Are you thinking about giving your dog THC?
Or have you seen some CBD oils which contain THC?
THC can produce very harsh side effects in pets.
But, there is a way to use cannabis safely with your furry friend.
Read on for more information about THC, how it impacts dogs, and why it’s always better to opt for non-psychoactive CBD products instead.
Free Bonus: I always recommend CBD with zero THC. So consider downloading a free checklist to find out if your dog will benefit from CBD. You will also get a 35 page PDF report on everything to do with CBD for pets, which you can print and read later.
Pot for Pets: Is THC Safe for Dogs?
THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is widely considered the main psychoactive compound of cannabis.
Cannabis plants actually contain around 400 different active compounds.
However, most of the cannabis strains grown to make marijuana have been genetically modified to contain extremely high THC concentrations (sometimes up to 30%).
When we consume cannabis, the THC from the plant activates our body’s Endocannabinoid System by fitting into cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the brain and body.
When it does this, THC produces a strong, psychedelic euphoria that we colloquially call a “high” or “stone.”
Cats and dogs, like humans, can experience this, too.
And while people might enjoy that iconic cannabis “high,” it can cause some pretty scary symptoms in our furry friends.
Does THC Have Health Benefits?
Yes, THC definitely has health benefits.
- Pain Relief: There’s a really solid body of research showing that THC has powerful analgesic effects. Studies show it can help with both nociceptive and neuropathic pain and is particularly effective for treating chronic pain from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and more.
- Antiemetic: THC is very effective at treating nausea and vomiting. This has made it very popular among cancer and AIDS patients suffering from chronic nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss due to their treatments. Synthetic THC isolates like Marinol, for example, have been around since the 1980s.
- Neuroprotection: Contrary to popular belief, studies show that THC and other cannabinoids can help protect brain cells. In fact, some studies suggest that cannabinoids can stimulate neurogenesis in certain parts of the brain and therefore help treat neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and more.
- Appetite Stimulation: This might come as no surprise, but studies show that THC is very effective at stimulating both appetite and metabolism. Again, this makes it an attractive supplement for people suffering from eating disorders as well as appetite loss from certain medical conditions and treatments.
For a more detailed look at the health benefits of THC, check out this article by Green Flower.
The Effects of THC on Dogs
You might be inclined to give your dog THC-rich cannabis thanks to its health benefits.
However, I strongly advise that you don’t.
Dogs and cats are extremely sensitive to THC and can suffer from what vets describe as “marijuana poisoning.”
Unfortunately, most cases of marijuana poisoning happen when animal’s get into their owner’s supply of cannabis.
The problem here is that the pet ends up consuming far too much THC, which leaves them dealing with a bunch of nasty symptoms, including:
- Difficulty walking
- Rocking back and forth on the spot
- Wide open eyes
- Tense muscles
This combination of symptoms is sometimes referred to as ataxia.
Trust me, if you’ve ever seen a video of a dog that’s consumed cannabis, you’ll understand just how frightening these effects can be.
Unfortunately, pets also metabolize cannabinoids a lot slower than humans and can feel the effects of THC for anywhere up to 24 hours (or longer), depending on how much they consumed.
Other symptoms of THC intoxication in pets include:
- Dilated pupils and glassy eyes
- Low or high heart rate
- Whining and crying
- Loss of bladder control (incontinence)
In extreme cases, THC can also cause seizures/tremors or induce a coma.
There isn’t a lot of information available about why dogs are so sensitive to THC, but we know that their size and weight play a big part.
What About Products That Contain Both THC and CBD? Are These Products Safe for Pets?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most concentrated cannabinoid found in cannabis.
It is found in especially high concentrations in hemp, a variety of cannabis that contains low concentrations of THC (usually below 0.3%) and has many industrial uses.
Like THC, CBD has a wide variety of health benefits.
Unlike THC, however, CBD doesn’t produce that iconic psychoactive euphoria we associate with marijuana.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen cannabis products containing both THC and CBD and are wondering whether these are a good option for treating your pet.
And while these products can be great for humans, I don’t recommend using them with your pets.
Instead, I recommend using CBD hemp products like those I review on my homepage.
Made with highly concentrated hemp extract, these products can offer a wide variety of health benefits and help your pet manage all kinds of conditions and symptoms.
Best of all, CBD has a very safe side effect profile when compared to THC.
In fact, the only side effects you might notice with CBD is lethargy and diarrhea, although these are rare.
For more info on the side effects of CBD, check out my safety page here.
Another reason I always suggest using CBD over THC is this:
Hemp-based CBD products are 100% legal in many parts of the world.
Products made from cannabis, on the other hand, are much more heavily regulated.
In the US, for example, products made from cannabis are illegal under federal law, despite the fact that some states have legalized them.
Now, I don’t want to disregard THC for pets altogether.
There is a growing trend of “microdosing” THC among humans which shows us that small, controlled doses of the compound can deliver benefits without producing a “high.”
What does this mean for dogs?
Well, it suggests that, just like humans, dogs might be able to benefit from THC given that they take it in carefully controlled doses.
However, a lot more research is needed to confirm whether dogs and other pets can, in fact, use THC safely.
For a more detailed look at the health benefits of CBD, check out my CBD benefits page here.
What CBD Products Should You Use With Your Dog?
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already interested in using cannabis with your pet.
If so, I highly recommend trying CBD products like oils, capsules, and treats.
On my homepage, I review a wide variety of CBD pet products to help pet owners like you support the health of their pets.
Right now, my #1 recommendation for pet owners interested in CBD is HolistaPet.
HolistaPet produces a variety of CBD products for dogs and cats, including oils, capsules, and treats. View their best selling Pet CBD Tincture here.
All of their products are made with full-spectrum hemp extract which contains all the beneficial compounds of hemp, including CBD and much more.
Best of all, Holistapet has a variety of bundles which come at special discount prices.
For more information on Holistapet and other CBD pet brands, check out my homepage here.