Degenerative Joint Disease. How CBD can help?

May 21st 2021

Degenerative Joint Disease. How CBD can help?

Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a type of osteoarthritis that causes lameness in affected horses and is one of the most common causes of lameness in sport horses. DJD develops when the cartilage protecting the bones of the joint is destroyed.

Lameness varies depending on the stage of the disease.

Degenerative joint disease, is a progressive deterioration of the joint cartilage and represents the end stage of several other diseases including traumatic arthritis involving the synovial membrane and joint capsule, joint fractures, traumatic damage to cartilage, osteochondritis dissecans, cysts beneath cartilage, and infective arthritis.

Cartilage, which is made up of collagen fibers, glycosaminoglycans, and proteoglycans, is associated in direct proportion with the severity of the disease. When the articular cartilage loses its elasticity and ability to bear and transmit forces efficiently, it creates a cascading cycle of more cartilage damage, and the complex process results in the net loss of cartilage.

The joints that are usually affected are the lower joints of the legs because they are the major shock absorbers.

In addition to loss of cartilage, degenerative joint disease often leads to the growth of bone in the affected limbs.

Because of the bone growth, horses will show signs of lameness and pain with flexion of the involved joints. Swelling occurs in the affected joint; and, if the process has been ongoing, decreased range of flexion occurs.

Osteochondritis dissecans usually is seen in young animals (less than 1 year old), most commonly at the femoropatellar (knee) joint, tarsal joint, fetlock joints, and the shoulder. The exact cause is unknown, but contributing factors likely include a genetic predisposition in the animal, rapid growth, high caloric intake, disproportionate levels of copper and zinc in the diet, and hormonal factors

How can help CBD?

When it comes to the therapeutic potential of CBD, the research is limited but promising. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) cautiously acknowledges that cannabis has “therapeutic promise,” particularly for “the treatment of epilepsy and the management of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.”

Comparable to humans, horses have an almost similar endocannabinoid system. The principal functions of the complex system include maintaining balance and regulating the central nervous system. With a rich supply of cannabinoid receptors in the system, CBD stimulates the body to improve functions and reaction better to pain or inflammation.

Additionally, it comes as a protective measure to prevent horses from future arthritis attacks. Not only does CBD ease joint stiffness, but also soothes the excruciating neurological impulses

How does CBD works on Horses?