For thousands of years, humans have been enjoying the benefits of cannabis both medically and recreationally. For those seeking medical benefits, marijuana is proven to increase appetite, decrease nausea and relieve chronic pain. If consuming marijuana can be so beneficial for us, what about man’s best friend?
In recent years, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has reported a lot more cases where dogs and other pets have come in after accidentally ingesting marijuana. But, what are the effects on dogs? Can dogs get high off weed? In short, yes, but please read on before getting baked with your furry pal.
How do dogs get high?
Just like people, dogs can get high from consuming marijuana. When marijuana is ingested, the THC is metabolizes in the liver. It is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC which results in a more intense high than smoking. The size of the dog and their weight will alter the high depending on how much they eat.
Dogs can also get high off of marijuana by second hand-smoke. Again, the dog’s size determines how high it will get, as well as the concentration of smoke and how long it is exposed to the smoke.
Effects of marijuana on dogs
Although dogs can get high just like humans, effects of marijuana on dogs are a little bit different. Dogs will likely pace, pant, loose their balance, and may be in distress. The signs of a typically begin 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion, or sooner if inhaled. Most cases involving marijuana ingestion end in a matter of hours, after which the dog is perfectly fine.
In severe cases, dogs may vomit, get tremors or have seizures. In some reported cases, dogs have even died from marijuana toxicosis. However, these symptoms occur when the animal is exposed or ingests too much.
On the flipside, sick dogs have gained their appetite back, shown signs of pain relief and become “puppy-like” again after years of pain.
Medical marijuana for dogs
As more and more humans use marijuana to aid chronic illness, pet owners are turning to medical marijuana for dogs. Using cannabis edibles for dogs has been known to relieve pain for dogs with cancer, arthritis and other severe illnesses. There is actually a marijuana edibles company in the San Francisco Bay area called Auntie Dolores, that launched a pet line called Treatibles.
Even though there are proven examples of medical marijuana helping animals, the American Veterinary Medical Association hasn’t taken an official stance. However, there have been debates for allowing veterinarians to prescribe medical marijuana to dogs and other animals.
The late Dr. Doug Kramer, known as the “Vet Guru” risked his career by promoting medical marijuana for dogs. He developed a homemade tincture for his very own dog that suffered from cancer. He realized the benefits she had from using marijuana which made her last few months much more comfortable. He started Enlightened Veterinary Therapeutics, the country’s first vet to offer medical marijuana for dogs and other pets.
It is true that dogs can get high. Most of the time, if they ingest a small amount, the side effects are not dangerous. Should you feed your dog a tray of weed brownies, or blow smoke in their face? No. And no, we don’t recommend healthy dogs get high. It seems like CBD oils work best for dogs. But, if your dog or other pet is suffering from a chronic condition, it may be worth talking to your vet about the option of medical marijuana.
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