Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Veterinary Behavior


Animal & Equine Science


Hutson School of Agriculture


The potential use of cannabidiol (CBD) as a nutraceutical to support improved health and welfare has been of increasing interest. In particular, CBD has been shown to decrease anxiety in humans and small animals. While there is little research published on the effects of CBD supplementation in horses, its use is increasing rapidly. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of feeding a pelleted CBD supplement on equine reactivity and heart rate (HR). Seventeen stock-type geldings were divided into control (CON) or treatment (TRT) groups. The TRT group received 100 mg of CBD once daily. Control horses were maintained on their standard diet without supplementation. A novel object test was used to evaluate changes in HR and reactivity before and after 6 weeks of supplementation. Heart rate was recorded before, at, and after exposure to the novel object. Reactivity when the horse was exposed to the novel object was scored live and through video review. There was no difference in starting, stimulus, or final HR, but TRT horses exhibited less reactivity after 6 weeks of supplementation. Results suggest that CBD supplementation may lower reactivity in horses.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of a peer-reviewed article published by Elsevier in Journal of Veterinary Behavior, available at



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