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Cannabis for pets


Do you feel like giving THC to your pet? Or have you ever seen CBD oils that contain THC?

Beware, THC can produce some side effects in animals. It is always best to choose psychoactive CBD products instead. However, there is how to use cannabis safely with your furry friend.

Understanding The Cannabis As The Source

Cannabis plants contain approximately 400 active compounds. However, most cannabis strains grown for marijuana, like feminized and autoflowering strains, are genetically engineered to contain too high THCs.

When we use cannabis, THC activates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in our body by adapting cannabinoid receptors distributed throughout the brain and the body systems. When it does this, the THC produces a robust euphoria which we colloquially call a “high” or “stone.” Animals, like humans, can also experience it. Plus, while people may enjoy this iconic ‘high’, it can cause some pretty frightening symptoms to our furry friends.

What Is ECS

According to research, most animals have an endocannabinoid. There are only a few creatures that do not possess the endocannabinoid system. The ones that do not have an ECS are the insects and microscopic one-celled creatures. Not all animals will have similar advanced systems. They could have at least a primitive endocannabinoid system.

The study of the human endocannabinoid system has become a crucial point.

However, when it comes to other animals, the data is still non existant.

Perhaps It Is Best To Understand The ECS Of Laboratory Animals

There is much less knowledge about other creatures on earth than what has been about human ECS. These basic endocannabinoid systems are only responsible for the management of eating behavior.

The more evolved the species, the more complex is the endocannabinoid system.The mammalian endocannabinoid system is the most similar human endocannabinoid system.

In the first terms of the base, the endocannabinoid system in mammals, such as dogs, horses, cats, and rodents, functions almost like the human endocannabinoid system.

All mammals have CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Does THC Have Health Benefits?

Yes, THC has health benefits.

These include:

Pain Relief: There is plenty of research showing that high THC has potent pain-relieving effects. Moreover, studies show that it can help both nociceptive and neuropathic pain. It is particularly useful for treating chronic pain with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, 

Antiemetic: THC is exceptionally useful in treating heartache and vomiting. 

This made it very fashionable among people living with cancer and AIDS with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite due to their treatment.

Neuroprotection: Contrary to popular belief, studies show THC and other cannabinoids can help protect brain cells. Some studies suggest that cannabinoids can stimulate certain parts of the brain and help with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and more.

Appetite Stimulation: This might come as no surprise, but studies show that THC is exceptionally effective at stimulating both appetite and metabolism.

Again, this makes it an ideal supplement for people affected by eating disorders and appetite loss from certain medical conditions and coverings.

The Effects Of THC On Pets

You may be inclined to offer your dog cannabis rich in THC due to its health benefits. 

Dogs and cats sensitive to THC can suffer from what vets describe as “marijuana poisoning.” Unfortunately, most cases with marijuana occur when animals get into their owner’s cannabis store.

The problem here is that the animal ends up consuming too much THC, which leaves it dealing with one of the unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Staggering
  • Twitching
  • Rocking back and forth in place
  • Drooling
  • Eyes wide open
  • Tight muscles

Unfortunately, our pets also metabolize cannabinoids more slowly than us. They can feel the effects of THC up to 24 hours, depending on the proportion they have consumed.

Other symptoms of THC poisoning in pets include:

  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils and glassy eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Weak or high pulse
  • Whine and cry
  • Loss of bladder control

In extreme cases, THC can also cause seizures and tremors or induced coma. 

Data on why dogs so sensitive to THC are limited, but we know that their height and weight play a major role.

Why THC Is Not Good For Pets

This is often why pet owners have learned the differences, especially when it comes to the consumption of cannabinoid pet drugs. Veterinarians and pet owners got to inform themselves to identify the critical gaps to stay safe.

A crucial difference is that the location and CB1 receptor concentration in dogs.

Humans and dogs have CB1 receptors in the brain, but dogs have a much higher level than humans. It was mainly concentrated in the cerebellum, trunk, and spinal cord.

Because THC can be a CB1 agonist, when dogs ingest it, their endocannabinoid system is overwhelmed. With many CB1 receptors, dogs are overdosed and killed on THC and a condition called static ataxia.

How About CBD For Pets?

Cannabidiol or CBD is the second most concentrated cannabinoid found in cannabis.  Like THC, CBD presents an excellent variety of health advantages. However, unlike THC, CBD does not produce the iconic psychoactive euphoria that we accompany with marijuana.

The Therapeutic Benefits Of CBD For Our Pets

Non-intoxicating CBD is the way pharmaceuticals move when it comes to treating pets.

Although the human endocannabinoid system is analogous to animals, researchers believe there is an overlap in medical applications. This conclusion, however, should not be taken lightly.

The therapeutic targets for animals with CBD are:

  • Pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Something to keep in mind


Cannabis products containing THC and CBD are often excellent for humans. This is why we wonder if these options are for treating our pets.

Exposure is usually accidental due to the animal’s curiosity or the fact that it is in the room when smoked. Pets can become intoxicated when they inhale second-hand smoke. They will also become intoxicated from eating edibles by ingesting cannabis directly in the other form.

Until researchers find the safer when applying THC, animals should instead use CBD to treat their problems. CBD is not a receptor agonist, which makes it safer for pets. Because there are not enough studies on CBD and its effect on other species, owners should always apply it with caution.

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