There are a lot of things that we humans eat that our pets shouldn’t get into. These include not only the obvious culprits like chocolate or alcohol, but a variety of other foods and medications too.
With legalized medical marijuana in Arkansas, many people have their pets in close proximity to their new cannabis therapies. Which begs the question, is cannabis safe for pets? And what should you do if your pet gets into your stash?
THC is Not Safe for Pets
There is some confusion surrounding cannabis and pets. People see CBD pet products sourced from hemp and may mistakenly think that marijuana is safe for dogs and cats.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound that is found in both hemp and marijuana varieties of cannabis. While early studies suggest that small-to-moderate servings of CBD are safe for pets, the same does not hold true for THC.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabis compound that makes you feel inebriated. While humans can consume large quantities of THC safely, pets cannot.
When a pet ingests activated THC (more on this later), they can experience uncomfortable side effects, and in severe cases, death. Knowing the signs of THC intoxication can help you know if your pet is in trouble.
Early signs of THC intoxication in dogs and cats include:
More serious symptoms include:
Accidents, like urinating indoors
Inability to walk or stand
Low blood pressure and heart rate
What to Do If Your Pet Eats THC-Heavy Products
If your pet eats any cannabis product, the best thing to do is call your local veterinary hospital and have them walk you through what to do.
In most cases, you won’t need to go to the vet. They might advise you to monitor your pet’s symptoms, induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, or feed the animal activated charcoal. It’s only in severe cases that you’ll need to take your pet to the vet.
The tricky thing is that there is no simple way to know if your pet has had too much THC. Whether or not marijuana consumption could lead to death depends on how much THC was consumed, what product was eaten, and your pet’s size.
If your pet has eaten any THC, don’t wait to see how things progress. There is a small window during which taking action will help. Immediately call your vet, and while you do so, take inventory of what they’ve eaten.
You will want to gather information on:
What they ate and how much of it they ate
The concentration or amount of THC within
When they ate it
Your pet’s weight and symptoms
Some Medical Marijuana Products are More Dangerous Than Others
Not every cannabis product poses the same threat to pets. Dried cannabis flower, or bud, is the least dangerous. This relative safety is because the THC found within is in an inactive form—it takes heat to activate THC. That isn’t to say that a large quantity couldn’t be dangerous, so still call your vet if your pet eats marijuana herb.
Of particular concern are cannabis edibles, which are incredibly tempting to our dogs and cats. Chocolate edibles are some of the most problematic as both THC and cocoa can be toxic to pets.
Additionally, concentrates like tinctures, wax, and shatter are dangerous due to their high potency.
Does Your Pet Get into Everything? What to Have on Hand
Some dogs and cats are infamous for their thievery and renowned for getting into things they shouldn’t. If this is your pet, there are some things you should have on hand:
A turkey baster
Activated charcoal tablets
These are the materials that your vet may have you use to save your pet’s life in the case of an emergency.
And lastly, take steps to keep your cannabis put away in a safe spot that your pets cannot reach. There have been cases of pets that normally don’t get into things unexpectedly eating cannabis edibles or other products. Every animal is curious, and strange things can happen.
Have a place where you keep your medical marijuana that is out of reach of all pets and children. And get in the habit of putting your cannabis away right after you use it, every time. We all know that it can be tough to put things away once you feel THC’s intoxicating effects, so building the habit can help avoid future accidents.
If you are an Arkansan suffering from one of these 18 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.
Click here to learn more about what Arkansas Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (844-249-8714) and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.