Animal Health & Nutrition Research Consortium

This consortium includes faculty members from Animal and Rangeland Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine. The group’s objective is to benchmark guidelines for safely using hemp byproducts in livestock diets. Potential hemp research includes:

  • Following the chemical fate and metabolism of cannabinoids and other hemp compounds in livestock species. The aim is to identify non-targeted endogenous metabolites that are altered (either enhanced or suppressed) when hemp is a dietary component by using toxicology assays to measure relative toxicity and harm from exposure to hemp compounds using in vivo animal models and/or in vitro testing methods.
  • Investigate the nutraceutical role of hemp byproducts in livestock species. Hemp contains many bioactive phytochemicals that can be leveraged to improve the health and performance of livestock species.
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Use of spent hemp biomass as bedding for dairy cows: OSU researcher Massimo Bionaz

The project encompasses a pilot and a main study to assess the effect of spent hemp biomass as bedding on milk quality, specifically somatic cells. The project is supported by Columbia Basin Bioscience in Hermiston (Oregon) and USDA-ARS.

Effect of feeding spent hemp biomass on laying hens: OSU researchers Massimo Bionaz, James Hermes, Serkan Ates, Carolyn Pearce

The study aims to assess the health of the animals and the production of eggs, as well as cannabinoid residuals. The project is partly supported by Columbia Basin Bioscience in Hermiston (Oregon) and USDA-ARS.

Feeding stocker cattle spent hemp biomass: effect on performance, metabolism, immune system, rumen microbiome, and cannabinoids residuals in muscle and adipose tissue: OSU researchers-Massimo Bionaz, Serkan Ates, Juliana Ranches, Si Hong Park, Jenifer Cruickshank, Agung Irawan

The objective of the study is to evaluate the effects of feeding and withdrawing spent hemp biomass on stocker cattle, including feed intake, growth, immune system, rumen microbiome, metabolism, and residuals of cannabinoids in fat and muscle tissues. The project is supported by the Oregon Beef Council, Columbia Basin Bioscience in Hermiston (Oregon), and the USDA-ARS.  

Feeding spent hemp biomass to broiler chickens: OSU researchers Massimo Bionaz, James Hermes, Serkan Ates, Nathan Parker, Carolyn Pearce, Gisselle Brasseur

The experiment aims to investigate the effects of varying levels of spent hemp biomass on growth performance, meat quality, and cannabinoid residuals in the meat of broilers. We also evaluate the effect on bone structure and morphology, especially related to foot health, as foot issues are important in extremely fast-growing broiler chickens. The project is supported by the USDA-ARS.  

The fate and metabolism of cannabinoids and other compounds present in industrial hemp with livestock species with a specific focus on hempseed cake: OSU researchers Jennifer Duringer, Massimo Bionaz, Jenifer Cruickshank, Manuel Garcia-Jaramillo, Serkan Ates

Our long-term goal is to utilize industrial hempseed cake as a safe feed source for livestock to provide a locally grown feed material that helps buffer the effects of a volatile feed market while promoting a more sustainable way of generating animal products.  

SAS-1 Sustainably Incorporating Hemp Biobased Economy into Western US Regional Rural and Tribal Lands: OSU researchers Jeffrey Steiner, Massimo Bionaz and others

The aim of our consortium in this large project is to assess the nutritive quality of various hemp types and various methods to extract cannabinoids from hemp. The project is supported by USDA-AFRI-SAS.  


Past Research Projects

Identification of research priorities for the use of hemp byproducts as feed ingredients for livestock and animals: OSU and other researchers Massimo Bionaz, Morgan Tweet, Jeffrey Steiner

The overarching goals of this workshop were to bring together researchers, regulators, and hemp industry partners with knowledge of the use of hemp as feed for animals, to clearly articulate the current state of knowledge; foster a meaningful dialog among these experts, elucidate the fundamental scientific research needs and quality of measurements to cover the knowledge gap. The project was supported by USDA NIFA.  

Feeding spent hemp biomass to cattle: cannabinoid residuals, animal health, and product quality: OSU researchers Massimo Bionaz, Serkan Ates, Jenifer Cruickshank, Juliana Ranches, Agung Irawan

The Specific Aims were to determine the residuals of cannabinoids in milk, muscle, and adipose tissue and the effects on health and production in dairy cows fed a ration containing extracted hemp biomass. And develop and implement an Extension program for livestock producers about the feeding potential of hemp biomass byproducts. The project was supported by USDA-AFRI-CARE, Oregon Dairy Farm Association, and Oregon Beef Council.  

Feeding spent hemp biomass to lambs as a model for cattle: OSU researchers Serkan Ates, Massimo Bionaz, Nathan Parker

The objective of this study was to determine the effect on health and meat quality and THC and CBD residuals in finishing lambs fed spent hemp biomass in place of alfalfa as the roughage source. The project was supported by USDA-ARS and Oregon Beef Council.  

Characterization of cannabinoid metabolites in the fat of sheep-fed spent hemp biomass: OSU researchers Jennifer Duringer, Manuel Garcia-Jaramillo, Serkan Ates, Massimo Bionaz

The study demonstrated the elimination of cannabinoid metabolites after a 4-week clearance period after consuming spent hemp biomass at low and high doses. The non-targeted analysis identified the down regulation of several diacylglycerol compounds and the up regulation of several fatty acyl compounds in spent hemp biomass-fed animals compared to the control.  


Massimo Bionaz

Associate Professor
Animal & Rangeland Sciences
Faculty leader of Animal Health & Nutrition Research Consortium

Serkan Ates

Assistant Professor
Animal & Rangeland Sciences

Jenifer Cruickshank

Assistant Professor (Practice)
Animal & Rangeland Sciences


Jennifer Duringer

Assistant Professor (Sr Research)
Environmental & Molecular Toxicology

Michelle Kutzler

Associate Professor
Animal & Rangeland Sciences

Juliana Ranches

Juliana Ranches

Assistant Professor
Animal & Rangeland Sciences (EOARC)

Nathan Parker

Animal & Rangeland Sciences

Agung Irawan

Graduate Research Assistant
Animal & Rangeland Science