K-State researchers discover benefits of feeding cattle hemp

(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 8:26 AM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Researchers at Kansas State University have found feeding cattle industrial hemp can have several benefits on their welfare.

The study comes out of K-State College of Veterinary Medicine and looks at how hemp can reduce stress and increase the times when cattle lie down.

The university’s assistant professor of beef production, Michael Kleinhenz said, “Cattle experience a variety of stress and inflammation. Our most recent data shows how cannabinoids via industrial hemp decreased the stress hormone cortisol as well as the inflammatory biomarker prostaglandin E2. This shows that hemp containing cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA, may decrease stress and inflammation in cattle. Thus, hemp may be a natural way to decrease stress and inflammation related to production practices such as transportation and weaning.”

He said this new research helps them better understand how the cannabinoids in industrial hemp interact with bovine physiology and pharmacology.

“For instance, we now know that repeated daily doses of CBDA via feeding hemp does not result in accumulation of cannabinoids in the blood,” Kleinhenz continued saying, “Additionally, it solidified previous research and shows that each cannabinoid has its own absorption and elimination profile.”

The study also revealed feeding cattle industrial hemp helps them lie down more, which helps them chew their cud and produce saliva.

Kleinhenz said further work is still needed to understand the potential biological effects of cattle exposed to repeated doses of hemp.

He adds, “The initial data we have collected is essential should industrial hemp and its by-products be considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Further work is needed to determine if cannabinoids can alter the stress response in cattle during stressful times such as transportation and weaning, but we hope this research is a step forward in the right direction.”

K-State’s research was federally funded. You can read the full report published in Scientific Reports here.

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