Smoking weed may not be bad for humans, but what about dogs?
There's a morality debate about whether or not people who get their pets high are giant pieces of sh*t, but the truth is, cats and dogs are getting accidentally stoned every day, whether their owners are giving it to them or not.
From edibles to old blunt roaches, secondhand smoke and even the actual buds themselves, dog owners who leave their weed around might have witnessed the after-effects when their furry friends eat their stash (note to self: clean up stash).
But can dogs actually die from weed?
Since it was legalized federally in several states, cases of dogs falling ill to weed sickness have quadrupled in places like Colorado, where there have been two reported cases of animal death. Still, weed-related deaths for canines remain extremely rare.
Dr. Sarah Brandon of Canna Companion, a company that provides hemp supplements for cats and dogs suffering from chronic pain, says your dog would need to eat more weed than you'll ever have to overdose. She told Elite Daily,
THC itself is not deadly and there's actually not a lethal dose listed ... well there is one but it's pretty extreme and would mean a medium-sized dog would have to ingest ~45 lb of activated (heated) marijuana.
Your dog would literally have to eat a pound of weed or edibles and then lose control of its bodily functions and choke to be at risk of death.
In the two reported cases of dogs dying from marijuana consumption in Colorado, it turns out they were asphyxiated by their own vomit.
So what do they feel like when they're high?
To describe exactly what dogs experience when they're high, Dr. Brandon said,
They experience all the pros and cons of cannabis the same as humans. They do get high if enough THC is administered and they don't generally like it. They do not understand why sounds and sights are sharper and their ability to focus is different.
Depending on how much marijuana is ingested, dogs can stay high anywhere from three to 24 hours.
The intensity of their trip can vary, but in most cases involving smoke inhalation or ingesting edibles, they're not feeling too wavy.
Similarly, if they experience wobbliness and other gait abnormalities, this can really scare them. Once anxiety sits in, they will pace, hide, pant, have increased heart rates, etc. Again, toxic effects are seen at much lower dosages: sedation, respiratory depression, wobbliness, low heart rate.
Want to see a dog high in real life? This owner recorded her dog after it found the stash and ate her bud:
This is what a dog looks like after eating potent edibles:
Should dogs ever be exposed to marijuana on purpose?
The effects of cannabis on a dog depends on its size, but a dog should never be exposed to cannabis for at least the first eight months of life.
During that time, their brains are still developing, and any type of contact can lead to complications later in life.
Like humans, dogs have cannabinoid receptors and can feel the effects of THC, however they should be more closely monitored.
Can medical marijuana help dogs?
Many owners give their dogs some form of marijuana to help with medical conditions like seizures, eating disorders, immobility and even anxiety as they get older.
Dogs in their golden years have found relief from specialized marijuana products for pets and countless testimonials claim they really work.
According to the official Canna Companion site, its hemp supplements can help dogs in the following ways:
- Help joint discomfort associated with normal daily exercise and activity
- Encourages a normal, calm demeanor
- Supports a healthy GI tract
- Assists in "end of life" care and comfort
- Maintains healthy neurological function
- Helps support the immune system
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from chronic pain and need to be treated for it.
Pot for pets is going to be big for business.
With the marijuana industry projected to net up to $10 billion by 2018, pet care products are becoming a part of the consumer market.
Many edible companies are already catering to pets. Companies like Dixie Brands are developing new CBD pet treats to heal cats and dogs across America.
Even products branded as pet edibles that don't contain any THC at all are being sold and and marketed to cannabis enthusiasts.
Unlike humans, dogs don't need weed for recreational fun, but rather solely for its healing purposes.
Marijuana can be useful for our pets, just don't be stupid with it.
The debate of whether or not marijuana is safe for dogs is just another one of those things people need to get used to.
As the industry continues to evolve and we learn more and more about its controlled use, humans and pets alike can get a lot of benefits out of using cannabis products. Dr. Sarah Brandon says,
We have just begun to scratch the surface of what this plant can do for our furry friends. I liken the medical cannabis movement (human and pet) to that of the .com explosion many years ago. It will be an everyday part of life and something we will all reach for to help our pets feel better.
Even with all the "risks," future weed-infused pet products could be the answer to making our little homies' lives a little better.
Check out some of the amazing testimonials below.