A recent study published in Scientific Reports says that giving industrial hemp with a lot of CBD to cattle can help them feel less stressed and may even be good for their health.
The stress-relieving properties of CBD in humans have been thoroughly proven by hundreds of clinical research studies. Some doctors have even investigated the potential effects of cannabinoids on dogs and other animals.
Research Strategy on Hemp
The 16 Holstein steers were separated into two equal groups by the researchers. One group was fed normally for a period of two weeks, whereas the other consumed a combination of feed and hemp. Each steer received a daily dose of 5.5 mg of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) per kilogram of body weight from the researchers’ measured cannabis. The KSU team watched how the animals behaved and regularly took blood samples from each participant to keep track of how the study was going.
Cortisol and prostaglandin levels in the blood samples were examined because they are two popular indicators of stress. As expected, the biomarker levels in the CBD-eating cattle were lower, indicating that they were less stressed than their non-CBD-eating counterparts. Additionally, the steers that consumed hemp spent more time lying down than the control group, supporting the theory.
Cattle that are under stress are more susceptible to illness, just like humans. Ranchers have discovered that weaning from their moms or being crammed into small spaces while being transported causes the most discomfort to the livestock. This new study reveals that ranchers could help reduce this stress with a straightforward food change. Stressed-out cattle are much more prone to acquiring respiratory infections or other diseases.
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More About Research at K-State
With assistance from a $200,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture, researchers at K-State have been examining hemp-based cattle feed since 2020. Hemp, including stems, stalks, and other leftover waste products following the extraction of CBD and other cannabinoids from live cannabis plants, may be completely digested by cattle.
According to the results of the current study, using leftover hemp to feed livestock could help reduce this type of plant waste while also making animals healthier and happier.
Despite these advantages, farmers are still not permitted by the US Food and Drug Administration to feed hemp to any livestock intended for human consumption. The federal government is particularly concerned about the possibility that minute amounts of THC could linger in meat or milk from cattle that have consumed hemp.
The current study suggests that these worries may not be valid, but the KSU team plans to do more research to learn more about the issue.
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What is Hemp?
Cannabis and hemp are both members of the sativa family of plants. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) levels in hemp are less than 0.3 percent of those in cannabis.
Cannabinoids, including CBD, cannabidivarin (CBDV), cannabigerol (CBG), and others, are present in both hemp and cannabis. The 2018 Farm Bill defined hemp specifically as being different from cannabis by capping the THC level of hemp at 0.3 percent. Hemp seeds can be found to contain fats, proteins, and other substances.
The use of hemp for eczema, arthritis, high cholesterol, constipation, and many other illnesses is widespread, but there isn’t any reliable scientific data to back it up.
Contrast hemp with cannabis, cannabidiol, hemp agrimony, and Canadian hemp (CBD). They are not equivalent. In contrast to cannabis, it is legal to sell hemp and items made from hemp in the US.