Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Off To The Horse Races With Cannabis

The Kentucky Derby is the pinnacle of horse racing – but will marijuana make an appearance?

House racing is highly popular sports with over 45,000 races run in the US and Canada last year.  The Kentucky Derby is the pinnacle of horse racing in North America, but most major metro hubs have some type of opportunity. Globally it is a $400 billion industry with tens of millions of people watching. But are they off to the horse races with cannabis?

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The biggest horse racing party is the Kentucky Derby and the Infield (the area inside the track) is a huge one with beer trucks, Mardi Gras bead shenanigans, and maybe a little whiff of weed.  While Churchill Downs, where the race is run, bans all smoking, vapes, gummies and more make the way in. The same is true across the realm.  But what about those in the race?

The signature beverage of the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep

Horse racing is an intense activity for the animal, and increasingly, horse owners are adapting human products (either medical marijuana or hemp) for their athletes.  Recovery, hydration, inflammation and pain management are all benefits for the horse if done with the correct dosage.  Additionally, it is seen as a potential for calming a horse.

Like the human mass market, CBD is leading the way. But the efficacy and safety of some products is questionable, due to very little research and supervision. Until the passage of the 2018 Farm Act, it was illegal to possess or conduct research on hemp as well as marijuana. Like the NFL, owners should be aware CBD and THC cannot be used in when competing, and if CBD shows up on a drug test that horse may be disqualified.

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With rescheduling, there should be more research done regarding CBD and THC’s benefits to animals, especially pets and horses. Before administering CBD to horses, horse owners should first consult with a veterinarian.

Additionally, jockeys are banned from using cannabis while racing. This falls inline with the current global sports guidelines.  CBD has been used in helping with recovery, but it can not be used prior to the race, especially if you are looking at winning.


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