6. Hemp seed oil stands out in the world of vegetable oils for its low levels of unsaturated fats and high levels of polyunsaturated fats.

Moreover, hemp seeds are a protein powerhouse, containing approximately 35% protein and providing all the essential amino acids required by horses.

Hemp Seed Oil for Performance

In 2009, Dr. Tim Ober, a USET veterinarian, conducted a study in Florida on hemp oil for high-performance jumpers. His findings were fascinating; hemp oil helped maintain muscle glycogen reserves, reducing muscle glycogen depletion and fatigue.

The Benefits Abound

Hemp seed oil isn’t just about performance; it offers a wealth of benefits for equine health and well-being:

  • Excellent digestible fiber (about 27% fiber), comparable to copra meal;
  • Highly palatable and easily digestible in the hindgut;
  • A source of cool energy, providing 2.5 times more utilizable energy than protein or carbohydrates;
  • Requires no heat treatment to be edible (unlike soy);
  • Free of phytoestrogens, unlike soy-based feeds;
  • No exposure to glyphosate (unlike corn, flax, soy) since hemp requires no pesticide or herbicide;
  • A superfood that can alleviate joint pain and inflammation;
  • Contributes to improved skin and coat health and hoof condition;
  • Lacks trypsin inhibitors and oligosaccharides found in soy and legumes, reducing the risk of stomach and gastric upsets.

Promising Potential

Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that hemp shows promise in various equine conditions, including:

  • Improved joint function due to Omega fatty acids;
  • Benefits for laminitis cases, both for prevention and post-attack hoof healing;
  • Potential benefits for Equine Cushing’s Disease (PPID) and insulin-resistant horses;
  • Promising results for enhanced bone and tendon healing, as well as recovery from gastric ulcers.


Embrace the power of hemp seed oil as a natural, sustainable, and nutrient-rich addition to your horse’s diet. At EQUIHEMP, we’re proud to offer you the finest quality made in USA hemp-based products for your equine companions, in pursuit of happier and healthier horses.

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