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How the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of horses works

Scientists only discovered in the early 1990s that humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system. This system is the "signal generator" in the body. It checks at cell level whether there is a problem. The system then sends a signal to the brain so that it can send the correct auxiliary chemicals to the relevant cell. In this way, the endocannabinoid system regulates certain processes in the body, such as pain, inflammation and the immune system. Read more about how this system works in horses in this article.

What are cannabinoids?

Cannabinoid is the name for a group of chemicals that are produced by the body itself, but that can also be found in cannabis and clove plants. CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the two best known cannabinoids. But did you know there are many more? There are currently 130 different cannabinoids known to science. In the body, these chemicals have the function of binding to receptors. You can see a receptor as a switch that can be pressed. This happens when the right chemicals, such as cannabinoids, attach to this switch. A signal then goes to the brain. The brain can respond to this and possibly return a "solution". In science, the receptors (switches) are divided into two groups: the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
  • CB1 receptors: These are mainly found in our central nervous system and a number of organs. They play a role in pain, nausea, memory and fine momement skills.
  • CB2 receptors: These are mainly found in the cells of our immune system and peripheral organs.
Science calls this system of switches the endocannabinoid system (ECS). "Endo" stands for body's own.1But there are also different subspecies with clove plants. The clove plant contains no THC at all. But did you know that the clove plant contains more cannabinoids besides CBD? The more different types of cannabinoids, the better the effect. Do you ride competitions with your horse? Then choose a supplement based on hemp and / or cloves, like HELTIE horse Cannabidol. THC is on the doping list. It is important for the effect of the supplement that there are several different cannabinoids in the supplement. However, manufacturers could not label which cannabinoids it contains and whether they are multiple types. Therefore, look closely at the origin of the supplement. Is it made from cannabis, hemp or cloves?


The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a body's own system that transmits signals of problems to the brain so that the brain can respond to them. The system regulates certain processes in the body, such as pain, inflammation and the immune system. When a horse is sick or under stress, the body may produce fewer cannabinoids. By adding cannabinoids you ensure that this system increases the healing power of the body itself. It is therefore not a medicine, but a very effective tool for the horse to solve health problems itself. The more different types of cannabinoids, the more effect.  


EFSA ID 1363, 4673 EFSA ID 4677 EFSA ID 4677 EFSA ID 3853 EFSA ID 702 EFSA ID 1363, 4675 EFSA ID 4674 Kogan, L., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., Hellyer, P., and Rishniw, M., 2018. US veterinarians’ knowledge, experience, and perception regarding the use of cannabidiol for canine medical conditions. Frontiers of Veterinary Science, volume 10. Parray, H.A., and Yun, J.W., 2016. Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, volume 416, number 1-2, 131-139. Tarragon, E., and Moreno, J.J., 2019. Cannabinoids, chemical senses, and regulation of feeding behavior. Chemical Senses, Vol 44, pages 73-89. Iffland, K., and Grotenhermen, F., 2017. An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: A review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Research, volume 2, number 1, 139-154. Booz, G.W., 2012., Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, volume 5, number 5. Couch, D.G., Cook, H., Ortori, C, et.al., 2019. Palmitoylethanolamide and cannabidiol prevent inflammation-induced hyperpermeability of the human gut in vitro and in vivo – A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind controlled trial. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Vol 25, Number 6. Maroon, J., and Bost, J., 2018. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surgical Neurology International, volume 9. https://www.cbd-expert.nl/blog/endocannabinoide-systeem-duidelijk-uitgelegd

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